Craig Hewitt is the founder of Castos, a popular podcasting platform.
I met Craig at RhodiumWeekend.com 4 years ago when Craig ran the podcasting-editing and service-based business, Podcast Motor, before building Castos.
Today Podcast Motor and Castos have joined forces to create a SaaS company to host and analyze your podcast. They also continue to offer a full podcast editing and transcription service.
As we’ll learn during the show, Craig also shares how he bought the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin before starting Castos with the idea that maybe one day they could use it for a SaaS game.
I’ve been broadcasting podcasts since 2012 and had no intention of changing my processes, but the podcasting tool is so simple that I even decided to switch to Castos after 39:27 minutes of podcasting.
On the podcast, we talk about the new podcasting trends, the struggles of the growing Castos, how the Castos team used the Ahrefs course to train new hires in content marketing and how those efforts are paying off.
Craig has even agreed to offer a substantial discount to all Niche Pursuits fans. Get 50% off your first three months of Castos (including the 14-day free trial) when you shop through the Niche Pursuits landing page.
Use Coupon Code: Niche Tracking
Watch the entire interview here:
Are you thinking of starting a podcast?
If you haven’t started a podcast yet, now is the perfect time to do it. Not only does the software make it easy to get started, it’s also one of the best content marketing tools out there.
More people tell me they find niche followers from the podcast than from the blog, although the majority of my time is spent growing my blog.
Craig put it great. It’s difficult to get someone to listen to you for 45 minutes. With a podcast, you have your audience’s undivided attention during this full podcast episode.
For someone who had devoted themselves to podcasting for many years, Craig wasn’t always that confident about starting a podcast.
Craig told me that he had a lot of internal doubts that podcasting would stay here. At one point, part of him thought podcasting might be a fad.
Today his way of thinking is very different. He knows podcasting is here in the long run and there has never been a better time to start a podcast.
If you look at all of the major companies that have recently invested in podcasting, I tend to agree with him.
Podcasting looks a little different than it did years ago. Here are some of the trends Craig is starting to notice in the industry.
New podcast trends
- Private podcasting
For example, instead of broadcasting your podcast in iTunes, everyone can access it. In a private podcast, access is restricted to either your members, employees, customers, or anyone you choose to listen to the podcast.
Large companies like 3M use a private podcast to conduct weekly sales training sessions with their sales reps.
- Paid podcasting
Similar to private podcasting, paid podcasting has increased. In a way, it sounds identical to the paid newsletters trend that has come with sub-batch email newsletters.
Your audience could pay for additional access to listen to specific podcast episodes, or they could charge a fee to listen to the episodes.
Craig mentioned that the built-in functionality for the paid podcasts will be available soon. Today your team integrates with other WordPress tools like Memberpress to manage the podcast memberships for you.
- B2B podcasts
Podcasting is no longer just for marketing consumer content. According to Craig, many companies use podcasting as a form of networking. If you’re looking to hook up with potential partners, you may never have been able to connect in the past.
Most podcasting services use RSS feeds to deliver episode content. Podcasting tools like Castos can now be integrated with services like Zapier.
You can now automate many of your tedious podcasting processes. With Zapier and Castos, for example, you can automatically send a message to all of your email subscribers as soon as you’ve published a new podcast!
It wasn’t always so automatic for Castos. In fact, Craig’s original business podcast engine was service minded, doing manual podcast editing for customers.
Transition from service to SaaS podcast offers
When Craig made the decision to switch from a professional podcasting editing service to a podcast SaaS offering with Castos. He was excited and ready for the challenge, but took a lot longer than he would have liked to get up and running.
There are so many benefits to starting a SaaS business that you can sell an infinite number of copies and that recurring income always looks like a dream.
However, if your product is only $ 20 a month, you will have to sign up a lot of customers to ultimately benefit.
The hard work pays off, however. Castos was founded three years ago and now has a total of 8 full-time employees. Three of them are developers.
Communication challenges in building Castos
When asked what Casto’s greatest challenge was, Craig pointed out communication.
This might sound a bit strange to a company selling a communication tool. However, Craig pointed out the communication barriers in project management. Especially with developers.
Craig had no experience leading a development team and learned a lot from it. He would describe the functions he wanted to create, but the developer would inevitably create something else.
I’ve seen the same challenges building Link Whisper. Creating project areas and plans takes a lot of work, and communicating the vision with the development team can sometimes feel like a giant phone game.
Craig was able to solve this problem with a strategy where he met with the team every six months to decide what to work on over the next six weeks.
The strategy has helped them focus and get the whole team on the same page to come up with the best new features and fix bugs that are having the greatest impact on the business.
Creating a Castos Content Marketing Plan
When it comes to content marketing, Craig found the communication barrier to be more comfortable. He knew this room well and was far less to learn.
The team initially spent a lot of money on paid ads, but quickly found themselves in their niche. it didn’t fit well. When moving to a content marketing strategy, efforts began to pay off.
Here are some ways Castos does content marketing:
- Ahrefs for content marketing: For one of the new employees, the training consisted of the new team member taking the free Ahrefs content marketing course.
They used the course as a roadmap and used the Ahrefs tools to navigate SEO. For Craig, SEO and content marketing are one and the same. It doesn’t matter if the content is a podcast or a YouTube video. He is confident that everything will lead to better search engine optimization.
- Integration marketing or co-promotions: As the company developed integrations with WordPress tools or software, they used each other’s brands for cross-promotion.
For example, when they released the Memberpress plugin, they provided excellent tutorials on how users can leverage both Castos and Memberpress to achieve a win / win situation for both companies.
- Link building: The team has doubled its content marketing strategy with link building. They turn to other podcasts and blog posts to post to. Just like Craig did here with the Niche Pursuits podcast.
They also take the trouble to use Google Analytics and the Ahrefs tools to ensure they are making the best decisions when reaching potential guest posts (or allowing guest posts for that matter).
What’s next for Castos?
They continue to help their customers take advantage of podcasting. Craig sees that more and more people will be using podcasts as add-ons to almost anything. He currently sees podcasts as addons to things like Shopify stores and believes there will be a lot more of them coming soon.
The podcast industry is starting to take off. If you are still unsure whether to finally get your podcast started, check out the Castos hosting tool and see how easy it is. You have nothing to lose with the 14 day free trial and 50% off for 3 months with the exclusive niche tracking offer!