Joel Hornbostel entered the media marketplace about 20 years ago first a sales rep and then eventually publisher of Kansas City’s iconic alternative newsweekly, The Pitch. He learned much at The Pitch, where he was the number one sales rep there for over 7 years, and then enjoyed a successful tenure as publisher for the next 10 years.
From there he went to BigShot Inbound, where he discovered his next passion, inbound marketing. He loves developing relationships and helping businesses grow, gain new clients, and make money, and inbound does that better than any other marketing tool.
Currently, he’s employed at North American Savings Bank as Content Marketing Manager where he creates and implements inbound marketing strategies through collaboration with marketing and sales teams, including content marketing, social media, and SEO. He loves marketing, lead generation and basically anything to improve the market share, revenue and branding of a company.
Brad Burrow: Hi, this is Brad Burrow. This is In a World with Real Media, and I have Joel Hornbostel here with me. Let me give you a little bit of information about Joel and his background. He’s currently the Content Marketing Manager at North American Savings Bank. He’s been in the media marketplace about 20 years, and was first to sales rep for The Pitch, and was very successful there. He’s been the Director of Marketing at NextPage Kansas City, the Chief Executive Officer of Bigshot Inbound, and was publisher at The Pitch for several years… 19 years, huh? Pretty good run there.
Brad Burrow: And Joel has a ton of experience in digital marketing, and that’s why I wanted to bring him on the podcast. Joel and I have a pretty long history together. He’s now with North American Savings Bank — NASB.
Joel Hornbostel: NASB.
Brad Burrow: NASB, yeah. And the title is Content Marketing Manager, is that correct?
Joel Hornbostel: That is correct.
Brad Burrow: But I wanted to set it up… we’ve been working together, well, recently, probably the last year and a half or two, kind of on some marketing initiatives here; Real Media and with another company that you were with. But we also have a history together from the band years, you know?
Joel Hornbostel: The band years!
Brad Burrow: Yeah, baby!
Joel Hornbostel: The live music years, back when Westport was fun.
Brad Burrow: It’s completely different now.
Joel Hornbostel: It’s completely different.
Brad Burrow: It’s disappointing to me, honestly, to go down there. I don’t even like… you know, it’s not the same.
Joel Hornbostel: I just want to grab a kid and say, “You have no idea what it was like in the late ’80s.”
Brad Burrow: This is funny. I was driving down there the other day, and I had my 18-year-old with me, and I’m like… there’s a new little place, a cupcake place there or something, I can’t remember, but anyway… that’s where Tori’s Pizza, the truck, used to be?
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: And it’s like, every night after playing until 1 in the morning or something, you’d run out and get a piece of pizza, and that was the best pizza!
Joel Hornbostel: Yep!
Brad Burrow: You know? It was like you lived for that pizza every day.
Joel Hornbostel: I can still remember it, it was kind of a thin crust, but not super thin. It was just, yeah, it was good.
Brad Burrow: One of the first food trucks, actually. They had a truck. They’d pull up right in front of the Lone Star.
Joel Hornbostel: Yep, the Lone Star.
Brad Burrow: The Lone Star. Those were the days, man. I remember some long St Patrick’s Days gigs with The Clique; like, we’d play eight or 10 hours.
Joel Hornbostel: Oh, man.
Brad Burrow: You know, we’d start at noon and go until midnight or 1 in the morning.
Joel Hornbostel: Yep, yep. So, I was the booking agent for the Lone Star, the Hurricane… I booked the Shadow for a while, for those of you that remember those days.
Brad Burrow: The Shadow.
Joel Hornbostel: And Brad was in a band called The Clique, and I was also… I worked at a company called United Entertainment, and Brad was one of our… The Clique was one of our premier bands that we would book… pretty much all your shows and dates. And so that’s how I got to know you; but it was funny, we were looking at that picture the other day that was on Facebook from… what do you think that was? From the ’80s? ’90s?
Brad Burrow: Oh, that was the prom picture, the one you mentioned, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Like I was saying, I think I’m pretty sure I booked that prom. I booked high school proms and everything.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, it was crazy.
Joel Hornbostel: That was fun, though. That was a lot of fun.
Brad Burrow: We were pretty laid-back for the proms, you know. Everybody in the Clique; those were the big money gigs that we’d just show up, and most people wouldn’t even listen to the band, you know. We’d just kind of do it because we were making great money doing it.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: That picture, that was a funny picture. I remember Spike and the guys, and Booger…
Joel Hornbostel: Booger Bill Jolly.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, yeah. We had many, many fun times with that band, so… yeah, anyway.
