How Podcasting is a Remarkable ABM Strategy- with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh

Do you TRULY know the power of storytelling to build your brand? thinking face 
Most brand leaders and podcasters heavily rely on famous guests to build their brand achieve their marketing goals—but what if there was a more effective way to build your brand and find success? 
When you build your brand and podcast with the audience in mind first, your message will not only be effective, but it will reach the right audience every single time. hundred points
studio microphone B2B Podcasting brings you another great episode with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh as our guest. He is the director of marketing at Avoma and the host of The ABM Conversations podcast. 
If you’re ready to perfect your value proposition and position your brand for success with the right audience, then THIS is the episode for you. 
Main Takeaways:
gem stone Learn how to build your podcast with your audience in mind first
gem stone Measure a podcast ROI by discovering your true value proposition
gem stone Avoid starting a podcast that focuses on leveraging guest influence
gem stone Discover the “meeting life cycle assistant” and how it can help your business
alarm clock 00:00-06:46 | How to build a career remotely with marketing and podcasting
alarm clock 06:46-15:11 | Learn how to use storytelling to maximize your content creation and brand building
alarm clock 15:11-29:56 | Use wisdom when inviting guests on your show to mine the gold out of them
alarm clock 29:56-40:35 | Measure ROI with simple steps that can better direct your podcast
speech balloon “In a commoditized environment there are going to be 10, 20, or 100 different tools that do the same thing—but if somebody is going to buy yours, it’s because they believe in the same value system and have the same ideologies.” - Yaagneshwaran Ganesh, Director of Marketing, Avoma
speech balloon “As long as I know who my audience is, I can also talk to lookalike audiences.” - Yaagneshwaran Ganesh, Director of Marketing, Avoma
speech balloon “There is an audience thats trusting you to come up with good content—trust is earned by default at first, and it’s up to you to keep it.” - Yaagneshwaran Ganesh, Director of Marketing, Avoma
speech balloon “Just because your podcast is niche doesn’t mean you can’t broaden your audience.” - Yaagneshwaran Ganesh, Director of Marketing, Avoma
Connect with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh:
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Full Transcription: 

Kap Chatfield  00:20

Hey gang, welcome back to B2B Podcasting. I'm your host, Kap Chatfield, hosting the show, the show for B2B brand leaders, CEOs, sales leaders and marketing leaders to help them skip ads and be the show. Today. Our guest is my friend Yaag. He is the Director of Marketing at AVOMA, and he's also the host of an amazing podcast. It's like probably one of the leading podcasts out there in B2B marketing, the ABM Conversations Podcast. Today, we're gonna be talking about all things from storytelling a point of view, for your storytelling for your brand all the way through to the ROI of podcast advertising, it's gonna be a really fun conversation. So Yaag, thanks so much for joining us today.


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  01:03

Hey, absolutely. My pleasure, and thank you for having me on your show. I'm super excited for our discussion today.


Kap Chatfield  01:08

So before we kick it off, I want you to tell the audience where are you streaming from in the world?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  01:14

Yeah, so right now I'm in Chennai, the southern coastal part of the country. And so Chennai has about a couple of beaches, and it's a beautiful, but hot city. We, you know, here, we don't have an actual winter, it's hot, hotter and hottest throughout the year. But super excited. You know, I've been pretty much working remote all my life. So pretty much kicked.


Kap Chatfield  01:35

That's awesome. And so you're clearly like, even from being in India, you're really building a brand for yourself all over the world, the fact that we're even connecting right now. I just love what we can do with technology these days. But you are really building a massive influence on LinkedIn, particularly in the B2B marketing community. I'd love for you to share with us just a little bit of your background of what got you into B2B marketing, and where what makes you passionate about being in this industry.


