Partner and Influencer Marketing via Podcasting with PingPong’s Ryan Cramer
Clay Mosley: All right. Welcome to the Casted podcast. Once again, we're live. My name's Clay Mosley and I'm a Customer Success Manager here at Casted. And what I love about being a CSM is getting to learn all about the great content that our customers are creating and how they're amplifying that content with Casted. And today, I want to invite you into a conversation with PingPong. Our guest today is Ryan Cramer. He's a Partnership Marketing Manager at PingPong, and Ryan has a pretty unique perspective when it comes to podcasting. He's not only the manager of their show, but he's also the host. So like many podcasters, Ryan, his career kind of stumbled into podcasting but now has been an essential part to his success. So please, welcome Ryan.
Ryan Cramer: Hey Clay, how are you?
Clay Mosley: Doing well, Ryan. Thanks for coming on.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, of course. No problem whatsoever. I'm really excited. And hopefully, we can get some valuable insight to everyone listening out there today.
Clay Mosley: Absolutely. And this is not the first podcast you're doing today.
Ryan Cramer: It's not. I did my own already today. I do one roughly every two days, every other day. So it's a consistent nature of which I am constantly aware of doing and doing every single day. Mine and other peoples as well so.
Clay Mosley: I love it. Well, thanks for joining us. Thanks for making time for us today. So just tell us a little bit how you joined PingPong and kind of what got you into podcasting.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, so my background is based in eCommerce and really the Amazon and eCommerce space. Now, that a lot of people might think," Oh, that's such a broad nature," but I've been... I call it eCommerce bingo. Right? I've done anything from SaaS to where I'm currently in FinTech. I've been an online seller, helping brands grow in that capacity. So there's just so many different assets that I've been able to pull from in my background. And it's all based in eCommerce marketing. Had a stent working for the Indiana Pacers in Fever here in town. So there's all these eclectic things that I've been able to do and really figure out what I wanted to do in life. But what I do at PingPong is in the marketing side of things is working with outside entities to grow our brand. Whether it's on the marketing side, telling people about our product, and just understanding what solutions we can provide for external customers. Like what Casted does for podcasters, we do for eCommerce sellers and online businesses, helping them save money by keeping more of their funds. So that's kind of where our company works in and we're an international company so that takes a lot of different forms in a lot of different ways. And I'm here located in Westfield, Indiana speaking on behalf of lots of different entities worldwide and talking to people all around the world on a day to day basis so it's really cool.
Clay Mosley: I love it. I'm also in Westfield. We should have done this in person. Maybe next time.
Ryan Cramer: I know.
Clay Mosley: Awesome. So tell me a little bit about how PingPong got involved with podcasting. Now, I know that you have a great YouTube channel. Now, did your show start off as a YouTube show initially?
Ryan Cramer: Good question. Actually, it's a really funny story, and I say I started our podcast by accident. We are so on an international level, we are very well known in Asia and China and Europe. Here in the United States, our marketing team's a hundred percent remote. I'm on a team of, now it's growing to six, seven on a day to day basis. But nowadays, when I was hired on, it was at the beginning of the pandemic, it was really hard to understand like how we can get in touch with people. We were doing it at events. We were doing it face to face with people. I wanted to find different ways to engage with potential clients and get thought leadership out there. So our China team actually came to me and asked me a simple question," Hey Ryan, do you know X, Y, Z, or anyone in the space that can help educate us in the trademark copyright infringement for images? A lot of our customers getting in trouble, we want to find a solution or someone who can teach us about." I said," Yeah, sure. I can let me ask around." Like going through my role of deck of people. I know. So going through that, I was able to find a great host and ask a person who was experienced in it as a co- host, believe it or not, and I said," Hey, let's record on Zoom. Let's figure it out. Let's edit it up. Let's make this really nice." I was not prepared at all. I was actually almost... I was late to our first recording. So I was not prepared whatsoever. I took a backseat to our co- host at the time. But the more I started asking questions, getting to talk, it was just natural for me to want to learn more. And so as that was published and it was good success, it was small, but it was good success. I wanted to continue to do it. My co- host at the time was working for a different company, he said," I just don't have the time and dedication I can give to that." So I said," I'll take it over and I'll try to figure it out along the way and see if we can get something out of this as a marketing channel." And it kind of grew from there. Now our YouTube channel was actually... We decided to go live. And that was part of this decision to build a live podcast and then record it, put it out onto the audio format, and then kind of grew from there in different capacities. Doing lives almost every single day. And we've done a hundred... I think, today was 183 episodes to date that I've done. So it's been a consistent nature of which people recognize our brand now and recognize me and our company more than ever.
