The Power of Audio with ZoomInfo's Sam Balter

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Power of Audio with ZoomInfo's Sam Balter. The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: rgb(33, 37, 41);">This week, Lindsay talks with Sam Balter, of </span><a href=";utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=ppc&amp;utm_campaign=branded&amp;utm_term=zoominfo&amp;gclid=Cj0KCQjwyN-DBhCDARIsAFOELTl3T4_IqYXQrPOIR3wg4pcG4bf2SxB8QJS9Afx-RZrbfsU0xBJbgfQaAl7bEALw_wcB" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ZoomInfo</a><span style="color: rgb(33, 37, 41);"> about podcasting! ZoomInfo is a global leader in </span>go-to-market intelligence solutions, and Sam is their Director of Editorial Content. In this episode you’ll get to hear him talk about the ins and outs of his podcast, Talk Data to Me, co-hosted with Stephanie Tonneson, and how Sam used his past experience with podcasts to create a show that focuses on solving problems for their audience. Tune in now!</p><p><br></p><p>Key Takeaways:</p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">📈 2:54 - 3:53 How "Talk Data to Me" Began</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">🧰 5:36 - 6:44 Tools ZoomInfo Builds on Top of Data</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">🕵🏼 8:58 - 10:28 Finding Who to Interview</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">🎤 19:09 - 19:51 Production Quality Rising</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">🎧 19:52 - 21:00 What Sam Has Learned on the Consumer Side</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">💡 23:51 - 24:58 Where to Start with Creating a Podcast</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">📅 26:47 - 27:30 What's Your Content Strategy?</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(66, 75, 90);">🧩 31:22 - 32:36 The Three Phases Sam Set for His Team</span></p><p><br></p>
📈 How "Talk Data to Me" Began
00:59 MIN
🧰 Tools ZoomInfo Builds on Top of Data
01:07 MIN
🕵🏼 Finding Who to Interview
01:30 MIN
🎤 Production Quality Rising
00:41 MIN
🎧 What Sam Has Learned on the Consumer Side
01:08 MIN
💡 Where to Start with Creating a Podcast
01:06 MIN
📅 What's Your Content Strategy?
00:42 MIN
🧩 The Three Phases Sam Set for His Team
01:14 MIN

Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to season six of the Casted Podcast, where we are back with more of our very own users. Why? Because in season five, you really showed up and said that you loved those interviews. And also really because becoming a Casted customer makes it really clear how committed you are to not only the bigger picture of podcasting and how it all fits into your marketing efforts, but also how podcasting and shows in general really fit into an overall integrated marketing strategy. These customers, these marketers are the most forward- thinking brands. They're harnessing the perspectives of experts with podcasts, and they are ringing out those interviews to be amplified across all other channels. They're practicing what we preach here at Casted, and I want you to hear all about what they are doing, why they're doing it, and how you can do it too. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted, the first and the only amplified marketing platform for B2B marketers, and this is our podcast. Today, I'm talking with Sam Balter of ZoomInfo. I am so excited about this episode, not only because ZoomInfo's show, Talk Data to Me, isn't that a great name, is a great example of a company leaning into their expertise as a brand, but also because Sam is a podcasting and content veteran who really has a firm grasp on the power that audio can have in a strategy. In this interview, you will hear how Sam and his team brought their show together, brought it all to life, and about how he's used his own experience, working with podcasts in a previous life, to create a show that really focuses on solving problems for their audience. It's really, really fun to listen to. Hi, Sam.

Sam Balter: Hi, Lindsay. How's it going?

Lindsay Tjepkema: I'm so glad that you're here. We've got a lot to talk about today, and thank you for joining me on the show.

Sam Balter: Yeah, I'm so happy to be here. So happy to talk about podcasting.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes, talk podcasting instead of talk data, right? Which is the name of your show, Talk Data to Me, which is, we were talking a little bit before we started recording, one of the best titles I think I've ever heard for a show

Sam Balter: Yes, that is not at all me. That's all my co- host, Stephanie. She came up with that title for the show. So very happy with it.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Kudos to Stephanie, because that's a really fun name. I guess that's a great place to start then. Let's talk a little bit about the show, how it came to be, and then I think kind of unlike some shows we do, we'll kind of work backwards from there and kind of get into kind of why podcasting and all that good stuff. So let's get started at Talk Data to Me, how'd it come to be and what role do you play with it. You said you're the host, but tell me more.

