Creating with The Creative: How to Find “The One” | Podcast S02E06

Part of creating a great content marketing strategy is to have a creative on board who knows how to communicate to your audience. Whether it is through an illustration, animation, short film or even an Instagram filter - the key to creating a visually appealing content starts with knowing what exactly you want to communicate to your audience and knowing why they would resonate with what you have to say. 

This was evidently a key highlight we discovered with this episode's guest Nathalie Koutia, Communications Director of OFFF Festival - a 3-day one-of-a-kind conference that hosts innovative and international talents to share their insightful experiences through visual communications. The conversation we had brought forth some recurring themes that we definitely resonated as marketers including the fact that design (while shouldn't be limited) needs to have a strong foundation of knowing who the design is for. Here are some of the key takeaways we gathered: 

"Knowing your why, how and what"

The main advice we got from finding a great visual designer from Nathalie is to make sure the creatives understand they're why. She explains that part of the process of being able to communicate great design is to be able to explain clearly why a piece of creativity would ignite action or reaction. In fact, to solidify that the creative can do so -  one of the key processes she has implemented for her OFFF Academy (a mentorship program powered by Adobe where artists can apply to work on a creative project with some of the industries leading creatives) is to have the applicant write an essay on why they believe in the project, how it appeals to the current world and what mediums they believe would communicate this. She explains that one cannot start explaining their art without explaining it in words.

"Not all channels are created the same for creatives"

At the same time, we all agree that in the strange world of digital where memes like Kylie Jenner's one-second "rise and shine" song for her daughter can break the internet -  the artist needs to stay relevant and current to know what works for the channels that they're posting for. In fact, not all visual communications are made the same and a good creative would know what's the best way to communicate a message to a specific target audience through their art. 

"Visual communication is pointless if you don't understand your audience"

Ultimately, finding the right creative means depends a lot on what message you're looking to communicate, who you'd like to communicate with and which channel would fit that message best. And in an era where content is oversaturated, it's important to note that the most successful campaigns come from creatives who understand what makes the audience tick (and think!).

S02E06 Guest: - Nathalie Koutia, Communications Director and Founder of OFFF Festival in Barcelona

With a background in graphic design, Nathalie Koutia is the Communications Director and Social Media Manager at OFFF Festival. 

She previously worked as the content editor and curator on selected publications and is one of the leading voices of the OFFF Festival in Barcelona and the OFFF on Tour editions.

Nathalie also currently lectures at Harbour Space University in Barcelona in the faculty of Interaction Design.



Don't skip this bit. 

  • Finding "The One" who can help you with your content marketing strategy depends on a lot of factors 
  • The right creative understands the process of who they are communicating to
  • Businesses need to know their own way before trying to brief a creative
  • Businesses need to also leave room for creativity for the creative to deliver the message


Social Listening, Missing the Point? | Podcast S02E03

In the world of content marketing, there's a rule of thumb content creators should follow: listen to what your audience needs before creating content for them. Now, this may seem like common sense to some but believe it or not, there are businesses out there that are still creating content marketing strategies based on what they feel people want vs. actually listening to what people need.  When the truth is, there are already tools out there that can tell you what exactly you should be talking about in your content strategy - case in point, social listening. 

With the birth of social media in the past decade, marketers are now more than ever able to mine the sentiments of a selected audience on a specific product. Every time a person mentions they dislike a product, social listening tools can pick up this insight and create a strategy around what might appeal to them instead. And in this episode, we speak with Stephanie Schwab from Crackerjack Marketing who has over 20 years of experience in how social listening has benefited brands and their content marketing strategy.

"Not just a way to monitor your brand mention"

According to Stephanie, there are two types of social listening - 'real-time listening' which essentially monitors brand mentions as and when a customer is talking about the brand and 'reporting listening' which keeps track of the general conversations that the target audience is also talking about outside the realm of the brand. While real-time listening monitors the brand mentions, reporting listening can really help a brand understand how to stay relevant to the audience.

"Pick a social listening tool that supports your needs"

With so many tools out there, one could easily get lost in knowing which tool works best for them. In fact, not all social channels are created equal for social listening and not all social listening tools are optimized for all social channels either. So in the case of experimenting on paid tools, it would be best to test as many out as possible and to work with a professional social listening analyst who can dissect the data and give a more accurate understanding of what the audience sentiment is. 