Clay Mosley: I love that. Yeah. When people think about podcasts, they think about Apple, Google, Spotify, the big names, big listening platforms. Now, what advice would you give someone who's considering creating a podcast? And what advice would you give them, if they're thinking about YouTube?
Ryan Cramer: That's a good question. There's lots of good, easy, free technologies out there that you can actually use to just record yourself. And the best advice I ever had was just record a conversation and that's what you at Casted always talk about is amplified marketing. It's just have that conversation you want to have. We have them every day anyways. Whether it's on a zoom call or it's just people picking up a phone, or you're sitting one on one across your office with another individual and you just have a natural conversation. And that's essentially what podcasting is, is having that conversation, doesn't have to be structured, but it can be something where you want to learn something or get to have that results at the end of the road. So if it's learning something yourself, or it's getting a solution to the problem, or going through tips and tricks, all these different things can happen. So if you want to start on YouTube, specifically, you can do two different ways. You can either record it live and stream live. I do that with a solution called StreamYard. So it pushes to all of our social media channels and we just take the recording and upload the audio format through Casted and use a video on Casted and are able to distribute that in our own channels through webinars and so on and so forth. But people can catch that live. But everyone's busy so they don't always get to catch that notion live. But then they can subscribe to our podcast, engage with it a different time. Because truly, I've interviewed people all around the world, time doesn't really apply to people when it's 10:00 PM their time or really early my time or really late here in the East coast time. But that's kind of the nature of what you could do. You could do it live or recorded. It's all the same. It's your comfortability level as a host and as a company.
Clay Mosley: Yeah, that's great. So of course, we're live today. And every episode that you do is also live, as you just mentioned. So think is really the benefit of going live with a customer, with a guest, versus pre- recording?
Ryan Cramer: That's a good question. Gosh, not to... For people who record it, I always feel the notion that, this is almost when Clubhouse came out or a couple of like real live apps, is you can't hide behind editing. Now, it's not a bad thing that you can, like if there's a lot of ams and ums and you just don't think about something, you're on mute constantly. There's a lot of benefits to editing. But what I've garnered out of doing podcast live is people can engage with us real time, they can ask their questions, they can put it through comments in. And technology allows that to happen now, instead of," Hey, my podcast is on Spotify or Apple," for example. And they're like," Wait a minute. I didn't catch that," or," What about that follow up question?" You have that engagement level. I think it's very important. It doesn't happen every episode because of one reason or another, but it actually starts to live on and create this legacy conversation of," Hey, that person has a really good question," or it creates that person on the tip of their toes. The guest that I have on a day to day basis, that if I'm going to ask a question or someone else is going to, they have to come up real time of let me create a polished answer. It's almost as if, if you are who you say you are, you should have that answer for you. And if you don't, you don't and that's okay. So there's a lot of different things I like. The cons are, I can look like an idiot pretty quickly, if I'm on mute or if I can't come up with question. But that's where that you keep doing it consistently, you get a little bit better over time and that's kind of the muscle that you're building. It's like working out, right? You have to keep that workout routine in check and you get stronger over time.
Clay Mosley: Yeah. Going live... Well, podcasting is already an authentic piece of content. Going live really kind of humanizes the brand even more. So tell me a little bit, as you've gone live, as you've shared your podcast, what is something about podcasting, going live, what can you get out of that form of marketing that you can't with traditional forms of content marketing? Like blog writing, social media, all that.
Ryan Cramer: Right. So I think... We started a podcast because I actually think it was out necessity of we kept pushing webinars. And I think, this is the nature of when people were locked down, there's only one way to really learn about different things. It was either go search on Google for it, or you were attending webinars and that was a time commitment, right. Of you had to attend it, it was live, it was kind of boring in that capacity, and they got stale for a lot of people. So they got webinar tired. What I choose to do is create this hub, and obviously, like through the likes of Casted and through my network that I've kind of just built up. I'm able to create a topic and center and start with a topic that I want to learn about. And I think that's applicable to the nature and the industry that, right? In the eCommerce world and the Amazon world, there's all these different things on a day to day basis that we have to keep our eyes on. Logistics problems, marketing problems, Amazon problems. There's good things that are coming out of growth. There's so many different natures of which I can tap into. But what's topical, I can actually go to my network and say," Hey, I want to really talk about this. I think people want to learn more about it. Let's go in depth about it." So we take that topic, we set a time and then when we record it, we can take that whole hour long notion. But what the good thing about podcasting, is that you can actually break it down into smaller formats, right? Most podcasts like this one, half an hour. You can even do as long as 15 minutes or short as 15 minutes, I can say. As long as it has relevant information, you get that out there into the listener's ears or viewer's eyes or whatever you want to do.
