My company is profitable! Do I still need marketing?

According to a recent report, the success of SMEs is essentially like flipping a coin – there’s an estimated survival rate of 50%. This means that establishing a strong and profitable core business is more crucial than ever before.

Since survival is a major focus for SMEs, investment in other aspects that may not seem to have immediate trackable results on business performance are often highly scrutinised. But even when SMEs manage to survive and find their stride, becoming profitable without the help of marketing, content, public relations or social media, many decide to continue without these things. Why would they need them even if they are profitable? Let’s dive right in.

Marketing

With the view that only large, multinational organisations have dedicated marketing teams, many SMEs outright dismiss the idea of hiring dedicated marketing staff. If SMEs do have a staff member focused on marketing, the scope of that role is usually tied up with additional tasks, such as business development.

Without the attention and focus of a true marketing professional, marketing initiatives usually end up in the form of more traditional activities, such as developing collaterals or organising events, which often do not drive easily trackable business results. A dedicated marketer will be able to identify broader business issues and create solutions to fix them, whether that be an online lead generation, sales team support or employer brand management to help bring in the best talent.

Content

Content is on the radar for many organisations, but often only in the form of a few commissioned articles for the company website. The truth is that content has many more practical uses for a business than most business owners realise. Content can be presented in many ways – think text, infographics and videos – and have the ability to engage potential customers across a wide array of platforms, ranging from the company’s website to social media channels to content-led PR campaigns.  

A singular piece of content, such as a research report, can be reworked into different pieces of satellite content, including infographics, toolkits and short, digestible videos that can be shared on different channels. Lead generation, client relationship management and sales support are all business-focused goals that can leverage content to deliver measurable results.

PR

Crisis management and spin-doctoring are often the first things that come to mind when thinking of public relations, but these functions are usually back of mind when it comes to successful businesses who are focused on growth.

Public relations can do much more than just clean up sticky situations. Good PR will play a key role in stakeholder management, putting the business in the midst of relevant discussions happening in the industry and the media, and positioning key people in the company as thought leaders. Strong PR can boost the visibility and credibility of the business and open new doors for the company in the process.

Social media

If you think that social media is simply a Facebook page for consumer brands to deal with angry posts, think again. Social media can act as a multi-platform ecosystem that can be used to engage with different types of audiences. By using specific targeting, businesses can reach new and relevant customers from literally all around the world.

From customer support and sales to employer branding and community management, every employee can learn to use social media in a way that influences the business, no matter if it’s a B2C and B2B operation. It’s important to establish goals and outline clear roles that each social media platform will play for the business, though; only then can a business truly start to see the benefits of a social media strategy.

Do you want to find out more about what marketing, content, PR and social media can do for your business? Drop us a line at hello@mutant.com.my

Taking PR into the age of AI and automation

When AI, automation, and PR were first mentioned in the same sentence, most people were intrigued but reluctant at the same time. Despite initial hesitation, the application of AI in the PR industry is going to happen and the use cases are quite diverse, ranging from tracking and predicting consumer behaviour to conceptualisation and optimising user experiences.

AI’s growth coincides with a rapidly changing media landscape in Asia. In recent years – digital media has impacted audience attention, while journalists face tighter deadlines, trying to break a story first. With billions of dollars flooding into artificial intelligence and machine learning, both the PR industry and the media can benefit from this development. But how exactly is this dynamic going to change?

Why do we need AI?

While marketers already utilise machine learning, analysing data of customers more efficiently, AI is the next evolutionary stepping stone. But what exactly will AI do for PR? Can AI help to understand a journalist’s beat better? Will it ensure that they publish a certain story?

The short answer is no, but the benefits of AI are not hard to understand, as simple processes can be automated and optimised. Using scripted knowledge and repeated tasks, AI is already solving problems in other industries, including traffic control, manufacturing, and fraud detection.

Complementing – not replacing

The key to answering these questions is not how AI will replace human skills, but rather how it is going to complement and support PR professionals. There is no denying that automation is already important to the PR industry today. Media monitoring, for example, is often perceived as a tiresome but necessary task. The use of automation to track media activity frees up working hours that can be used more efficiently.

