Do you know how to build a content strategy around low-volume search terms?

Why shouldn’t professional athletes be allowed to have Twitter accounts?

What is the best cover of Toto’s “Africa”?

These are just a few of the questions we tackle in our inaugural podcast, “Above the Fold.”

Every week, Jeff “the data and analytics guy” Baker (a.k.a, Maverick)  and Francis “the creative rainbows and flowers guy” Ma (a.k.a wishes he was Viper but is much more like Goose) discuss three content marketing themes that are relevant to industry veterans and noobs alike.

Each segment begins as a 20-second “brain dump” that segues into a bigger conversation.

This duo gets pretty lively as they explore, among other things, good branding on social media, stuff that turns a company blog into a dumpster fire, holiday content campaigns, SEO strategies for already-established businesses, whether eBooks or white papers are better and, of course, humanity’s inevitable demise at the hands of machines.

But don’t take my word for it. The reviews are magnificent:

  • The New York Times: “‘Above the Fold’ lives up to its name. This is the only news that’s fit to print.”
  • The Denver Post: “If Baker is fire, Ma is ice. At once cool, rounded and pointed like the icicles here in Colorado.”
  • Entertainment Weekly: “Michael Bay’s sound team just got schooled by Greg in New Zealand [our remote editing guy].”

Listen now

Content marketing on the cob

The true beauty of Above the Fold is its accessibility. One of the big issues Ma and Baker frequently contend with in this space is knowledge disparity. You encounter just as many connoisseurs as philistines in content marketing, or as Ma put it:

“We are still in an industry that, at times, has to explain to people what we do. At some point, we need people to gain a basic understanding of how we fit into a business plan.”

Baker, meanwhile, expressed his desire to bring something fresh to the more seasoned marketer’s ear.

“We want to bring some fun to the everyday digital marketer. We want to address the controversial topics and call out the good, and the bad things going on in digital marketing.”

So far, they’ve walked that line with gusto. Heated discussions about SEO occasionally flare out into entertaining tangents, like the one about Baker being too drunk to whittle at Lake Tahoe (true story, and also, what?).

But the conversation always meanders back to the issue at hand. Take the example of episode 3, “When your blog turns into a dumpster fire.” Baker points out that one of the most common mistakes he sees brands make is being more concerned about what they want to say than what their audience wants to hear.

“Visitors are there to learn or to be entertained,” Baker said. “If you’re not doing either one of those things, they don’t care about you.”

For Ma, ever the scribe’s advocate, good blog content also needs to be well-written, and it needs to be clean for credibility’s sake.

“Each story has exit points and one of them for me is a typo,” Ma said. “It can lose authority in my eyes … if there is a typo, what else did they miss?”

Other exit points? Using overly technical language that your audience won’t understand, not being genuine, failing to have a strong voice and of course, talking to the wrong audience.

It only gets better from here

Baker and Ma will be the first to tell you they’re podcast novices – they say as much on the air. But each episode has been an improvement over the last which means I fully expect to see the duo’s finest work on the forthcoming episode 5.

Plus, Baker has promised to perform his own cover of Africa on the air once we hit 50 episodes.

Speaking of which, this is the best cover of “Africa” so far (thanks Greg in New Zealand for showing this to us, and sorry, Weezer):

Five down. Forty-five to go.

Dominick Sorrentino is a senior writer in Chicago. He's a wordsmith who endeavors to use language, story-telling and creativity to solve problems. He enjoys pizza, the musical styling of A Tribe Called Quest, traveling, a good conversation and, of course, putting pen to paper.