How to Organically Build A Solid Brand Presence On Instagram

With an average of one billion monthly users, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms since it exploded onto the scene in 2010. Understandably, as Instagram’s visual content tends to drive higher engagement than any other social media network, brands have also rapidly jumped onto the platform. While it may be easy to establish an account for your business, the real challenge is to build an Instagram presence that stands out from the millions of other brands on the platform. 

Here are some steps to keep in mind if you want to create a strong and sustainable following for your brand. 

Step 1: Find your aesthetic and stick to it

Instagram is all about the aesthetic. Even before you post your first image, take time to plan how you want your brand to be represented visually as creating a harmonious and unique visual brand experience is key to establishing your online brand identity. Ideally, your artistic vision will align with your brand values as well as resonate with the lifestyles of your target audience.

Additionally, the overall look and feel of the images you post should stay consistent throughout your feed so that it tells a compelling story and makes it easy for people to  associate your aesthetic with your brand. 

Step 2: Share the right mix of content 

One of the top reasons people follow brands on social media is to learn about new products and services. However, others follow to be entertained, educated, inspired and to connect with people similar to themselves. Therefore, it is important that businesses balance the type of content that is published online to cater to these different expectations. So mix it up!

Share a combination of  promotional posts (product and company news), conversational posts (contests, giveaways and polls that drive engagement) and sharing posts (industry news and collaborations with influencers, audience, other companies etc) in order to reach the different segments of your audience. By doing this, it will help your brand avoid being overly promotional by ensuring you deliver content that keeps all types of followers coming back for more. 

Step 3: Diversify your content with Instagram’s full range of features

Instagram has introduced new tools for users over the past few years, such as Instagram Live, a live-streaming option, and Instagram Stories. By using these features, you can find new ways to communicate your brand story and personality and engage with those who follow you. In fact, these features can often inject fun and authenticity in ways that highly stylized and curated posts on Instagram feed are unable to, helping to deepen the connection with your followers.

Such content can include a behind-the-scenes look at events, a peek into the office culture, or tutorials for your products. Content that customers tag your brand in can also be shared and used as conversation starters. Don’t be afraid to get creative and take advantage of all the features Instagram has to offer. 

Step 4: Dive deep into the analytics 

An Instagram business profile not only helps separate your account from personal accounts, it also provides your brand access to page analytics. Paying attention to these numbers can help you understand how your account is performing, how you can improve your strategy and grow your following. While it is important to post consistently to hold audience interest, Instagram’s analytics will provide insight into when the most optimal time to post to catch your followers attention is, as well as how frequently you should post to drive the highest possible engagement.

Additionally, with such insights, you’ll learn about the types of posts your audience prefers and if your page is attracting your ideal demographic. If you review the valuable data provided by Instagram regularly, you can make the necessary tweaks to your social media strategy and optimise it for better results. 

Step 5: Use #hashtags appropriately 

Choosing the right hashtags for your Instagram posts can determine if your content appears as a top post or if it becomes a needle in a haystack. There are two ways to use hashtags – leveraging ones that already exist and creating your own branded hashtags. For the former, you want to incorporate a mix of trending and industry-specific hashtags to connect with your targeted followers.

Make sure you conduct sufficient research for each one by analysing the number of likes on its top-performing posts and if the type of content aligns with yours. But do remember to be wary of using too many hashtags with millions of follows, as your post is likely to get lost in the noise. As for the latter, a branded hashtag should be concise, memorable and include some semblance of your brand name. The number of hashtags you include on a post is also essential. While the allowed maximum is 30, try to avoid spamming hashtags below your caption and risk looking both untargeted and unprofessional.

The above steps are just a few guidelines, but they will help give you a good foundation to begin building a solid brand presence on Instagram. Continue to explore the many other tips and tricks out there and find the ones that work best for you!

Want to build a solid online presence? Talk to us at hello@mutant.com.sg!

What’s in a Name? How to Differentiate Between Types of Content

It happens all too often – a client says they want a blog, but when a blog is delivered, they ask why it’s so short, or why the tone is so casual. Or, they say they want an op-ed that can be pitched to a top-tier industry publication, and then don’t understand why their company’s newest product isn’t specifically mentioned or detailed in the piece.

While it’s wonderful that this client knows content will help them boost their brand and generate leads, if they don’t understand the difference between types of content, things will be frustrating for both the content team and the client. Because, unlike a rose, an op-ed by any other name is an entirely different piece of content.

When communicating with the content team you’re working with, it’s vital that you are on the same page when it comes to the types of content they are producing for you – otherwise lots of time, energy and effort will be wasted. This is because different types of content are geared for different audiences and are meant to reach different goals.

For example, if you’re hoping to increase your CEO’s profile, a social media campaign is likely not the answer – thought leadership articles are. Likewise, if you’re launching a new report and want to extend the coverage of all that data you analysed, you’ll need more than press releases – you’ll want op-eds, blog posts and maybe an infographic or two.

