5 PR tips to get you through the festive season

So, you’ve made it to December. You’re probably wondering where the last 11 months have gone, but hey ho, it’s now time to start looking ahead.

December is a month that is notoriously filled with back-to-back celebrations. From year-end parties to Christmas and New Year gatherings, it’s full on – but it’s also a time where some people (and businesses) slow down as they mentally prepare for the next year.

However, the media doesn’t stop. Newspapers and magazines are still being published, and TV news doesn’t take a holiday either. Journalists are always on the lookout for new stories and ideas – in fact, this slower time of year often means journos are keener than ever to be approached with thoughtful content. It’s basically a prime time to pitch!

Here are some PR tips to help arm you throughout the festive season and keep your business on track well into the New Year:

  1. Pitch, pitch, pitch!

The worst thing you can do is go silent during this month. Instead, keep pitching and stay in touch with key journalists. Research what’s trending and create content pieces or use past ideas and share them with the media. Keep things fun, and where possible make it relevant to the festive season. Even if your story isn’t immediately picked up, the journalists have you on their radar for any future stories, and you can follow up come January with a fresh pitch.

  1. Become a social butterfly

It is the party season after all! So get out there and spread those wings. Meet new people, attend industry events, parties and talks. Chances are you’ll bump into members of the media or like-minded people that may have an interest in your business. Have fun, but keep your PR radar on for any opportunities to spread the good word about your brand!

  1. Keep connected

Yes, your usual media contacts may be away enjoying their holidays but there will be other writers and editors you can connect with. This will also help expand your PR network and database in general. Stay on top of your target publications and check out who’s writing stories that are relevant. If you’re not sure who’s holding the fort while your closest journalist contacts are away on holiday, pick up the phone and find out.

  1. Stay socially active

Whatever your do, don’t forget to remain active on social media. Today’s consumers live and breathe social all year round, and this includes Christmastime. Whether you are manually posting on your company’s chosen platforms or using management and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, make sure you have a strategy in place – even if you are on holiday. Staying active helps keep your brand top of mind and maintain the traction you’ve built up throughout the year. Download our social media content calendar template to help you map out your social plans across the next month and into the New Year.

  1. Plan ahead

Given December is a quieter month, use this time to plan your PR calendar for the New Year. Map out your communications goals and get prepped for new announcements or launches which you know are happening in 2017. Create plans, make calendars and add in tentative timelines to stay on track with execution, ensuring you start the New Year off with a bang!

So what are you waiting for? If you need advice on how to use the festive period to your advantage, get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

Brangelina: The PR Breakdown of a Break-Up

The story of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is one of a carefully constructed image. Since day dot, their public relations machine has been churning out stories to present a snapshot of their performances and their personal lives with the widest public appeal.

This is the same for every celebrity. Charlie Sheen is a Hollywood bad boy; Beyonce is “Queen Bee”; Jennifer Lawrence is the dorky girl next door, and Kim Kardashian (no matter what you think of her) is America’s sex tape celebrity-turned marketing genius.

However, when Brad and Angelina first ‘came out’ to the world, their respective images went from Hollywood’s leading man and woman to homewrecker, cheats and liars. You know the story – Brad was married to Jennifer Aniston, and met Jolie while filming Mr and Mrs Smith. Both denied any romance between them, yet it was a matter of days between Brad and Jen announcing their divorce and Brangelina being snapped on the beach together. Our favourite Friend was painted as the sweet, innocent victim while Angelina was the sexy-but-evil ‘other woman’.

(Brad, as the man in this equation, mostly got off scot-free while the media pitted (lol)  #TeamAng and #TeamJen against each other. But that gender narrative is a whole other blog.)

The point is, there is so much that can be learned about creating, managing and framing your public presence from celebrities – especially now that Brangelina is no more. Yep, Angelina filed for divorce on September 15, citing “irreconcilable differences”.  

So let’s take a stroll through the history of their relationship, and follow the PR powerhouse of Brangelina for a few insights into taking control of your own story.

