Top 14 content marketer | Top 24 digital marketer | Top 100 CX thought leader | Author | Journalistic Storyteller | Top 5% Global Podcaster | Livestreamer | New book: March ‘21
If you are comfortable walking the tightrope without a safety net in order to delight your audience and earn their engagement, then you may want to pivot to podcast livestreaming. In this episode, Christoph Trappe discusses the pros and cons of adopting livestreaming, what equipment and planning you need to make the pivot, and how to get the most out of this interactive podcasting approach. Christoph even shares tips from his upcoming book "Going live – Livestream your podcast to reach more people".
KRISTINA PODNAR, HOST: Welcome to another episode of The Power of Digital Policy. I'm glad that you're here with me, and today I'm delighted to welcome back Christoph Trappe. Some of you will remember Christoph, who spent time with us back in June of the last year 2020 explaining how to gain trust through authentic storytelling. For those who don't know Christoph, he's a top 14 content marketer top 20 for a digital marketer. He's an author. He's a journalistic storyteller, and he's also in the top 5% of global podcasters, which is why we should listen to his advice on livestreaming podcasts where they're right ROI on our content strategy. And so, he's here today to talk to us about his new book on the topic. Get comfy, get ready, and we're going to dive in with Christoph Trappe. Welcome back.
CHRISTOPH TRAPPE, GUEST: Thanks for having me, Kristina. It's great to chat with you again. Yes, get ready, get comfy cuddle up. Let's talk about livestreaming.
KRISTINA: I am not sure the folks are thinking about cuddle up. I bet they will jump from their seats and get ready to implement a bunch of things you're going to tell us today, to get smart about, but you know you're you've been busy writing this book. It's all about how to easily livestream your podcast before we jump in and get super comfy. Tell us, what do you mean by live podcast? Let's start there.
CHRISTOPH: Yeah, what I mean by that is so certain, as you know, more and more companies are launching a podcast, right? I mean, you have a podcast. I have a podcast my book also has a podcast, and while it's not as crowded as blogging it’s kind of starting to creep up, you know, there's more and more podcast. So, of course, I'm always looking for what's the next thing to help me and my brand stand out, and if you have a podcast, mostly, I think the livestreaming of that podcast can really help you stand out, and here's kind of how that looks. So instead of recording a podcast. What you do is you stream the recording certainly; you can't edit it. So, I always tell people, you know, if you don't want it to be on the air, don't say it, we can cut it out. Once we edit the podcast version and I do edit things out. Usually, that doesn't make any sense, you know, on the podcast version, for example, but that's what I'm talking about you just instead of recording it and publishing it later. You live to stream it, and you already get that audience right there. I did one the other day with the state auditor in Iowa, and just on an Amazon alone, we had like 1,100 viewers, and I'm like, that's 1100 viewers. I would have missed out on it.
KRISTINA: Why do you think live podcasting is so much more interesting to people than a sort of traditional podcasting?
CHRISTOPH: I don't know if it's more interesting, but I think it's just a different audience. It's another way to get in front of people, and I listen to podcasts all day long when I'm writing. I probably don't listen to them as much because it's kind of hard to concentrate, but when I'm doing keyword research, and I'm planning or whatever, you know, I have a podcast running all day. I don't have livestreams running all day. So there's still a place for podcasting. No doubt. I'm a big big fan, but the livestream reaches an audience differently, right? It's a video. It's not just audio and people they kind of run across it. They see it, and then they play it, you know, it's different. It's just a different audience, the other medium to reach them, you know, at that time in place.
KRISTINA: Well, certainly the timing seems right, you know, one of the things that I was going to ask you at some point today is about Clubhouse. Because it looks like everybody's away one of two invites they have for Clubhouse. So it feels like it's a moment in time when folks want to be engaged in real-time. Does it feel like that to you?