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  02:03

Right, so you know, in fact, I got into remote working way back in 2016. And this was much before COVID, much before the remote was actually a thing. And just to give you a little bit of background, the way I started was, you know, I was doing my undergraduate degree in computer science. And I decided that, hey, I'm not going to be good at programming. This is not something that I was super excited about. I wanted to get into the management side, for the first one year of my MBA, I didn't even know what I was going to specialize in. And then I decided, let me go ahead and get into marketing because my internship was with an insurance company, wherein I was going across the remote parts of the country and appointing insurance agents. I didn't even know that influencer marketing was a thing, which I was actually doing back then. And then slowly coming in, and then I realized that I can start my own company, I started my own company, ran it for a couple of years, as soon as I completed my MBA, and I did all possible mistakes that I could do, and eventually shut shop, and then started working for a company called SolarWinds, which is based out of Austin. I was working remote from Chennai, and consistently you know, it's the fun fact is, all my life I've never worked for an Indian company. I've always worked for European and American companies all my life. And it's been super exciting. And yeah, that's that's about it. The way I got into this is that, you know, 2010, 2011, I moved from working for network and IT side of the world and moved into actually, the marketing and specifically martech tools and collaborative tools. That got me super excited, because I was curious to solve different problems. And if I consider my entire marketing life, I put it into two different phases. As a phase where I joined a company, I was given a product and I was asked to market and eventually make it successful. And the phase I'm right now in wherein I handpick products that I'm really, really passionate about that I can wear on my sleeve all day and all hour because I believe in the vision, I believe in what the company is trying to solve for the personal value system of mine and my CEO needs to match and all of that. And then you know, I reach out to the CEO after observing the company for almost a year and I say, "Hey, I've seen your company for this long. I like this, this and this. And I think this is the problem or this is the gap that I have where I fit in and I can solve for this. Are you interested for a conversation?" And that's how things begin.


Kap Chatfield  04:28

Wonderful. Tell me about your show The ABM Conversations Podcast. What's your show about and why did you feel like you needed to start the show for the B2B marketing conversation at large?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  04:40

Right. So The ABM Conversations Podcast in short is focused on B2B marketers and salespeople, especially in the SAS industry around the world. And our typical listeners are marketers and salespeople with at least seven plus years of experience. So that means I cannot talk about things that are very fundamenta.l I can I cannot talk about  what is content marketing? What is podcasting? But rather, I need to talk about specific problems that people are wanting to solve in their daily life, you know, that helps them in their job. And the reason I started this podcast, it was out of frustration, because, you know, pre COVID, when I used to drive, I used to listen to podcasts. And it was a massive frustration that after listening to, what, 45 minutes or so, or even an hour at times, I'll just get about five minutes of value. Who cares? You know, what kind of coffee this person had in the morning, or some inside joke that only these two people understand and nobody else does? I wanted to make sure that if somebody gives me about 45 minutes, let me make sure that, you know, they go in and get as much as possible from that episode. So for example, if I'm thinking or talking about, say, how to distribute your content, you know, I don't think about which guests will give me the most number of downloads or most number, you know, which will get most number of people to view it or download it. I rather think about, "hey, who's the best person to talk about this at depth?" And then I think about, "Hey, am I the right person to talk about it?" If not, then what are the things that I have absolutely no clue about, I'll go, I'll do an in depth research about that particular guest, I will sometimes even go on to listen to 10 to 20 episodes of that person, if I have the time, or at least two as a minimum, and do my enough amount of research before going into that conversation. Do a pre level call, and then actual conversation, I make sure that I value their time, because my my fundamental philosophy here is that if somebody is giving you one hour of their time, you better respect it. Rather than you know, thinking that I'll go into the call, and I'll just wing it. That's not what I want to do.


Kap Chatfield  06:46

I agree, I think it's so, you can really tell when people are just really bringing people onto their show because they're trying to leverage their influence. And obviously, we're going to talk about this in a little bit like there's there's something valuable in like cross pollinating audiences. And really, you know, finding other people that can add value to the message that you're bringing with your show. But if you're not really thinking about what does the audience need? And is this going to really be valuable for my featured guest? You're not really going to put together a strong show, which is going to be a lot of what we talk about today, because you have really, you have a really strong show. And I can tell from the content that I've seen you post on LinkedIn, that you really see the value of video podcasting in the B2B world, we call it show marketing, like taking a show and leveraging that as a tool for taking your message out to the world at scale. So let's just go through this list, we have a few things we want to cover today. Let's start at the top: storytelling, specifically about building a personal or a point of view for your brand. Why don't you break down the problem that you're seeing in the world of B2B marketing when it comes to storytelling?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  07:55