Control your narrative

As celebrities, people are always going to talk about you. In fact, that’s the point (and the job description.) The only problem is that it can be difficult to manage your own story when everyone is in on it – but it’s a great lesson to the rest of us about front-footing any news where and when you can.

As soon as Brad and Ang were photographed together for the first time, their PR machine was quick to turn things around. It didn’t take long for the stories to change from “Homewrecker Angelina!” to “Angelina Jolie – The New Mother Theresa”. A global humanitarian outreach strategy was the perfect antidote to the backlash the Tomb Raider star was facing, placing both her and Brad in strong positions as they helped with relief efforts and won humanitarian awards.

brad pitt, angelina jolie, brangelina, divorce, public relations

The photo that started it all (Credit: US Weekly)

Beyond this, they were experts at linking their growing, global family to the ‘do-good’ narrative they had going. They were healers, humanitarians, adoptive parents of children from third world countries, and were using their power to heal the world. Even Brad’s image benefitted from the strength of the Jolie narrative. He went from being Jolie’s ‘victim’ (or the main villain, depending on which way it was spun) to a “great dad” and humble sidekick to her global humanitarian efforts.

Their story flipped from sex and scandal to one of family and fundraising. Talk about a 180-degree campaign.

Stronger together: A PR portmanteau

It probably took less than a year for Ang and Brad to shed the negativity and become a brand united. They weren’t individual celebrities anymore – they were Brangelina.

brad pitt, angeline jolie, brangelina, face mash up, public relations

The United States of Brangelina (Source: gesichtermix)

Many other celebrities have tried to ride the same mashed-up name train, and failed. It wasn’t that Brangelina had a better ring to it than Bennifer or TomKat – it was that their joint story was stronger, more believable, and unique. Apart, they probably would have done alright for themselves (okay, who are we kidding, they’re millionaires and on-screen royalty – they would have been fine) but together…. they became unstoppable.

Indeed, any story about Ang also became about Brad, and vice versa. When Angelina announced her double mastectomy via an op-ed in the New York Times, Brad also released a statement to say how “heroic” his wife was, cementing their partnership and joint brand. See? Alone? Okay. Together? Better.  

From a PR perspective, two is so often better than one: An entrepreneur who launches a successful business is a great story, but a ‘philanthropreneur’ who also gives millions to solve the world’s problems is an even better one. If your business has a founder with an interesting story, that’s great, but two founders with incredible backstories is front page material.

Staying on-brand, for better or for worse

Even when things go south, it’s important that a brand’s messaging stays on track and all parties involved aren’t thrown to the wolves. Even though Ang and Brad have split up, the news and announcement of their divorce would have likely been no accident. Just because the main players have split doesn’t mean the game stops being played.

It would have been a calculated decision to ‘leak’ the divorce papers at the same time his new film trailer for Allied dropped. In fact, it works in Angelina’s favour, too, as their joint production company, Plan B, depends on the film doing well. At the same time, she gets to be the public front-footer of the divorce news, as the one who filed the papers in the first place.

Plus, Angelina has her lawyer in her corner being on brand by saying that she filed for divorce “for the health of the family”.

Perfect messaging from a well-oiled PR machine – something everyone can learn from.

Looking for strategic help to create, manage and pitch your brand? Get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg 

Crisis 101: Picking up the pieces after a social media meltdown

Social media is a very powerful tool many brands use today to tell stories and engage with their audience. With this power also comes great responsibility, and brands need to be accountable for the messages they broadcast – be it positive or negative.

We’ve seen brands like Coca-Cola and Oreo absolutely ace at their social media strategy, and then you have a restaurant like Amy’s Baking Company that seem to have fallen miles from grace. While nobody plans for a social media disaster, what’s more important is how to successfully bounce back if and when it happens.

Keep calm and don’t freak out

It’s anyone’s fair game to say whatever they like about you – particularly on social media. Our first instinct will be to get really defensive and we get it, it’s your brand and you have to protect it. But going on a rant on social media is like listening and watching a person scream through a loud-hailer – it’s annoying and embarrassing and can tarnish the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. Be smart, keep calm and breathe!

Check out this classic social media rant from Tinder.