CHRISTOPH: Yeah, it does it, Chouse is an interesting thing because everybody is indeed talking about it, but I'm not on the bandwagon yet. The only thing I do honestly is giveaway invites, and that's about it. And when I get new ones, and now Twitter spaces is launching, right, which is the same thing and I joke, used to be the only way we talk to each other verbally and now everybody thinks it's like it's the innovative thing. So I do agree. I think that's kind of on the upswing people want to participate, and that's an interesting thing to on livestreams. Like you can't currently necessarily call in the right, you can leave comments, and you can participate that way. So that's a great way. You can't do that on a podcast like right now, you know, we're recording so people can ask a question, but if we're livestreaming, they can ask questions. Now the problem sometimes with questions is if they're so far off base, you know, you got to bring it back to the thing to the show what you're talking about, or you just ignore them but or you answer in writing, so that's another option too. But that is a way to do it, the other thing depending on how you do it. I like to go to multiple channels at once. Usually, Twitter, Periscope, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Amazon live are currently some of my favorites and but if you start and you do one channel. Let's say you do Instagram live. For example, you can invite people on stage with you. So to speak, you know, somebody can say I got a question. They click join you approve them. They can come up and say they say, hey Christophe, I disagree, or I agree, or you know, whatever, and you can have a conversation. So that is another level of engagement.
KRISTINA: I've recently been part of two different live podcasts, one that was highly energetic. Lots of people kind of jumping in, jumping out asking questions dropping off, and then another one that was a professional level podcast, and I was the only person there, so a little bit of risk potentially with that it's already harder to manage the live podcast as you mentioned. What other challenges do you see folks facing, like what should they be thinking about before they are just jumping in and say Christoph said to do it! So I'm doing it!
CHRISTOPH: Well, I don't know how many people do that anyway, but oh well, thank you, fan club. The one I don't know, but I'm kidding. So first of all, you do want to have a little bit of a strategy. Anyways, what are you doing? What is going to talk about who you are trying to reach, you know, what's your style, and then realize that in the first few episodes, nobody's going to pay any attention to you? They can be horrible. And in my first episodes, I don't make them horrible on purpose. So don't you know, if you're going to add me saying I said that I didn't, but you know, just keep in mind when you first get started not that many people will listen to you anyway, so don't learn as you go. It's okay to do that, but figure out what you want to talk about. What's your style? What's a loose agenda? I like to have a loose agenda usually, you know, sometimes very loose like we're going to talk about this topic. Okay, let's go and just get started. The other thing is there are so many dominoes that have to fall. And again, Jason Falls is the first to put that quote in my mind when something doesn't work, don't ever get overwhelmed, never feel bad. It's not your fault. Don't go to the boss and say so sorry, but it's not even like what you can do about it? It's the internet that went down, or restream is down for the day, or Facebook is down if you stream to Facebook or whatever like there's a hundred different things that can go wrong. So I have all kinds of backup plans. So, for example, I go live with video if the guest video doesn't work. We might just go without video. So I just put up a logo right, and we'll still going to go live, but it's only an audio version, even though technically it's a video; if that doesn't work at all, we might just go live on one channel if that doesn't work. We might just record an audio version of a podcast. So now we're not doing life at all. Now, we're kind of to the point where many guests, Kristina, I've realized that a lot of people listen to the livestream. So sometimes people want to reschedule, which is fine. But you got to have all these different things in mind and never lose your cool. Stop apologizing for everything, people. It's kind of crazy. Oh, I'm sorry. So sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm you know what? I mean, like just roll with the punches, move forward, do your best and you know, be relevant.
KRISTINA: And hopefully have fun…
CHRISTOPH: Oh, I think it's it's so much fun. Yes, have fun. I think it is so much fun at the other thing too is I learn so much all the time and the other thing also, by the way, I'm in this in my office. I can complain about my office in Iowa, but this is why I am like, you know, any chance I can get to talk to an adult, I'll take it.
KRISTINA: You know what? Some days I feel like that too. So tell me a little bit in terms of who is the right demographic right now to jump on and start doing like podcasting. Is it as applicable to huge brands as it is to the individual, or is there a particular demographic that should be kind of harnessing the moment?
