How Access Leads to Amplification for Salesforce with Salesforce's Michael Rivo
Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to our new show, the Amplified Marketing Podcast, where we get into the challenges that content marketers face and look to brands who are already knocking down obstacles, raising the quality of their content, with a little something that we know and love, and we call amplified marketing. It's what we've preached here at Casted from the very start, how to create the most meaningful content and then get the most traction possible out of that content by wringing it out across multiple channels. These interviews from our first season were recorded as part of a special event to officially kickstart this new approach to content marketing. And we dive into the components of amplified marketing, the strategies that work best, and reveal just how much of an impact this new approach can have on your business. But we also explore all the ways that amplified marketing makes life easier and more efficient for the content marketers that are really struggling to be creative and relevant, and to cut through the noise. This is where the change begins. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted. The first and the only amplified marketing platform were made specifically for B2B marketers. And this is our new podcast. Picture this, your team is creating amazing, high quality audio and video content that harnesses the power of expert voices. It's the content that your prospects and your customers want. It transcends format and channels. It's the best content you've ever created. Okay, revel in that for a moment, but, and there's always a but, you come to find out that no one on your team is using it because they can't seem to locate it. Sound familiar? Today's guest is no stranger to the woes of content and the content team in the enterprise brand. As the Director of the Salesforce Studio team, Michael Rivo understands how content silos and lack of content access can create disparities across teams and leave so many content opportunities on the table. With an abundance of content, including over 20 shows in production, and that's just podcasts, folks, and with the Salesforce + launch on the horizon, Michael knew that his team needed to bring together all of their content in one place, under one umbrella, to create consistent processes and structure and systems for their content universe. In this special session from our AMPLIFY event, Michael walks me through how their Salesforce team is leaning into amplified marketing by bringing all of their content together, creating a podcasting center of excellence and putting amplification strategies in place.
Michael Rivo: Hi, Lindsay, I'm Michael Rivo from Salesforce and I'm on the Salesforce Studios team, which is part of Salesforce +, where we work on all kinds of different content. I had a podcast, but we have video, we have events, and everything exists in our new Salesforce + platform. So, super excited to be here today. Thanks for having me.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Oh my goodness, we're so excited to have you here. I'm very excited to dig in with you and talk about all the things that you're doing, have been doing, and are going to be doing, because as you mentioned, Salesforce +, that's kind of a big deal, a new thing that you're doing there over that little company of yours.
Michael Rivo: It is. It is. It's been a big effort. It just launched at Dreamforce and we have original series program, podcast content's going to be on the platform soon. We're working on that right now. So, it's all of the best of our events, which are now so much digital, and original series and all kinds of stuff. So, go check it out, Salesforce +.
Lindsay Tjepkema: There you go. And that's such a great place to start because I know so many people that are watching or listening right now either have dreams to get to someplace where it's their company plus, they're bringing all of their content into one place or they're being told they should. And so, I think there's a lot we can get into about, before you can even start to think about having a universe of your content, you have to pull it all into one place, right?
Michael Rivo: Mm-hmm(affirmative).
Lindsay Tjepkema: And you need to start getting it started, to have it be housed under one roof. So, tell me a little bit about the before and then the current state. So, what were things like for you, a year or two ago, before you started to pull everything into one place? Let's talk about what that state of life was like for you and for your team.
Michael Rivo: Well, yeah, I mean, it's always galvanizing to have a single source where you know the distribution strategy, you know where that content is going to go. And particularly at Salesforce, is a large organization, what's great about Salesforce is it's really entrepreneurial. So, there's lots of teams and teams are doing their own thing in many ways, all with under the umbrella of Salesforce, but it allows those teams to go to market in the way that they want to go to market. So, a lot of times you'll end up with disparate content, where we're not sure everything that's out there. So, having that single place where distribution is going to happen is really important. I think that as a team, we've done a good job in our content organization of setting both the standards of what the content needs to do and also how you distribute it. But it's been even better now to have that single platform where so much of our content can live.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. And so, let's talk about what it was like, I mean, just getting into... How did it feel? What was the day- to- day like in trying to manage all of that disparate content? I mean, dozens of shows, and that's just podcasts, right?
Michael Rivo: Yeah. Mm-hmm(affirmative).
Lindsay Tjepkema: I mean, I can only imagine how much content a company like Salesforce has. What was that even like? Just give me some of those, just sound bites of what it was like to try to get your arms wrapped around it all.