Sam Balter: Yeah, so Talk Data to Me is a show that ZoomInfo made. We started making it last year. One of the things is I manage the editorial team. Basically what we do is we take data from ZoomInfo's platform and then we notice kind of trends or interesting things about that data, and then we'd write articles about it, right? So we were starting to build up this kind of like library of trends and interesting topics. And then we wanted to make a show to kind of dig deeper into those, right? And specifically to kind of like add a little bit of a human element behind a lot of the kind of, for lack of a better word, boring- ish data trends, and sort of tell-

Lindsay Tjepkema: Not quite boring. Just boring-ish.

Sam Balter: ...kind of interesting stories that are associated. Boring- ish.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Boring- ish.

Sam Balter: Boring- ish. I understand most people don't find it super interesting to look at job title trends over time or something like that. But I do, and it's exciting. So boring- ish-

Lindsay Tjepkema: You're not most people.

Sam Balter: boring for some people, not for everyone.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Exactly. Exactly.

Sam Balter: So basically what we did is then we started working on the show and really kind of digging into what is that we want this show to do for ZoomInfo, and also what is it we're trying to accomplish in terms of... For the listener. What do we want the listener's experience to be? And how can we add on to the work that we're already doing in terms of writing articles, pulling data, all this interesting stuff? How can we add on to that? And not in a new way, without just sort of regurgitating old things, I guess.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Right, right. Super fun. Okay, so that was one of the things, from what I understand, in conversations that we had a while ago, that was one of the things that you intended to do when you started at ZoomInfo was watch podcasts, right?

Sam Balter: Yes.

Lindsay Tjepkema: So tell me why. Tell me why, and kind of where it fits into the bigger picture strategy for marketing and for content at ZoomInfo.

Sam Balter: Yeah, so I think definitely coming in early to ZoomInfo, I wanted to start a podcast immediately. But I think for a little while, we had to figure out like," What is the right topic? What is the right angle? How would a podcast fit into this company?" So I think that took a little bit of time just sort of to get acclimatized to the company, you get acclimatized to what we could do and the type of thing we could be talking about. So then one of the things overall, I think from my perspective, one of the issues with ZoomInfo's kind of brand or marketing is that a lot of people know us as primarily a data provider. We provide a lot of data. But I think that people are sort of missing the part where there's all of these tools that we build on top of that data that lets you do incredible things. So it's like it makes your email list more effective, your ad campaigns better. You can look up people more effectively. You know what I mean? You can route leads more effectively. There's all these great things you could do with the data. So we wanted to really zero in on that part. That transition of just we want to showcase as a brand that we have lots of interesting pieces of data that you can use, but then also sort of emphasize that it's not just having it, but it's being able to take action on it and taking action on it and what that leads to, right? It leads to insightful, interesting ideas. It leads to people changing the way their business operates. It leads to people getting money or funding more effectively, right? So we wanted to focus on that part of it, and I think that took a little while to figure out at the job. But once we got that, it was like," Okay, great. Now we have a direction to sort of march it."

Lindsay Tjepkema: Well, that is the interesting part, because that's... Data is cool, but I think people... I mean, obviously, the exciting part is what you do with it. And getting people wheel- less turning around that action and the insights that can really fuel behaviors and strategies. That is the cool stuff, and so there's a lot of stories there. I bet you're having a lot of fun pulling the stories.

Sam Balter: Yeah. And the thing is for us, it also... I'm a big believer in shows just being relatively simple and relatively straightforward in format, but flexible. So it's like with that for the show, it makes a lot of sense because we can say life before insight, then an insight happens, and then there's life after insight. So it's like-

Lindsay Tjepkema: That story telling. Yeah, that's crosstalk.

Sam Balter: Super easy to set it up.

Lindsay Tjepkema: I love that.