Brad Burrow: Well, Joel, I wanted to have you on here. You know, the podcast, we talk a lot about marketing and storytelling, things like that; really, what I wanted to get into today was just a little bit of your background from a digital marketing standpoint. I think a lot of our — especially business owners, small business owners — don’t really understand the nuances of what marketing in the digital age really is, you know? It used to be, like… I’ve worked with heating and air conditioning companies that, their strategy is completely television. They don’t even think about the digital side. You know?
Joel Hornbostel: It’s their prerogative, but…
Brad Burrow: Yeah, and that’s what’s always worked for them, and now they’re realizing that, “I’ve got to get with the times here. Things aren’t working the way they used to work.” The cost is more. Radio… you know, a lot of the guys have focused on radio. Well, if you’re not thinking in terms of SCO and paper click and different things like that — and I’m not an expert in it, either, that’s why I wanted to have you on here — then you’re missing out.
Brad Burrow: Just give us a little bit of… you know, if I’m a small business owner here and you’re talking to me, and you want to kind of introduce me into the stream of digital marketing, what would that conversation be like?
Joel Hornbostel: You know, I’ve had a couple of people ask me that. I have some friends that own small businesses and I’ve helped them a little bit, and you know… and I don’t have all the answers, there’s probably some people that know more about, or different areas of digital marketing that may disagree with what I say, but the bottom line is, is the most important thing about digital marketing right now is Google kind of runs the marketing world right now; because when it comes to SCO and how you show up in searches, and where you show up in searches — whether it’s a local search or an organic search — they kind of control that.
Joel Hornbostel: And, they always change their algorithms on how you’re going to appear in search, but when it comes to digital… organic’s so important because that’s… it’s free. It’s essentially how you’re going to show up when someone does a search. If you own a plumbing company, and someone searches “Plumber, Kansas City,” if you’re not showing up on page one, then no one’s going to call on you.
Brad Burrow: They’ll never find you, right?
Joel Hornbostel: They’ll never find you, because what’s that saying? I can’t even remember it now, but what do you call someone who’s on page two of Google? Who cares, or something like that, I can’t remember.
Brad Burrow: Well, it makes sense, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: There’s a better version of that joke, but anyway. But so, you have to make sure that you show up organically because that’s the best way, especially if you have a limited budget, and you can do that by doing things like making sure your website… and people can create websites these days pretty affordably. But the key is, is when you create your website, that you have it optimized for SCO with certain keywords.
Joel Hornbostel: And one of the good things about Google is there’s a lot of things you can do for free. If you create your website, you can sign on to Google Analytics for free. You can track how well your website is doing, as far as getting organic traffic, getting the demographics of the people visiting. There’s a lot of things you can gain from being on Google Analytics.
Brad Burrow: Even that seems overwhelming for the average business owner, though.
Joel Hornbostel: It is, but you know, if you just do a little research or have a friend that could help you to put the pixel on your website, so it’s every page and you can start tracking, because you can gain so many insights on who is visiting your website.
Joel Hornbostel: So that’s how you find out who’s visiting, but you have to get people to visit you; and to do that — again, going back to keywords — you have to do a little investigating and find out what keywords people are going to use; and this is probably one of the most important things, because it applies to so many different things that you do — when you’re writing content, or creating videos, whatever — it’s what keywords are people going to use to find you.
Joel Hornbostel: Kind of going back to that plumber example; if you’re just a plumber in Kansas City and you just do kind of basic things, then probably “Kansas City plumbers” is the main thing. And so, on your website, you want to make sure that prominent on there is “Kansas City plumber,” “Kansas City plumbing.” Another thing people might search is “flooding basement, Kansas City.”
Brad Burrow: Especially lately!
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, especially lately. You know, so you want to have keywords on there, too, that talk about, you know, “Have a flooding basement? Call us.”
Brad Burrow: So, want to build that into your copy and your marketing messages and stuff.
Joel Hornbostel: Right, right. And then, you know, getting a little further than that, if you have the wherewithal to go ahead and start doing a blog, and you have a place on your website where you can keep the blogs… and I would strongly recommend this, because if you do search on Google — here we go again, search on Google — but if you search on Google “best way to get organic traffic to a website,” what everybody says is, you just creating content that speaks to the personas — or, in other words, the people that will visit to you — that resonates with the problems or issues that they have, and so that they will find that information and go to your website.
Joel Hornbostel: The way Google works is, and the way that they reward people to show up higher on organic searches is, is that you’re providing information; not just information, not just the keywords, but you’re providing it in a way that is valuable to the people searching. Google rewards that. When they do the crawls of your website — and believe me, they crawl your website — they will look for valuable information for the people that are doing the searches.
Brad Burrow: Based on what criteria, though? That’s always the question I have on that. So, it’s what Google thinks is important.
Joel Hornbostel: It’s what Google thinks is important. It’s what Google deems valuable to their customers. And so…
Brad Burrow: You’ve got to think like Google if you really want to be showing up on Google, right?