Michael Rivo: Right. Well, part of it is, in a way is really not trying to control all that. And I think the philosophy that we were trying to use is what we call a center of excellence idea, where within the organization we had created, for example, a podcasting center of excellence, where we created documentation about not only the content that you're going to make, but here's how you make it. So, here are best practices. Here are ways that you can really make an effective show. And then, empower everybody to go and make the content that they need to make for their market opportunity. So, one thing we really embraced was allowing this big organization of, I think it's 2, 500 marketers or something, to be able to do the work that they need to do. So, we want to give them the tools and we want to make it a self- service model. And in fact, how we use Casted is that we bring people onto the platform and then they can launch their shows and use the platform as they see fit.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's wonderful. And we love that. And we love being a part of all of this that you're doing, which is really exciting. So, tell me about, I mean, you've talked about Salesforce +, but even rewinding a little bit more, what was the driving force behind bringing everything under one umbrella? I mean, we started working together almost two years ago, or a year ago. And what did that look like? Was it a realization of, wow, it's impossible to try to understand how this is all working? Was it a stress? Was it-
Michael Rivo: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: ...efficiencies? Was it a way to be more collaborative? What were some of those discussions that said," Hey, we need to pull this all into one place."
Michael Rivo: Yeah. I think the driver for pulling everything into one place was that so many teams had started on their own. And again, this was exciting. Podcasting is pretty accessible, it's relative easy to make a recording and put it on a platform and put it out in the world. So, lots of teams were doing that independently, which was great, but what we found was, we didn't have a source for all the content we had. We didn't have a distribution strategy. We weren't able to do metrics across all the different shows and we weren't able to really build that single source of truth and that center of excellence around podcasting, because we just didn't have one platform where everything was happening. So as it grew, I think that when I started working on it, there were 20 shows that were happening globally across Salesforce. We knew that we needed to have a platform where everything could live, so we could see what was going on and be able to distribute it and measure it, et cetera.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Yeah. And we hear that a lot from large companies, from enterprise companies that have teams that are spread out, not only across the city, but across the country, around the world, that are doing tons and tons of shows, producing lots and lots of content. The volume of content is not the problem anymore, as far as we don't have enough content, now there's so much it's, how are we going to govern it? How are we going to get some consistency? How are we going to understand how it's all performing? How are we going to make sure that if there are opportunities to collaborate or have one team pull from this content and use it over here, that that accessibility is there? So, let's talk a little bit about that and what it's done for you, now that you have that single source of truth, you have all that content under one umbrella. What does access look like? Are different teams able to access that content in different ways? Access to metrics and understanding how it's performing, what does that look like in the year or so since you got started and consolidating everything, what's that look like now?
Michael Rivo: Yeah. I think it's the show owners who really are accessing the platform and using it primarily. Yeah, we like to set it up in a way where everybody can use the platform as they want to use it. So, they can post shows, they can pull clips, they can look at measurement, et cetera. So, it's pretty open. We still have a relatively small number of people who are using the platform on a daily basis. So, our little group of podcasters are doing that. We still use some other tools as well, in addition, to look at some rankings and competitive and some other stuff that's out there as well. But yeah, it's pretty much just the podcast group that's looking at those metrics and then we're pulling them out of there and communicating those to the larger organization from there. But yeah, it's pretty much just the podcast group that's looking at those metrics and then we're pulling them out of there and communicating those to the larger organization from there.
Lindsay Tjepkema: For sure. For sure. And so, as far as the actual content, have you found that your team at large or the entire broad team of Salesforce marketers, for example, has different access to that content? Are they able to do more with what those podcasters are doing? What have you seen as a result for what can happen, how that content can be amplified once it's created?
Michael Rivo: Yeah. I mean, I think there's actually a lot more opportunity there. I mean, one thing that we're working on is starting to, and I think a lot of us have seen this in New York Times or the Wall Street Journal now, how audio is a part of news stories. So, you can listen to this, or you can read it, or podcasts are infused throughout your reading experience. So, I think this is becoming more of the common language in media and something that we want to start doing more. And we're doing that, we have an integration into our blog where we can pull clips into the blog or run an episode. We'd like to get to the place where that's going to be a really personalized and automated experience, where through tagging, et cetera, and all the systems talking to each other, we're going to be able to display the right content at the right time. That's work that's happening, and in the future as well, I think all of us are looking for that kind of holy grail, but I think we're scratching the surface of what we can do there. And the more that we can pull in interesting audio to create this universe of audio that exists across our digital experiences, is really where we're trying to go right now.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. Well, and I mean, you're speaking my language. I mean, we're here talking about amplified marketing, right? And so, you go have a great conversation, like I'm having with you, capture that audio and video and then wring it out, really pull it apart, atomize it, and amplify it across many other channels. And I love hearing you talk about how audio can be embedded into blog content or website content. It can be pulled apart into clips and pieces and takeaways, and used on social media, and to equip your sales team. And the results therefore, can be fed into CRM to understand how it's all working. And so, I'd love to hear your thoughts about amplified marketing in general and whether it's something you're excited about doing now or in the future, and how you see it as something that your team and other B2B marketing teams could use to get a greater return on the effort they're putting into creating all that great content?