Sam Balter: So it's like," Great. Okay, now we have a format that works, that makes sense." And then the other thing was like," Okay, what are the major parts to our episode?" That became pretty clear pretty quickly where it was like the parts of each episode, there's going to be the data, there's going to be a question that that data inspires. And then there's going to be an interview with an expert who's going to be able to give us some sort of story or context beyond it. So that, again, once we had that all formed, it was like," Great, this is perfect for ZoomInfo's brand. It will do a good job of building it up." And it's a flexible enough format where it's like," Okay, we could be talking about one set of data or one topic in a season, or dive deep into another season, or just broadly comment on a bunch of different issues that are kind of relevant to people within our target market. So basically, it gave us a good way, once we figured it out, to just be like," This is the direction we're moving in. Now we just need to find the people to interview."

Lindsay Tjepkema: I love it. I love it. So how do you find the people to interview? I mean, you have lots of customers. There's lots of people that are using data, so I'm sure there's no shortage, but how do you select those people? And how do you know that there's a story there? How do you do that data mining for stories, right?

Sam Balter: Yeah. It's really interesting because it's like if you think about a lot of... A lot of B2B podcasts, you have this thing where you're getting the person on to the show and then they're telling you about something, right? We wanted in some ways to use this as slightly different where we're presenting a piece of data or information to somebody else, to the guest on the show, and having them help us contextualize that piece of information. So we don't really start with the guest, we start with the data, and then we're like," Who could possibly talk to us about this?" That part is really fun and definitely challenging. For example, we have one in an upcoming episode. We have Scott Brinker. Scott Brinker is going to be on. He's great. He's super fantastic. But the piece of data for him was we looked at the number of tools that somebody in marketing or sales in a company uses, right? And it just seemed like too many tools. An average company uses something like 75 tools on average. Tech companies will use hundreds of different tools. And we were like," Okay, people are using a lot of tools. This is annoying. This is something I feel in my own life where I'm switching between different platforms or different pieces of software. This has a human element where I feel it." And then it's like," Who can talk to me about there being too many tools? Scott Brinker can."

Lindsay Tjepkema: Scott Brinker.

Sam Balter: Scott Brinker will know the answer to why there are too many tools in this world.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes.

Sam Balter: So I think that would be an example of we had a question, and there was really only a few people who could answer it. And then in other ones, we had Mike Volpe was on the show. For him, it was like," Okay, we've seen this absolutely outrageous rise in web conferencing tools, in people using video conferencing. All of these tools people are adopting to work from home. But what is..." We could tell that story, but also, what's the opposite side? The opposite side was business travel collapsed. But we're not going to meet face to face anymore. So it's like," Who is the best person to talk about that?" Like," Okay, great, Mike Volpe, who's heading up this company that does B2B travel. He's going to be the best answer for that question and that story."

Lindsay Tjepkema: I love that. That is so fun. Let's get into format. How many shows are you doing, period? I don't know if that means within a year, within a month, within a season. Tell me about the format that you're thinking for the show and kind of how you're putting it together.

Sam Balter: Yeah, this show is a challenge.

Lindsay Tjepkema: It's intense. It's not a light load.

Sam Balter: Yeah, not fully intentionally. I think one of the things about the show that's interesting is one, I've never done a co- hosted show. So it's like I'm co- hosting it with Steph Tonneson. It's good because we both approach data and questions differently. So we're able to... We wanted to emphasize that point of things about data or things about insights not being clear, right? And it's useful to have somebody to talk about things with and be like," I don't understand this. How would you approach this? How do you look at this?" An episode came out about brand ambassadors, right? That was a good one of like," Steph has a completely different view, because she's in her early 20s, I'm in my 30s, of what a brand ambassador is compared to what I think a brand ambassador is." And then we can look at this trend about what has happened to brand ambassadors over the last few years, and then have a very good conversation. So format- wise, one, we wanted to emphasize that there's two hosts and they're wrestling through these issues together. So basically, the format of the episode goes cold open, where we have an intro that sets up sort of the problem, the question, the piece of data that we're looking at, then it jumps into the interview. During the interview, we try and do at least kind of one to two interludes. So it's like," Pause. Let's try and work through this," or," I didn't quite understand this part," or," Could you contextualize this part?" Then and that keeps going through back to the interview. Then it has a closing where it's like at the end of each episode, Steph and I talk through, for like 15 or 20 minutes, about what we learned from the episode, and then shorten that down to probably a kind of two minute highlight reel of what we're having, but it's a very casual conversation. So that's every episode is there's the intro... It's like you go through the interview, then you write the intro, then you write the two interludes. Then something was wrong with the intro, so you go back there. Then after you've done all that, you do the closing. And it's like then the closing has to go back to the intro again. So it's a lot of reworking things over and over again. But I think it has a really nice format for what we're trying to accomplish.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, for sure. I mean, that comes through when you're listening to it. I mean, it's such a good show. It's well done.