If all of this has your head spinning, don’t worry – we’re here to help dispel the confusion surrounding different types of content. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Social Media Copy, Explained


Oh look, a Facebook post.

Pithy, punchy and to-the-point, social media calls for short-form copy (Sometimes, extremely short-form. A tweet, for example, is a maximum of 280 characters that is attention-grabbing, informative and creative (yes, emoji are completely acceptable and hashtags are a must – they help with discovery). It should be written in your brand’s voice and have a personality that resonates with your audience. 

Though there are several different types of social media platforms today, the platforms most often used for business are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. While similar messaging can be pushed out via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn is a professional network that is better suited. for business goals such as brand or product awareness and communicating employer brand messaging,

Getting the tone right for each platform is an important part of crafting social media copy, so understanding how different platforms operate and which platforms your audience prefers or frequents is crucial. After all, if your target demographic spends most of their time scrolling Instagram and you’re only on Facebook, you’re missing a huge opportunity to speak directly to and engage directly with them.

Thought Leadership Posts and Articles, Explained

When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is the platform you want. Your company’s executives likely all already have LinkedIn profiles in order to network and keep up with industry news. And since the platform caters to professionals, it’s the perfect place to share thoughts on the state of the industry, general business news and the thought process behind your company’s latest developments.

There are a couple different ways to publish thought leadership on LinkedIn: the first is through a post. This is short-form content – anywhere from a line or two to a paragraph – where a professional shares a quick thought about a relevant business topic or a news article they link. Though quick and efficient, these posts do provide insider insights and help to build a personal brand.

The second option is to write and share an original article on LinkedIn. This option allows more freedom and space for an executive to really delve into a topic through a longer-form piece – usually around 400–700 words – providing followers, connections and other professionals a look into their thoughts about a particular event, industry trend or piece of global news. 

In addition to positioning executives as experienced, authoritative, thoughtful leaders with a unique perspective, these pieces could also lead to greater networking opportunities, speaking engagements or even business partnerships.

Blogs, Explained

Behold, a blog post.

The goal of blogs is to communicate your company’s messaging, be it reiterating your vision, launching a new product or report, providing updates to your customers, or releasing a statement in times of crisis. These pieces are where you can not just promote your company and your products, but explain them in-depth and provide behind-the-scenes information or looks at innovation.

Often, blogs and social media work hand-in-hand: you can use your social media pages to promote new blog posts by giving readers a quick taste of what’s to come in the blog and enticing them to click the link and go to your website. 

Op-Eds, Explained

When it comes to pitching articles to the media, it’s generally an op-ed – short for ”opposite the editorial page” (if you want to invite us to be on your pub quiz team, we understand) – that you want to pitch. These should be thought of as thought leadership pieces because an op-ed will include a company spokesperson or executive’s name as the author and will be written in their voice, from their perspective.

But unlike writing for a company blog or for LinkedIn, an op-ed that is pitched to a publication should be long-form – usually 600–1,000 words, depending on their guidelines – and should communicate your company’s vision or leader’s thoughts without specifically selling the company or its products/services. 

This is an important distinction to make, and one that is easy to misunderstand. The reason why the company’s vision or product cannot be specifically detailed or mentioned is that if it is, the publication will consider the piece as an advertorial,  which is, at the end of the day, an ad. And you have to pay for ads.

Op-eds, however, do not cost your company anything if they are accepted to publication and they can not only boost brand reputation and brand awareness, but will establish your business and leaders as a trusted voice in your sector.

Infographics, Explained

A combination of copy and design, infographics help to tell a story or explain events or systems visually. These can be very effective when communicating complicated ideas that are often difficult or confusing to explain with only copy, and are great to share online on any platform.

If you’re unsure about what type of designed content it is that you want, that is completely fine – feel free to provide examples of designed content you like and the content team can help you figure out what will work best for you.

Hopefully this content primer helped shed some light on how different pieces of content operate. However, if the event you head into your next meeting with your content team and you can’t remember the difference between a blog and an op-ed, don’t tell your agency you want five blogs and five articles, hoping they’ll figure out exactly what articles mean to you. Instead, explain your business goals – your content team should be able to help you narrow down what will work best for you. 

Unsure what type of content works best for your brand? The Mutant content team is here for you. Send us an email to hello@mutant.com.sg

3 Ways To Infuse Life Into Your Content

While creating content may seem like a simple task, consistently keeping your audience hooked is a different ball game. Blog posts and articles are often the first thing which come to mind, we talk about content. While this is true, content exists in other forms such as videos, infographics, e-books or audio. Thanks to social media, short-form video content is all the rage – all you need to do is scroll down Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, and check out the staggering number of views that some videos manage to clinch.

Want to keep your content alive, so audiences always keep coming back for more? Here are three tips:

Re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle

Great advice not only for the environment, but also the content you have generated so far. Most of which is probably timeless, so don’t let it go to waste. Posted a blog on your website two years ago? Give it a fresh lease of life, and repurpose it for a different platform. Trending topics tend to be cyclical – a specific topic you wrote about a year ago could be relevant in the present moment.

