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Has Social Media Killed Consumer Trust?
9th February 2015 • The Digital Entrepreneur • Rainmaker Digital LLC

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This week, Robert and I put on our commentary caps to take on subjects that have been in the news. Plus, we reveal what’s in the very near future for Rainmaker.FM (think big).

The main story this week is all too familiar … short-cut marketers are the reason we can’t have nice things. Now, apparently, they’ve destroyed trust in social media, as consumers assume everyone is on the take.

As you might expect, we have an answer for that one. Plus, we talk podcasting for content marketing, revenue models for podcast networks, and heartily agree with some advice given by Gary Vaynerchuk.

In this 39-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

  • The big, new project that we’ve been hinting at
  • 3 business benefits of producing a podcast
  • Revenue models for your podcast
  • A key content marketing trend we’re riding
  • How marketers have destroyed social media
  • The second coming of word-of-mouth marketing
  • How to grow your audience when momentum is flatlining

Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Has Social Media Killed Consumer Trust?

Robert Bruce: Now last week you said something about coal mines or salt mines. No, you said, salt mines.

Brian Clark: No, I actually meant salt mines, but I said coal mines, I think.

Robert Bruce: Have you ever been down the coal mines of Copyblogger, Brian?

Brian Clark: Yeah, I started them and I used to live there by myself.

Robert Bruce: Oh, you actually built them?

Brian Clark: Yes. Of course.

Robert Bruce: Right. I should have thought that Brian said that.

Brian Clark: But the point being, you were busy.

Robert Bruce: Yeah.

Brian Clark: In fact, you are actually still busy.

Robert Bruce: Thanks for acknowledging that. I appreciate it.

Brian Clark: Yeah. Well we were both so head down the whole month of January, which started off at full speed and we haven’t really looked around.

So this episode, we are looking around, seeing what’s happening out there and we are sharing that valuable news insight, and specifically yours.

Robert Bruce: Yeah, we’ve got one, two, three, four, five articles that we are going to talk about this episode. A little bit different to what we normally do but we have done this before. And yeah, taken a look outside.

A couple of these things apply directly to what we are doing, what I have been busy with and why everyone has, which is coming. I think by now you have said it a couple of times but we are building a podcast network, right?

Brian Clark: Well go ahead and just come out and say it in plain English. Wow. I was going to have some more fun being stupidly vague.

Robert Bruce: Just drag it out a few more episodes.

Brian Clark: Only fun for me.

Robert Bruce: Yeah. Well a couple of these articles apply to that but they will of course, as always, apply to you out there dear listener as well. And then Brian, you’ve brought in a couple of interesting things that are related but before we get into that, this episode of Rainmaker.FM is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform. It’s the complete website solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs.

Brian, we took a look with Mr Garrett this week at one component of the Rainmaker curation suite, which was the RSS reader. What do you think about that? By the way, it is coming soon. What do you think of the first look?

Brian Clark: It’s pretty sweet. Also a new and improved set of podcasting tools that you and I are also very excited about.

So yeah, this 2.2 release should be out in February and it’s pretty exciting. It’s the next level. We were already talking about how we would make it even better as we go forward. So there is never an end point for Rainmaker but the cool thing is, depending on what package you end up in, and this is all standard package, you get the benefit of all of those improvements over time. You never have to upgrade anything, you don’t have to touch anything and you don’t even have to pay attention. They are just there when they are ready. And of course we let you know so that you can go and play with them.

Robert Bruce: Yeah, and it was funny on this call. Chris Garrett was taking us through the features step-by-step. What it looked like and what it does. Several times you said, “Hey, it would be great if What I really want is ” and you were particularly talking about “This feature, or that feature.” And every time Garrett was like “yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s coming. It’s on the list. Don’t worry about it. It’s coming.”

Brian Clark: For the first time ever, I just feel like I don’t have anything to do anymore. They are already a step ahead of my demands now. Although I did have that one request that is key to publishing Further and Nick built it that day. He got it into the release, which is just so awesome.

Robert Bruce: Yeah.

Well if you don’t have enough to do, hold on, let me bring up my list here. I’m happy to give you a couple of items, if you need a few things for this week? Is that what you are saying?

Brian Clark: Erm. Ugh?

Robert Bruce: Find out more about the Rainmaker Platform. This curation suite that is coming. The podcast network feature that is coming. A lot of these things that are on the way. Find out more and take a free 14-day test drive at

3 Business Benefits of Producing a Podcast

Robert Bruce: Okay. Like we said, we’ve got five different articles here. I’m going to just jump right into these Brian.

The first one is from Social Fresh at Nick Cicero writes this article entitled “The Rise of Podcasting: The Ultimate On Demand Content (Infographic).”

This is a topic that I don’t think you can get online without seeing somebody talking about the rise of podcasting. Everybody is talking about Serial and everybody is talking about the massive wave of interest in podcasting that’s going on. And that’s fine.

In a lot of ways, this is a really basic article but there are some good numbers in here. I think it’s good to think about because podcasting as content marketing, and content creation, is an extremely viable way to build an audience. Later on, we will talk a little bit more about conversion.

He goes over some basic stuff and there are a couple of interesting highlights in this article. Number one, the general focus of it is on mobile. And the application of podcasting to mobile devices and people on the go with their mobile devices. It says, “80% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone.” It breaks it down even further. “1 in every 7 people on the planet.” I should say that this was written at the end of November 2014. So some of these numbers are going to be bumped even further by now.

“Between 2009 and 2012, smartphone ownership almost tripled in the US. Nearly two of the five billion mobile phones worldwide are smartphones.” He lays out these three benefits of podcasting and these are things that we have talked about before too.

I think anyone listening to this and is possibly thinking about starting a podcast, or thinking about audio content in any form, is to take a look at these three benefits and let them sink in.

Number one, you can listen on demand. The audience can grab your content anytime they want, 24/7, which has been true of the Internet for some time but a lot of these tools related to podcasting, even more so, as time goes on.

Brian, you and I have talked about this dream I’ve had of the push button subscribe. When somebody invents the simple way to listen, and you can already see this in cars.

I think it was an NPR that I heard, that by 2016, or maybe it was 2017, that all new automobiles will be installed with easy access to podcasts. I don’t know if they are going to do a deal with iTunes. Obviously there is CarPlay but it’s just going to become easier and easier.

Right now that barrier to entry for the normal person is a little tough. You’ve got to get iTunes, then you’ve got to subscribe and then you’ve got to download the episodes.

Brian Clark: Robert, no, no, no.

Robert Bruce: Yes, disagree.

Brian Clark: Okay. Let’s look at the evolution. The format was named after the iPod. And again, when you and I first met, that’s what we talked about. We talked about podcasting and that was in 2006. And yet, as we know, that year was the first VC funded podcast network that Scoble was involved in.

And then of course you had Adam Curry, the old VJ on MTV, the Podfather and all of that stuff. Then the problem was, it was too hard. When you have an iPod, it’s not smart. It’s a music holding receptacle.

So it’s funny that Apple, you know, we call it podcasting because of an Apple product, which is bizarre in itself but it was another Apple product in it’s evolution, the iPhone, that really made it easier and then the ubiquitous Bluetooth. And then the podcasting app that Apple ships with everything now.

I do agree with you that it could be easier and it will become easier but I think there was a huge intersection in the last 4 years but mainly last year, of it being easier for most people, maybe not my mom, but non 73 year olds, and content.

There was content that people wanted to listen to and before Serial and before StartUp and all that, it was the comedians really that drove the adoption. Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, Marc Maron and all of those guys. Those shows became big because they are entertaining to listen to.

So I agree that it will become even easier, but I think the tipping point happened.

Robert Bruce: Yeah. I would definitely agree with that. But there still is that reach and maybe it’s just a thing of the 73-year-olds, and certainly there is many of them that do, and it’s no problem getting podcasts and subscribing. You reach out and you touch a button on your radio and it’s on. You tune it. You do this and that but basically it’s a one button thing.

Brian Clark: What’s a radio?

Robert Bruce: Yeah, right? And you and I are in our 40’s.

Brian Clark: The kids are like, “Dad, play that song again.” I’m like, “I can’t. It’s the radio.” “What? What’s wrong with you old man?”

Robert Bruce: Yeah. Right. When it becomes that easy for this stuff, for on demand content, that’s what I am talking about. And it will. I’m convinced that it will.

Brian Clark: And I think even beyond the ease or the relative easierness of accessing podcasts, it’s the on demand thing. Like when podcasting first kind of emerged, again, back in 2005/2006, we didn’t have that. Well, was Netflix around then? I don’t remember. But the whole concept of on demand, binge watching or listening, we’ve seen a huge shift in consumption preference among people to where they are like my kids, who don’t understand broadcast technology that’s not on demand. And now, people like you and I expect to be able to have it on demand.

I mean, I have cable so I can watch the on demand versions of movies and shows because I don’t have time to be at a certain place, at a certain time because you decide to put something on. With the exception of sports, right?

Robert Bruce: Yeah. No, this is huge.

Tony brought up Person of Interest, which is a show on CBS that I tried a couple of years ago and then just kind of fell away, but he and Garrett have been talking about it for a long time and I thought, “Hey, I am going to try this again.” And CBS in particular, I don’t know all the details and all this but maybe it’t available on Hulu or Hulu Plus, but they are famously one of the networks that has not joined everyone else in this idea of doing deals with Netflix. Or doing deals, I think even with Amazon for purchasing episodes.

So I go to the CBS website and at a glance, the last season of Person of Interest was available on I didn’t really have an interest in watching it there, plus I wanted to catch up with season two. Of course, there’s going to be ways to get it but they don’t make it easy.

Brian Clark: Yeah. It’s ridiculous.

Jerod was tweeting about Better Call Saul, which is the Breaking Bad spinoff show and it turns out it sounds like it’s going to be solid, which gives everyone a collective sigh of relief. But I think I call it the Breaking Bad moment when things change.

It seemed like everyone you knew was catching up on Breaking Bad. They were trying to get there before either the final season started, or at least before the final episode, right?

And again, other than sporting events, that’s really the last collective media thing that I felt I shared with a ton of people.

Now, compared to the old days, you know, the 70s and the 80s when everyone watched The Cosby Show, All in the Family. We are never going back there.

Robert Bruce: Yep.

Brian Clark: But Breaking Bad was an on demand transitional moment, where it seemed everyone was desperately trying to get caught up so that they could watch the last season and then the last episode in real time.

Robert Bruce: AMC is an example of a forward thinking network. They are doing a deal with Netflix. They are doing deals with Amazon. It’s easy to get into this “on demand” kind of philosophy. So we could talk about this for about ten years straight, but the number one benefit of podcasting is this idea of on demand for the audience.

Brian Clark: Yeah. On demand and mobile, I don’t want to steal the thunder but I can tell you why audio is Yeah, go ahead.

Robert Bruce: We’ll cover it and then we’ll talk more. But number two, you can customise your content. To me, this is related to on demand anyway. But you do select the exact shows and exact episodes that you want. You are not stuck to a network schedule like in 1996.

Brian Clark: It’s a playlist.

Robert Bruce: Right. And if one show comes up that you don’t like, I do this all the time, I delete it and I go looking for something else. Exactly. A playlist is the way to look at it.

And number three in Mr Cicero’s 3 benefits of podcasting here is, that they are portable and free.

Brian Clark: Yes, that’s the key.

Robert Bruce: Yep, you can take this anywhere. On a walk with your dog, in the car.

Brian Clark: Well it doesn’t require ocular attention, to say that you don’t have to look at it. I mean video as popular as it is, you still have to look at it. The whole Internet. You know, the valuations of BuzzFeed and a lot of these text heavy are shifting now. I mean, every time I go over the Huffington Post, it’s like they are doing a video thing now.

Robert Bruce: Yep.

Brian Clark: So they are shifting and yet it’s the audio content that’s portable anywhere and from an educational standpoint, from a productivity standpoint, the fact that you can learn something or ingest some information, or just be entertained while you are doing something else at the same time, you can have it on in the background. I mean, hey, it’s radio but it’s better than radio.

Robert Bruce: Yep. And we’ll touch on the free, the advertising and revenue model thing in just a second but in the interest of moving this along, there are a couple of more interesting numbers. As of November 2014, nearly one in three of American’s have listened to a podcast. That is astounding. 15% of American’s have listened to a podcast in the past month and again, this is November 2014.

Apple just surpassed one...