Never claim you were hacked

It’s 2016 and everyone can see through that lie. It’s obvious you’ve just flopped on social media and running away from your mistakes will only anger the public further and escalate the disaster.

Case in point: Amy’s Baking Company

Example of a social media crisis

Example of a bad response to a social media crisis

 

Think before you react

It’s great that your first reaction is to explain what happened. However, it’s important to stop and think carefully about your response as a social media crisis can easily put you in a state of panic.

Structure your official response, be clear and act quickly as a lot can happen on social media in a very short span of time.

Own up to your mistakes

Nobody’s perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Instead of staying silent or claiming that you were hacked, turn it around with a sincere apology. Your fans will appreciate the humility.

Here’s how Expedia apologised and engaged with its customers.

Inject some humour

Trying to turn it around with some humour can work wonders and is a creative way to pick up the pieces. However, it is largely dependant on the severity of the situation and if you’ve hit a nerve on a sensitive issue it’s probably best to handle it with utmost austerity.

Here’s how Burger King handled the negative backlash regarding their fries:

Albeit self-deprecating, the humour was appreciated.

Open up the conversation

In moving forward after the apology, brands can react positively by opening up conversations. In response to a huge social media backlash, Dominos set up a Twitter account to discuss what went wrong. The two-sided communication proved to be a success for them as they were honest and transparent.

 

A social media disaster is not the end of the world for your brand – what really matters is how you handle it. Some brands bounce back from the backlash because of their ability to repair the damage, while others never do. Always be prepared and have a backup plan.

Need help with your social media strategy? Get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

6 common content marketing mistakes

It’s true, content marketing is one of the more effective strategies used today by modern marketers. A clear strategy helps brands to not only reach their intended audience, but the results also provide helpful consumer insights to improve future campaigns.

The process requires commitment, planning and patience and there are a lot of mistakes that many of us are guilty of making. Here are some of the more common ones:

Failing to plan

Content marketing strategies executed without proper planning and research are bound to fail. Firstly, figure out what your end goal is and then what you need to produce to attain it. Find the right people who can help you create great content and study your market to determine the perfect way to capture attention. 

Not understanding your audience

Understanding the needs and wants of your target market is essential to help you create the best strategy and connect your audience with your brand. Defining this factor will help you come up with more targeted material, which become more effective in attracting potential customers and increasing conversions.  

Producing mediocre content

Creating any old content is relatively easy. But coming up with something which is relevant, informative and worth-sharing is more difficult. Poor content will rarely succeed so it’s important to take the time to carefully plan your strategy – otherwise its unlikely anyone will engage with your work.

A lack of consistency

This goes back to having a clear goal and strategy in place. It’s important to publish content which is consistent with your brand – have you aligned your messaging?, are you using common fonts, colours and imagery? Maintaining consistency helps build your brand and ensure there are no mixed messages.

Overlooking calls-to-action

While the purpose of content is to inform and not directly promote, there still needs to be a clear call-to-action linked to each piece – whether its on your company blog, social media platforms, or whichever distribution channel you choose. This can be as discreet as a link to a landing page or a newsletter sign-up box but is important as it helps directs your readers to your offering.

Forgetting social media

In today’s digital age, social media is such a powerful marketing platform. It’s a great channel for content distribution, is very cost effective, and helps drive more attention to your brand. Start creating shareable content and always incorporate social media into your content marketing strategy.

 

Always take time to review your content. Whether you are writing an article or creating a video, everything you put out into the public forum can affect your brand’s success and reputation, so make sure you take the time to get it right.

Need help with your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with us hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

3 tips to creating smart content

It’s no question that content is an integral part of any marketing strategy and has consistently proven to be effective for lead generation.

While creating content is relatively easy, the challenge most marketers face is whizzing up relevant content that truly appeals to their target audience.

Your content means very little if you can’t fuel your viewers with enough information that excites and invites them to patronise your business. So ensuring you write interesting pieces and develop engaging visuals that are consistent with your marketing objectives is a top priority.