For instance, events such as the Oscars, the Super Bowl, and the prominent Fashion Weeks never fail to be a yearly occurrence. If you wrote a listicle about the major looks sported at celebrities at the Golden Globes, or penned an insightful op-ed about fashion and sustainability, why not rehash the content by giving it a fresh new twist and sharing it across your socials?

Reel them in with an irresistible headline

Putting time and effort into creating your content is great, but it’s the headline that will compel people to click on whatever you have put out. Writing a good headline involves balancing the right amount of information to let people know what to expect, yet being mysterious enough to pique their interest. Clickbait is annoying, and will only turn your readers away – be genuine with your headlines, and you will earn the clicks you deserve.

Make it personal

Customers nowadays are all about authenticity. Thanks to the Internet and social media at large, people want to see the “real” you. They want to know your story so they can be invested in it, and hopefully get to know you and talk to you (just like dating).

Give people what they want. Share stories about the team working behind the scenes to help your brand or product come to life. Hop onto Instagram or Facebook Live, or record a “Storytime” video for your YouTube audience. Social media allows for two-way communications, where your customers and fans will tell you what they think of you and your product in real-time.

Let your customers in, so they can see you for who you really are. Tell your brand story with flair, and make it human. Instead of turning it into a hackneyed old sales pitch, show people what you and your brand can do. Your content strategy should leave people hungry for more.

Want to give your content a fresh lease of life? Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.sg

Content Localisation, aka How To Be Relevant To Different Audiences

You’ve heard it before: what speaks to me might not speak to you. This is the overarching idea behind content localisation,  a buzzword in content marketing, which is – just like content marketing – often misunderstood. Officially defined as “the process of making something local in character or restricting it to a particular place”, localisation is often only talked about in the context of different markets or languages. This isn’t wrong, but it does ignore a full scope of what the term means.

So what does content localisation mean, then?

Localisation isn’t just about translating text into another language, exchanging images to make the people them look like ‘local’ people or changing certain keywords to make your content more searchable in different countries. (Although that part of localisation is important, too).

Localisation means relevancy. The basic question brands need to ask themselves is this: how is my business / offering / content relevant to a particular audience?

Content localisation doesn’t just apply when moving across borders, but  when appealing to different audiences in the same market. A brand’s product or offering may be of interest l to both young millennials and baby boomers, but not in the same way.

For example, the reason why Gucci has recently risen in popularity among millennials and teens is not the same reason why celebrities and more affluent older generations love wearing the fashion brand. They like it for different reasons. The brand is relevant to them in a different way. As a result, Gucci markets, or localises, its brand differently to these two audiences. 

Fashion labels in particular are a great example of how a brand can be perceived differently across borders. The American brand Coach, for example, is considered a premium designer label in Southeast Asia, but has a somewhat more ordinary positioning in the U.S. 

So here comes the next question: is it great content localisation if a low-quality beer from Germany is sold in Southeast Asia as a top-shelf premium import brew? I would say: yes (although slightly misleading in this case). 

After all, the positioning of a brand changes with different audiences and markets depending on what else there is. (Reader: Are you saying Southeast Asia offers such bad beer that it makes other low-quality beer seem premium? Me: I would never say that.)

Let’s remember that localisation isn’t just changing imagery and translating social media copy – it’s about branding and positioning, finding a new audience, discovering a different value product. For Gucci, it was finding a way to appeal to a younger audience. For the German beer, it’s insinuating that a beverage imported from a country renowned for beer is a more informed, more high-quality choice than what is available locally.

What can content localisation look like?

  • Adapting your visuals to resemble your target audience (regardless of the market)
  • Using the right tone of voice and language complexity that will speak to and resonate with a particular audience
  • Be aware of cultural and political sensitivities across customer segments, generations and markets

Create a flexible content strategy, instead of following a yes-or-no, black-or-white, brand strategy. Remember what is true for your brand in one market, or with a certain customer segment, may not be universally true. Rolling out a localised version of a global brand campaign is not an oxymoron. 

What’s the ‘local’ channel?

The localisation of your content extends to considering which channel it will be published on. While Facebook and Instagram enjoy great popularity in Southeast Asia and across different demographics, other markets may also have other more popular channels. 

For example, if you are planning to venture into South Korea, you’ll want to be on KakaoTalk, on WeChat in China, or on Line in Japan. Crossing borders doesn’t just require translations – brands also need to adapt their content to each new channel.

The same applies for different target audiences. While young millennials and Gen Zs may scroll through the TikTok and post on SnapChat, older millennials and Gen X tend to dig through Reddit to consume content.

Finding the right channel for your message is important. So do your homework and find out where your audience plays online.