Joel Hornbostel: Exactly. And you know, they change those algorithms all the time. It wasn’t that long ago that the way that you showed up high on organic searches was you just flooded your coding with keywords, and so it would just… you know, Google would look into the coding and see the keyword, and you’d show up. Well, they figured out… it wasn’t too long when they realized that this isn’t valuable for our customers because…
Brad Burrow: It’s kind of just cheating the system a little bit.
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, and it’s cheating the system, and it’s like they’re rewarding people who just have good keywords in their coding and not someone who really knows what they’re talking about. So now, Google rewards websites that actually have valuable information. A good way to do that are the blogs. So if you… kind of going back, I keep going back to the plumber because of the ring… but if you’re a plumber, and you write a blog that is of value, that someone’s going to search, like, you know, “What’s the best way to… ”
Brad Burrow: Waterproof your basement.
Joel Hornbostel: Waterproof your basement, or ensure that my basement doesn’t flood or something; and you write a blog that speaks to that, then chances are pretty good that Google will crawl that, they’ll see it’s valuable, and you might show up in some searches, especially over a long period of time. Google is a very slow moving train. You’re not going to start showing up quickly, but if you consistently blog on a weekly basis — sometimes two and three times a week — with valuable content, Google will start rewarding you and having you appear higher in searches.
Joel Hornbostel: But again, it’s all about people providing value, and not talking about yourself. If your blog is, “Well, here at Sam’s Plumbing, we do a great job and you should call us because we’re good at waterproofing your basement,” Google… they might even penalize you for that.
Brad Burrow: They know that, though, huh? I mean, they can figure out that from the… ?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, they know that.
Brad Burrow: Really?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, so you’ve got to be careful. There’s a lot of best practices for blogging that I won’t go into, but just know that it needs to be a service for the customer. They like links to other valuable websites that can also back up what you’re saying; they like that. And it’s okay to do links to your website, you know, so you can — within your website — so you can get more traffic to your website. But again, wherever they link to, it has to be a value to the person that’s reading the blog.
Joel Hornbostel: And so, that’s one way; that’s just kind of the organic way to get traffic to a website.
Brad Burrow: Right.
Joel Hornbostel: And then there’s the whole paid, and then paid is a whole another… that’s where it…
Brad Burrow: Paying different prices based on different keywords, and…
Joel Hornbostel: It’s very complicated. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing paid advertising on Google Ad Words or Bing, or wherever; it’s a constant process to learn how to do it, and how to do it correctly. I’m still learning how to do it. And it’s really based on… you know, there’s a couple ways you can do it. Again, like you said, based on keywords; again, you take that list of keywords that you’ve established and you create search ads or text ads that will appear above the organic searches.
Brad Burrow: Right. There’s so many of those now. You go to Google, I mean, almost the whole first page is paid stuff, it looks like, to me. You got to go all the way at least halfway down the page to see the organic.
Joel Hornbostel: And then at the bottom, there’s more paid ads. And it’s not for the… a lot of these aren’t really for the small business, because they’re very expensive. If you’re in a business like plumbing, that the keyword… those could be some very expensive keywords. You know, five; six; seven; eight; sometimes 10 dollars a click.
Brad Burrow: Wow!
Joel Hornbostel: And so, if your budget is 20 dollars a day because that’s all you can afford, you know, a couple of clicks and you’re done.
Brad Burrow: You’ve got two clicks, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: So it’s really… PPC with Google Ads is more for people that can really afford it, because you got to invest. A lot of companies have average budgets of 10,000 dollars a month for Google Ads, you know, some of these larger companies, and that’s…
Brad Burrow: Small business can’t compete with that.
Joel Hornbostel: No, they can’t compete with that, but the third way that you can utilize Google is local searches.
Brad Burrow: Okay.
Joel Hornbostel: And this is something that I really recommended to my friend who has a local business, that they really invest some time in. And this is more for companies that are a small local business, but they’re a business that somebody will search, to go to, to find… it could be a destination point. They provide a service. And it falls within the parameters of a category that Google deems as a searchable, local category.
Joel Hornbostel: Now, what I mean by that is, is if you look on Google; like, let’s say you search “Kansas City plumbers.” I believe this would be one that would fall into a local search category. So, on the top, you’d have the paid ads; above the organic searches, though, you’d see a box, and it’ll list three plumbers in there, and then a map above it. And that’s called Google Local Search, and that is where… and again, those are not paid listings. Those can be the most valuable ones because this is somebody who’s looking, and if you’re in that top three of those — especially on your mobile device, because you can click to call, and things like that, but — those can be extremely valuable, and to get in the top three of that is kind of a different algorithm; those are based on reviews, those are based on how well…
Brad Burrow: Reviews is a big deal, isn’t it?