Sam Balter: Thank you.

Lindsay Tjepkema: It's great. Okay, so this... I mean, if it's not glaringly obvious to anybody who's watching or listening, this is not your first go around, you know a thing or two about podcasting. So tell me about your history with podcasting and what maybe you did before ZoomInfo and how that impacted this.

Sam Balter: Sure. Yeah. Before ZoomInfo, I worked at HubSpot. In HubSpot, I was predominantly, for most of the time, in sort of like demand generation, sales enablement, that side of the funnel. Then moved over. And then I had this opportunity where they were starting this show called Weird Work, and they were looking for somebody to host the show. So I applied to host, got it, it was a great experience, and the show did really well to start. It got on iTunes New and Noteworthy. It got picked up a bunch of places. So that went really, really well. And then basically, I moved over to the content team to work on just kind of growing the network of podcasts that HubSpot had. And at that time, it was Weird Work, there was a single season of Skill Up, and then The Growth Show had been going for a few years. So it was trying to look at this and saying like," Okay, how do we move from these kind of individual shows to more of like a concrete strategy of how we're approaching multiple shows on a podcast?" So then working there, I was definitely a lot more focused on the audience growth and the strategy behind," How do we fit this podcast into other things? And how do we take advantage of things that are going on on the content team to convert or create interesting audio content that could be podcast?" So it was like, we changed up Skill Up. They were launching a show, Culture Happens to emphasize things about company culture. There was a show, Agency Unfiltered, that was a web series that we wanted to move that to become another podcast. There are a lot of good... So we just did a lot of those kind of things along building out a larger strategy for a lot of shows.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, so tell me how that experience is. I mean, that was a lot of experiences in a condensed... Relatively speaking. I'm sure not a long period of time compared to this and launching a show for the first time at ZoomInfo. What are some of the similarities and differences?

Sam Balter: Yeah. I think the major difference is one, HubSpot had a show that had been around for years. The Growth Show is a great launching off point and there was sort of an engine of content and a way of approaching shows as well. There was already... Matt Brown was a great audio producer. There was already an audio producer in- house. All of those things. ZoomInfo was just starting from scratch, right? There's internal podcast. There's several internal podcasts, but there's no external- facing podcast. So a lot of the stuff of setting up hosting, educating people on what is a reasonable amount of downloads to expect, this is how you track and what we can track with this information. This is why we should make the show in this way and not that way. So there was a lot of education aspects of it that went along with starting it up.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Interesting. Interesting. Okay, so what have you learned this time around simply because things have changed? I mean, content has changed, technology has changed. I mean, case in point, we're recording both audio and video here. I mean, that's podcasting now. So what's changed since your days at HubSpot, managing those shows, versus now? If anything. I mean, or is it really kind of it's still about who your audience is and serving them well with content. Kind of what comparisons have you found there?

Sam Balter: Yeah, I'd say it didn't get any easier. That would be one thing. I-

Lindsay Tjepkema: It sounds like the load is still pretty heavy, with what you've created there at ZoomInfo.

Sam Balter: Yeah, but it's also like I guess it didn't get any easier to... It's nerve- racking. It's a nerve- racking process to build a show, and it's a nerve- racking process to get out there and interview people. None of that is different, doing it a second time. I honestly thought some of that would be a little bit easier, but it's still kind of like a very stressful experience. What's changed larger? I think there's two things, and that's the people that are producing shows and the people that are listening to shows. I think on the production side, people are just producing better podcast in general, right? I think the quality is rising at a really basic level. Audio quality is rising. People are more likely to record with a mic. People are more likely than they used to be to record in a semi- soundproof room.