Here are three tips to help achieve smart content for your audience:

Think of your topic and stick to it

Before penning your content, carefully map out all your ideas. Then figure out exactly what story you want to share and how you wish to narrate it.

Determining your subject will help you create better content and you’ll be able to deliver more meaningful information. Your readers will also find it easier to follow your story when you haven’t been specific and provided a clear trail of thought.

Aim to inform, not to promote

Very few people, if anyone, wants to read something that’s basically screaming ‘Buy me now!’ It’s purpose should instead be to is to share information about your brand, and educate your reader. Excessive promotion can make you appear weak and desperate. Instead aim to build trust and show the value of your brand through engaging content.

Keep it short and don’t ramble

We all have have short-attention spans. Use simple words when expressing your thoughts and eliminate qualifying words to effectively get your message across.

Think less is more and your audience will appreciate it. Avoid rambling and always stick to your main subject.

Creating content should be fun and is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

If you need help putting some life into your content, get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

Creating captivating content in a mobile world

In Asia Pacific alone, it’s estimated there are more than 1 billion mobile users – and this is expected to grow to 1.4 billion users by 2019. Over the last five years we have witnessed a massive shift to digital (after all, an estimated 87% of smartphone users regularly have their device near them), which means we have to adapt our marketing communications to fit mobile.

This doesn’t just mean having an app or mobile-friendly website (yes, those are important from a UX perspective), but also maximising the use of content in the mobile space. I’m talking about creating content fit for a small screen that makes a big impact. 

Here are three ways to help get your brand noticed:

  1. Get visual

If you’re anything like me, you get bored and lose interest when reading large paragraphs of boring text that never seem to end. Am I right? Instead, visually stimulating content – images, graphics, video – gets the message across quickly. Time is money and people like to absorb information in quick spurts, so don’t let your content get lost in the digital jungle.

Try mixing up your Facebook News Feed with some cool images or videos to capture interest. People like variety, so shake your content up!

  1. Use emotive messaging

Most purchases are driven by pure emotions. What make you choose one brand over the other? Why did you buy that particular car, or pair of shoes? There is a massive divide between our needs and wants, and most of us opt for the want. Why? Because we experience certain emotions when we own a particular product or experience something new.

To tap into this emotion, you need to create content that pulls on people’s heartstrings. Create a heart-warming video or series of graphics – anything that can ignite a sense of desire for a particular product or service.

  1. Create an immersive experience

No one likes feeling left out. We want to be in the know, and brands today are winning when they allow their audience to feel like they are a part of something.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook enable brands to easily distribute content in a creative and engaging fashion. Take your fans on a journey – whether you are using Facebook’s 360 video feature to showcase your event, or are sharing behind the-scenes snaps of your latest clothing line on Snapchat. Think creatively and develop immersive experiences for your fans.

There are so many ways brands can present content. With our eyes fixated on the small screen, we all need to think about how we can tailor our marketing to meet the demands of our mobile audience.

Need help developing your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with us today at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

3 PR lessons from Rio 2016

What a great event the Olympics really are! It’s a chance for the world to come together and connect over a love of sport, patriotism and healthy competition. Every four years we witness some of the world’s greatest athletes achieve the unachievable, break records, and make us all proud.

Over time, the Olympic Games has had its fair share of PR disasters, and Rio 2016 didn’t exactly had the best start. From budget concerns, to toxic waters and pollution, Zika virus threats, angry citizens, and theft (and the list goes on), there was a point when we all wondered whether any athletes would even show up.

So how does an event this size return from the negative backlash that has been taunting it for the past few years?

Here are three key PR takeaways from this year’s games:

  1. Control your story

Haters are always gonna hate! It’s hard to change people’s minds, and so the best thing you can do is change the narrative and re-direct the focus. It’s easier to sway public opinion with the right connections and resources. At Rio 2016, having Supermodel Gisele Bundchen strut her stuff in the Opening Ceremony was the start of something good for the Games. I quickly noticed the news angle change from talking about what has gone wrong so far, to the start of a great Olympic Games. The media focus then began to shift to the events and athletes – which is where it should have been from the start.