"Social listening still needs human touch"

Ultimately, social listening tools on its own are still only 60% - 70% accurate. When it comes to identifying the human slang, nuances and mixed languages, the machine still needs a human to interpret the data compiled.  But the value of the data is ultimately gold as it can easily dissect the most important topics that your target audience is seeking.  Stephanie highlights that if you've got the right social listening analyst, the investment is worth every penny. So businesses who have not jumped in on this yet are missing out on a key part to strengthen their content marketing strategy.

S02E03 Guest #3: Founder of CrackerJack Marketing. Stephanie Schwab.

Meet Stephanie Schwab. As the founder of Crackerjack Marketing in USA, her two decades of PR and marketing experience have earned her multiple awards including Ragan’s PR Daily Awards, PR News’ Digital PR Awards, a WOMMIE award, a PRNews Platinum award, and an OMMA award. Stephanie also holds a faculty position at Loyola University at the Quinlan School of Business, a professor at an international university at Harbour Space and a part-time faculty member at The New School in New York City.




Don't skip this bit. 

  • Social listening tools still require human touch to get a more accurate representation for audience sentiment
  • Free tools for social listening you can start on now 


The Future of Influencer Marketing | Podcast S01E07

As we wrap up Season 1 on Influencer Marketing, we can't help but share what we've learned from talking to our guests. From how to build a tribe of influencers to comparing whether Youtube is a better platform compared to Instagram ; what's clear is that there are pressing issues that need to be highlighted on how brands and influencers work together.  Here are some main highlights you can take away:

"Pick influencers that love your product."

When it comes to finding the right influencer for your brand - both Nadzirah and Rachel agree that you should fundamentally work with the ones that share the same vision, mission, and values as you. If they've used your products before, this is a plus. Furthermore, your influencer should be sharing information about your product with authenticity as opposed to just doing it for freebies. Brands also need to think of working with them for the longterm because one-off postings are much less useful to achieve maximum results.

"Brands need to think of why they want to invest in influencer marketing."

While jumping on this marketing strategy sounds like a good idea, brands should evaluate WHY they want to engage with influencers first. Many times we meet brands that do not have a standardized process set up before working with an influencer. This can range from determining their goals, auditing the influencers before hiring, setting up a social media toolkit which defines guidelines for the influencer and making sure the technical tools for analytics are set up to monitor the outcome of their posts are effective. Setting up these processes in advance will go a long way for your influencer marketing strategy, including being able to justify whether the investment is worth your business.

"The future of influencer marketing is about using tech for more transparency."

Onwards to 2020, both Rachel and Nadzirah agree that your tech stack matters. Tools like HypeAuditor and Awario were mentioned as one of their favorites to use to ease their influencer marketing process. These tools are not only great to determine whether an influencer has the audience that matches your demographics. It also can be used to find new influencers that you may not have heard of before.


Don't skip this bit. 

  • Longterm partnerships are the way forward
  • The mindset of some Gen Z needs to evolve - being an influencer to get free stuff is unethical
  • Invest in tools to better your influencer marketing strategy

How to track your ROI when working with influencer? | Podcast S01E04

Ah, the good ol' Return of Investment (ROI) - where whatever you invest in needs to be justified and every action in the investment needs to lead to a profitable outcome. It's the numbers that every marketer needs to show their bosses and what every business owner pays close attention to so they can receive maximum profits for their business.

And in the world of influencer marketing, many of the businesses we've met are still asking us - how do we track an ROI when working with an influencer? In episode 4, we discuss this topic with two influencer marketing managers (Tiffany Chng from ClassPass Asia and Su Wei from Wing Tai Clothing) who share their insights on how the companies they work with defines a successful ROI when working with influencers.

“Setting up the right budget”

Just like every investment, determining the right budget for your influencer marketing expenditures requires you looking into your cost of goods. It also requires knowing what additional costs would incur when working with influencers and really depends on the reach you intend on having. So if your target was to reach 1,000,000 people, you could choose to work with one mega (influencers with more than 1 million followers) or two macro influencers (influencers with more than 500,000 followers) but if you don't have such a large budget, you could opt to work with say a higher volume of micro-influencers (influencers who have between 10,000 - 50,000 followers) to combine a reach of a million people. Ultimately, you've got to look at your marketing budget as a whole and be able to have the foresight to know which influencers can yield the best reach and engagement.