Lindsay Tjepkema: To do editing at all. To...

Sam Balter: To do editing. Yeah, to do editing. There's a lot of things that people have raised the quality on in kind of the business space. But I'd say also in the consumer kind of more broadly appealing podcasts, it's like they have all these new formats that are just insane. Really heavily sound designed shows, or shows that are really, really short. They're only a couple of minutes, right? I haven't listened to it yet, but I know Paris Hilton's working on a podcast. Paris Hilton's podcasts is going to have-

Lindsay Tjepkema: I saw that.

Sam Balter: ...micro news episodes that are just her hot takes on something, that it's like a minute long. And those are just going to be interspersed with 30 minute episodes, right? That is going to help pull up things where you can change the formats of the show and you can have more options as a producer. I think because of all this stuff we're starting to see in that area, you're also getting listeners who are a little bit more open to something that's potentially different, right? Listeners are more open to," This isn't just a straight interview." Listeners want higher quality production. Listeners are willing to say like," This is a 10- minute show. This could be great," or," This is a 45- minute episode. Maybe it's a really in- depth thing," or," I would..." I think about Command Line Heroes as another kind of podcast that I admire. They're building fully narrative, deeply researched episodes. I just think that consumers are going to start to demand and want more of that, and they're going to be more open- minded to it when they see it.

Lindsay Tjepkema: I think you're so right. I think that what I've seen, even over... I mean, my first podcast was... We started working on it in 2017, launched it in 2018. And then Casted, we've been doing this for a year and a half, two years. And just in that time. That's a relatively short period of time. The quality and, like you said, the expectation of your audience. That absolutely, per usual, is driven by consumer audiences. But here we are in B2B, and the B2B audience is still people. It's still humans that do watch Netflix, and that do listen to the shows produced by Gimlet, and want really good stuff. And if they're going to listen to a B2B podcast, they want to be entertained and educated, right? So it's a huge opportunity. It's an exceptional opportunity to create really great content and to be one of the standout brands that drives a huge following because of what you're producing. I mean, look at what you've done with data, right? With boring- ish, air quotes if you're listening, boring- ish data, you've created a really cool show. What advice would you give to other enterprise marketers, people who are listening, somebody who represents a brand, who either already has a show and was like," Man, how do I level up? I know that it has to be better," or somebody who's super intimidated about doing what you've done, not only at ZoomInfo, but at HubSpot too?

Sam Balter: I think there are a lot of people who are nervous that they don't fit the profile of somebody that they think is a podcast person. That might make them a little bit antsy about starting, like," I'm not super boisterous," or," I'm not really articulate," or," I don't have a particularly silky smooth voice to be able to lull people to sleep or whatever with." They don't have that, and they get worried. But that's not really what people are looking for. You can edit around things. If you don't like something, you don't have to publish it. It's okay. I think there are a lot of people who are nervous about a lot of things about podcasting or being on microphone that just aren't really necessarily justified, and that they could give it a try pretty easily without kind of fitting what you would imagine sort of the standard archetype of a podcast person would be. I think especially for brands. I'd say people should really start with a problem they are trying to solve at their company first, and then figure out what the show or how audio will fit in. I think a lot of the times, it doesn't have to be for reach or for a lot of downloads or for things like that. If you have trouble communicating to employees internally, maybe you should make an internal show that once a month provides all the updates they need. Maybe you want to tell kind of case studies of customers onboarding because people are kind of hesitant. Great, maybe you could use a show to do that. Maybe you want to run sales training internally or something. Maybe you could do a show to do that. I think it's bad to start with the idea that's like," I'm a funny person," or like," I'm interesting," or like," Joe has really great ideas. Joe is super smart. Let's just have Joe on the mic and talk about stuff."

Lindsay Tjepkema: Let's just hop on a... Let's just start recording. Yeah.

