We’ve all heard of Salesforce, right? But did you know that they have more than two dozen podcasts around the world? Yes, you read that right. Talk about a huge podcast network!
This may seem like a ton, but when you think about the sheer size of Salesforce, from locations to employees to customers, it checks out. And when you hear more about their stance on the place of podcasting in a business, it really clicks.
For Salesforce, especially for their flagship podcast, Marketing Cloudcast, it’s not about peddling the Salesforce products, instead it’s about adding value to their audience. For the Marketing Cloudcast, it’s about marketers helping marketers.
So how is the team at Salesforce using this methodology to drive this popular show forward? Let’s dive deeper into a conversation we had with Megan Collins, Tina Rozul, and Connor Wiegmann to find out.
While passion might not seem like the obvious first choice for an important aspect of a podcast (ahem… to clarify, it is), for the team working on Marketing Cloudcast, it’s non-negotiable.
Strategy is incredibly important to any initiative, but when it comes to podcasting, for many marketers this isn’t going to be your sole responsibility. Instead, it’s going to be a part of your role on top of the other work you’re doing. So if it’s not something you’re passionate about, it’ll be hard to continue wanting to put in the work to make a great show.
Additionally, as Megan points out, if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, especially as a host, you’ll likely come off as robotic, or even worse, inauthentic. And since one of the best parts about a podcast is the ability to give your audience an authentic version of your brand (through your unique and amazing personality), this should be enough to convince you that passion needs to be a very important part of your podcast plans.
Understanding the Why
When people ask the Marketing Cloudcast team for advice on starting a podcast, the first thing that comes to mind is what’s the intention behind your podcast? As we discussed previously, creating a podcast is a lot of work. It’s extra hours, it’s extra energy. If you don’t understand why you’re creating something, it’s time to take a moment to really think through your strategy.
If you don’t have a reason behind it or an audience in mind, it’s going to be hard to continue following through and creating great episodes for your audience.
Where does it fit into the bigger picture
Too often, brands think of podcasting as a separate, siloed channel. But Salesforce recognizes that a podcast has immense potential when it’s thought of in regards to the bigger strategic picture.
While the Marketing Cloudcast has been around for quite a few years, it’s evolved to become a more central part of the campaign process at Salesforce. As the team got further down the road in their time working on the show, they saw value in considering how this amazing podcast that’s filled with amazing stories could benefit different areas of the business.
So for them, that was sitting down and reflecting on the podcast’s vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures (or as they call it, the V2MOM) on a regular basis to better understand the value it was producing for its audience and finding the opportunities to connect the show into strategic business plans.
Reflecting on what people want
2020 has been… well a dumpster fire by many standards, but in the world of podcasting it’s been a great opportunity for brands to reassess what they’re doing and take a look at what value they’re truly adding to their audience.
For Salesforce, the realities of 2020 made them take a look at their show and reflect on where they wanted to go. For them, it was an obvious choice. Businesses around the world are struggling, marketers are struggling, people are struggling. So they wanted to focus on helping. Again, marketers helping marketers.
So, they decided to shift their focus to a new series, Leading Through Change. This was an amazing opportunity to tell the stories of businesses (not just their customers) who were doing amazing things. These stories gave their listeners (and employees) tons of ideas, encouragement, and a sense of hope in an otherwise trying time.
For them, it was important to keep that going by really paying attention to what’s current and talking about things that are relevant to their audience.
Adding Structure with Series
Though Leading Through Change was the first series that the Marketing Cloudcast team launched, it wasn’t the first time they had planned for or thought about a series-led podcast.
In fact, the team had been thinking (thanks to their commitment to the V2MOM), about the benefits of a podcast series for a while. But the gift that was 2020 just made them speed up their time to market with this new idea.
By taking a series-focused approach, the team can better align to the overall strategy of the business. As a company, Saelsforce focuses on themes each quarter, so by pivoting to a podcast series (or you could even do this with a podcast season if you so chose), they are able to align their efforts with the rest of the team, so they are all running in the same direction, with the same goals, in a very cohesive manner.
The Internal Roll-Out
By switching to a series-led approach, the team created intentionality behind everything they were doing. It’s a beautiful thing when you see intentionality and passion come together to create content that is valuable not only to your audience but also to your organization internally.
With every podcast series and episode, Salesforce rolls out an internal launch that includes guides with email templates, social media fodder, and more. This gives them a great launching point for the show which impacts all areas of the business.
The focus on marketers helping marketers is a very obvious theme that drives this amazing team of podcasters (who also happen to be marketers). Because they value their audience so much and want to truly lend a helping hand, their passion is undeniable. But like every good marketer, their passion isn’t the only driving force behind this incredibly successful show. They also focus a lot on reflecting on what their show is, what it isn’t, and what’s actually working for their audience.
So, take a note from Salesforce and the Marketing Cloudcast team and blend your passion with intentionality to create a truly amazing show for your audience.
Check out the full episode below.
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