Besides effective media monitoring, AI will also support PR professionals with tasks that are traditionally time-consuming. Researching, compiling reports, and building media lists no longer will have to be done manually. The predictive analysis capabilities of AI will offer deeper insights into trends and market movements.

Predicting social sentiments

Using AI technology, PR practitioners have the option to leverage real-time data to make more informed decisions, which is especially useful in the realm of crisis communications. Remember when UBER (and United Airlines) failed to understand the extent of their crisis? The #boycottuber (or #boycottunited) storm became bigger than it needed to be from the brand’s perspective.

Using predictive measuring of social media sentiments, both brands could have reacted more quickly – instead of sitting it out. Unfortunately for UBER, it once again faces consumer backlash for covering up a massive hack and security breach that exposed the data of 57 million users and drivers. Let’s hope the ride sharing app has learnt from its mistake and is better equipped to handle #boycottuber. 

While AI might not offer insights into what a particular journalist thinks, certain algorithms will be able to predict sentiments as well as when interest among consumers might peak, offering an opportunity s to get certain stories published.

Nurturing media relations

One shouldn’t be lured into a false sense of guaranteed coverage and be confuddled by the notion of how AI can help to increase your chances of being featured as an industry thought-leader.

Media relations have always been a crucial part of any seasoned PR practitioner’s arsenal. Having a relationship with media will continue to give you two things:

  1. The ability to pick up your phone and speak to them about a potential story (and the odds of them entertaining your pitch despite their busy schedules).
  2. They will reciprocate and reach out to you if you have proven yourself to be a reliable go-to person that provides the information they need, accurately, and in a timely fashion.

The human interaction will continue to be relevant in PR because AI won’t be able to build bonds with journalists. While AI is becoming more than a resourceful helping hand, the intuition of PR professionals is still needed to make sense of it all.

Need help with your PR strategy? Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my

7 Typography tips to ace your designs

Everyone’s had an idea for a cool design at some point. But turning your idea into reality is an effort. When it comes to creating graphics, it’s a different game. The application of graphic design is versatile and allows you to play around with shapes, images, positioning and typography. It’s a game you can get lost in.

The art of arranging type, aka typography, is not only a crucial part of any design, but also key to getting people interested in your design (and what you have to offer). A bad typography layout affects the readability, causing people to lose interest after reading just a first few lines. With millennials giving you less than 5 seconds to catch their attention, your typography needs to be spot on.

(Source: Harper’s Bazaar Brazil)

Failing to realise your idea visually, doesn’t always mean your idea was no good. Don’t question your ideas, but work on improving your designs. Here are some of the things to take note of when working on your next design project:

1) Choosing the right font (personality)

Are you aware that fonts have distinct moods and personalities? Don’t disregard Arial and Helvetica straight away. Always look at what you want to achieve before picking the font. Choosing the wrong font can convey different feelings and might even screw up your entire design.

For example, working on the design and layout for a fashion magazine, you most likely want to suggest modern, elegant and sophisticated tones – visually. You want to stay away from using Comic Sans or Papyrus fonts for the magazine, as it makes the entire design look unprofessional. The font you select needs to suit the personality of the brand.


(Source: AdWeek)

Never pick fonts just because you are awe of the particular typeface, in fact, you should choose the typefaces that suit your desired outcome.

“With millennials giving you less than 5 seconds to catch their attention, your typography needs to be spot on.”

2) No more than 3!

Never be generous with the use of fonts. Try to stick with one or two fonts for your design. Too many fonts might over-complicate the entire design – distracting the reader from what’s really important.

Remember websites in the 90s?

If you really want to use two to three different fonts in a design layout, avoid using fonts that look similar to each other (e.g. Bodoni and Didot). Visually similar fonts can be quite problematic, as they make your design look too indistinctive. Make it a family affair and use fonts from the same family, as it will give your design a more cohesive look. You might think that only one font looks boring, but ‘less is more’.

Let’s not forget, you can always play with the weights, styles and the width of the font. So, forget about the 90s and don’t use more than three fonts for one and the same design.

3) Do not stretch or squeeze! 

Stretching and squeezing a font is definitely a big no in the world of design. Many people are tempted and love to stretch and squeeze a font just to make it fit a certain space. Stretching and squeezing a font does not only look odd, it also makes your design, brand and you look unprofessional. Instead, try to increase the size of the font to make it fit.

