By Ian Stonebrook
The Best Served Podcast Team is all about content creation and social sharing. Always pushing each other, Jensen Cummings has combined creatives with writing skills, marketing strategy and more to tell stories of the restaurant industry in a way that’s engaging and educational.
Never shy to share, Jensen Cummings and his Best Served Podcast crew jumped on a video call and Clubhouse with Shawn Walchef’s Cali BBQ Media team to talk tips regarding content creation in the digital age.
So, what happens when two of the most forward-thinking teams in the food-meets-media space come together? Get the big takeaways below.
Strategy is Both Scheduling and Curiosity:
Whether you’re running a media company or running a restaurant, everyone on board needs to know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. Setting up systems of scheduling is essential to success in any field.
“If it's not on a calendar it does not exist,” says Andrew Parr of The Best Served Creative team. “It's got to be there.”
Andrew knows this firsthand, often working with writer Sophie Braker on projects that position a podcast to live a month past its publish date. This same type of decided creation and promotion calendar is essential at Cali BBQ Media.
“Think about what the most important thing you want to publish is and put it on a schedule," says Stover Harger, editor for Cali BBQ Media. “You have to have a schedule.”
While schedules can feel like rigid constraints to some creatives, they’re still essential for accountability and business success.
Still, making meaningful content and spreading it out there in the best way possible is a sweet science that relies on interpersonal dialogue.
“The ability to keep the lines of communication open, clear and flowing is the most difficult part of this entire process of being a media company,” admits Jensen.
It also comes down to being curious enough to understand what’s new and what’s next.
“Corey has a document where we are actively researching and understanding hashtags,” notes Jensen. “What are the hashtags within any series of shows that we do, any topic that we're focused on?”
By understanding important hashtags, The Best Served Podcast can promote their content to an engaged audience and also get a gage on what type of content that audience wants next. For both Best Served and Cali BBQ, what’s next is often understanding new mediums such as TikTok.
“TikTok is a new platform and we're all figuring it out,” shares Stover. “Posting every day is important because it makes it a habit.”
By creating content on the daily and scheduling ahead, your curiosity and your preparation can make for powerful stories that are even easier to find.
Use Your Tools
Every day, a new app launches with the ability to totally transform your business.
At Cali BBQ, the team has been using a transcription service to better repurpose the conversations from the Digital Hospitality Podcast.
“We use a service called Trint,” Stover beams. “They have a plan that lets you do unlimited transcripts. When you have a piece of audio or video, you just upload them and then it transcribes it and sends you a notification when it's done. It takes about an hour and it does a really good job.”
Not only does the technical support of Trint turn content around faster, it enables creatives to make better content in faster fashion.
“I've become a better writer by working with Trint,” acknowledges Cali BBQ author Ian Stonebrook. “I can listen passively and really focus on what catches my ear.”
Whether it’s a transcription service or a scheduling service, there are plenty of tools out there to make your life easier and your business sharper.
Still, the most valuable tool is already in your possession.
“We have this incredible tool in our pocket that connects us all over the globe,” says Shawn of the smartphone.
Video Content Creates More Content:
Not all forms of content are created equal. The most powerful of them all? Video.
Not only is video the most engaging because it allows the eyes and the ears to dive in, it is the most dissectible as a video can become a podcast when extracting only the audio, a photo when using screenshots or an article when pulling quotes.
“Any video,” starts Stover, “a one on one conversation or just a short interview between one of your staff and yourself or you and a friend, you can turn that into an article by running it through transcription software, pulling out relevant quotes and then just putting a few things in between them to keep them flowing.”
At Cali BBQ Media, Shawn has made the most of his TV appearances on local news to access high quality video of himself and share it on an array of platforms.
“What's even more valuable is paying for the licensing,” shares Shawn on his TV spots. “We paid a company $35 to get an HD copy of that news appearance, which we would then use for LinkedIn, Instagram and now use for TikTok. I'm literally repurposing old news content that I have because it's native video that we own.”
The tale of the tape reveals this. Look on Cali BBQ’s social streams or blog and you will see plenty of pieces of content created from video appearances of Shawn on local TV.
Your Story Matters:
To be a brand now or in the future, you have to have a story as much as you must have a product or service. This emotional attachment to what you do and why you do it is essential when connecting with consumers looking to join you on your journey.
“What we're seeing now is the resurgence of storytelling,” states Jensen. “It's the only thing that matters. We talk about it a lot: stop selling food, start telling stories. Food is just the proof that you are who you say you are. You're exactly the right person to tell your story because nobody else can. So that's the focus point of all this. If you want to become your own personal brand, your own media brand, as a restaurant, you have to decide that.”
Jensen and his team at The Best Served Podcast are committed to telling stories and inspiring others to do the same.
Similarly, Cali BBQ Media is focused on the same goal. While the crew works on an array of platforms to tell their stories, the focal point all comes back to the Digital Hospitality Podcast. Knowing that has allowed the team to remain diligent in creating every week with intention that is honest and admirable to all who tune in.
“What is the most important thing that we want to get out there to tell people about?” Stover asks the world and himself. “For us, it's our podcast. Our podcast lets us put out something every week, break it up into other pieces of media and then release those online so we’re everywhere at once.”
To sum it up, be everywhere at once by telling your story on all platforms. Make sure when you’re telling your story, tell it first in the best way on the best platform possible and repurpose the standout quotes and points to each avenue from there.
Ian Stonebrook is a freelance writer and online content creator based out of Austin, TX. In his free time he loves playing basketball, reading, and hanging out with friends and family. He joined the Cali BBQ Media content team in 2020. Email Ian to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.