Right, so let me give you a couple of examples here. So when I started this podcast, one of the things that was, you know, already happening was podcasting wasn't new, you know, even way back in 2019, December, when I started podcast, there were several podcasts that was really, really doing well. And there were several of marketing podcasts, or even B2B marketing podcasts out there. So my first thought process was, should I be contributing to the noise a little more? Or should I be doing something that adds value? Or how can I do that? You know, everybody says, "let's add value", but what is actually value? Nobody talks about what is really value, right? So that comes from the fundamental understanding of who your audience is, and whom do you want to serve? And is that interesting to you? And then, you know, what happened was I went out and I started asking people saying that, "hey, I'm thinking about starting a podcast", because previously, I was doing something called Coffee Conversations, which was a two minute or three minute video on LinkedIn that I used to post every Tuesday. And as a result of that, there was an audience that was built over a period of time. And, in fact, it came in as a request from those people who said, "hey, it's high time Yaag you, you know, go in and do in depth content, where you talk about it for at least 30 to 40 minutes minimum, wherein you can deep dive on these topics". And I was like, "Okay, let's do this". I'm going to start a podcast. What are the things that you want me to focus on? And majority of the people said, "Hey, start talking about ABM." And that's how ABM Conversations actually came up. Though it is not focused only on ABM as a topic, it's more about B2B marketing in general. But the way I thought about it was, "hey, let's make it a no fluff, no vanity podcast, wherein if somebody spends time, they need to get value and they understand how to do something". And the way I started picking guests, there was more from the perspective of who's the guest for what kind of topic. If I want to talk about martech landscape, I would rather reach out to somebody like Scott Brinker and ask him, "Hey, can you do an overview on this topic? These are the things that I have in mind, do you like to talk?" And, you know, the fun part is, I also had Seth Godin on the episode at the outset, it looks like he has,

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Kap Chatfield  10:12

You had Seth Godin on your show? 


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  10:14



Kap Chatfield  10:15

Oh, my gosh dude! Legendary. That's amazing. Go on.


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  10:20

I'll tell you the fun story behind that. The fun story behind that is at the outset, it feels like, "Yeah Yaag, you had Seth Godin, and that's awesome". But the reality is, the first time I ever reached out to Seth Godin, for something was in 2009. And then I kept reaching out to him for something or the other and eventually had him on my podcast in 2021. So if you look at it, it was, you know, being in touch for almost 11 years before this happened. So it's like it goes on to having those relationships. And now diving back to the point of view. I work for a company called AVOMA. Now, AVOMA is in a space, which is into a domain called conversation intelligence. Now, when you look at conversation intelligence as a domain, there are some really, really big names in the industry. There are companies like Gong, there are companies like Chorus, there are companies like Wingman, and pretty much everybody is talking about conversation intelligence from their perspective. You know, when you hear all three brands, they generally talk about it from a sales perspective. Now, how can you close more revenue? How can you close more deals? And all of that. Now, if you are a player into the space, you need to have a unique value proposition, you know, you cannot just go ahead and say the same stories, or play somebody else's game, and expect to win just because you're willing to, you know, pour more gasoline into it, or pour more money into it. So what we did, the way we saw this was we said, "hey, yes, salespeople can use these things, great". But when you look at a meeting, there are three things that happen, you know, things that happen before the meeting, things that happened during the meeting, and after the meeting. What I mean by that is, before the meeting, you're going to prepare, you know, you're going to prepare by what, why even coming into this conversation, you know, what are the things that I'm going to speak? Do I have an agenda? And how do I make sure that that you know, that is I'm avoiding or reducing the chances of no show in this conversation. And then during the meeting, I'm taking notes, or probably making sure that I'm capturing most things as part of this conversation, hitting the right points, and all of that. And at the end of the conversation, I'm trying to push this notes into the CRM, I'm trying to get some analytics on, you know, what I learned from this, and then, you know, if there's a possibility of the rest of the team, learning from my conversations. Now, when you look at this entire phase, we realize that, "hey, this is a lifecycle. Before, during, and after." So when we look at it as a lifecycle, then we said, "let's call it a meeting lifecycle assistant, rather than a conversation intelligence tool, and explain the philosophy behind it". So it boils down to the fact that it's not just having a point of view. But when you have a point of view, you put a name to it, you frame it, and you claim it. And the moment you claim it, how do you test this? The way you test this is, for example, do you go to any generic website like say, or Forbes, or, you know, say your TechCrunch of the world, and 99% of the time, when you just cover your hands or the heading and just read any four lines randomly, it is very, very difficult to you know, tell which company's content is this, you know, who are these guys talking about? But at some point, when you read something, and you realize that, "hey, this is the voice of AVOMA", then you realize that okay, this is this is the viewpoint that is established, and that can happen through podcasting a lot, because this is a medium that you control. And this is a medium that you can talk about. And over a period of time, you know, people realize that "hey, this is what this company stands for". No in a commoditized environment, where people are, there are going to be 10 or 20 or 100 different tools that do the same thing. But if somebody is going to buy yours, or stick with you, it is because they believe in the same value system, they have the same ideologies, they have the same point of view. And these are the things that actually make a brand and this is where podcast makes a difference. 