Michael Rivo: Mm- hmm(affirmative). Well, coming from Salesforce, I am so fortunate to have so much content at my fingertips. I mean, it really is incredible. I mean, we just came off of Dreamforce where there's incredible stuff that happens at Dreamforce and content that's created there every year.
Lindsay Tjepkema: So much.
Michael Rivo: So, part of what our podcast strategy is, is to use the medium to replay and to amplify so much of the content that might be starting as a video piece originally. We have a series called Leading Through Change, where we have great leaders having conversations on that show, and many others. And so much of the content works really well as a podcast, with minimal effort. So really, when you think about what you can do with a podcast, even in a smaller organization. Like I said, at Salesforce we've got access to all this great content, but I think this can happen with small organizations too, with just thinking about, okay, what are all the different channels and how can I take this one piece of content? If you have a particular video, you can turn that into a blog post. You can run it as an audio piece. You run it as a video, you do clips, you do social. I used to work with a great marketer who would call it the Thanksgiving dinner, where you made all that food and then for the week after you've got your turkey sandwiches and your turkey soup, and everything that you could make off your Thanksgiving dinner. So, I think that's a big part of our strategy and is something that really, if you just look at each piece of content that you're making, you can get a lot of mileage out of it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. And you know I agree. I think quite often, we, as marketers, we get trapped into, for whatever reason, there's a million reasons it happens, but you start thinking channel first. It's like," What are we going to do with the podcast? What are we going to do on the blog? What are we going to do with video? What are we going to do on social?" And sometimes it's because teams are set up that way. It's because teams are measured that way. It's because we just instinctively think that way. There's a billion reasons, right? But the more we can think, we can flip it around, it just makes sense to say, we're having this great conversation now, and to say," Okay, what can we do with it? How can we use it across multiple channels? How can we amplify this conversation, so it's not just,'Okay, this checks the box for video, this is our video. Now let's go to something else for social media.'" It's like, no, this can fuel so many things. The talking points that we're going through today could be turned into so many different things and could be used in so many different ways. And so, I think the more and more we, as marketers, and especially as marketing leaders, that have the ability to rewrite the script a little bit on how we're measured or how our teams are set up, to say," What if we start with really rich source content and then give our teams the ability to use that source content, to be creative and to pull from it what they can for different channels, that are going to be most effective in different situations and really get as much mileage out of it as possible, and over a longer period of time." Because, a lot of these conversations are really evergreen and can be used for not just days and weeks, but for months and quarters. Right?
Michael Rivo: And I think this is part of the evolution of, it's really within the context of everything that's happening in this pandemic period, where you're having to reach people in a much more one- to- one kind of way. But Dreamforce for years was 150,000 people and closing down San Francisco and it was this huge physical event. And we may get back there, but we've created a program that's called Dreamforce To You, where it's basically taking a set of content that came out of Dreamforce, and then in the backend, being able to compile that for every account executive across Salesforce, to be able to pull the pieces of content that make sense into a presentation that they can have with each one of their customers and/ or prospects. So now, instead of," Everybody come to San Francisco and have this experience," which is great, the model has changed where now, Lindsay, I can meet with you, take you through a Dreamforce experience and have this really deep connection. And so, I think all this work that we're all doing around creating content really needs to get down to that really basic level of, when somebody experiences this, are you connecting with them? Does it make sense? And that's where I think you can think about channel as, okay, this did work as a video, but if we take the audio out and we tweak it a little bit, record an intro, pull out this piece and just reformat it a little bit, now we have another piece that really makes sense. So, I do think it's important when you're repurposing, to make sure that you're not just lifting and putting somewhere else.
Lindsay Tjepkema: For sure.
