Despite being SquadCast’s marketing manager extraordinaire, Kim Reyes doesn’t spend much time marketing herself on social media. “I’m not very present online,” she says on an episode of Between Two Mics.
Self-described “big outdoor girl” Kim is more likely to be walking at a nature spot near her home in San Francisco, possibly with her Paperanian in tow, than scrolling Instagram. (Non-dog nerds: That’s a Pomeranian Papillon mix.)
However, when she’s in work mode, Kim believes strongly in the importance of online communities. Specifically SquadCast’s. She sees the purpose of marketing as listening to creators’ needs and directing them to the solution.
Before SquadCast was lucky enough to hire her, Kim worked as a journalist — she had a “really boring” internship covering Senate hearings — and then in marketing for companies working in music and 3D printing.
Here’s how Kim approaches marketing for SquadCast: it’s less preaching, more listening.
Start with problem-solving
Marketers are often likened to the scheming would-be wizard hiding behind the green curtain. People think it’s all about using smoke and flashing lights to make people overlook the boring reality of the product.
However, that’s not entirely fair — at least as far as Kim is concerned. She says that the main purpose of SquadCast’s marketing is connecting creators who want to make good quality podcasts with the tools that will help them achieve that.
“There is a facet of marketing that is more problem-solving. It’s us as a company or as a product speaking to the customer base, saying, There’s an issue or a need that needs to be resolved: how do we do that?” Kim says.
Another problem marketing addresses is the potential gap between what the customer thinks your brand is, and what your company actually does. It’s the marketing department’s job to make sure brand identity is strong enough that there’s no misunderstanding.
“When people think of marketing, they think that it’s just, This is who we think we are, this is who we want you to think we are, this is how we want you to view our product,” Kim says.
“There is some of that, but it’s more like, What perception do people have of us? What is the industry perception? How do we really fit into that? And how can we carve our own path?”
Marketing isn’t just about putting on a show. It’s tailoring your messages so that your potential clients understand how your company can solve their problems, and what the core values of your brand are.
Community is a big selling point for SquadCast
One thing that drew Kim — and many creators — to SquadCast was its users. Specifically, the community that meets up on the platform to share ideas, advice and projects.
“I was really impressed by how active the community was, and that people were really excited about the product they use,” Kim says.
Hearing from your users is so valuable for marketers. It’s a way to learn about what they like, so you can highlight those features to potential customers. It also helps you find out about problems they’re having, or improvements they want to see, so you can flag these for the rest of the team — and highlight the fixes when they’re made.
Kim is especially excited about SquadCast’s new Share feature. On the Share page, creators can submit content you’ve created using SquadCast, ask questions about the technology, apply to be interviewed for our Instagram Q&A, and leave a review about your experience. You might even get a shout out on a future episode of Between Two Mics.
“We just really want to hear from you,” Kim says. “It’s being more receptive to feedback as a brand. It’s not something we’ve ever done before. But I don’t want submissions to end up in the support inbox: I want it to be something that we can all look at.”
Don’t take brand loyalty for granted
Having fans feels amazing. But you can’t assume that a customer who loves your company and product now will feel the same way in a few months, with no extra work on your part.
“You can’t expect people that use your product to be loyal to you through thick and thin. There is some work that needs to be done on our side,” Kim says.
The most valuable tool in maintaining brand loyalty is, again, communication with the users. “That’s where the feedback and the reviews come in, and are really helpful,” she says.
It’s also important for marketers to check in with the other people inside the company. Have they noticed that users are having more issues, or raising the same concerns over and over? Have certain features dipped in popularity? Are they getting more complaints?
“What I like to do as a marketer is facilitate those conversations internally, as well as externally,” Kim says. “It’s giving people a place to send comments and feedback. It’s really important to be open to that.”
Marketers aren’t really fake wizards, hiding behind levers and fireworks. If anything, they’re more like the good witch who asks the customer about their problem, gives them the tools to solve it, and points them down the right path to get where they want to go.
Natasha Lavender is a writer, editor and podcast nerd. She has a BA in English and American Literature from the University of Birmingham in the UK, which proved especially useful when she moved to Chicago, IL, in 2016. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.