Kap Chatfield  14:14

You said, you broke it down like a three step framework, name it, frame it and claim it correct? 


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  14:21

Yeah. Yeah. 


Kap Chatfield  14:22

I love that. So what would be the "frame it" component? Because I can understand conceptually the "name it" but what's like break down the frame it part for us? 


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  14:31

Yeah. So when you say frame it, so going back to the explanation of that before during and after the meeting, you know, so I can name it and say that it is a meeting lifecycle assistant. How do I frame it? I say that okay, what is a meeting lifecycle? There are these three different stages. In these three stages, what are the things that you do? So once you encapsulate saying that what is that lifecycle and what comprises that? That's where you explain it. And then the way you claim it is that this is how you see the world, this is the lens that you capture. And that is why, you know, that is your point of view. It's not like what somebody else is saying, This is how you see it. And anybody who sees the world, like the way you see it, they're going to be with you.


Kap Chatfield  15:11

You know, there's a there, I was going to add a fourth one, because I actually, when I heard you talk about this with me in the pre call, I thought you said fame it and sort of frame it. So I like name it, frame it, claim it, I would add a fourth and say fame it which is all about putting it out there and really testing it in the public, the public square, even the Digital Public Square. And that's clearly what you're doing with the storytelling that you're doing, and really creating a clear point of view, particularly in the ABM world. And for any newbies out there, ABM stands for Account Based Marketing. So we'll, we'll have to do another episode going deep on what that is and how to do that well. But I love that we're really focusing on podcasting as a unique brand development tool. We've talked about, you know, the scalability of your content output, and even the relational element. I'm sure now that you've actually had, think about this, you know, it took 11 years to kind of get this relationship with Seth Godin on the show. But you got, you know, up to 60 minutes uninterrupted with the legend himself on your show, like that's, I, I'd have to imagine that he, you know, he would probably recognize you after that, especially with all those touch points building up. And I'd like to just go that I think that's a great tip off into our second point here, which is about building relationships with your target audience. And you said, specifically, by being by guesting on relevant podcasts. I'd love for you to share with us why why this is important when you know, building a brand and getting your story out to the market.

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Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  16:45