Clay Mosley: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: What I've learned is that if you can do an hour long's worth of content, you can break it apart into multiple different segments of learnings and apply it to different context. Right? Of you're talking about PPC, what are strategies for Q4? What are strategies for a beginner? What are strategies for an expert? And you can start to take that big piece of content that you created and start to dissect it. And now you have lots of different pieces that the rest of my content team can really throw out there into blocks. They can throw it out there into social media posts as quick learnings and teachings. So I know if people aren't going to listen to the podcast, but we can break it apart into smaller segments, that's truly just a way to get in front of people. And I go by the notion of, if you engage with my piece of content one out of every three that I put out there, that's a really good win rate in terms of brand recognition, a KPI that people can engage with and track. But then also, I understand not everyone's going to tune into every single episode. It's almost impossible, there's-
Clay Mosley: Right.
Ryan Cramer: Unless, it's weekly, monthly. But the amount of content I'm putting out there, if they tune in once a week, that's fantastic. But that's on a brand level. That's every week that your brand is being in front of that business owner or that marketer, or that decision maker that you can finally engage with, and they'll start to think," Oh my gosh, when I think of that brand or that podcast, I think of that brand." And you start to initially get those other outside benefits of that solution that that company creates and offers, or those other external factors, or do you know this person, or how do I get in touch with that person. You become the source of information and hub, which is really cool, I think.
Clay Mosley: That's awesome. You're amplifying your content. I love to hear that. So as you plan a new episode or maybe kind of promotion, are you picking guests based around something that you want to promote or are you letting your guests kind of organically speak about whatever it is related to a promotion or something like that? How do you come up with new themes and topics for each calendar year?
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. So this year's been interesting. It's, again, the industry... Depending on the industry you work in, I think, you can start to wrap your head around outside trending areas that apply to where conversation happens organically. Again, in the eCommerce and Amazon world, it's pretty easy that you can break up open this nut and really tie back to what we want to do. The approach that I took was my company needs to be at the forefront of everything I do. And start to think about how our solution ties to these topics. And that's always a component of it, that you can tie it back to our audience, right? Of who these people are, but maybe push the envelope and say," What else can we do to..." Again, we do a very limited amount of things. They're really good things that we do. But instead of taking this narrow minded focus that can do marketing wise and only speak to those specific entities, once you start to open that nut up a little bit more, and you can start to talk to lots of different people. So when they are in market or they are looking for a solution, then they're aware of you. It's almost like a car commercial, right? Not everyone is always in market for a car all the time. But when they are, you all of a sudden become aware of every single car commercial, print ad, everything where you are, and that's what marketing is in general. When people are ready to opt into your solution, you want to be everywhere as possible. So going back to your original topic of how do I associate topics, I let... At the beginning, it was me asking people and begging people. It's like," Hey, please. I know you don't know my show or anything like that or what we do, but I have a lot of fun with my guests. I want to learn personally about this. And what we do is we distribute to our audience or international audience. We'll obviously link out to your company and have that offering that we can push in that direction." Now people are begging, I say begging. People are reaching out consistently and saying," Hey, I have a great guest opportunity for you." And there's industries of assistance that are saying," Hey, I think this would be a great guest for your episode," or," Hey, how do we create different things and stem from a podcast?" Like a round table or a different series or anything like that. Where people are now trying to approach us and say, we have this very valuable resource, now people want to be a part of, because of the consistent nature of which we are appearing. So it can be a partnership aspect. Our asset, I should say where," Hey, you want to be a new partner. We'll make sure that you appear on our podcast and you can talk about your business, but make it more applicable." It can be something where I find it interesting and I think it's engaging and I'm going to seek out that person. But then also you have this Rolodex of people, once you start to work through your network, or you can tap into people that you might want to have on your podcasts. Like I said, I've reached out to CEOs of people who own billion dollar entities that, traditionally, I never thought in the past that I would have anything to do with me, or want to have anything to do with me as an individual. But the more I did this, the more they saw this as a recognition of," Hey, they have an audience, they have a platform. This is something that they know what they're talking about and they can have that engagement level." And that was the tip. I've always heard with people of, hey, it doesn't hurt to ask people. And if they say, no, they say no.
Clay Mosley: Right.
Ryan Cramer: But if they say, yes. What if you said," I want to have Elon Musk on my podcast." You reach out to them and say, however you want to. And they say, no. No skin off your back. Right. But if they do say yes, then all of a sudden you have this, this is what my thoughts are and you kind of put it in front of them and say," I want to talk about this content."