Here is your content localisation checklist:

  • Market Research: Find out as much as you about your new market and audiences. Is there a need for your brand? What are consumers looking for?
  • Brand Research: Who are your competitors? What’s their positioning? How does your brand fit in the market?
  • Cultural Considerations: What sensitive topics should you avoid? What major events and trends can you leverage?
  • Content: Revise your text, images, videos, reports and more. Translate, transcreate, adapt and curate new content.
  • Audiences: Find new audiences that you may have not considered previously. Test and learn about who you are talking to.
  • Measure: That’s the only way to find out what actually works. Make sure you measure your activities and campaign.

Get lost in translation? Don’t worry, it even happens to Bill Murray – and he’s great. If you want to talk about how to upgrade your content to cross borders or find new audiences (or chat about Bill Murray over some Suntory), send us a message to hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

How to grow your business with content marketing in 2019

The year is in full swing and marketing strategies are being rolled out… but maybe you kind of haven’t started yours yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to begin – especially since content marketing isn’t solely about driving leads, but the stories you want to tell.

Based on our content marketing experience with brands across Singapore and Southeast Asia, we have put together a few tips and techniques you can use to beef up your efforts this year, regardless of whether you have done your marketing homework or not.

#1 Quality over quantity

Although a regular content output remains important, the quality of each piece is more important than ever before. With thousands of posts, articles and newsletters being published and pushed out every single day, the sheer volume of available content is overwhelming. Simply rehashing your competitors’ communications won’t be convincing or engaging, to say the least.

If you are going to create content in 2019, make sure it matters to your audience and feels fresh. Whether it’s your own opinion posted to LinkedIn, your next company blog or a product-related post on Facebook, give it substance, a point of view, and ask yourself if it adds any value. Also, don’t simply produce content for the sake of it – instead publish content when you have something to say.

Want to know more about how to take a stance as a brand? Read this.

#2 Email marketing doesn’t rely on algorithms

If you are worried about social media advertising algorithms messing about with your budget, then it’s time to revitalise your email marketing strategy. Email is one of the only channels that doesn’t rely on ever-changing algorithms.

Whether you already have a solid database or are just starting out, an email marketing strategy is a worthy investment. With great visuals, quality content, and an opinionated subject line, you can grab the attention of the people that matter.

Tip: Don’t overload your newsletters with too much content. Have a topic that ties back to your business for each newsletter.

#3 Influencers? Yes, but…

It’s the age if the influencer… including the ‘fake’, wannabe inauthentic ‘influencers’ that pop of everywhere claiming to have a phenomenal reach. There are just as many ‘fake’ influencers promoting their services and reach to any brand that is keen enough listen as there are real ones, and so it comes as no surprise that Instagrammers look to buy followers or use other shady tactics. Just last year, Singapore-based Daryl Aiden Yow was exposed for passing off stock images as his own, offering his photography services at the same time.

To identify influencers who actually add value to your business, take a deep look into their feeds. Look critically at their engagement and comments. If it seems legit, it’s time to meet them – if not in person, then at least over a quick call. Their personality and attitude will often provide better insight into whether they are in it for a quick buck or if they are passionate content creators worthy of investment.

#4 Merge quality with measurement

We can’t say it often enough – create, measure, analyse and optimise. While this may sound straightforward, these simple steps divide content teams everywhere.

There are two camps in content marketing: On one side are the editorial purists, who polish each sentence until it could win a literary prize. On the other side are the SEO-minded Google Analytics marketers, who tend to produce conglomerations of keyword that will make great use of checklists and algorithms.

Who’s the better content marketer? Well, they both are, if they work together.

The truth is that the most common concern regarding content marketing, especially among SMEs and startups, is related to their return on investment (ROI). Be it brand awareness, website clicks, conversions or leads, setting KPIs and measuring your content rigorously is important. But it’s equally important to craft well-written and informative pieces that people actually want to read.

#5 Don’t forget about employer branding

Content marketing is not only a way for brands to create awareness for their products and services, but also to attract and recruit highly-skilled talent.

While a lot of brands successfully market their offerings and attract customers, they are often not so great at telling their story as an employer and engaging the right people to work for them. Though client work always comes first, remember that without the right people working for your company, you won’t be able to offer the highest quality work or grow your business.

Ensure you communicate across different channels, highlighting aspects of your business that matters to the audiences on each channel. While your company blog is a great way to showcase your expertise and express thoughts more freely on a variety of topics, Facebook and Instagram should highlight the fun side of your company in a way that’s as visual as possible. Both LinkedIn and Glassdoor are not only platforms to post jobs but are great for communicating company news to a professional audience. However, don’t forget to leverage marketing and HR titles (or other trade titles) to express your thoughts and opinions on the wider industry.

Need help with some or all of the above? Just say ‘hi’ at hello@mutant.com.sg and we’ll talk.

 

What Is a Content Strategy and Why Do I Need One?

It’s likely you’ve heard the term ‘content strategy’ thrown around lately, but unless you work in the world of content marketing, you probably are thinking, ‘What exactly is a content strategy?’. We’re here to help.

Depending on the brand you work for, the definition of content strategy may vary slightly, but broadly it is the creation and distribution of content that drives profitable customer action.

It’s easy to task marketing or PR departments with this type of work, but, really, content strategy leverages skills and knowledge from several different departments: the aforementioned marketing and PR, but also corporate communications, social media and even business development.

By leveraging knowledge from all of these spaces, a content strategy can help propel your company toward its goals and drive real business results. There are myriad benefits to a robust content strategy, but these are three of the biggest:

BRAND CONSISTENCY

Keeping your brand’s voice and style consistent across all types of content (think press releases, marketing collateral, social media posts, the corporate website, and beyond) while also effectively communicating your brand’s message can be a surprisingly big challenge, especially if there are multiple staff members writing and posting content.

By creating brand guidelines – from preferred grammar style to design instructions regarding corporate logos, fonts and colours to social media instructions – everyone on your team will have access to an editorial starter kit that will help them craft content that aligns with your business’s established voice.

SEAMLESS, STRESS-FREE COMMUNICATIONS ROLL-OUT

Launching a new campaign, unveiling a corporate rebrand or announcing an exciting business development, though thrilling, comes with its fair share of stress. Making sure that the announcement goes live across all channels simultaneously can be a shockingly large headache, and even with brand guidelines available, it can still be difficult to ensure consistency across all channels – especially if social media is involved, and even more so if you’re responding to your audience or media in real time.

But with a concrete content strategy surrounding whatever your big news may be – from the initial communication to community management – you can rest easy knowing that the development won’t be overshadowed by frustrated members of your audience complaining about not having all the information on every social media channel or by a content misstep that goes viral.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Even if becoming a thought leader isn’t on your list of career goals, it’s undeniable that media exposure can be beneficial for both your business and your personal brand. An influential aspect of a truly 360-degree content strategy – and one that may not be a typical suggestion from an in-house department – is positioning senior team members as industry experts through thought leadership pieces, op-eds and broadcast or radio interviews.

By sharing your perspective and business insights in a clear, precise manner, you can not only make a splash in the business community, but may become an expert that journalists look to when they need a quote, which in turn can make your business top-of-mind for people of all stripes.

These benefits are just a few of the ways a dynamic content strategy can impact your business. If you are looking to invest in this type of communications plan or want a bit more information, feel free to reach out to us – we’re always happy to chat about crafting content!

Need help crafting an effective content strategy? Drop us a line at hello@mutant.com.sg.

How Brands Can Stand Out With Content Personalisation

With attention becoming one the most valued commodities in digital marketing, content personalisation is key to making heads turn. While the term ‘personalisation’ has become a buzzword among marketers, there is research that shows users love it. According to a report by Adobe, the demand for personalised content is higher than ever before – 67% of respondents said they think it’s important to view content that is automatically adjusted to match their preferences – and a study by Demand Metrics found that personalised content is actually 80% more effective than ‘un-personalised’ content.

But what is content personalisation, really?

Generally speaking, it’s a content marketing strategy that leverages data insights and aims to deliver relevant content based on the preferences and interests of readers and viewers. It’s essentially compelling storytelling that is targeted to its audience.

How does content personalisation work?

This personalised approach isn’t entirely new. In fact, the roots of personalisation don’t stem from data, but rather from the re-emergence of the ‘bespoke experience’. Like an old-fashioned tailor who only created custom clothing for clients, offering a bespoke experience makes a user feel as if they have something special, rare, and made specifically for them. In fact, according to recent Epsilon research, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that offers a personalised experience.

In this digital age, personalised content is often a merger between creative idea and data analysis. But adding a personal touch for readers is more than just a newsletter that knows your name, and it ranges from Amazon and YouTube suggesting relevant products and videos to breweries offering personalised craft beer.

With emerging technologies transforming digital marketing, both AI (artificial intelligence) and VR (virtual reality) are leading to new ways of creating and viewing content. There are plenty of opportunities for personalised and gamified content, such as for learning services. With the immersing ability to transport people into another reality, VR will continue to impact the way brands tell stories. However, understanding the audience’s content consumption habits will remain crucial to make personalisation a success.

How to incorporate content personalisation

However, surely not every brand has the possibility to leverage VR technology to create personalised stories and products. While understanding the needs of consumers and collecting the right signals (aka data) is crucial to crafting a personalised approach, a brilliant creative idea can do wonders. One such example is Trouble Brewing in Singapore, a newly launched brand that crafts unique experiences for businesses and events.

While personalisation sounds like a straightforward approach to making customers happy, there are challenges, including not having enough data to customise content or not gaining any insights. Here is a set of questions that will help you to get started with launching personalisation:

  • Are you collecting any data?
  • Are you able to gain insights about user habits?
  • What do you know about your audience?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What do you want to achieve with personalised content?
  • How does your approach support your business goals?
  • What do you want to personalise? (Products, services, stories, marketing, etc.)
  • Is your personalisation scalable?

A prominent example of how to successfully and creatively personalise a product that generates content is Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, which originated in Australia in 2011. For instance, to increase consumption and get Australians talking about Coke again, the soft drink brand printed 150 of the country’s most popular names on its cans and bottles. By doing this, they increased sales by 7% among young adults and hit over 18 million media impressions; additionally, they also generated a huge wave of brand enthusiasm. Due to the campaign’s success, Coca Cola has adopted it across other markets.

Another, more sophisticated example is Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists are based entirely on data collection, analytics and automation. Similar to Amazon’s product recommendations, the Swedish streaming service aimed to increase content consumption, turning the volume up for its users. Based on individual listening habits, an algorithm curates a series of personalised playlists each week. The result is a mix of songs that will match a person’s taste profile with previously unplayed songs. By offering this, Spotify managed to not only increase the time spent on the platform, but the personalised playlists are also a value-add service, even for non-premium Spotify members.

content personalisation

Here are some more ideas for personalised content:

  • Recommending products based on browsing behaviour
  • Personalising search results
  • Geo-location targeting (personalised directions)
  • Personalising emails based on interest
  • Suggesting complimentary services and products
  • Upselling related, relevant product or service of purchase
  • Reminding (retargeting) potential customers about viewed products or abandoned carts
  • Offering personalised style guides (for ecommerce)
  • Personalising offers for returning visitors based on their interests

To deliver personalised messages to individuals at scale, brands need to combine relevant data insights with a creative approach – it’s their synergies that can enable brands to generate a strong performance. While data helps to identify the right audience and their behaviour across devices and channels, a creative idea can lead to a personalised experience that’s enforced with every brand interaction over time. It’s this approach that will help marketers tailor the brand experience and speak directly to its customers.

Especially in today’s ever-shifting marketing landscape, efficient and effective marketing strategies are crucial. Considering that personalisation, such as product recommendations, can generate 68% more revenue for ecommerce platforms, this type of targeted content will continue to be a strategic pillar in the content marketing strategies of leading brands and offer growth opportunities for smaller companies.

Want to create personalised experiences and stories for your audience? Reach out to hello@mutant.com.sg.

3 things to note about influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is shaping up to be one of the most effective ways for businesses to get their message and products across. Scrolling through your Instagram feed, you see beautiful models wearing boutique swimwear in the Maldives, fitness junkies posing in new athletic gear or beauty gurus praising a new cosmetic product in a 20-second video. The likes and followers of these influencers are compelling enough for many companies to invest heavily. On the surface, influencer marketing may seem like a no-brainer, but we often see brands falling into common traps, doing more harm than good. Influencer marketing done right needs more than a pretty face with a decent following.

At the end of the day, influencer marketing is about your audience and your strategy to engage the right influencer. Before diving into sending out lots of DMs, there are some key things you should understand.

1. Is your brand the right fit?

Knowing your brand and field is the starting point for good influencer marketing. Although you can find influencers in almost every category, influencer marketing might not be a right fit for your brand. Take juice brand Marigold and influencer Naomi Neo’s fiasco last year, for example. The campaign fell apart, and criticism, mocking and parodies rolled in. Real influence comes from authenticity, but her caption stating she’s “always carrying around a carton of my favorite MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH juice” does not sound authentic at all. Naomi is a popular influencer in the lifestyle space with over 369k followers, but an influencer known for their healthy lifestyle, fitness or juicing recipes would have been a better fit for Marigold.

Although the beautiful brunette can sell swimwear and dresses, she might not be a good fit business. Depending on what category your business is in, you need to find the right influencers that can authentically represent your product.

When you get it wrong, the audiences may not be as receptive to the product. Hopping on the bandwagon with the assumption that influencer marketing is a sure way to achieve your goals can easily catch you out. It might even backfire and give you a negative reputation. Take a step back to consider who you are and what your brand stands for.

2. Numbers are not the be-all and end-all

It can be tempting to go with those influencers that have the largest following. However, don’t be seduced by the big numbers. Get over the obsession with followers – it’s a terrible representation of an influencer’s actual reach. Instead of mere follower size, you should also be looking at engagement rate and follower quality. Even users with a few hundred followers receive a couple of comments, so someone with hundreds of thousands of followers should also have a proportionate amount of comments. If this isn’t the case, it’s a sign the followers may be bought or are not engaged. Either way, it’s not beneficial for your brand.

To avoid the follower quality trap, scan the influencer’s followers to see if they are genuine. Look for inactive accounts with few posts or a vastly disproportionate amount of followers and accounts they follow. Be wary of comments like “love it!”, “super cool”, “Amazing :D” paired with random emojis that don’t seem aligned with the post. These are most likely bots that comment on behalf of accounts. Don’t be misled by such bot responses – genuine comments mean genuine followers.

3. Allow artistic freedom

Remember that influencer’s authenticity is key, so don’t treat them like a mercenary soldier if you want your campaign to really flourish. Avoid giving them strict criteria, providing a script or overseeing every single tiny detail. The influencers will know their audience better than you do, so let them inject their own unique voice and perspective into the project. Don’t be that brand that gets exposed when influencers simply copy and paste, forgetting to remove the instructions.