“Measuring the right numbers"

Just like any other advertising platform, you should be treating your influencers like an advertising medium - only with the creative freedom to be more authentic. Thus the metrics we choose to measure with influencers should be fairly similar to what you would measure when advertising on social advertising platforms like Facebook. For ClassPass for example, the cost is calculated based on the reach we get per follower. Thus if you invest $500 on an influencer and he/she reaches 10,000 people every time he/she posts, it means that the cost per reach is $0.05. You can then use this as a benchmark to compare with other platforms you advertise on to see if it's better to reach audiences via the specific influencer or not.

“It's all about brand awareness”

Furthermore, the digital world has changed the buying decision of a consumer. According to Social Media Today, more than half of consumers are making decisions based on the content they see through social media channels. Yet at the same time, only 8% of them are actually buying a product directly from an influencer. So what gives? Why are businesses like ClassPass and Wing Tai still working with influencers? According to both parties, it's all about brand awareness. It's the first step into getting a consumer to learn about the brand and these influencers are engaged to authentically share their lifestyle with the product as opposed to just sharing information about the product. Influencer marketing is not meant for hard sell because that no longer works for consumers.

S01E04 Guest #1: Su Wei

Su Wei is the Assistant Marketing Manager of Wing Tai Clothing Malaysia, a Fashion Retail Company representing a collective of prominent fashion brands like TopShop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Uniqlo, Karen Millen, Burton, Furla, to name a few.

S01E04 Guest #2: Tiffany Chng

Tiffany is the Regional Community Associate of CLASSPASS Singapore, an American based fitness startup company that recently expanded into Asia, launching more than 20 new countries internationally. It is a fitness platform that offers monthly fitness membership with access to thousands of different studios, gyms, and wellness offerings across ClassPass cities.


Don’t skip this bit:

  • Measuring your cost per reach
  • How influencers are your main drivers for brand awareness
  • Why setting up your digital channels properly is important to measure ROI


How to compensate your influencers? | Podcast S01E02

What's a fair amount to compensate an influencer? Boy, do we get that question a lot. And in Episode 2 of our Influencer Marketing series we'll be addressing this to understand how businesses can compensate and collaborate better with additional insights from our guest influencer.

“Give Room for Creativity”

While it may seem important to get your brand message across, don't forget that you're engaging with an influencer because you believe they have a voice that influences your target audience. So when it comes to content creation, allow your influencers to be their authentic selves. Sure, guidance is a good idea but being controlling about how they write and take photos will reduce the chances of getting the audience to engage with them. This will guarantee your chance of garnering the attention you were looking for.

“Look into other niche platforms”

With giant platforms like Instagram and Facebook dominating social media, one would think that these are the only channels to focus your marketing strategies on. But the truth is, there are other platforms out there like TikTok, Twitch, SnapChat (yes! it's still alive!) and even Twitter that may serve a purpose for your audience. So ask yourself  - what is your campaign purpose? What kind of content would really create impact? Which channel would the campaign messaging likely be effective? How can an influencer start a conversation with their audience about your brand? Answering these questions would take your brand awareness a longer way then just expecting an Instagram post to translate into sales.

“Meeting each other halfway”

The key thing to remember here is that influencer marketing is a two way relationship. And for both parties to win, a business will need to understand the value that an influencer can provide for their business. Businesses should not expect that just because the influencer has less followers than another that they need to perform more tasks than the other influencer. Those high numbers mean nothing if the audience isn't truly engaged. At the same time, an influencer should not be asking for the stars and the moon knowing that businesses don't necessarily have the experience in working within industry standards and practices. It really puts them off in wanting to work with their next influencer if they have bad experiences with their first one.

S01E02 Guest #1: Hanie Hidayah

Hanie Hidayah is a fashion and travel blogger and TV host who consults in social media marketing strategies and content creation. Having been in the creative industry for more than 10 years, Hanie is no stranger to the influencer marketing world. Through working with big brands such as Adidas, Zalora, Urban Decay, Air Asia (to name a few!) this multi talented creative has gained a strong following in her community and speaks out on issues that truly matter via her Instagram channel. Despite now moving away from blogging on her website, Hanie still enjoys working with brands via her Instagram who truly resonate with who she is.


Don’t skip this bit:

  • Instagram is better for brand awareness
  • Know your audience and which platform they browse from
  • Always prepare a contract for your influencers