Clay Mosley: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That's awesome. That's really cool. And then you can go from there. So it's a collaboration between the both.
Clay Mosley: Absolutely. It's podcasting is mutually beneficial, for not only the host, but for the guests getting to promote two different brands within the same show. That's one thing I love about podcasting. Now, when it came to Casted, what made you decide to go with Casted? And how did you hear about Casted?
Ryan Cramer: Well, I'm lucky enough to be in the Indy Metro area. So I worked in tech, and I still technically work in tech, so I'm very unfamiliar and was lucky enough to know the co- founders and worked with his wife. And then he got introduced with this product and solution very early on. Now, again, I wasn't a podcaster at the time. This was early... Gosh, late 2019. So this was a couple years ago and I would just always have my eye on the ball. And when I started to develop a ecosystem and we wanted to track it, we wanted to be able to transcribe it, put it into posts. We wanted to break apart this content and have an all in one solution. Truly, there was honestly no other option out there. And not that that's a bad thing. That's a good thing. Like you can piece mail together a lot of things. Like I started out on Inc, for example, inaudible a solution that it's," Hey, how do we piece it together in a way that seems reputable, seems great, and instead of going through Zoom and recording everything, is there something that would enhance the experience?" And it's always, you don't have to start from the very most expensive content, like microphone or podcast studio or anything like that, it just starts with recording on your phone or on your camera of your laptop and you can build on it from there. So being okay with just starting with whatever you have and then building on top of it. Like we were talking pre- show about this. I moved my office around just a little bit, just to have a little bit of a more podcast feel because we're on camera a lot more. It used to be me looking me down at a camera, looking up my nose. And when you go back to it, you're like," What was I thinking?" But you can grow every single day, that I experience. So it's always a learning thing. You never stop. You continue to tweak and improve day to day. But Casted has been fantastic to help us get out that content. We can track it now. I think that's the biggest thing in component and KPIs of what our company has, is now that we're integrated with HubSpot, we can start to look at who's actually listening to the podcast. See that month over month, more people are engaging with our brands on a video level, an audio level, and then also just a content level. So it's really cool to see all those really morph into one holistic solution.
Clay Mosley: Awesome. So actually, as of last week, we just launched a YouTube integration which allows our customers to upload to Casted and syndicate out to YouTube, just like you would with Apple, Google, and Spotify.
Ryan Cramer: Nice.
Clay Mosley: So with you having such a big presence on YouTube, how do you see the YouTube integration impacting your workflow?
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, no, I think... Gosh, it's so crazy to see how YouTube has become a platform just of education, right? How it impacts my industry, and I say eCommerce in general, that there's brands that are constantly trying to drive traffic and awareness back to Amazon and back to their brand. But it's becoming increasingly more relevant for you to have established multiple presences in different ways. Like we tell people all the time in marketing in eCommerce, you can drive traffic from Pinterest, which is a really big presence, Facebook, clearly Instagram. But YouTube, there's a lot of education out there, especially in their small to medium size businesses that are starting out as a third party seller. They're getting going with their business and selling on Amazon or a different marketplace. Where are those places that they tend to go to for education? It's a lot of time it's YouTube. So the fact that you can have a company that can educate people and understand and visibly see step by step processes, or you can work them through a course or have a series of videos of how to work or engage with your brand, I think that's really, really cool. I think that's an awesome iteration that you guys were able to push out there. So YouTube's not going away. There's so much content that's being absorbed through that. That's the right place to gain an audience and gain a consistent model. That's for sure.
Clay Mosley: All right. Now, I'm going to pivot to our Q& A session. So if you're listening right now, please submit your questions for Ryan and I to answer. So let's go ahead and get started. All right. So, Ryan, what would you say to a brand that's been hesitant to make a podcast part of their marketing strategy?
Ryan Cramer: I would first ask and say, why are they hesitant? Is it time? Is it that you don't think no one's going to listen or watch? I think that there's a lot of... I first, personally, thought I had imposter syndrome. And if you've heard of that... If you've not heard of that first before, it's I don't think I am good enough, or I don't have the relevant information to present on behalf of something. I think that is a lot of the time in someone's head. And I think that you can always obviously pull from your background and experience, right? I was never a podcast host before I started. And the reason why I got, I think, very good at it was I just did it over and over consistently. I kept asking people questions. I kept... First, I would write down all my questions on a notepad here. And then it was like, hey, I have a script. I'm going to read from that. I didn't feel like I needed that anymore. So I kind of made my own iterations and my own spin on things. So you get more and more comfortable well with yourself, the more you do it. So I would say if you're hesitant of starting, I would just say, it just takes starting. But then also telling yourself, and not bargaining with yourself, but promising yourself that you won't stop. And if it's once a week or if it's every other day like I do it, or if it's once a month, keeping that and promising yourself that you will continuously do it. That's where you're going to start to see it's easier to do. It's more consistent. You can obviously scale up or scale more of what you want to do. So I would just say, just start. And if it's not great at the beginning, that's fine. Mine was pretty terrible. I'll be honest. And I thought it would not last for a long time, and I had to not bargain, but I had to tell people I think that this is, especially internally, I think this was something that is going to yield a lot of good results. And it has and I have KPIs to prove it and the rest of this history. So just start.