  1. The show must go on

The Olympics will go ahead one way or another. If negative news is to happen, let it happen, and move on. The ‘negatives’ are always going to be more controversial and juicier to read about. Large-scale events like the Olympics undoubtedly have their fair share of blunders, so it’s best to just accept it, plan for it and keep the momentum going on the topics that really matter.

  1. Take your gold medal

Even when you win, you need to reflect on your performance. Walk away from an event with good memories, but break down the situation entirely – the good, bad and the ugly. I doubt many of us will really be talking about the negative aspects of Rio 2016 in two weeks time – instead we’ll be talking about the gold medals Michael Phelps walked away with, how Joseph Schooling put Singapore on the sporting map, and whether Usain Bolt broke another world record. Those are the lasting impressions that matter.

Events are hard, and you will never be able to please everyone. But managing expectations and planning ahead is part of the job. If your event is garnering negative press, look above it, go to your back-up plan and work with your PR team to help navigate the narrative during and after the event.

Need help creating a winning PR strategy for your brand? Get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

5 brands that are slaying video

According to an article published by TechinAsia last year, 100 million internet users watch online videos every day and 64% of them are likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

Today, you can view videos not only on YouTube, but on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…and the list goes on. Likewise, brands are able to upload videos directly onto these platforms without a host. However, many brands recognise the opportunity of creating a YouTube account in order to reach out to its 1 billion users.

We won’t be giving you a list of reasons why you should be creating video content as we all know this is important, instead here are some superb examples of brands who have mastered the art of video marketing:

Apple

Notice how it doesn’t scream, “BUY THE IPHONE NOW”? Instead, this short 15-second video is clean-cut and simple, perfect for Apple’s minimalist branding. This straight-to-the-point video by Apple is part of a series that merely exhibits what the iPhone’s camera is capable of capturing but well, it has us sold.

Tastemade

You’ve probably seen countless of Tastemade videos on your Facebook News Feed. And we’re also certain you’ve stopped to watch them at least once. What makes these recipe videos so engaging? First and most importantly, they’re sped up. In today’s fast-paced digital world, the last thing we need is to watch someone whisking egg-whites till stiff-peaks form. Second, they’re shot in high definition and against a mirage of colours – easily capturing the audience. Lastly, these videos are fun and shareable. You want your videos to be watched, liked and shared by as many as possible because it essentially increases your reach beyond your own pool of followers.

Dove

Renowned for being the first few brands to use video to raise awareness of beauty and body image, Dove’s YouTube profile is categorised into different series, with its most recent one being the #MyBeautyMySay stories. The idea behind portraying “real” beauty is good, but leveraging on video campaigns to carry it out is brilliant. Dove’s ambassadors are regular women. Although the videos may be cut and edited, the women’s body-types and emotions are real and raw.

Blendtec

The Blendtec’s videos are fantastic! They are funny, innovative and out of this world – who would even think about blending selfie-sticks? Blendtec’s confidence in their products gives them an added advantage because again, you can’t fake it on video. “Will It Blend” is a flashy series that demonstrates the power of Blendtec’s blenders. Conveying this via videos on YouTube created a fan base for the company and its products and this is certainly a lesson many brands can learn from.

Ben & Jerry’s

Doesn’t this video make you want to grab a BRRR-ito from the nearest scoop shop, especially in Singapore’s sweltering heat? Ben and Jerry’s YouTube videos slay – they not only introduce new flavours on their channel to create suspense amongst their fans, but they entice viewers to buy their pints through short recipe clips that are simple and hassle-free.

Establishing a YouTube channel for your brand is great because it acts as a host platform for you to share your videos on other social media platforms like Facebook. At the same time, you can create and share incredible videos without a YouTube channel. Remember that your videos should always convey your key message in a subtle manner. Videos should be quick and to the point, and the key is to inform, educate and inspire. You want to create sharable content that also draws on consumers emotions.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to hello@mutant.com.sg 

 

Mutant Content Marketing Agency Singapore

Are you adding those snaps to your brand story?