Joel Hornbostel: Reviews is a huge deal, and it’s getting more valuable.
Brad Burrow: By the way, go review Real Media real quick, everybody, as you’re listening. Give us five stars, please.
Joel Hornbostel: Five stars! Google Plus Business!
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Although it’s just Google Business now; is it still Google Plus? I can’t keep track of Google Business.
Brad Burrow: I’m not sure.
Joel Hornbostel: But anyway… it’s a great way… so, like, the criteria for that — I’m not sure of all the things — but I know some of the main things to get listed high on those. Of course, it’s based on location, if you’re in a certain location. But the reviews, and one that you can go in and find out how well you do on this… it’s also based on how well your listing is on other directories, whether it’s Yelp or Yellow Pages dot com, or…
Brad Burrow: UpCity is a new one.
Joel Hornbostel: CityPlaces, UpCity…
Brad Burrow: Have you heard of UpCity?
Joel Hornbostel: Is that kind of like a…
Brad Burrow: So yeah, it’s like a… I don’t know how to describe it, but like Yelp or something like that. And then, you know, Phil Singleton’s got the Blogger Local.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: And that is showing up really, really well on locals.
Joel Hornbostel: He shows up really high. Almost… if you do a “best plumber in Kansas City,” chances are that Local Blogger will come up, so he’s done a really good job because he’s an SCO expert, too.
Brad Burrow: The one thing, so… not to plug us too much, but we’re working with him on creating content. So, I’ve got a Blogger Local set, and we will bring in people that will — and people, I say small businesses that we interview. “Tell me about your business, what do you do, here’s… “; you know, what problems we solve, and whatever it is at discussion, and that content’s going out — that video content — which is helping connect people to them.
Brad Burrow: And they’re showing up, you know, usually in top three on organic searches now.
Joel Hornbostel: Wow!
Brad Burrow: So if you go to “video production Kansas City,” for example, click on that; Blogger Local comes up way before Real Media does. But if you go to Blogger Local, we’re number one on that list, which is great. So…
Joel Hornbostel: And when you get listed in a place like that, and have a backlink?
Brad Burrow: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joel Hornbostel: Backlinks are so important. Google looks at those quite a bit, too. So if you can get on a directory or another website that lists you as a resource for them, Google really loves that, too, going back to the organic conversation.
Joel Hornbostel: But with that local Google, one of the things you really want to do to get high on that is, I think a lot of people don’t realize that their listings on other directories are wrong; have incorrect information; maybe it just hasn’t been updated. Maybe the location of the address… like, what was here before you? What business…
Brad Burrow: Paddock Productions, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Okay, so there might be a directory out there that still says Paddock Productions, and you just haven’t updated it. Or yours is there and Paddock, and so there’s this conflict of two different places in the same address.
Joel Hornbostel: Well, if you go to Moz dot com — M-O-Z dot com — and go to local search, for free, you can plug in your… I think it’s your actual address, your physical address… I think your web address, maybe your phone number? And it’ll pull up where you’re wrong on what directory, so you can kind of get an idea of how accurate or inaccurate it is.
Joel Hornbostel: And the reason I bring this up, this is one of the best things for a small business to do, because if you… and of course, to get that fixed, you can pay Moz, but it’s actually pretty affordable; I think it’s, for an annual… I don’t know if it’s one time or it’s annual, but I think it’s less than a hundred dollars… but it’s completely worth it because then you can go in, get that updated; now, all of the sudden, Google says, “Okay, you’re listed correctly on all these websites.” You’re starting to get some reviews. All of the sudden, when someone Googles you for you and your service, you’re going to start showing up a little higher, hopefully get in that top three. So that’s a super…
Brad Burrow: That’s a big deal.
Joel Hornbostel: That’s a super good way to not spend a lot of money, but to help your business by getting people to find you quicker or above some of your competitors, and things like that; so, that’s a really good way to do that.
Brad Burrow: So Joel, I’m a small business and I want to get help in this area, you know? I’m sitting here and I understand some of this stuff, you know — I’m kind of role-playing a little bit here, but — I understand some of this stuff, but most people don’t understand it. What do I do? I mean, who do I call that could help me with things like this? Are there agencies out there that really just focus on that side of this deal?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, absolutely. I would just say to… sorry. What you should probably do is…
Brad Burrow: I mean, how do you find an agency like that?
Joel Hornbostel: Well, Kansas City is very agency-heavy, and I’m not sure why that is, but we have a big populace of agencies that can help with digital marketing.
Brad Burrow: You used to have an agency doing this, right?
Joel Hornbostel: Right, right. The agency I used to work at was called Bigshot Inbound. We focused more on the holistic view to marketing, kind of from an inbound perspective, which really took into account everything from content creation; to SCO optimization; to optimizing the website, creating the website, so that you could get… the idea being that from soup to nuts, you’re going to get everything that you kind of need to be optimized to get better organic results, and then with the paid, get better paid results.
Joel Hornbostel: So, there are certainly some places that do that. Inbound marketing is still a very… so, like, if you Google inbound marketing, there’ll probably be some agencies that do that. If you just want to do strictly more of a digital marketing perspective, there’s plenty out there. I wouldn’t venture to say over the other, but if you do Google “digital marketing Kansas City,” there’s a lot of…
Brad Burrow: So, there’s agencies that really could sit down with you and handle all of… every aspect of the SCO optimization, the paper click, and all of the nuances of what we’re talking about.
Joel Hornbostel: Right. Oh yeah, definitely. Everything about digital marketing is based on… is goal-setting. You know, what are your goals? What do you want? Do you want more traffic to your website? Do you want more business in your front door, if you’re a brick and mortar? Do you want more e-commerce? So, everything’s kind of based on… and then, of course, the second thing is how much can you spend? How much can you afford?
Joel Hornbostel: You know, if you have a pretty healthy budget, there’s a lot of things you can do. I think, number one… a lot of people will say that the Google Ads is the best spend you can do, but it takes a lot of money; but the rewards can be great. Personally, I think that if you have time and you have the patience, and you have the wherewithal, the ability, and you can create your own content, you can get online to optimize your website? There’s a lot you can learn on the Internet yourself, and to be able to generate that organic traffic and get higher in local searches before you have to resort to spending that kind of a spend for Ad Words, but…
Brad Burrow: See, I don’t think the average business owner’s going to do that. They’re too busy. Small business owners are too busy doing everything else in their business. They don’t have time to do that, in my opinion.
Joel Hornbostel: They are. Right, that’s why I say if you have wherewithal; but if you don’t, I mean, at the very least, get optimized on… you know, use the Moz to get your… get all the correct name, address, phone number, all that correct throughout the all different directories. That’s a really good start.
Joel Hornbostel: Oh, and the other thing I haven’t even mentioned is social media. Of course, social media is huge. Again, depending on the business, that should also be part of your goals, but different channels work better for different businesses, depending on if you’re B-to-B or B-to-C; if you’re a B-to-C, Facebook is still champion for generating traffic, generating interest.
Brad Burrow: Isn’t that really, though, based on demographic?
Joel Hornbostel: Not necessarily.
Brad Burrow: Really?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah.
Brad Burrow: Because I’m thinking older demographic, that’s going to be real good for Facebook; where, like, you know, if you’re trying to reach my son, who’s 18, he doesn’t even look at Facebook.
Joel Hornbostel: Does he do Instagram?
Brad Burrow: Yeah, and Snapchat.
Joel Hornbostel: Well, you know, Facebook is connected with Instagram, so you can set up a campaign so that you’re doing boosted posts. You know, you can do a post…
Brad Burrow: Oh, through both.
Joel Hornbostel: And then you can boost, and then you can click on, you know, boost on Instagram, as well, so you can… that’s the other thing, if you don’t have an Instagram account, make sure and create one. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, make sure and create one, because again, with B-to-C, Pinterest is huge.
Joel Hornbostel: If you’re B-to-B, LinkedIn should be part of your…
Brad Burrow: Yeah, LinkedIn’s doing live video now. Is that right? I thought I saw something where they’re starting to actually take live video feeds now.
Joel Hornbostel: I think you’re right, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that video, when it comes to — across the board, not just social media — but video gets such very high engagement on social posts that it beats everything. So, again, if you have that capacity to create video… and you know, video can be… like, what you do with very high production values, but it could also be just start out maybe doing it within your office, doing some video; as long as it’s consistent and you create content of value, again, going back to that content of value.
Brad Burrow: Content of value, big deal, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: To the people, the personas… the people that you want to reach, and determining who your personas are is extremely important.
Brad Burrow: Because it’s not that easy, really; I mean, for some people… I know struggle with that a little bit.
Joel Hornbostel: HubSpot has a Persona Creation template that I would recommend people download. I think you can just Google “HubSpot Persona template,” and it can help you walk through the process of understanding who your personas are, because if you don’t have a grasp on who your personas are, and who you’re trying to reach, then you’re kind of wallowing in darkness, because you’re not engaging with the customers the way you could be. And what I mean by that is that, if you narrow down exactly who you want to reach, then all of the sudden, when you start writing content or creating content — whether it’s a blog or a video — you have the persona in your mind, you’re just like, “Well, what’s that person asking? What’s he searching for on Google? What’s his interest? What’s his pay point?” And then you could answer that with this content; the content comes out of the persona creation, and it just makes it so much easier.
Joel Hornbostel: And then, all of the sudden, your engagement goes up. Google likes what you’re doing. Again, it’s not overnight, but it’s a great thing, and the other thing about organic traffic, organic content creation is, is it’s always there. It’s like this little garden you grow that’s always growing and getting bigger. It doesn’t stop. It’s like when you put up — no offense to billboard folks — but when you put up a billboard with a message, it’s up there, and you get repeated viewings; but then when it’s down, it’s gone.
Joel Hornbostel: And with organic content creation, Google… you know, that equity you build up and that content is always growing, because it’s always getting more likes and views, and you’re building that equity up.
Brad Burrow: It’s like your 24/7 sales team is out there working for you all the time, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Exactly. And it’s growing, and your sales force is growing, because… so, it just builds on each other; the more content, the more things that you can put out there that are of value to your customers, the better off you’re going to be.
Brad Burrow: So one of the things that you mentioned is video — obviously something we do here — but I really want to get into the storytelling aspect of it, you know. You can slide that back if you need to. But the storytelling aspect of video… you know, so I’ve seen a lot of people… I heard an SCO guy say one time, it’s like, “Just put the video out there,” and he just put text up on a black screen, but it’s video. That is not what you need, you know?
Brad Burrow: Yeah, it’s video out there and it might be getting searched on YouTube or whatever, but it’s video that really is connecting with your audience; that’s what I really like to focus on, is storytelling with purpose, is what I call it.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: So, the persona fits it exactly; I call it target audience. You want to understand who you’re speaking to, you want to speak to them in a voice that they recognize — your style. So, a teenager’s going to get a different type of delivery than a senior citizen, for example; and then we’re going to ask them to do something.
Brad Burrow: Can you talk about, you know, video from your point of view, and the importance, I guess, of storytelling is where I really am going with this, and why… you know, especially millennials today, you’ve got to engage them.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: You know, and that’s the storytelling aspect of video. Would you agree with that?
Joel Hornbostel: Oh yeah, absolutely. And the thing about video is, is depending on the format, if you’re doing a — say, a webinar — it could be longer; but video, for the most part, needs to be short and to the point. So, that would be the challenge of storytelling, is you got to tell the story in a shorter period of time, but that’s certainly not impossible. In fact, it’s quite doable.
Joel Hornbostel: But videos is very compelling because, first of all, it’s a visual medium, and just by nature, we’re attracted to a visual medium. And if you’re doing something that gives you kind of an authoritative voice, the video enhances that, as well, so now you’re connecting with a person with that authoritative voice and again, that builds a little brand equity; it builds a little better connection with the audience, because people connect better when they see the person. And if it’s on a consistent basis, like if you’re doing a video channel and it’s the same person — they keep speaking with the same authoritative voice, and it’s a content of value — then you’re just, again, you’re building that equity. It’s just incredible.
Joel Hornbostel: But, it still has to engage the audience in a way that they’re going to be able to relate to, and like you said, with the storytelling, if you can tell a relatable story; relatable idea, or concept that they can relate to, or maybe it’s something they didn’t even think of, that is a new idea; how they can improve on their life or product, or whatever it is — career choices; video… nothing really works as well as video to do that, I don’t think.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Are you familiar with the brand DC Shoes?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah.
Brad Burrow: Do you watch any of their videos at all?
Joel Hornbostel: I think I have in the past.
Brad Burrow: So, I have to put a link under the podcast for this, but they are… so I’ve spoken at some conferences about storytelling. Their whole marketing — which I think they’re a 60 million dollar company, you know, they make the shoes that the skateboarders and the kids like —
Joel Hornbostel: Like me?
Brad Burrow: Yeah. I saw you were wearing some when you walked in here that are really nice.
Joel Hornbostel: I have some Vans that my daughter does not let me wear. She’s like, “Take those off.”
Brad Burrow: “Don’t let me see you wearing those again!”
Brad Burrow: Anyway, so they do these videos that… one of them was a motorcycle that goes on the water. So, I read the story, I think they spent a million dollars making this video; so, their whole marketing budget goes to these YouTube videos, and they’re incredible YouTube videos. Nothing to do whatsoever with seeing a shoe, or anything that they actually sell, but it’s connecting with the kids that are skateboarders. They think, “Wow, this is the coolest thing ever,” and their brand is being built, and they’re selling shoes because of that story.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: That, to me, is really interesting.
Joel Hornbostel: Well, YouTube is probably going to surpass other social channels, as far as viewership and engagement, because it’s a monster right now, and especially for the millennials and the Gen Z. They just… my daughter’s on YouTube all the time.
Brad Burrow: My son, too!
