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The Strategy Series: Strategy-Aligned Podcasts

What role does your podcast play in your overall marketing strategy? If you’re treating your podcast like a stand-alone medium for building awareness and authority, then you’re wasting a potentially valuable asset for your marketing strategy.

A strategy-aligned podcast ensures each episode works towards achieving the overall goals of your branding, marketing, and sales initiatives. That’s exactly what we’re going to explore today with Lev and Salesforce.

Lev: Uniting Marketing and Sales via Podcasting

Lev’s podcast was started by two of its salespeople. But rather than keeping it a “sales” channel, Holly Enneking, the VP of marketing, saw it for what it was—an opportunity to learn more about customers and their challenges. These golden nuggets would help the marketing team better relate to and nurture prospects before they reach the sales team. Aligning marketing and sales in this fashion was made possible with its strategy-aligned podcast.

Salesforce: Using Podcasts to Support Overall Marketing Goals

Salesforce was already thinking about starting a series-focused podcast when COVID-19 hit. But it was at this time when they accelerated their plans and made it happen. Their focus is on creating series around quarterly themes that align with the rest of their marketing efforts. This makes it easier to incorporate their episodes into emails, blog posts, and other marketing collateral.

How to Create a Strategy-Aligned Podcast

It’s not difficult to center your podcast around your business’s strategy. Think of it like any other form of content you create. You have a core goal you’d like to reach this year, and you need to develop content around it.

For example, if you’re looking to drive awareness, then you focus on top-of-the-funnel audiences. They’re looking for answers, so you focus on providing them in your content (blog, podcast, etc.).

So the first step is to understand your vision and goals. Know what it is you’re trying to do before you attempt to implement a podcast into your strategy. Otherwise, you’ll end up with poorly planned content that yields little to no results.

Here’s a look at several ways you can do just that.

Build Collaborations Between Teams

One of the leading problems businesses face today is departmental silos. There’s a ton of insights and expertise each department can lend to the other. Yet, they continue to operate separately, working against (vs. for) goal alignment and achievement.

We’ve all been there: working at an organization where sales and marketing just can’t seem to get on the same page. At Lev, they work hard to ensure that each team feels supported by the other and work to build trust with each other. This has paid off in many ways, but the one we want to point out (hi, we are Casted after all) is in their podcast. A passion project from two sales team members has now become a fantastic collaboration between both teams. Each party brings their own perspective and goals to the project, and they work together to make them happen, which makes the podcast better for them and better for the audience.

“I think one of the things that I’ve really loved about Lev is just that... The sales and marketing relationship can always be a challenge. There are always competing ideas. Priorities can be different. What is important to sales one day may not be important to marketing another day. Trying to find that middle ground can be a challenge. I was really lucky to walk into a situation at Lev, that there was already that collaboration there, that marketing knew that we needed to be supporting sales in order to help support the business,” explained Holly Enneking, VP of marketing at Lev.

 

“We were able to demonstrate to the sales team that we heard them, that we were going to move quickly to get them what they needed and really build that trust with them, which then allowed us to get to a place where then, we had proven over time, we want to be collaborators. We want to help you do the work that you’re doing. This is just one more example of that. That made it an easier conversation with Bobby and Cole of like, ‘Let us get involved. Let’s work together on this and make it even better,’ which I think has really paid off for us.”

Connect with Your Audience

Podcasts are amazing venues for building awareness and trust with your audience. With your sole focus being on your customers, you can develop content that aligns with their needs. And in doing so, you’re building your subscribers and creating content other departments can use as part of their own strategy.

One of the best ways to create value for your audience is to understand their wants, needs, and pain points and look for ways to alleviate those and make their life better. When you focus on serving your customer first instead of selling your product, the way you market will drastically improve because you’ll be creating content that your audience actually wants and they’ll repay you with engagement. Your podcast is an amazing and authentic way to simply have conversations that can turn into so much value for your audience.

But how exactly do you do that?

“Be very intentional with why you want to create a podcast. Megan and I have gotten this question a lot from different parts of Salesforce business or externally of ‘we’re thinking about starting a podcast.’ And the first question we ask is why? What is your intention? Because it’s extra hours, it’s extra energy, and if you don’t understand why you want to do it, there’s no point in going through the work,” shared Tina Rozul, Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce.

 

“I think a podcast, too, is very unique in that it’s not a webinar, right? It’s almost as if you’re in the room with someone, but you’re not physically there, but you are having a conversation in someone’s ear. And so I think for us, it was at the end of the day is we all want to be better marketers. So how can we share information and stories that help people be better? And that’s really been the intention the entire time.”

There are different ways this can play out in the real world. While many brands were striking out with tone deaf messaging when the pandemic started, Salesforce looked to their audience. They knew that businesses were struggling and so their customers and audience were struggling. So instead of ignoring what was happening and moving on with their planned content, they decided to develop relevant content for their audience.

“When the pandemic hit, we had a Leading Through Change series. It was all about how are you guys doing today? How are you actually feeling? And then as time went on and realized, this isn’t ending—this is here to stay for a while, we’re not physically going to see each other for a while. Then we leaned into the business, and we’re like, ‘Well, what’s really topical right now? What do people want to know? How do marketers want to be better?’” Tina explained.

“And that’s when we started being more prescriptive and leaning in with our campaigns. Let’s say we wanted to do an ABM series because now people have to be more thoughtful and more focused. They are having less money to invest in scaling in more grand ways, so now we’re more focused and topical. And so I think it’s just being very intentional, but also paying attention to what’s current. Like what’s going on in the world? Because if you’re talking about things that are irrelevant, then you’re missing the boat, and you’re speaking to deaf ears basically.”

Learn How to Make Your Podcast Strategy-Aligned

These are excellent real-world examples of how podcasts are strategically used by brands. If you’re looking to do the same, we invite you to download our free strategy lookbook today!