Episode 7: "The Brandwagon Interviews" Podcast with Patrick Campbell of ProfitWell
September 26, 2019
From tactics to taglines, Wistia’s CEO, Chris Savage, chats marketing with the brains behind successful brands on our new video series, Brandwagon. Last week, Chris sat down with Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer and Head of UM Studios at the full-service media agency UM Worldwide, to learn about the agency’s award-winning documentary film, 5B. Today, we’re excited to share our extended interview with this week’s guest, Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell.
Check out the episode to hear Patrick talk about why the B2B SaaS company shifted its content strategy to create binge-worthy shows that focus on building an engaged audience for their brand.
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Watch the actual Brandwagon episode here!
ProfitWell provides pricing and retention solutions to subscription-based companies. Like many marketers, the business once was all-in on cranking out written content to offer value and convert people into customers. However, Patrick Campbell noticed the declining effectiveness of e-books and blog posts in terms of company resources and gaining fans for their brand.
Today, Patrick has steered ProfitWell toward producing shows and restructured his team to accommodate this new initiative. The business currently has over 10 shows in the works and is fully invested in marketing their content like a media company. On this episode, we hear more about how the creation of episodic video content has become one of ProfitWell’s primary marketing vehicles.
“For us, we think about needing to be one of the centers of the subscription ecosystem, and one of the main ways that we think we’re going to be able to do that is actually treating content like shows — like we’re building an actual network that’ll allow us to build subscribers, build brand, build that experience, and be one of the authorities within the space. ” On this episode of The Brandwagon Interviews, Patrick Campbell describes the impact producing shows as a content strategy has had on the company and the brand.
Here are some of the lessons learned throughout the episode:
- Treat the video content you create like a product
- Develop an engaged audience by appealing to a niche
- Reframe and reuse your master content for marketing purposes
Short on time? Check out some of our favorite moments during this interview between Chris and Patrick.
4:54 - Subscription-business experts
After some healthy talk about oat milk, favorite films, and magicians, Chris dives in with some questions for Patrick Campbell of ProfitWell. ProfitWell provides analytics and products to help subscription-based companies grow their businesses. Patrick gives an overview of ProfitWell and shares how they’re treating their content as a product, creating shows as one of their primary marketing vehicles.
6:30 - Using shows to build their brand
Using shows to promote an analytics and reporting company is an interesting strategy. Savage asks how Patrick got started creating shows. Campbell, who has a data-science background, talks about how ProfitWell went from blogging and creating e-books to producing shows and their thinking behind that shift. He shares some data around the density of written content, including statistics about the declining effectiveness of e-books and the average cost of creating a written offer sequence vs. creating a show. Plus, Patrick explains how shows at “the bottom of the top of the funnel” is where your audience is more likely to binge.
13:21 - Matching an audience with your show
ProfitWell produces multiple shows, including Pricing Page Teardown, Subscription 60, The ProfitWell Report, and Protect the Hustle. How is ProfitWell thinking about their audiences when they’re making these shows? They’ve considered the audience with each one of their shows, and Patrick discusses the production implications around their decision making.
15:47 - Team and production value
Patrick and Chris talk about where ProfitWell’s production team started and where it’s headed. The company kicked off its show production with one videographer, and they’ve evolved into a larger team to help service the other shows they’re launching. According to Patrick, creating a show is easier than most companies think, but it’s also more than simply mirroring the style of other show creators out there, like Gary Vaynerchuck.
20:32 - How to get started
What’s Campbell’s advice for people who are getting started and want to make shows? Patrick’s answer: hire a videographer. You’ll be making great content to push your business forward, and it’s about the same cost as hiring a content manager.
21:41 - The why of shows
Savage wonders, “Why a show model?” Campbell shares his thinking and talks about how nurture and other content campaigns focus on conversion instead of building an audience. Shows, on the other hand, make it all about the audience. And while shows put the responsibility of conversion on the audience (which requires you to have a bit more faith in the content), they also keep your customers engaged rather than aggravated. In a time where customer acquisition costs are up 70%, value is what’s selling. The best way to demonstrate your value is to show off your brand.
25:03 - “Consume a ton of content”
What was the iterative process that ProfitWell went through to get where they are now? What did they learn along the way? Patrick suggests that persona-based shows are the way to go at first and to dive into a topic that’s pretty specific. Another thing? Consume a ton of content! Watch makeup tutorials, watch ESPN, watch Gary V, watch the nightly news — catalog formats. Patrick encourages people to be OK with niche audiences. You may not see the impact right away, but there’s inherent volume in developing an engaged audience.
27:17 - (Show)verview
Speaking about how many shows the business is currently producing, Campbell shares that they’re working on over 10 distinct shows at the moment and describes how they landed on each show’s concept. They also talk about how Profitwell sees the content as a product and how they’re marketing that content. Patrick talks about how their shows can be broken down to use as social media content so that all of their master content can be reframed and reused for marketing purposes.
36:45 - What’s working? And what’s not?
With so much riding on their content, what’s working and what’s not working for ProfitWell as they’ve started using this strategy? Campbell considers what’s working from a production standpoint and how they arrived at their current production workflow. On the other hand, Patrick talks about how creative burnout has affected their team and how they’re trying to address the issue by restructuring their team.
41:24 - The ProfitWell production team
Just under 10% of the staff at ProfitWell make up the production team. Patrick details how their team is structured and reveals that the production team is their entire content team. Making shows is nearly all of their marketing efforts at this time, but the strategy is having an incredible impact on the business while building their brand in unprecedented ways.
44:52 - The power of the superfan
ProfitWell has a #1 superfan! Having a relationship with that customer has encouraged them to make content for an audience of one person. Savage talks about the power of brand ambassadors and how making videos for small audiences can have a big impact on your business. They discuss how traditional companies are afraid of the “show” approach and Patrick suggests that only a few things need to happen to make a successful show — though having a VP or a CMO with a vision is pretty important.
51:06 - The modern network
Patrick firmly believes networks are the best companies in the world at acquiring audiences. ProfitWell is calling itself a network and Savage wants to know why. Hear the decision behind this statement and the brands that inspired the language around their show offerings — including the Bloomberg network (as opposed to the Bloomberg Terminal).
We covered a lot in this episode! But, here are some notable mentions throughout the podcast: