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Content Warfare with Google Plus – Ryan Hanley

Content Warfare with Google Plus – Ryan Hanley

AIR DATE: July 2nd, 12:30pm ET
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This week, we welcome Ryan Hanley of Content Warfare to the show. Ryan has brought so much knowledge and passion to Google+, and built an audience that is helping to get a book funded, keep him in one of the top spots on the iTunes podcast charts, and so much more. If you have any questions about how he’s used Google+ for writing, marketing, and podcasting, bring them to this week’s show.

Google+ Business Spotlight Recap

Ben took the helm today and the two of them were so fired up they just dug right in.

Switching from podcasts to Hangouts on Air

Content Warfare started off as an audio-only show, and for sixty episodes Ryan was able to utilize all the things that audio brought to the table for a content producer: the flexibility of editing, timing, the ease of distribution, and making adjustments using feedback from his growing audience.

After trying Hangouts on Air early in the product’s life cycle, the audio quality wasn’t high enough to strip and repurpose as a podcast. However, that has changed, and when Ryan switched to the live Hangouts on Air format he instantly realized the live component allows you to get insights out of your guest that weren’t as possible before, mostly because the guest knew that people are listening as they speak, so they really open up.

The rawness and honesty of the discussion was so powerful that the podcast got better, to the effect that his subscriber base grew 108% after the first month of switching to hangouts.

Here is the process Ryan uses to convert the HOA to a podcast:

  1. Host the Hangout on Air
  2. At the end, the video is saved to YouTube
  3. Download the mp4 file for the video
  4. Bring the video into Audacity and add his pre-recorded intro and outro
  5. Take the mp4 file and upload to Audacity which strips the audio
  6. Submit the mp3 to iTunes and Stitcher

The live discussion effect

When you are speaking to someone over Skype for a podcast interview, and know that nobody is listening, the conversation is more generic. However, in a live setting, and one with the visual component that we have with Hangouts on Air, you get the following additional effects:

  • Body language of the guest
  • Reactions to questions
  • You are speaking to an audience who is listening and interacting in a live comment stream

Sarah Sever’s question at 11:00 gets her own segment

How do you find and attract your audience?¬†Ryan just puts it out there in a genuine manner, admitting issues he’s having, and bringing him down to the same level as the people that interact with him. That tends to attract people looking for the same type of relationships and information.

How do you sustain engagement with a growing audience? When you create content as if you are having a conversation with them, instead of “preaching” to them, you can connect with them on a larger scale. Everybody feels like they’re having a one-on-one discussion with you when you do this.

What are your three preferred curating and social media listening tools? Pinterest, a Google+ private community, StumbleUpon also helps Ryan find totally unique content that nobody is talking about in his immediate circles. It helps give him ideas and inspiration. For listening, Feed.ly.

Content Creation on Google+

At 17:45, Ryan talks about original content on Google+, and how well posts do that he creates directly on Google+. Specifically, 250-500 word thoughts that could help develop ideas further.

And props to Lisa Engles for the comment that we are moving from a “WE” space to a “ME” space. Very insightful, Lisa! (keep watching for a great mini-rant about the word “follower” too)

Building a tribe to write a book

At 21:00 we start talking about a milestone for Ryan that happened the week we aired this show. The Content Warfare Book is a distillation of 88 conversations with people through Ryan’s podcast, which developed and matured his line of thinking for content marketing.

Ryan crowdfunded the book using Publishizr, and it is fully funded. Two reasons he crowdfunded the book:

1) Idea validation – he wants people to understand what the book is all about, and if they didn’t think it was a good enough book to write, it wouldn’t get written.

2) Audience activation – Ryan didn’t just want people to say “this is a great idea” he wanted people to show him “this is a great idea.” And there is no better way to do that then to ask someone to buy something they can’t even get for a few months. (Watch until 27:00 for a great insight on audience activation and crowdfunding)

Bonus Content!

Since Ryan officially launched his new company, Hanley Media Lab, the day before this show aired, we thought we’d give him a platform to talk about it, starting at about 28:00.

Also, Ryan announced (for the very first time publicly) a new WordPress theme called Authority, which is going to run on the Thesis framework. Listen in at around the 30:30 mark for complete details.

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