You’ve realised the potential of building your brand’s presence on social media. You’re running a great Facebook page and you have an Instagram account with a massive following. Your Twitter page is updated every ten hours and engagement is high. Everything seems perfect…

Or so you think.

The idea of Snapchat was born half a decade ago and its founders turned down Facebook’s offer to buy it over for US$3 billion in 2013. Today, Snapchat is the fastest growing social network for millennials.

If you’ve not jumped onto the Snapchat bandwagon, you’re missing out on reaching the 100 million active users around the world. You might argue that you’re not trying to target Millenials – but hey, don’t all kids grow up? Trust me, the majority of them have friends or relatives of all ages and can surely share your content with them.

If you haven’t began your Snapchat journey, its not too late to start. Heres’s some tips to get you going:

1. Offer time-sensitive deals

A post on Snapchat, or more commonly known as a ‘snap’, lasts for a maximum of 10 seconds and is available for only 24 hours. This initiates a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) – which means more people are likely to view your content.

Here are some brilliant examples of how to surprise your followers with small perks – a sure way to build brand loyalty. Better yet, get them to screenshot the snap (you can see who screenshots your posts). It makes your post more shareable and this stretches the reach of your content.

time deals

2. Rock behind-the-scenes

You don’t need to look pretty on Snapchat – save those filters for your Instagram feed. Build your brand’s personality into each snap and offer your followers exclusive content.

Take a look at these snaps from Free People. If you’re a fan of their clothes, wouldn’t you want these little sneak peeks? Well, I certainly would. They don’t have to be shot in great lighting or filtered perfectly. Be authentic – you’re showing your followers what goes on behind that six-hour photoshoot and we know it’s not all rosy!

3033793-inline-i-7-the-best-brands-on-snapchat-so-far

 

3. Go live

Yet another way to provide an element of exclusivity – give your followers access to live events that happen right there and then. Leverage on your Facebook or Twitter accounts and tempt people to tune into Snapchat.

Vanity Fair got up-close-and-personal with celebrities at the 2015 Oscar Party, and of course its followers did too.

oscars_vanity

 

4. Tell a real story

Like most social media networks, the main purpose of Snapchat for brands is to engage viewers and ideally convert them into consumers. Boring content only leads followers to move to another story and You don’t want that to happen to yours!

Great tip: Ask your followers a question in one snap, and answer it in the next. Keep them on their toes and make the process fun and interactive.

GrubHub did a fantastic job in leveraging Snapchat to convey a message. It doesn’t shout for followers to purchase, but centres its snaps around the main product offerings. Check it out:

 

tell a story and engage

5. Empower influencers

Influencers rule social media and Snapchat is no stranger. Partnering with Snapchat influencers is more commonly known as a ‘Snapchat Takeover’. This is where influencers sign into the brand’s Snapchat account for a period of time, and post content aimed to increase followers, reach and engagement.

Disney approached Shaun McBride (@shonduras), a Snapchat influencer renowned for creating sophisticated art works on his snaps, to promote a Frozen-themed event. Fans got a chance to follow him go around Walt Disney World on Disney’s Snapchat story.

 

influencer

 

 

The best feature of Snapchat is that your story is always fresh. Vertical videos now allow brands to capture audience attention by taking up entire screens, which means that your audience is completely focused on your snaps without any distractions.

How do your followers find you?

If you’ve got a mailing list, let your subscribers know that you’re on Snapchat by including your username and reasons why they should follow you in your next emailer. Alternatively, you can add your Snapchat username into your bio on your various social media platforms, or share your Snapcode as an image on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Need help deciding on the best social media strategy for your business? Get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

Have you met yourself on camera?

Despite dozens of media training sessions we’ve conducted here at Mutant, I have yet to meet someone who absolutely loves the way they sound and look on camera. Even the most confident people struggle to prepare for TV interviews and shy away when they see and hear themselves.

“My voice sounds so high,” or “Why do I speak so fast?” are often the responses we get when playing back footage to clients.

Unfortunately, we’re our own harshest critics. Plus, seeing yourself from the outside, and hearing yourself on camera is daunting and something you’re not used to.