What you want instead, is to achieve a balance between micromanaging and giving complete artistic freedom. You want to ensure that the overall brand message is still relevant and aligned with your objectives while leaving room for the influencer’s creativity. Let them have the freedom to speak in their own voice that feels natural to their audience. Using an influencer to market your product should not indicate a lesser process strategy. The truth is that simply paying an influencer will not help you meet your business needs. The content creation process involving influencers can be a bit more complicated than typical campaigns. Prepare to put in the legwork to truly make an impact.

The key to effective and successful influencer marketing lies in building quality relationships with your audience. Choose influencers who resonate well with your brand image. Zero in on people aligned with your brand’s core values and stories. A great strategy involves a mix of influencers with both large and small followings.

 

Need help involving influencers for your brand? Drop us a note at hello@mutant.com.sg

Gen Z: Marketing to digital natives

While everyone is focused on getting the attention of millennials, the next generation (Z) is already having an impact on the media and PR industry. But who is this Generation Z and what sets them apart? Their behaviour online and the way they consume content will be a crucial indicator for what direction the PR and media world is moving towards. Here is how they are already changing the game.

Internet & social media generation

Generation Z could easily be renamed the internet & social media generation, as they not only grow up with the internet as their primary form of communication, but they are also the first generation to use social media and the internet from a very early age onwards. In 2015, 77% of 12–17- year-olds owned a mobile phone, which is reflected in the estimated 150,000 educational apps, 10% of Apple’s App Store, aimed at them. Generation Z isn’t just media-savvy, but ‘being online’ is a given for the generation of ‘digital natives’. This means that PR folks and marketers don’t just need to stay up-to-date with the latest digital and social media trends, they need to be ahead of the curve.

No more Facebook?

Talking to people who were born at the turn of the century, you will be surprised that, although they have a Facebook account, their chosen social media channels are in fact Instagram and Snapchat. While the Facebook feed still works to amplify articles and news from websites and brands, the content form must adapt to new social media platforms. To be sure, brands and media platforms are already experimenting with Snapchat and Instagram. Airbnb, for example, used an inspirational travel video series for their Instagram Stories to create awareness and buzz for the launch of Experiences on Airbnb.

 

However, given that both platforms display content only for a limited amount of time, PR and media must adapt to craft and develop impactful content to capture the attention of these younglings.

Skipping Ads

Inundated with content, this generation has done particularly well to filter out ads and sponsored content. Simply put, they won’t react to an ad, unless it benefits them and adds value to their lives. Marketers and PR folks need to be smarter with Generation Z, but shouldn’t try to outsmart them. Advertising and sponsored posts need to camouflage themselves into something that this generation wants to see.

Struggling traditional media

This lot has little regard for traditional media and are more likely to be consuming content on social media, blogs and YouTube. Showcasing your content natively on social media and working with trusted influencers can help to make inroads with Gen Z.

Long term investment

Despite skipping ads and filtering content that doesn’t interest them, Generation Z tends to be more loyal than the generation that came before them. As Gen Z consumers stay loyal to the brands they shop at and are more likely to stick with them throughout their lives, it’s still worth making the investment as a brand.

Although the content they consume tends to be very short-lived, the investment of brands and PR agencies will be long-term. This is good news for everyone, as customer acquisition is becoming more important and might have longevity – despite constantly changing consumer behaviours.

 

Like what you’ve read? Drop a note at hello@mutant.com.sg to talk about how to make your brand ready for the next generation. 

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What Trump’s victory can teach us about today’s media

His quaff has been compared to everything from salmon nigiri to the silky tassel on the tip of corn on the cob.

His triumph as President Elect has confused everyone from his own supporters to my grandma.

He’s… *sigh*. He needs no introduction.

The US Presidential Election results had us squirming and swivelling in our office chairs all year. Not because of our respective political views, but because we’re in the business of communications. As specialists in the marketing and PR field, we were just cringing about how fast his controversial messages moved with the right format. Sadly, in the days of partisan Facebook groups, memes, and Twitter, false messages can go viral quickly.

What can we learn from this? Is there a silver lining to this mayhem? Whatever your position on Trump’s politics and message, his win says a lot about the type of content that travels. The shorter, the better. The more conviction, the more viral.

We could have written a Mutant blog about what NOT to do according to the 2016 Presidential Election, but we want to keep it light (and we weren’t sure if WordPress could support 5000-page manifestos, TBH.) So, while the first debate taught us how to live tweet, here are some brand messaging lessons we learned from the Trump win:

1. Sound bites make the news

“I’m gonna build a wall.”

“It’s freezing and snowing in New York – we need global warming!”

Sure, it’s a whole lot of crazy, but these words received media coverage – not just because they were outrageous, but because they were short and said with conviction. It’s not uncommon for politicians to drag on about unpopular policies, but people just tune out. In Trump’s case, his short, syndicated quotes travelled fast. In any news event, journalists literally sit through press events waiting to pick up on a soundbite that will draw in viewers or clicks.