CHRISTOPH: Well, I think any brand has the opportunity to stay relevant through podcasting. And here's the reason why I say it like that is because there is so much competition. I'll give you an example. I was talking to this company, and they do consult for family-owned businesses only. I'm like, well, that's very niche, but it's not as niches you think. I mean, there are like eight competitors, and how do I know that I searched for that company and there were seven competitors buying ads against their name, you know. Right, and it's like I'm like, that's very niche, but it's not as niche as it sounds, so could that company make a dent by creating a podcast, especially if none of the competitors have a podcast? Absolutely, would they have enough to talk about absolutely every there's stuff to talk about, but you know for any industry, you just have to figure out who will do it how we got to talk about it? What's our brain and blah blah blah. Don't overthink it, though. Don't you know, have fun, you can make it entertaining. The one thing you got to remember too. When you do a podcast, when you do a livestream, you are the entertainment. You have to be a little bit more entertaining than, let's say, on one of those boring Zoom meetings that many of us are on all day long. So, you know, but yeah, I think I think if you can get a leg up and the other thing to livestreams and podcasts, both of them at different levels rank in SEO. So, in theory, if a competitor's website ranks for something, but they don't have a podcast, your podcast can rank right by where they rank because Google now shows podcasts; on the flip side, livestreams show up on social feeds, right? So LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Etc. YouTube, YouTube is like the second biggest search engine. So there you go. You already have it on YouTube just by pushing it there, and you know those social feeds also show up. Up on the front page of Google search results. So my point is if your competitor's website rings high, and I'm not saying you should give up on your website, don't, but those are two additional easy ways to try to get up there. So, you know, there's plenty of opportunity for many different brands.
KRISTINA: And is there anything that folks should be thinking about from an SEO perspective? And I am thinking even accessibility. Because I'm going back to my policy, a sherpa hat putting that on my head, and going like, do you deal with podcasting, live podcasting and accessibility, right, folks that don't necessarily have hearing like you and I do that do have an impairment around the hearing. You know, how do you deal with that in a live situation?
CHRISTOPH: It's a very tough question, and that happened the other day because of the livestream with Rob's, and which, as I mentioned, I'd like to 1100 on Amazon like 600 on Twitter right away. There was somebody that responded on Twitter and said, is there a version available that has closed captions and I wrote back, and I said, unfortunately, none of these networks currently have live captioning now. I made a little bit of a decision right where I'm going to livestream. So the way around that quite frankly is to livestream to Facebook because Facebook live captions all your content all your videos, including the livestreams now from a business perspective, you know, I currently I'm not streaming their I could, you know, it costs a little bit more because you got to buy a different license to get it on there for a Facebook page, but I think that's probably the easiest like every time once now I when I read the captions, they seem pretty accurate, and they do that for everything. I live to stream my daughter's basketball games, and it like captions whoever is talking near the camera, and you know anything they say gets captioned whether they like it…
KRISTINA: And that feeds back into your SEO as well. Right?
CHRISTOPH: Well, I don't know if that feeds into SEO for Facebook, so I don't know. No, I don't think so. But on yeah, I do. I'm not sure, but on YouTube, I don't think YouTube live captions, but yet but it's as I said yet it's probably just a matter of time because at some point, you know, whoever does that can get a better bigger market share to you know because people who can't hear it, they're going to go they're right. They're going to go to Facebook. If I get a hundred complaints people can't read my podcast my livestream, you know, I would you know, I probably move there a lot quicker than if nobody ever asks, but now somebody asked, so I got to think about that.
KRISTINA: Exactly. So what kind of tools I mean now we're starting to get down this path of you know, tool talk what types of tools do you need, you know does the toolset differ obviously you started to already talk about Facebook versus other platforms like YouTube, but do the platforms differ for an individual versus a brand or is it all the same set of ingredients?
CHRISTOPH: Well, if you're one of those people that is going to call me and say we can do it, Christoph, because we don't have the tools. I'm going to tell you that's just a big fat excuse you don't want to do it because you can do it with just your phone, and that's actually how I started doing it many years ago, right? I would just livestream to Periscope or Blab, or I never really did Meerkat. So, so you can do it just with your phone, and also, you know, we're recording this on Zoom so you can actually do it with Zoom. Now, the one thing with Zoom is it's not as easy to do, like graphics and stuff. So if you look at my livestreams, I got like things flying in, and there are lower thirds, and there is, you know like sometimes we play a video and all those different things. I'm not sure how easy that is on Zoom, but you can literally start with your phone put your phone on a tripod. My book's cover photo was taken with my iPhone, and it looks just fine. It's even on a t-shirt, you know, it looks good and throws pillows we have to throw pillows, Kristina. I don't know. I may be overdoing this merge them. Yeah, yeah, Amazon offers that now so but anyway, and so you can do that right, you just all you need is a phone and maybe a mike. I mean, I have a fancier mike now, but in my first 200 episodes, I just used my ear pods. You know, I just finally kind of stepped it up a little bit because it looks nicer on video. That's really the main reason, not because it sounds better, it does sound better, but it looks better. So so you can kind of slowly get the right equipment, you know, like a ring light. I used it a little bit for the longest time that my daughter had now. I bought a bigger one that's on the tripod. I mean, like last month or two months ago. So yeah, you know, but I didn't like I didn't I survived, and I grew you know the podcast had like a hundred some thousand downloads and without a mic, you know, I didn't even have a real mike. So, so, you don't need it to get started, and you can slowly kind of buy those different things, or you know, buy quicker if you like, but don't let it stop you. I use switcher studio for my production on the phone on the iPad. So it's an iPad app, and you can like do split-screen. You can do different things. You can, like, you know, show videos you can have different lower thirds, and then I use restream.io. So I push switcher to Restream and then Restream; depending on whatever plan you have, you can livestream to up to 30 platforms. And so I currently, I think, do four, usually, YouTube, because I want to be there, and that does help SEO actually. Plus, I don't have to wait for the upload, right? It's already there; once it is live, it's uploaded done. And then I go to Amazon, then I go to Twitter, to Twitter, and Periscope. That's the same thing and then LinkedIn, so but if you want more, I can simultaneously go to as many as maybe eight channels. I don't think there are 30 channels for like the everyday marketer to use, maybe ten and then somehow gaming channels that probably are not that relevant, but you can do that. So that's kind of my setup. But super simple, quite frankly.