Here are some notes that might help you feel more comfortable with preparing for an interview, or even just getting used to seeing yourself on screen:

The camera sucks the life out of you

Have you ever noticed that when a TV host speaks on camera they talk extremely animatedly and enthusiastically? If someone spoke to you like that face-to-face in real life, you’d actually find it quite strange.

The camera sucks the emotion and the ‘life’ out of you. Meaning things that are ‘normal’ – like simply talking to someone – can come across as extremely dull and boring on camera. We’re so used to seeing very dynamic people and actions on screen that our brains have come to expect anything on TV to have 10 times more energy and spark.

To account for this, ensure your speaking volume is 10-15 percent louder than normal on camera, and that you are really bringing your most energetic self to an interview or presentation. It might feel like you’re overdoing it, but it looks great on screen.

Here’s an exercise: Think about where and when you are your most dynamic self and where your personality shines the most. Is it catching up with friends for drinks? Or is it when you speak at meetings at work? Bring that version of yourself to an interview.

Practice

Today, it’s easier than ever to do a few practice rounds for an upcoming interview or presentation by yourself. Set up your video camera or phone and practice speaking about yourself and your company. Yes, this feels really awkward, but it’s just because you’re not used to it.

Start with something as simple as answering, “tell me about your company”.

But instead of answering like a written response (i.e. “Well, we started in 2012 and we provide services in technology…”) try incorporating a story element into your answer:

“The story of how we started is quite interesting actually. We were four friends who worked together at a Fortune 500 company, but decided we needed to start something on our own…”

Write down a list of potential questions you might be asked in a TV interview and work out how you’d like to answer each one. Think of potential negative questions, which may be asked as well.

Playback time

Once you’ve answered a few questions on camera, play the footage back to yourself and analyse what you liked and what you didn’t. Was it the way you sounded? If so, try talking more clearly and lower your pitch a couple of notches. The camera also picks up our voices as slightly higher than they are, so keep that in mind.

What about the way you looked and presented yourself? Were you shuffling too much? Playing with your hair? Moving your hands in front of your face constantly? We all have our habits which can be exaggerated on camera, but at least you’re able to figure out what it is before you go for an interview.

Um, uh, like, you know…

When you’re thinking of what to say next, the best thing to do is to pause… just for a couple of seconds, so you can move on to the next sentence in a calm and easy way. Sadly that’s easier said than done.

What people end up usually doing is using their ‘tell’. This can come in the form of ‘um’, ‘ah’, ‘uh’, ‘like’, ‘you know’ and several other options. Time yourself for a minute and speak about any topic you like.

Now, play that back and see if there is a certain phrase or word you keep using that is totally unnecessary. Once you’ve worked out what it is, practice replacing that with a nice distinguished pause.

Some of the best interviews you’ll see on TV are with composed people who have very much practiced self-editing the ‘like’ or ‘ummm’ out of their sentences.

The more comfortable you become on camera, the more you can work on what really matters – your content and getting your key messages across to those watching you.

Image to download Mutant media training course

If you’d like to speak more about media training, feel free to get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

Everything you need to know about copywriting and SEO

So, you’ve nailed down your content – now what? Maybe you’re struggling with content optimisation and how to get the most out of your copy. Perhaps the thought of keyword planning and SEO makes you nervous.

Very few of us actually understand the mechanics behind search engine optimisation (SEO). After all it is a beast, and Google’s search ranking algorithm doesn’t help the situation either. Unless you are an SEO specialist, leave this task to the experts – they are at the forefront of all the updates and latest tricks, and you should concentrate on producing quality content.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

What exactly is content optimisation?

Content marketing should play a key role in any marketing plan. To optimise content simply means to a) make it search engine friendly and b) drive action that ultimately leads to a sale.

It combines a mix of your chosen keywords and an opportunity to build brand trust and authority. Brand trust and authority are not built through a pushy sales pitch, but instead a long-term series of informative and educational content pieces.

Ok, so where do I start?


If you have hired an SEO agency, make sure you work closely with the team to identify your top keywords that will help your content rank. Next, put together a content calendar of topics that are related to your business and be sure to run these past your agency to see how they fit with the overall plan.