Michael Rivo: We've got to tweak it a little to make sure that it works, but if the core stuff that you're making is relevant and resonates with people, then it's just tailoring it to fit in the different channels.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, that's largely what we're doing right now with AMPLIFY, I mean, again, it started as an in- person event. We said," Hey, let's see if we can do this somewhat virtually." And regardless, whether this had been in- person or as we're doing it now, it's all about that connection. Right? And if we seek first to connect, as opposed to produce content, it's like, how can I connect? How can I connect the human elements of this brand with the humans on the other side of this content? Right? That's where channel becomes a tool. It becomes a way, a means for connection, right? Some people, podcasts are incredible connectors because it's the only thing you can do, the only kind of content you can consume when you're doing almost anything else, while you're driving, while you're mowing your lawn, while you're exercising, while you're washing the dishes, you can consume a podcast. And so, that breathes this certain level of connection, but that's not for everyone. Other people want to dig deeper and really consume it via text and be able to highlight and share different elements that way. And sometimes people want to consume little bits, or video really resonates. And so, looking as a channel is ways to connect with different people who want to be reached in different ways. It's really powerful to even have that choice as opposed to thinking," Okay, I only have one lever to pull and it's called channel X." It's only podcasting or it's only social media, that really limits you. Whereas if you're able to think about," Okay, I'm going to start with this conversation, I'm going to start with this rich piece of content and I'm going to look at how I can pull it apart and connect with people in different ways." That's a big difference maker.
Michael Rivo: And it's amazing how it sounds so easy. Like, hey, there's another person, there's another human being, this needs to be interesting to them. That when you get caught up in the act of managing your time, your organization, all the different inputs, you start to lose the ability to just stay there with," Okay, is this going to be interesting or not?" So, it's important to step back and really think about the story, what you're trying to say, is it resonating? Et cetera. And while you were talking about the different channels and different ways you can use them, I started to think about, we do these research reports at Salesforce, and they're really powerful white papers that have a ton of research behind them. Really good information. So, when you said," Yeah, people want to read this." So, when you think about the user, in this case, they're going to download that report, they're going to print it out, they're going to highlight, they're going to copy and paste and put stuff in a deck. You're giving people a tool that they're really going to use to educate them.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yep.
Michael Rivo: So then when you think about," Okay, well, we should do this, how do we get more people to see it? We should do a video. We should do a podcast." That's where you think about," Oh, well, I'd really be interested in the methodology and how they did this report. How is it made?" And that's a great conversation for a podcast. So, you bring in the team that made the report and you do a conversation about that. Or I want to pull the top five things that have gotten feedback that are most important to people and make a video where I can pull some of those graphics and do," Here are the top five things from the research report." So, that's where you have this spine of this work that you're doing around that report, and just thinking about, how do you amplify that on the different channels, in ways that are going to work for those channels?
Lindsay Tjepkema: Yeah. I agree. And it's simple, that doesn't mean it's easy, but it's simple.
Michael Rivo: Right.
Lindsay Tjepkema: You say, let's start with the source and think about how you can from one, many, right?
Michael Rivo: Yeah.
Lindsay Tjepkema: And not for the source of more, but for the source of more connection, right? Multiple different ways to connect. And at least in my career, B2B marketing, specifically content marketing, has become this crazy ball of yarn that it's like, well, this fuels this, and this fuels this, and this is over here way on its own. And then, somebody is going to ask if we can create this, and this team handles this. And it's all these channel and different teams and different markets. And it's so messy and nobody knows what's going on, and it's very confusing and there's tons of pressure. And all the while, a pretty junior level marketer, I've been that marketer, I've managed that marketer, I've managed that team, is tasked with ghost writing on behalf of subject matter experts en masse, and also fueling search engines. And it's like, why? How did we get here when we could just start with conversational content, really rich content, a great keynote, a great presentation, and then really just wring that out and say," How can we make this content more accessible to our team, so that they can make it more accessible and engaging to our various audiences in different ways that they want to consume content?"
Michael Rivo: I mean, I think the organizational stuff is really important there and the philosophy of the organization breaking those silos to... I think that needs to be part of how an organization works. And I do feel fortunate at Salesforce where content's coming from all over and I think podcasts coming in a little later and being the upstart and smaller, where we had a unique opportunity to say," Oh, well, we'll take a little of this and we'll take a little of that." And it was fine. We weren't stepping on toes. It was an add- on, everybody felt like," Great. Yeah, go ahead. You can put that out there." But I think people are now starting to see the wisdom of that, of," Wow, we can have twice as many people hear this content as we would if we had just put it out as a video, and it didn't really cost much. Wow. That's really powerful." So, I think, taking those lessons back into the organization and saying," Hey, we really need to share all this." So, we have a PR team, we have a newsroom team. We've got people doing advertising. We have a lot of different content creators across the marketing organization. And we've specifically set up both Slack channels that are ongoing to share what's happening, and then a big monthly meeting where everybody's talking about what's going on and how we can collaborate on what exists and then what people are working on for the future. So, there's some really basic communication stuff that helps with that as well. In addition, yes, then you have to have the processes and the platform and the ability to distribute that information, but bringing it back to," This is important. We want all the players to be in the room and to be talking about what we're doing and really work collaboratively," has been a concerted effort to do that. And it's opened up all kinds of opportunities for stories that can now... For example, there'll be a really interesting healthcare story that's happening in our healthcare division, that's actually really interesting generally. So, we might do a podcast episode and then pull in our chief medical officer to be a part of that conversation. And now we're tying that together and then we let that team know that that's happening and then they can promote it. So, we're just trying to create as many of those virtuous cycles as possible.