Right. So, you know, using podcasts when you try when you're trying to build a brand. First of all, the way I think about it is when you build a brand, it is less about you. It is more about I mean, it's cliche to even say that, but I'm emphasizing on this, because see, even when you put out content, as an organization, or as a brand, what you're often thinking or the way you start is how do I position myself? What is the kind of story that I say, you know, how does, how do I make this work? So it always starts from the mindset of what I want to do. You know? What I want to accomplish. But when you flip it, because this is more like an inside out kind of a mindset, you have something, it's, you know, if I have to put it in more crude terms, it's more like I'm building a product. And then I'm thinking, "How do I sell it? Or whom do I sell it to?" But the whole point is, do people even want this? You know, is there a market for us? Is there an opportunity for it? So when you connect it back to the story that I told how I started the podcast, I asked people, what do they want? What topic should I speak on? And the entire thing was built on base of that. So here when you again, go from outside in, and once you understand that, "hey, this is the audience. So this is the kind of experience that these people have". And then you realize, what are the kinds of topics to pick up? And now that's why I said, I cannot talk about fundamental topics, like what is this? What is that? But it should be more from the standpoint of "how to". And once you recognize this, then you need to understand that, "hey it's not only me who is having the megaphone, and it's not that people, you know, I'm only confined to this audience". Today, I might be having like 100 downloads for my episode, tomorrow, I might be having 200. Later in the hour, it can be you know, 10,000 episodes, so on and so forth. But it's not necessarily that I'm talking to only this. As long as I know who my audience is, I can also talk to lookalike audiences. So, if I know that these podcasts who have a similar audience, it makes more sense for me to you know, reach out to them build a relationship. It's not like making a mad pitch where I say, "Hey, I've been on these shows, you know, I would like to discuss on these five topics, do you want me to do that?" Because I receive those pitches almost every day. And I receive at least five to 10 emails, that tell me that that pitches me about somebody else. But the moment I look at that, I quickly realize that this is the same pitch that is probably going out to 1,000 other people and they are playing this math, where out of the 1,000 probably, you know one person of them might respond. And then they might probably get on 10 shows or 20 shows or whatever. But at the end of the day, you need to be picky about what is the audience that you're going for, and who are the people who are running show similar to that? So, you know, one of the things that happened practically for me is that once we reached about 70 or 80 episodes of the APM Conversations Podcast, we went to this went into this phase where you know this, this podcast became a podcast as part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now, the moment I came into this network, now I had instant access to other peer podcasters like say the Martech Podcast where I went on the show with Benjamin Shapiro, I also went on the show with, you know, Game Guru retain, I spoke to Jeff. So it's an opportunity, once you realize that, "Hey, these are the kinds of audiences you can pair up with". And the response or the result of that is, you know, they have a decent number of listeners, and they have very focused listeners. And it's a win win, right? So you can have them on your show, you can go on their show. And it's, it's, it helps their audience to discover your content and your audience to discover their content. And ultimately, you know, the audience is looking to learn. The reason somebody spends so much time on a podcast is to learn something at the end of the day. And if you can credibly point to some source, by being a part of it, I think that is the biggest kind of influence or authentic influence that you can actually play.


Kap Chatfield  20:50

I like the how careful you are. And when you're doing this for your own shows. And even as you're kind of consulting our audience right here, kind of coming back to the first point, it's so important to make sure that you're really carefully picking the right people that to be on your show. And you're really considering, you know, carefully which shows that you want to be on as well. And it's it's, it's like an audience first mentality. I think that's so important, especially in the world of B2B marketing. Love for you to just expound on this, like, let's just kind of free flow with this idea. But I think it's, you know, what we're seeing right now. And it's hard for me to actually see like, how do people not see this? But when businesses look at, you know, people on the, on the web, on the internet, and on their website, strictly as like, customers with a dollar sign over their head, you start to behave very strangely towards those people and you and you forget that there are people with real desires and real issues. And people have like this built in, I call it the built in BS meter where it's like they, they can tell right away, like, are you trying to sell them or you're trying to provide them value. And it's like, if you don't have that audience first. In fact, what we say is like, think about your customer, as an audience first, think about them as an audience. And before you sell them a product, treat your content as the product. If they consume the content, they're consuming the product, so to speak, right? And so it's this audience first mindset, I'd love for you to share with us, you know, what have you discovered about what it means to provide value to an audience?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  22:29

Right. So, you know, one of the fundamental aspects here, when you realize that your audience first is to first understand what they want and how can you create enough opportunities for your audience to interact with you? So the reason why, you know, I emphasize so much on being audience first is that, you know, when you start your podcast, when, you know, there are hardly those 10 or 20 people who are listening to you. Now, these people are super important, because they need to become your superfans who proliferate your podcast to the rest of the world. They start sharing about it in their communities and that's how it grows. And it is very, very important for you to listen to them. So I'll give you an example as to how my podcast started growing. So when I started, I, you know, I used to get one or two DMS initially, were on my LinkedIn, where people used to talk about what they liked and disliked in a particular episode. And sometimes, you know, people will go on, and it as it grew, even today, right, so I get at least five to 10, you know, blog sized DMS for every episode that I do even today. And what happens is people write those indepth notes where they say that, "hey, you had this guest who spoke about these these things. And, you know, I vehemently disagree, or I agree on these points, or whatever". And it shows that, hey, they really care, you know? They come back, and they tell you that, what they disagree, why they disagree, and they are showing their point of view, you know, they're also doing that, you know, having a point of view and naming it and framing it and claiming it because that's what has worked for them. And it's an opportunity for you ultimately, the way I look at my podcast is, you know, it's sort of a university for me. Imagine, you know, 


Kap Chatfield  24:16

I love that. That's good. 