If you don’t have an agency and are working alone, make use of the free Google Adwords Keyword Planner and work out which keywords you’d like to rank for, then plan your content accordingly.

Next, try and feed in the keywords into the title and body of your content piece, but don’t go overboard and use it five times in one sentence. Your content will not only read poorly, but there is no additional benefit for your SEO.

The trick is to distribute keywords sporadically across the piece and feed them in a few times, as and when its applicable to mention. Never compromise on the quality of your piece for the sake of SEO – find that happy balance.

Suggested Read: 3 steps to creating targeted content that sells

Your last content optimisation action should engage the reader with a call-to-action, or CTA. This is something that prompts action from the target audience, It can be in the form of a downloadable resource, a link to enter a competition, or whatever you feel is necessary to move that person further down the sales funnel.

TIP: Avoid actually selling. Give your reader an incentive to click and download, or contact you directly.


Add visual content

Images are just as important in your blog as the words themselves. We are a very visual generation and your content marketing plan should incorporate a healthy mix of written and visual content. Always make sure you have a great image to accompany your content, which should help drive click-throughs and engagement.

Remember that when you are uploading content online, your images should be titled with your keywords in mind – both Title and ALT tags. This will increase your chances of ranking higher on Google.

Making it all work

Make it a priority to write each piece of content with your target audience in mind, and then tie it in with your chosen keywords. You should never write anything without thinking about who it’s meant for, and why your content will help them. Be smart and kill two birds with one stone by mixing great content that is also search engine friendly and optimised for a sale.

Your content should give readers a sense of trust for your brand and have them coming back for more.

Get in touch with us if you need help in creating content that works for your business. Drop us a note at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

Emoji Marketing: Using tiny images to send a big message

The way we communicate with each other is constantly changing, thanks to technology. I mean, 10 years ago, would you have been able to decipher this sentence?:

OMG, IDEK. LOL IDC… actually, IDGAF TBH. BRB, TTYL.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the way we speak to each other is constantly evolving. Abbreviations are one thing, but in today’s social landscape emojis are taking over, too.

The popularity of social media has promoted the use of visual media. Our words are becoming substituted with small emojis, or digital images, that represent faces, animals, fashion, accessories, hearts, weather, food, sports…and the list goes on.

Emojis can tell a story. In fact, you could send a message to a friend filled entirely with emojis and chances are they would understand what you were trying to say.

Take a look at this creative text message:

A great example of the new way to communicate for content marketing

Source

A new way to communicate

Could our shortening attention spans and love for visual media be the cause of this phenomenal obsession with emojis? Is this the future of content?

A picture says a thousand words and as we all seem to be so time poor, it just seems easier to use pictures instead of words.

Emojis have only previously been used for social purposes, but nowadays many brands are beginning to adopt emojis to add flavour to their communications.

A great and effective content example for outdoor advertising
Domino's recent tweet consisting of emojis to convey the message - a great content marketing example

Why are we so obsessed?

These miniature images suddenly appeared in our phones and, as a society craving constant change and new ways to communicate, we pounced. It simply proves that great content is about so much more than just words.

In fact, some of the most lucrative content out there is solely emojis. Kim Kardashian changed the game when she released the ‘Kimoji’ app you can buy from iTunes. Even bad boy Charlie Sheen has released his own ‘Sheenojis’. It’s truly becoming an obsession led by many famous and influential figures.

The use of emojis is relentless – but it’s simply a representation of our need to not only “tell” content, but “show” it. While emojis have become a ubiquitous part of social media and Internet language, it’s worth considering how you might be able to incorporate them into an appropriate campaign or messaging.

(PROTIP: Just be sure you know what the emoji means so your message doesn’t backfire! For example, the eggplant emoji does not simply represent an eggplant anymore… be careful!)

It’s fair to say emojis are here to stay, and we will continue to see them evolve in content both online and offline.

Now, go ahead and take this test and find out which emoji best represents you. Have fun!

Do you need help creating some crafty content? Drop us a note at hello@mutant.com.sg.