Sam Balter: Yeah, just start recording. Just start recording, because that's great. It's like," It's not great. It's not great. It's not." And it's like," Why are you doing this?" So I think a podcast doesn't have to be this big, complicated thing or anything like that, but it should solve some problem that your company has. And a lot of the times, it's like it could be a source to generate new content on other mediums. It could be all of these different things, but you should just identify what you're trying to do with your show, and then work backwards for what is the format of the show that would make the most sense to solve this problem, and then think," How many episodes do I need?" Right?

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah, not," We're going to do one every week for ever and ever," but yeah, how many episodes... Like your teacher. Back in the day, we all had that teacher where you ask how long the essay needs to be, and they say," As long as it needs to be," right? That's how many shows you do, as many as you need to do. I don't know. There's no rule.

Sam Balter: Yeah, and it's like, I don't know, if the format... It's like for Talk Data to Me. I think about it, it's like Talk Data to Me, we want to emphasize the breadth and depth of data and also talk about the process of drawing insights from data. That could go on for a while. You know what I mean? That is a problem we should continually, year after year, day after day, continue to work on and solve. It's not going to be solved in one thing, but that's a long- term show. But if it's like the show is how ZoomInfo's sales reps operate, that could probably be six episodes and it doesn't need to be updated all the time. It could probably be accomplished with a set number of episodes.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes, and that's why people will ask me, and I bet they do with you too, about kind of best practices and like," How often should I publish? And how long should my show be?" And all these... What's standard. And it's like," No." I mean, this is content strategy, and it should be a part of your content strategy to say," How are we serving our audience?" I love the perspective. I mean, it's a great exercise to do, to say," What are three problems that our sales team has, or that our brand has? How can we solve that with content?" If we had a magic wand, what gift could we give our sales team that they'd be like," Oh my gosh, seriously? I have this recording and I can go use this?" That's a great place to start.

Sam Balter: Yeah, it's just easier to start there. The other thing I think is people should move towards the more exciting version of whatever they're thinking, right? I think people should just be of... If there's a more exciting version, if it's like," We could do a one hour in- depth interview with one person," it's like," Or it would be more exciting if we did like three or four people." Do three or four people. Just do that. Move towards that version if you think that's the more exciting version. Because if you're not excited initially as the creator about it, you are not really going to pass that on to the listener at all.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, they're going to smell that right away. Okay, so super great tips and insights and experience and expertise. Is there anything that you would leave our audience with as they are, again, trying to figure out I think looking holistically at where it fits in their strategy. How do you use their podcast? I think it's pretty clear everybody should have one. You and I are pretty biased on that. But how do you use it? How do you get the most out of it? Maybe we can leave them with those words.

Sam Balter: I think that there's a temptation by a lot of marketers to be really into the recycle, reuse methodology of you have something, you create that, and then you make thousands of different versions and you try and get everything working, right? Or you take a long white paper, you cut it into a bunch of blog posts. You take each of those blog posts, you turn social media posts about those, right? And you generate lots and lots of content. I think sometimes what people do with podcasts is that they try and fit them into that process. So they think like," What articles and data and things like that are we already producing, and can we just produce a podcast that fits into this process?" I think in a lot of ways, you can, but it might be better to just start by thinking more about like," What would be a good podcast? What is good content? And then how do we fit it into what we're currently doing?" I think sometimes for marketing, like when I think about a lot of the shows that have been successful, they're built more in a little silo. They're actually built with... It's like," We want to make a successful podcast, not necessarily a successful podcast that can then turn into social, that could then turn into this, and then people get bogged down with all the other process pieces to a podcast." So it's like start with a really good show, and then once you have a really good show, it's very easy to cut it into all of those things. But if you're a marketer and you're part of a larger company, there might be a temptation to sort of be like," Let's work with this team, and this team, and this team and bring all these people in." And I think to some degree, it's really hard to work in audio in that way. It's just really hard to have... It's like if you had 10 writers working on one blog post, it would be unlikely to be very good. So if you have... In the same way, even though a podcast is more complicated and more time, you don't necessarily want to bring every single person into the company into it. You want to make something that's good, go, check out what we made, it will fit in, and then start being social copy, being articles about it, being different ways that it can evolve. It's a little bit off topic, but for me, when I came into ZoomInfo, there's like three phases that I set for my team. Phase one was data from the platform and turn it into articles. Phase two is data from the platform and turn it into articles and also turn it into a podcast. So that was phase two. Phase three is articles that involve the podcast and the podcast that involve articles. We launched the show and we're not at phase three. When there's still another step to go before it's like we're getting towards the how it all fits together, because it'll be a better product when we have good articles that perform well, that goes with a good podcast that performs well. And that will, in end, create a better combination of things. So I'd say for people starting out, I would encourage people to really narrow into what is going to be a good show on its own, and not necessarily get bogged down with a lot of the kind of marketing processes that often happen at large companies.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah, I get that. We talked a lot about amplifying your content and taking your show and amplifying it across other channels. I think one way that that's sometimes misconstrued is more content for more content sake. Take your show and pull it into 156 clips, and then each one of those clips should also be sent out to at least 55 people. That's just more content for more content sake. And sure, okay, that's one philosophy. Cast a wide net. But when you... Like right now, I'm capturing your unique perspective. Sam Balter on our show, that's adding a lot of value for our audience. That's why everybody who's watching is watching. And we're capturing audio and video, right? Giving people the option to watch or listen. And then from there, why wouldn't we dig in and pull out the insights into something that's really deep and rich that gives people another choice for where to consume that content. But it's certainly not just more. More, more, more, more, more for the sake of more. Because that just adds to the noise, right? So yeah, it's content strategy for a reason. Think strategically about what's going to add value to your audience and how you're going to be set apart truly as a thought leader and a trusted guide in the space. That starts with-