Joel Hornbostel: I don’t even think my daughter watches anything else.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Unless it’s Netflix or something. But there’s whole seasons of shows that are exclusive to YouTube — daily-type shows — and as a business tool, it’s invaluable, because you know, those videos that you have on your website or you post in Facebook on social media? They’re still housed on YouTube and helping you increase your engagement. I mean, it’s a monster, and it’s only going to get better.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Do you believe the story aspect of creating videos is important? I mean, you know, actually connecting with an audience and… you know, if you look at the arc of how a feature film is written, that type of thing? We try to do our content similar to that, you know, obviously a one-minute feature film has a… the arc happens at…
Joel Hornbostel: I think it really depends on the business. If you’re, say, a charity or a not-for-profit, there’s no better way to get a message across than to tell a story, because your goal is to get donations; and to get donations, you kind of got to pull on some heartstrings.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Connect emotionally.
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah. Emotional connection; really, that’s what movies, music, anything is; it’s an emotional connection.
Brad Burrow: That’s right, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: If you create that emotional connection with someone — and again, no better way to do the video is than — than yeah, storytelling is… there’s no better way to do it.
Joel Hornbostel: I mean, if you’re… I guess it depends, you know, you just might have a business where there’s no story to tell, but most business have a story to tell; so if you can get that across in a video? Yeah, it’s incredible.
Brad Burrow: I mean, you think about a plumber or some place like that… you know, “What’s my story?” But we’ve done TV spots for heating and cooling companies, and places like that, and there are some real strong storylines that you can build visually that connect people.
Joel Hornbostel: Right.
Brad Burrow: It’s not just about heating and cooling.
Joel Hornbostel: Right, right. Right. Like you said, as long as there’s an emotional connection, and you can make that emotional connection.
Brad Burrow: So, tell me some of the things — I don’t know if you can disclose it or not — but some of the things you’re doing with NASB.
Joel Hornbostel: NASB.
Brad Burrow: NASB.
Joel Hornbostel: North American Savings Bank.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, I mean, are you guys using some of these things? Social media, search, all of those things?
Joel Hornbostel: All of those things.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: And we have a great marketing team that uses… you know, we do blogs twice a week. We’re doing social every day. We are beginning to incorporate additional marketing channels and opportunities. We do a lot of… we do paid ads, we do…
Brad Burrow: Are you researching this constantly now, to see kind of where you guys need to go for… ?
Joel Hornbostel: Always, always, especially with… the financial industry poses some interesting complications because of… especially the recent Facebook changes; you have to be really careful. They don’t allow certain advertising to post if it’s for a certain audience; the same thing with Google. Like, we’re trying to do some remarketing and they won’t let us re-target because we’re a bank.
Brad Burrow: Why would that make any difference whatsoever?
Joel Hornbostel: The nearest I can tell is because if your product could be served to an audience that — I hope I don’t get this wrong — that could potentially be marginalized financially or something… you know, the messaging… you’re exploiting someone is not financially well-off; it’s something like that. But all I know is they wouldn’t let me re-target, and I was like, “What?”
Brad Burrow: Wow.
Joel Hornbostel: But, so there are some challenges, and you know, we have a lot of restrictions. There’s just a lot of…
Brad Burrow: I know you can’t say a lot of things from a financial standpoint.
Joel Hornbostel: Every thing that we do goes through our compliance department, and they approve things and change things.
Brad Burrow: Every social media post?
Joel Hornbostel: Everything.
Brad Burrow: Everything, huh?
Joel Hornbostel: Everything.
Brad Burrow: That must be all they do every day, then!
Joel Hornbostel: That is, pretty much, and I’m constantly saying, “Sorry, more. You know, here it is. I’m sorry to add more time to your day.”
Brad Burrow: “Sorry, sorry!” Wake up in the morning; “Sorry, honey.” “Why do you say that?”
Joel Hornbostel: No, they’re great people. It’s a great place to work. I really like working at NASB.
Brad Burrow: So, going to wrap up pretty soon here, but I’m really interested to know, from a strategy standpoint, how are you guys handling your calendar? Are you using HubSpot or something like that to do the posting? So, for example, do you guys have meetings where you kind of plan out monthly, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to cover this month.” Do you plan that out each day, or how do you guys approach that?
Joel Hornbostel: Yes. It’s everything; it’s quarterly, monthly, daily. We do use Hootsuite.
Brad Burrow: Hootsuite, okay.
Joel Hornbostel: That’s for our social. We do meet to discuss which blogs will be that week, so that we can plan accordingly for the social aspect; and then for the other days where we don’t promote blogs, what kind of social posts are coming up? We’re very event-driven, whether it’s helping maybe some of our charitable folks that we help out. We’ll promote some of the events that they’re doing or our participation with it, or we’ll promote internal fun events and things.