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  24:19

Yeah, there's a reason why I say this. So when I look back at some of my guests, you know, when it comes to positioning, I've had April Dunford come and talk about it. And for say, evangelizing I've had Guy Kawasaki come and talk about it. Building a product company I've had David Cansel come in and talk about it. Now, when you have these people, it is not the moment for you to kind of worship them on the show. Yes, of course, they have done a lot of great things, you respect them for that. But it is your opportunity to learn the max you can in that one hour they are given to them. So you go with the best kind of questions. You do all kinds of preparations because at the end of the day, there is an audience that is trusting you to come up with good content, you know? Trust is earned by default the first time. But thereafter, it's up to you to keep the trust. So you have to make sure that every single episode I deliver the best, you know, output, the best quality of content. Yes, there'll be feedback. And it's good to have that. And eventually, what happened was, you know, I wanted to even once test how much you know, the audience are connected. So I, I opened dropship t shirt store, you know, and I tried out, I have a section in my podcast called Rapid Fire. So what I did was I created a t shirt, just 10 of them, and I put it out, I put out a link on LinkedIn saying that, "hey, I've created this t shirt for the rapid fire section, how many of you are interested in getting this?" And within the first day, all the 10 were sold out. And I was like, "wow, Are people really, really intended to buy this?" And then, you know, in the next week, I saw that there were people who were posting images with those T shirts, you know, pointing at it, and, you know, sharing it with their communities and all of it. I was like, "This is amazing, I, I would have never dreamt of something like this to happen for a podcast". But when this happens, this is amazing. So it's more and more responsibility on your shoulders, to make sure that somebody has trusted you, you keep the trust, and make sure that you deliver on it every single time. You know, when you're asking questions, it's not only to quench your curiosity, but also to make sure that you bring up enough quality information, that is an answer to the question that your listeners might have, that might make it actionable for them to do their job better. So that is how I go about getting my guests. That is why I go on different podcasts. And that is why I think audience is the core of what I'm doing. If that is not there, you know, there's no point talking to a couple of friends and their dogs and expecting the podcast to grow.


Kap Chatfield  26:53

Sure, sure. And it's cool, because, you know, one thing that I've discovered is, you know, the bet the benefit of the internet, let's just say this. And quite honestly, if we can look at what's happened over the past couple years with, you know, COVID, you know, shutting down the in the in-person workplace is it's forced us all to accept, hey, we have this technology, how do we leverage it to accelerate relationships? Really, that's why I see content, especially a video podcast format like this. It's a relationship accelerator, right? Like, you and I are building a relationship through this format even right now. The audience gets to build a passive relationship with you, because now you're, you know, putting out this content, sharing your message. And so I just feel like that's when when businesses have that in their mind of, "hey, we're using this not just to like to generate revenue, we're doing this because we want to build meaningful relationships", sales happen. I mean, you you throughout this, you threw out this shirt or the like a base, like a drop shipping store is a shirt, right? You were saying that you created and you were able to generate sales because you had access to that audience. And it's also because you've decided, "You know what, I'm not going to be a generalist with my message". I think that's something that's really important for B2B companies and this kind of comes back to your first point about establishing a point of view. Because we all have access to the Internet right now, it really, it makes it pretty much impossible to be a well known name if you're going to be a generalist in the conversation. You have to provide a unique point of view so that people like like you, for example, Yaag is known as the host of The ABM Conversations Podcast, like you're known, that's your corner. And that's where that's that's where the ROI is really coming from is because you've, you've really niched down with your conversation. And so I want to, you know, for the sake of time, I want to actually go into transition to the fourth point that we're that we have on our docket here. Speaking of ROI, you, you shared with me that you have some unique perspectives on the ROI of podcast advertising. And before we let you loose, I'm just going to like basically un-chain you and just let you go after it. This is a really important conversation for B2B, particularly the CEOs, the people in the C-suite, even the CFOs, particularly, who are wondering, "okay, we get conceptually how a podcast can be, you know, a revenue generator, we understand conceptually, that this is going to be a business development strategy. But what's the true ROI of podcasting?" And we could go down a million different routes of how a podcast can actually generate a meaningful ROI, one of which might be selling T-shirts, but that's not like that's not the exhaustive list. There's a whole scope of things that can happen. You have a unique perspective on podcast advertising. Can you explain a little bit about podcast advertising in the B2B world, and what the ROI of that actually is?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  29:56