Sam Balter: crosstalk.

Lindsay Tjepkema: ...really great content, period. That's got to be great to start with.

Sam Balter: Yeah, I agree. And it's not like every minute of a show is good, right? You can't. It's just-

Lindsay Tjepkema: Except for this show, of course. I mean, this episode-

Sam Balter: Yeah, this show, it's 100% of the minutes are good. But it's like-

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yes. But every other episode in the world.

Sam Balter: But yeah, it's like people, it's like," Why don't we cut it into 20..." It's like," Are there 25?" If there's one good line, if there's one really, really good line, or one really good quote, or really good audio clip, that one will outperform you putting out 10. So I think sometimes it's like that's sort of what I mean of a lot of the times, you see marketing teams run this content for content's sake process, and it's not always the most beneficial. And it's not always the most beneficial for a podcast if you're trying to build one to immediately trying to fit into that crosstalk.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, start with a really, really solid show that you're going to want to mine for more and be like," This was so amazing. Let's give our audience more of it, because they want it."

Sam Balter: If it's good, you'll use it.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah.

Sam Balter: If you make delicious food, people will eat it. You know what I mean? You're doing-

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, come back for more.

Sam Balter: ...good things. It will resolve in good results. People have a limited amount of space that they can think about stuff, so it's better to just relentlessly focus on," Am I making a good show? Am I getting good guests? Are we building a good thing?" Rather than like," How can I squeeze every last second of this podcast out into another asset or another format?"

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah, you're missing the point. That's like solely writing content for SEO value. Same thing as solely making a show to create lots of clips from it, right? It's not what it's about. Sure, you can, but you're missing the point.

Sam Balter: Yeah, it's like those clips are probably not going to be that great, but maybe they will. I don't know.

Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Okay. Well, that's fantastic. Thank you for sharing all of your insights and all of your experience. Talk Data to Me is awesome. Those who have not listened yet, you need to because it's great. That's our show. Thanks so much for listening. For more from today's guest and some pretty amazing content that they've inspired, visit casted. us, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on all things amplified marketing, B2B podcasting, and a lot more.


This week, Lindsay talks with Sam Balter, of ZoomInfo, about podcasting! ZoomInfo is a global leader in go-to-market intelligence solutions, and Sam is their Director of Editorial Content. In this episode you’ll get to hear him talk about the ins and outs of his podcast, Talk Data to Me, co-hosted with Stephanie Tonneson, and how Sam used his past experience with podcasts to create a show that focuses on solving problems for their audience. Tune in now!

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Today's Host

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Lindsay Tjepkema

|Co-founder & CEO, Casted

Today's Guests

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Sam Balter

|Director of Content