KRISTINA: What is like the one thing that you wish you would have known when you started? If somebody's looking to get started, they haven't experimented yet; how or what should they do so that they kind of leapfrog over the learning curve.
CHRISTOPH: Well, you know, it's funny because I mean I've been on the air for a long time, but it's easy to forget about it even now talking to you every once in a while, I started using my TV voice so to speak, and it gives me a headache and Max Branstetter who's also contributed a couple of chapters to the book and has the wild business growth podcast. He said your podcast voice is your real voice, and it's so easy to forget because, you know, I'm talking to you, and I think I have to yell at the mic because otherwise, I mean, you're a time zone over Kristina. So, you know, you can't hear me unless I yell right. I'm on, but it justs weird. Like you have to remember some of those things, and then the other biggest thing honestly has been for me just to keep in mind how much stuff can go wrong and just roll with it when something goes wrong. I do acknowledge it on-air when people say stuff they would have never said on TV. We just go with it. I had Pam Didner on the podcast the other day, and she goes this is like 6:30 at night when we livestreamed and so we don't overthink what times we livestream whenever we have time whenever it works, and this was one at 6:30 at night, and she goes well here it is 6:10. I got an email from Christoph saying we're going live on all these channels; better go shower, and so we talked about that as a Pam. It's all good. I just showered at four o'clock, you know, so so like roll with that humanness - and you know, and if something doesn't work roll with that like every once in a while, I say things on the livestream like okay, I want to bring this person on the show. Okay. What button where is he? You know what? I mean? Like people can see that. I'm looking at my production board. I don't pretend like it's a TV that there are people behind the curtain even though that is actually a good idea; if you have somebody to be a producer behind the curtains, I do that on the Real Talk the customer insights show and basically what I do there is you know, I push all the buttons I don't do any talking, and certainly, it keeps it less stressful for the host.
KRISTINA: I am wondering about larger brands, but I guess you know, this would be smaller brands as well that are just very specific about their brand and how they want to be perceived in the marketplace. They may not feel as comfortable being down-to-earth rolling with the punches. Things might need to be a little bit more scripted. Especially I'm thinking of some of the financial sectors; you know aspects of like what can you say? What can't you say the Pharma of folks? Have you gotten it cleared through illegal it? Is this really the right channel for those Industries as well, or is this for the verticals that you know can be a little bit more laid-back can be flying off the cuff and saying things that don't necessarily move the market? Is there kind of folks that should be a little bit more mindful of going down this path, or is it pretty much free for all? Do you just have to understand what boundaries are in place before you get on the air?