Lindsay Tjepkema: It's a beautiful thing when you pull it all into one place, going back to the beginning, you can pull it all in one place and you have a line of sight to everything that's happening and can say," Oh, wait, this over here is definitely relevant to this over here. How can we connect the two and get greater returns out of that effort, get greater connection out of those two little nuggets?" Beautiful.
Michael Rivo: Yeah. Yeah. And I think for leaders in this organization, the ability to, first of all, set that up to get out of the way, just put that in place, where those teams are talking to each other, and everybody knows this is good, and we want this to happen. And then, allowing the individual members of those teams to go ahead and make that episode, put it out there. We have approval processes, of course, but we really try to make it where... Yes, we start with yes. Like," That is a good idea. Let's do that." And then if it can't happen, for whatever reason, it can't happen, but really across the whole content organization, everybody is free to do that and encouraged to do it.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's awesome. Okay. Well with that, you were saying, for leaders, this is what it does for you. What advice would you give to anybody who's listening, who's either in an organization or leading an organization that could benefit from amplified marketing and rethinking their approach?
Michael Rivo: Well, I think one of the most important things is to really know what's going on in the organization. And then, I think a lot of it, we're ultimately, we're supporting businesses. So, I think to be close to the business and understand what the leaders on the business side, what the salespeople need, what needs to get communicated from the brand perspective to drive the business, and starting there, to really have an understanding of," Okay, this is what we're trying to accomplish as an organization. These are the customer pain points and this is what's really going to move the needle." That's really important. And then bringing that back and saying," Okay, now I can do some creative work around, how do I make that interesting to somebody who's going to engage with this content?" Not just," Oh, I ticked the box of these are the important things," but how do you turn that into a story? And then, how do you bring back those people who aren't necessarily on the content side, to be a part of it? One thing we really try to do with Blazing Trails is we call it a platform for Salesforce voices. So, we do episodes specifically in different markets that we're going after and bring in the leaders from the sales side, from the marketing side, to be a part of those conversations. So, understand what your organization is doing, go back and come up with those stories and then bring it back to the organization and engage them to be a part of it. Whether it's on a podcast or writing a blog post or whatever it is, and be helpful and understand that the role within the content organization is to support the business, and bring them into it more. Sometimes it's easy to get a little far from that because that's not what we're doing day- to- day, but I'd say that's a really important thing to remember.
Lindsay Tjepkema: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing what it's been like to pull everything into one place. We're all excited about Salesforce +, and I can't wait to see what you do next and how you amplify that content.
Michael Rivo: Okay. Wonderful. Thanks, Lindsay.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's our show. Thank you so much for listening and watching and engaging with this content. To learn more about Salesforce + and all the exciting developments that Michael discussed today, make sure to visit salesforce. com/ plus and check out any of the podcasts available in the Salesforce Resource Center. I'm a big fan of it, myself. To learn more about how Casted can help you, visit casted. us and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, to be the first to get all things amplified marketing, B2B podcasting, B2B marketing, B2B audio, B2B video, and so much more.
Picture this. Your team is creating amazing, high-quality audio and video content that harnesses the power of expert voices. It’s the content your prospects and customers want. It transcends format and channels. It’s the best content you’ve ever created! But you come to find out, no one on your team is using it because they can’t seem to locate it. Sound familiar?
Today’s guest is no stranger to the woes of the content team in enterprise brands. As the Director of the Salesforce Studio Team, Michael Rivo understands how content silos and lack of content access can create disparities across teams and leave so many content opportunities on the table. With an abundance of content including over 20 shows in production and with the Salesforce Plus launch on the horizon, Michael knew his team needed to bring all of their content under one umbrella to create consistent processes and structure for their content universe.
In this special session for our Amplify event, Michael walks me through how Salesforce is leaning into Amplified Marketing by bringing all of their content together, creating a Podcasting Center of Excellence, and putting amplification strategies in place.