Revving Up PodcastMotor: Growing a Productized Service with Quality Content

by Claire Karjalainen
Revving Up PodcastMotor: Growing a Productized Service with Quality Content

You’re ready to launch a podcast for your business.

But what do you do if you have no idea how to start a podcast? What if you don’t know how or don’t want to put in the time to edit your audio? Or write show notes? Or publish your show on platforms like iTunes or Stitcher?

This is what led Craig Hewitt to launch PodcastMotor in early 2015.

PodcastMotor is a full-service concierge podcast editing and production service. They do everything except record the podcast for you. They edit the audio, produce show notes, publish into a final product – all you have to do is record the audio and put it in Dropbox.

Not only do they power the weekly production of episodes, they also help their clients have a successful launch of their podcast. Last week, one of their new clients spent their first 3 weeks on the top page on all of iTunes (that’s pretty damn impressive, considering there are over 180,000 active podcasts out there!

In only their first year, PodcastMotor has grown to a roster of 42 recurring clients (and growing), some of which are major influencers in the business podcasting world, like Steli Efti and Hiten Shah from The Startup Chat podcast. Craig leads a team of 16 (also growing) who help make PodcastMotor a finely tuned engine powering some amazing podcasts.

A major component of PodcastMotor’s growth? Content marketing.

For Hewitt, PodcastMotor’s solo founder, content as a growth channel makes sense for his audience, and when he was ready to kickstart his content marketing efforts, he turned to Audience Ops.

Their strong, steady growth in organic search traffic (up 465% from this time last year) aside, it’s the quality of the content that Craig feels has had the most impact for their business. You’ll hear in today’s case study all about how PodcastMotor is leveraging content to become the go-to company for podcast production.

Get the bonus content: Thinking about outsourcing your content creation? Subscribe to receive these Tips to Outsource Content Marketing for Founders!

The Content Challenge for Founders Who Don’t Write

Hewitt has outsourced his content production since almost the beginning of PodcastMotor. Of the time when he was writing for the PodcastMotor blog, Hewitt admits, “It was not great. I’m not a writer or a content creator, so what I was creating wasn’t what we needed.”

This challenge crops up a lot for founders, almost as often as we hear that people simply don’t have time. Many business owners also don’t want to write, or feel that their content doesn’t make the quality cut for their business blog.

In the case of PodcastMotor, Hewitt decided to do what he tells his podcasting clients to do – focus on his strengths, and find a “done for you” service to take care of the rest.

PodcastMotor allows business owners and influencers to create podcasts and share their insights without needing to be experts in audio production or the technical aspects of podcasting. Audience Ops does the same thing for content marketing, so Hewitt felt immediately comfortable with what AO could do for him.

Hewitt settled on sharing work for his content creation between his own team and Audience Ops. The core of his content strategy revolves around outsourced articles and promotion, while his team produces the PodcastMotor podcast and writes on the weeks when Audience Ops doesn’t publish.

For the weeks where Audience Ops works on content, Hewitt says, “[Audience Ops] does everything.”

The division of labor ensures a mix of subject matter expert-level content and posts related to best practices from PodcastMotor’s clients, and the industry thought leadership pieces Audience Ops produces.

Quality Matters When You’re Outsourcing Content

Hewitt’s decision to outsource and move from a different content provider to Audience Ops ultimately centered around quality content.

“We used another service before Audience Ops,” Hewitt says. “It was a great service, but nowhere near the quality or depth that [Audience Ops is] giving us, so it’s been a big step up.

“Better-quality content produces better engagement. The better the content, the more people share it, the more real engagement we get, and the more business opportunities come our way.”

“It’s safe to say we were only able to secure our biggest client because he read our blog and related the quality of the posts to the quality he could expect from our service.”

For PodcastMotor, content has driven several of their biggest company “wins” to date.

Last year they were asked to become contributors to About.com’s podcasting section. “We’re considered About.com experts,” says Hewitt. “We contribute there twice a week. It’s been great for us – a huge traffic and blog generator and an authority indicator for us when we’re talking to people.”

Another of PodcastMotor’s customers – someone Hewitt describes as “very big in the blogging world” – signed up for the service after reading one blog post. “I think it’s very safe to say that we were only able to secure him because he read our blog and related the quality of the posts to the quality he could expect from our service.”

Get the bonus content: Thinking about outsourcing your content creation? Subscribe to receive these Tips to Outsource Content Marketing for Founders!

What’s Next for PodcastMotor and Podcasting

The continued growth of podcasting represents growing opportunity for PodcastMotor as well. Just as the business world has become inundated with content, it seems like every company and every influencer has a podcast or three.

Says Hewitt, “Pre-2015, just having a podcast made you different. Now you have to find a different angle.”

As part of his goal to double PodcastMotor’s monthly recurring revenue in 2016, Hewitt will continue to look to his content marketing strategy to differentiate PodcastMotor.

“The quality content establishes us as a thought leader in the space, which is what we really want,” he says. “Our audience takes podcasting seriously, and it’s important that they know that we do as well, and that we know what we’re talking about.

“We want online businesses to understand the value of a high-quality produced podcast, by showing the ROI of a podcast as a form of marketing, how starting or growing a podcast is beneficial to traffic and reputation. Creating high-quality blog content is integral to that.”

The company is also putting together the second season of their podcast, Podcastonomics, a show dedicated to the business of podcasting. The content from the show, combined with Audience Ops-produced articles, will drive the company’s content strategy forward.

“[Working with Audience Ops] is really my first foray into content marketing,” says Hewitt. “The biggest thing that I’ve learned, and what I would tell anyone starting out, is that it’s an investment. Have a long-term outlook.

“If you look at our blog, we write on a wide variety of topics, so people might only find one in ten interesting. But it only takes one post to pique someone’s interest, and once you’ve been at it for a while, you’ll have a bunch of posts to show that you know what you’re talking about.”

Interested in learning how high-quality content could help you grow your company? Request a free consultation with an Audience Ops content strategist.

  • Erik Stoddard

    Cool! I productized my blog writing service, getblogpost.com! So challenging.