Clay Mosley: Just start. I love it. All right. So for this next question, how do you know what format is right for your guests when having that authentic conversation? So for example, live conversations, recording on YouTube, having round tables or LinkedIn live?
Ryan Cramer: Good question. I've done all. So I love each of them in their own capacities. I think there's a lot of formats, right, you can have as a podcast host. You can be a singular host and you have a one-on-one conversation like this. Super easy, but you rely on yourself. I produce everything. I'm responsible for coming up with the guests, getting assets to my graphic designer, and then breaking down content that's relevant to my content marketing manager and say like," Yeah, go to episode this and we talked about a lot of great content here." inaudible dissected out and we're a team and we work in that regards. But what I would say would be which format, it's whatever's comfortable you as a host, I would say. If you need a co- host and you can rely on the banter back and forth and you don't have to like come up with every single question, that's a good format. I've done... I've been a co- host before and I think it's definitely relevant, but I like dictating where the flow of conversation goes. But then as round tables are also fun because people can, obviously, you can sit back as a host and ask a question, like inaudible Clay, and just listen. And when it's multiple people, it's multiple people, but your job is different. You have to kind of wrangle in the conversation more as a facilitator instead of a back and forth. So both formats are definitely valuable. The YouTube versus LinkedIn live is a different conversation. It's where do you have the most presence and where do you want to be relevant? I go live on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. It's not Parascope anymore, it's just Twitter streaming and people can engage with it however they feel comfortable. LinkedIn's very popular with us because that's where business happens. I think a lot of people watch our YouTube as well, and that obviously, has a different legacy. All our different formats, to be honest with you. So wherever you want your audience to listen to you, be that place.
Clay Mosley: Awesome. All right, Ryan, this is going to be our last question. I really like this question. So being on a really small team, what are some of the strategies you use to be more efficient or do more with less?
Ryan Cramer: Good question. Going back to, if you have a content team obviously, or if you're a team of one, make your time valuable in different ways. And what I mean by that, is if you can get a lot more out of your one piece of content that you want to spend all your time in, for example, my podcast is an hour long. If I want to get takeaways and key takeaways from that, and I want to make it relevant to now today or also in the future, you can all record it now and then you can go into a format with Casted. You can take this audio clips or video clips and you can schedule them out at different times when you want people to be aware of that relevant information. Again, recording all at once and really optimizing your time, whether it be your guest and you want to just do a crazy session of three hours long. I've had podcasts that have lasted two and a half hours. It was nuts and I never stopped the person because they kept talking. But what I did was I took that content, I dissected it up, and I released it in relevant ways where it applied to what was going on in our industry. And so it's easy to do that kind of thing, but make your time valuable, cover all the information you want out of that guest. And as long as they're aware and say," I'm going to start to release it month over month in different portions and pieces of content." If they agree to that, that's awesome. So you can really build out that content calendar effectively and efficiently.
Clay Mosley: Awesome. Ryan, that was fantastic. So great to have you on the show. Appreciate it. We'll have you on again.
Ryan Cramer: I appreciate that, Clay. Thanks so much. Thanks everyone.
Clay Mosley: And that concludes our show. Thank you so much for joining us. And if you want to learn a little bit more about Ryan and all the content that he's working on, please visit usa. pingpongx. com, and check out his podcast too, the Crossover Commerce podcast. To learn more about Casted and how we can help amplify your content, visit casted. us and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest and greatest all things amplified marketing, B2B podcasting, and more.
Welcome back to Season 7 of The Casted Podcast. In this episode, Casted's Customer Success Manager, Clay Mosley talks with Ryan Cramer, Partnership Marketing Manager at PingPong. Ryan shares his journey into podcasting and how it enabled him to create content around recorded conversations and reach his audience. He also shares tips on podcasting and video as powerful brand awareness channels. Be sure to stick around ‘til the end of the episode to hear questions answered by Ryan from fellow TCP listeners.