Right. So first things first, what I would say is you know, the whole thing about niching down and podcasting, there are a couple of fundamentals for you to remember. Just because your podcast is niche, it doesn't mean that you cannot broaden your audience going forward. So you start somewhere, you go broader. So I started with a, yeah, I started with ABM, and then slowly it became a bigger B2B Marketing podcast that covers different topics. Now, to the next point of ROI, you know, I always look at podcasting as how Naval Ravi Kant would say, you know, "build long term relationships with long term people". You know, that is the perspective that I take. And when it comes to actually picking the ROI, the fundamental comes down to what is your expectation? Or what is your intent of creating the podcast? Now, if you're creating a podcast from the perspective of saying, "Hey, I'm going to invite all my target accounts and make this an interrogation and make it like, you know, hey, what do you do for this, this, this and ultimately push them into the funnel", you might get two, three guests, and eventually the word is going to spread and nobody is going to come in and participate in your podcast. So that is not what you want to do. But ultimately, you need to set up a couple of guidelines. You need to either say that, "Hey, am I here to build my brand, or you know, put my point of view to the industry and say that this is how I go about thinking? Or you know, am I going to generate demand for my product through certain ways? So when it comes to say, generating demand, say for example, a typical SaaS company is thinking about sponsoring other podcast shows. Now, if I have to handpick a few SaaS podcast shows and say that hey on these are the five shows where my audience is my target audience is, and I become a sponsor on that, say, for example, you're talking about something like Sastre. So Sastra has an amazing podcast, I want to go and sponsor them. Now, the moment I sponsor them, the difficulty that we have today is that it is not very easy to measure the impact of what you get from that. You know, at the outset, you might hear that this podcast has about 150k downloads or some random number. But these are the number of downloads per month, and you have no idea whether it's the number of downloads per episode is a cumulative visit, also, including some of those older episodes, where there was some amazing guests, which made those episodes popular, what is the reason? Did they put extra money on it to promote it, you have no clue, you're just going by this number. And you're making a random calculation saying that, hey, if I have, you know, a, if I have a pre roll on this episode, I'm going to run my ad for about 45 seconds, or 30 seconds, or whatever the math is, whatever the number is, I'm assuming that there are going to be at least say 50k people who listen to this. And I'm also making an assumption that from there, maybe 1% of them would come onto my website? Or even if you don't say that, then it's even more not measurable. For instance, if I say that my product does this, this this checkout, AVOMA dot com. And how do I know that somebody is coming to is based on you know, listening to this particular episode, or this particular ad? At least I give them a landing page, maybe that helps to an extent. But the fundamental thought process that we need to have or the way we need to approach this is probably go back and use some tools like say, pod sites, or say charitable and get an understanding of who's actually listening to the show. You might not get the exact names or the exact profiles of people, but you will roughly understand that people from this location, you know, from this particular city, with this kind of an income, male or female, you also have some sort of an understanding of their profile, basic profile. And once you have these things, you might even get some IP numbers also, you know, IP addresses of these people also. From there, you go on to create a look alike list. You know, once you create a look alike list, then what you can do is you can run your targeted ads on different, you know, on different platforms like say LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, so on and so forth, and make it clickable and measure. So fundamentally, what this boils down to is, are you trying to get downloads? Are you trying to get signups? Or are you trying to spread your message? So once you have that clear, that is what will determine your ROI, you know? Otherwise, what will happen is from day one, if you're thinking that in the moment, I start this podcast 10 podcasts down. If you're looking back and saying that, hey, my brand is not built, or say I'm not seeing an increase in demand, you're gonna be demotivated and you're gonna close it, you know, very soon. So you need to have that focus on what you're trying to drive and stay at it for at least a year or so minimum to see what is happening, what is happening as a result or of it if you want to change course, you change course from that. But yeah, start with some fundamental assumption, a goal, and then lay your path from there.


Kap Chatfield  35:01

You hear that CMOS? You got to convince your CEOs to commit to at least 12 months. This is a long game play, but it is a there's a compounded effect when you commit to this for the long run. And I want to share as we close out this episode Yaag, I'd love for you to share. Have you seen any growth in your own business in your own, whether it's for AVOMA or for your own personal brand. Because you committed to hosting your own show and committing to the long game, this journey of creating this podcast?

210501_RM_B2BP_Ep_How Podcasting Is A Remarkable ABM Strategy  - with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh_QG2

Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  35:33

Absolutely. You know, I'll give you a very simple and very interesting number to this. So I joined AVOMA in April 2021. Now, it's almost a year. When I joined the company, you know, we were a 10 member organization. And when I looked at say, when I went to into H Refs, and searched for the key phrase AVOMA to just understand, is there a search volume for this brand name? It was between zero to 10. And then from there to now, I've been consistently on different podcasts as a guest, I have my own podcast. And then we also started a podcast for AVOMA. So a combination of all these things, plus also presence on LinkedIn to expand that. And now when I did a search sometime last week, I see that the search volume for AVOMA has gone up to 2000 from zero, right? So so many people that's that's a direct translation that tells you that so many new people who now know of your brand, are searching with that name, which is highly qualified traffic, you know? It's going to the moment people know your brand, your CAC is going to come down. Because you know, people you're not any more fighting for generic terms like conversation intelligence or meeting intelligence. People are now starting to think about AVOMA meeting lifecycle assistant. So that is where the magical difference is and that can happen when you stick to a podcast. Not only yours, but go on to multiple other podcasts and spread your message.


Kap Chatfield  36:57

Oh, that's so good. I love the practical. I love that you're seeing that for AVOMA specifically, when it comes to website traffic. That is fascinating. It's so good for people to remember that and so as we close it out, just I want to kind of put a bow on that the value of B2B video podcasting. It's not just in the downloads like I got, I have people ask me, you know, on sales calls all the time, well, how many downloads so you think we're really going to get and how many people are really going to listen to the full episode? It's like that's not that's not the point. Even though that stuff matters. Like that's, it was helpful information to understand how the show is performing. It's it's really about I'm sure you'd agree with this, I would much rather have 100 people who really are the right audience, listen to my show then 10,000 people who are just like a hodgepodge audience, listen to my show. Because I know that that's if I have their ear for 30 minutes, that's that is how you build trust with an audience member. And eventually that audience member will turn into a customer.


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  38:03

You know, you bring an important point here, because you know, if you optimize too much for downloads, somewhere, you know, if that becomes your number, it you start to sandbag yourself into a corner where you're trying to do all sorts of things to hit that KPI, you know? Suddenly, you see that you're trying to push it with more downloads. Who cares? You know, if it's 30k downloads or 40k downloads and 90% of it are bots, it's just inflated numbers, you're you're probably just flushing money down the drain and it doesn't help anyone. Absolutely, I'm with you that even if it's 100 or even 10. And sometimes it's that you know, these niched podcasts might have a very little audience. But if if these are focused audience and if directly it translates to building relationships with the right people, and more importantly, if it drives for you to build trust, fundamentally, when you say relationship, it's not like you know, I connecting with you on LinkedIn and immediately pitch slapping you with an offer. No, I'm talking about, you know, building this trust wherein the moment I think of hey somebody's there starting a podcast. Now I know that I can reach out to Kap and connect these two people, because you know, they will be helpful to each other. Because now I know you and the kind of work that you do. And there is a fundamental trust established between us. That's going to work and this is more like a dark funnel that you're gonna invest in.


Kap Chatfield  39:21

100%. Yaag, this is such a great conversation. Thanks for joining us even halfway across the world. I don't even know what, what time is it where you are right now?


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  39:30

It is almost 12 in the night. 


Kap Chatfield  39:32

Oh my goodness. Wow. Thank you for being so generous with your time. So appreciate that. And, man, please, please help Yaag out just to support him for jumping on today. Go follow him on LinkedIn. We'll put his LinkedIn profile link in the show notes of this episode, as well as the link for his show The ABM Conversations Podcast. Yaag, I'm so glad to have met you and connected today and to have really mined the gold out of you about why podcasting is such a meaningful tool for ABM. Thanks a lot.


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh  40:03

Thank you so much. You were such an amazing host. I love the way you know you framed your questions and made it so very easy to have this conversation. And I'm sure you're building an amazing podcast for yourself. And for everybody who's listening do check out for all the things that Kap is doing as well. And thank you so much for your time and attention today.



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