Trump was at goldmine for these. The Cheezel-hued President Elect received a ton of free media coverage because his messages were easy to digest by mass media.

Ensure your own (less crazy) company message is short and concise. For example, when telling people what your business believes in, say it with conviction, and make it easy to digest and repeat to others.

2. The general public is THROUGH with jargon

One of the reasons some citizens don’t vote is because politics can be confusing. The dialogue is full of inconsistencies, and it can be hard to follow if you’re not regularly tuning in. Trump wanted to appeal to the general public and the working class, so he avoiding talking too much about policy and spoke to the people about their everyday problems.

You’ll easily be able to see some parallels between politics and business. Both are important for mobilising people; they’re hard to understand unless you’re in the industry, and both topics can be dryer than Donald’s throat during Debate #3. Here is how he explained his stance on illegal immigration:

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. Mark my words.”

Ok, ok, it sounds like it came from a children’s story book. Be simple, but still sound smart.

By using soft, simple terminology that anybody can understand, not only will your message be loud and clear, but it will be easier to spread. Start with the need of your audience, before you start to sell your product. If you’re a tech company, for example, talk first about what need you’re appealing to, then talk through the product.

3. Branded content trumps traditional advertisements

Trump became a walking billboard for his campaign. In fact, he has allegedly spent only a fraction of what Hillary had on ads. He is a walking content strategy, so much that the camera follows him, not the other way around.

To maintain this level of consistency, company leaders need to always be preaching their values and conveying them in everything they do. To C-Suite leaders, whether you are writing a blog, speaking at an event, or speaking on television, be consistent and stick to four or five core values. You know you will have succeeded when you people are unable to differentiate you from your brand and values. For some, Trump is a symbol for change; for others he is an unpeeled, boiled sweet potato headed for Office – but his message has been consistent. It’s just his audience that varies.

There you have it. The Donald’s message is what it is, and there’s not a lot we can do but learn from it.

Need help with getting noticed in the media? Write us at hello@mutant.com.sg.

 

Image credit: marieclaire.co.uk

 

What the Trump vs Clinton debate can teach us about live tweeting

Whether you live in Singapore or the United States, the Twitter play-by-play of the Trump Vs Clinton presidential debate had more jabs than a school-wide vaccination. Between the Trump as a Godzilla and the Clinton victory memes, the public craves news and opinion in real time.

Despite rumours that Twitter (the company) isn’t growing, live-tweeting is still an excellent way to share  news about your brand. If you’re attending or hosting an event, updating quotes, pictures, and funny thoughts gives your fans a chance to hear the brand’s voice. Simply check out the flutter of activity on Trump’s  and Clinton’s Twitter accounts over the past 24-hours.

Live tweeting may seem stressful at first, but gaining traction is much easier than you think. Here are our top tips for live-tweeting:

1. Get the whole team involved

The designated tweeter can’t be everywhere at once. Get the attending team on a #livetweets mobile Slack channel and ask them to post quotes or questions to this channel for the designated tweeter to pick up. For consistency, there should only be one designated Tweeter per team to have oversight on the page.

2. Prepare good visuals

Come prepared with some stock images and if you hear a good quote, overlay it on the go with a meme generator or inspirational quote app. Take photos before tweeting to make sure you have something good to pair a post with.

3. Engage with gifs

 Twitter’s gif features are totally underutilised by corporations that have strict brand guidelines. If you’re a small team, run it by a manager and share a gif or align one with your quote or update.

Here’s a funny interpretation of the live debate:

Then there was this:

4. Use one easy hashtag

It should be something easy like your company and the event, i.e. #Mutantatrise.

5. Tag everyone and everything

There is almost no point to putting up a tweet without mentioning a company handle, someone’s handle, or using a hashtag. Twitter is designed to link up people in a community, so don’t be lazy with tags!

6. Trend trends trends

 This is the main thing journalists look for on Twitter. At an event more often or not you’ll hear that some big investor has invested billions in a technology no one is using right now, that might point to a trend. Keep your ear to the ground and ask lots of questions.

7. Find the official hashtag of the event

This is a no brainer,  but you’d be surprised how many people don’t look for this. It’s the number one way to get discovered by a journalist or someone else at the event.

#debatenight was the official hashtag of the debate:

8. Use vines 

Getting a live feed on Twitter isn’t as easy as it is on Facebook. What’s better than a quote? Getting a quote Vined or Periscoped from a notable speaker and uploaded it on Twitter.

9. Pick a good quote

 Pick a quote that is on brand,  offers simple business advice, or even something funny and post it.

Here’s an example from Camp Clinton:

10. Be cool

Save the corporate riff-raff for when you have word count.

Live-tweeting makes your company look on the ball, and most importantly helps your fans know the latest news and trends in the industry. By using a real voice, you’ll be able to connect with your fans.

Need some social media advice ? Contact us at hello@mutant.com.sg

 

Header picture credit: www.thedailydot.com

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.