Joel Hornbostel: We’re a big participant in the Corporate Challenge, so consequently, we’ll do some posts on our employees doing that. We recently combined our two main headquarters into one, so now we’re… we did some posts about that, you know, bringing all of our groups together. So there’s a lot of things that we also promote internally and externally.
Brad Burrow: So you kind of know that stuff’s coming down the pike, and you’re planning for it.
Joel Hornbostel: Right, exactly.
Brad Burrow: Are you doing any video content on any of that?
Joel Hornbostel: We do a little bit of video. We do some internal video. Yeah. We totally recognize that video’s important, too. And another thing that’s kind of interesting about Facebook is, again, we recognize that we’ve done a lot of A-B testing, and we’re on what gets the highest engagement, and it is video, slideshows.
Brad Burrow: Slideshows, huh?
Joel Hornbostel: Well, yeah, actually Facebook has… you can go in to Facebook and create your own ad through the Facebook platform, where you can upload images and they can do… they can create an ad for you that has some animation and…
Brad Burrow: Yeah, like, “We’ve been friends for ten years.”
Joel Hornbostel: Kind of like that, yeah, but a little more professional.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, yeah, I got you.
Joel Hornbostel: That’s funny.
Joel Hornbostel: But, yeah, so there’s… we’re doing all those things, and we’re still doing more. We’re going to have a new website that’s coming out by the end of the summer; so that’s been a challenge, that’s been taking up a lot of my time recently, because I’m, again, optimizing those new pages.
Brad Burrow: Oh, you’re doing that yourself then, huh?
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah. Well, I have some help, but for the most part, I’m putting the keywords in, making sure that the content is readable and optimized, and we’re laying it out correctly, and you know, we’re putting the right resources in there, like video, e-books. And that’s another thing, you know, just writing e-books is something that I strongly recommend, as well, because again, it’s what we call a CTA — call to action — an offer. It gives someone an opportunity for you to… and that’s a whole another conversation, but when you want to collect…
Brad Burrow: Inbound strategy is what we’re talking about.
Joel Hornbostel: Right, yeah. If you want to gather leads, give them something. And if you create an e-book, that can be a valuable resource for free for them to download, and tell a little bit more about answering their question; in exchange for giving that e-book, they have to give you their name and email address, all of the sudden, now you have a lead that you can follow up with later or continue to nurture to turn them into a customer from that.
Brad Burrow: The rabbit trail keeps going, doesn’t it?
Joel Hornbostel: It does. You know, I can talk forever — and again, I’m not an expert, there’s probably someone out there right now going, like, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about” — but as long as you just recognize that Google rewards people who give valuable content to people who use their platform, that’s one of the main things you need to recognize. That, and create content that speaks to your personas, and you know, you’ll be ahead of the game just with those two things.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Well, man, this has really been great. I want to have you back again because I would love to go down some of those rabbit trails. One of the things I really want to talk about maybe next time is geo-fencing.
Joel Hornbostel: Yes. Geo-fencing versus geo-framing; and I know about geo-framing more than geo-fencing, because I think geo-fencing, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about that, about how people are getting information on people that visit areas and then being able to market to those. And there’s a lot of different ways… I think, every day there’s some other new way to do that; and it’s a really interesting way to market to people. And it’s also kind of… it falls under the creepy category.
Brad Burrow: Well, I was just going to say, creepy, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: Because people are like, “How do they know that… “?
Brad Burrow: Stalker, yeah.
Joel Hornbostel: “How do they know that I was there?”
Brad Burrow: Yeah, so maybe that’s something we can discuss, is the ethics of that.
Joel Hornbostel: Sure, yeah. Right, right.
Brad Burrow: You know, I went to the pet store, and all of a sudden, now I’m getting ads from the local dog trainer.
Joel Hornbostel: Right, what’s up with that?
Brad Burrow: Yeah, yeah. Very interesting. Man, it changes every day. It’s impossible to keep up with it.
Joel Hornbostel: Yeah, yeah, every day.
Brad Burrow: Well, Joel, thanks for joining us.
Joel Hornbostel: Sure, my pleasure.
Brad Burrow: I really appreciate it, and we will definitely have you back again sometime, because I love getting into the technology side of it, even though we’re just a basic video; so, you know, we’re one tool that can be used…
Joel Hornbostel: But you’re a very valuable tool.
Brad Burrow: Well, I hope that that stays true.
Brad Burrow: This in In a World with Real Media. I appreciate you listening. Share this with your friends, you know. We’d love to have people listen to the podcast. Send us questions. You can email me, Brad@realmediakc.com, if you’re interested in hearing more, or maybe even like to be on the podcast. So, there you go. We’ll see you guys next time.