CHRISTOPH: Well, everybody should be mindful, to begin with, but talking about regulated brands. That's always one of my favorite topics because I really can't be in their shoes every day, day after day. I know it's very stressful for them, and however, you know relationships with legal and the regulation folks. I mean, it's a relationship, right? So maybe don't start with the livestream, maybe start with an internal podcast, maybe start with an external podcast, so internal podcasting, which for what I do. I don't see a lot of value for like my projects but like blueberry.io as one of the platforms that do it and basically what you do is, you know, it's like the CEO they do internal podcasts, you know, and they go to internal employees only and maybe that's the way to start you kind of start there to get people comfortable with the system, and you know the type of content and then maybe you record some podcast episodes and have a conversation with legal and say how we would go about doing this? And that's always the way to do it. You know you go and say, Here's what I'm trying to do. What do you think? How do we get it done? What you know what I need to think about, and they might say, hey, we just need to see an outline; don't talk about this will give you a list of things never to talk about. Who knows, but you don't know until you ask, so I think you can do it, but this is why I can't I don't necessarily want to be in a regulated industry more than a couple of days at a time, Kristina, is because it's like it's so much more work, you know, like you and I like we want to go on a show together. We just like, okay, when you want to do it, that's hop-on, let's talk about it. Right? I don't. I'm not running it by anybody, neither are you, and so there's a little bit more stress involved, a little bit more work involved, and you know at the end of the day, if you don't have a good relationship with the people that have to approve it. It's going to become a little harder.
KRISTINA: Absolutely, although I'm really jazzed up about this idea that you're talking about, which is I think a phenomenal I want which is really piloted internally, show that you could produce things high-quality. It can be done in a way, that's really what I want to say predictable, but that's comfortable for the legal and regulatory folks. Right? So there's always a way to get things done. You just have to figure out where you can get the water through the crack.
CHRISTOPH: So absolutely
KRISTINA: I'm really excited; tell me about the book itself. So this book is coming out that you wrote. You are a prolific writer. Obviously, this is book number four, if I'm not mistaken.
CHRISTOPH: Yep. Thank you.
KRISTINA: Coming out on March 10th and tell us about the book what's in it. And where can we get it?
CHRISTOPH: Yeah, and so, of course, it's available everywhere; Amazon, authenticstorytelling.net/going-live-book/ It really walks you through the process. How do you decide whether or not you want to go live? How do you do it? How do you get there quickly? What are some of the tools which should own what, what are the topics guests are no guess that's a whole other debate? Right? Should you invite people on if you invite guests on who'd you invite on? How do you decide? When do you schedule them? You know all those different things will discuss that how to dress for a livestream. I'm sitting here in my New York Rangers winter hat and a T-shirt, and I was going to wear that if we were to video too, you know, like full disclosure but some brands that might not work. I probably would have taken off the New York Rangers hat. But you know what, I mean like back in the day like you have to be very formal. So you want to be very clear with your brand how that looks, you know, how do you expect people to dress, do they really have to wear a suit or maybe in today's world just tie in a shirt in it? A kid and you know pajama thing dressed. Yeah, pajama pans for the rest. So but basically, it talks you through how to do it. You know, what don't worry about, what not to worry about and what was interesting to me. So how I write my books usually is, you know, I write a lot on my blog, and then at some point, I go. Okay. What's the topic? I could write a book on it, and then I go and see what other books were out there on the topic. So content performance culture, there wasn't really much else out there that covers the exact same thing, but there's a lot of books about content marketing. When I am going live, I can't find any books that talk about livestreaming your podcast, like so, you know, I thought that was neat. I thought there's an opening. I have a lot of content on it. I do have some nice contributors. I got the forword. It's coming from Nick Mattingly. He's the CEO of Switcher studio, and you know, so I turned it into a book, and it's you know, like a 170, 180 pages something like that and you know, hopefully, people can learn from and hopefully people not just learn from it, but do it implement it right try it and here's some tricks. You don't have to make all the mistakes. I made plenty of mistakes. I mean muting the wrong people, you know or be or talking on mute. Oh my God, this is 2021. Like right, everybody's doing that talking on mute or streaming to the wrong account. I've done that before; you know, stream to the client account instead of your own, for example. Example caught it quickly. But there's all these tips and tricks on how you can avoid those things other than just paying attention which you know, there are so many steps involved can be hard to catch everything, but hopefully, I can help you, you know, stay in front of your audience and yet another channel.
KRISTINA: Well, I'm certainly excited. I'm excited because first of all, obviously you have a huge impact in the industry, but I think more than that, you're just very practical with your advice. And so I'm excited to learn quite a few things and put them really your tips and advice into action because I always learn so much. So thanks for being with us. Thanks for sharing some of your insights, and looking forward to having you back. Once this book is out the door, and you're getting ready to put the next one on the burner.
CHRISTOPH: No pressure will see what that topic is about. Thank you so much. Always great to talk with you.
KRISTINA: Same here. Thanks so much.