4) Don’t forget to kern it


Kerning refers to adjusting the spacing between letters – and is different from adding gaps by hitting space on your keyboard (don’t even think about it).

(Source: AdWeek)

This is extremely important as it can make your design look a whole lot different. A good and bad design can be easily recognised and differentiated by just looking at the kerning. Hence, always remember to check the kerning before sending your final design to the client or the printer.

Nice smile, but that’s how you shouldn’t kern your design. (Source: Pixie Simms)

Mastering the art of kerning is especially important when it comes to creating your own font from scratch. Check out typemethod and practice your kerning skills until you get the hang of how it works.

5) Wipe out all the widows and orphans

If you don’t know what that means, you definitely need to pay attention now. Not many people will notice and identify the typographical widows and orphans. But if you want to tighten up your graphic designs you better start taking notice.

In the design world, a widow is a word that is left dangling at the end or the bottom of a paragraph, separated from the rest of the paragraph. While an orphan is a short paragraph that appears at the beginning of a column or page. One of the easiest ways to eliminate them is to rewrite or change the line ending. Another alternative is to manually edit the text or bring the text down to the next line.

6) The ‘ideal’ line width

Easily overlooked, a design’s line width is of importance too, playing a crucial role in the readability of the text. Wide columns usually won’t do your design any good, as they break the flow of the reader’s eyes when they jump from one line to the next. On the other hand, a narrow column might annoy your reader. Finding the balance is key to making it easy for the reader’s eyes to get through the article or text. Remember – the reader should be fully taken in by the content and not be distracted by the layout.

Never try to fit in all the words onto one line, as it might screw up the readability of your article. The perfect solution to a balanced line width is to keep it short. About 8 to 10 words or 50 to 60 characters per line is ideal.

7) Create a visual hierarchy

Think of what you want your viewers to look at first – only then you can embark on a design project. Everyone wants to create a design that looks good and captures people’s attention at a glance – so, make sure you don’t distract them with unnecessary stuff. Hierarchy plays an important role in design. It creates a flow, directs your eyes and allows your brain to process it easily. Hierarchy makes it easier for the viewer to distinguish what content comes first.

(Source: Pinterest)

You can learn how to establish a visual hierarchy by reading newspapers and magazines. Alternatively, you can try to play with the size, weight and spacing to achieve a visual hierarchy in your design. The more you practice, the more you will train your eyes.

Want sharp designs? Need to visualise an idea? Drop a message to hello@mutant.com.my 

How to jump-start social media when no one knows your company

It’s easy to make noise when you are the head of state. Both Lee Hsien Loong and Donald Trump are two (good and bad) examples of how to engage millions of people.

                                                                   

While the impact of social media is undeniable, not every business enjoys the reach of someone in the limelight. Though it’s hard to make noise when no one knows about your company, inaction is infinitely worse.

Before you jump the gun, you have to make a commitment to regularly update your business’ social media accounts. Ideally, appoint someone to be your social media manager, as it’s something you have to consistently work at to see benefits – ranging from direct communication with your customers to reaching people that never heard of your business.

Here’s how to get started:

Where is your audience?


With an array of social media platforms out there, you don’t need to be everywhere. To get your social media presence kickstarted, you’ll need to know where your audience is. If you are a B2B company, you are more likely to start conversations on Twitter or LinkedIn, while an e-commerce can better engage with users on Instagram and Facebook.

If you are unsure about what you should do on your social media channels, check out these do’s and don’ts of social media. This is where you’ll learn about how to reach your target audience and the tangible results you’ll be able to reap from it.

What are your goals?

                                                             

Bear in mind that you’re just starting out – so don’t be unrealistic with your goals. For newcomers like you, it’s recommended that you focus on consistency and growth to really make your social media game work.

For consistency, work on:
– Lock in a set number of days to plan posts and work on your social media presence. A good start will be 3-4 days a week.
– Create new content at least once a week to beef up your content library. This can be a new set of photos, a blog post or a video about your business.

For growth, work on:
Setting a goal for how many followers you want to gain by a certain date. Every business grows differently, so plan accordingly. Having a number to work towards will make things clearer.

If you want to start with a bang, you should consider working with social media influencer – Increasing engagement for your posts. Instead of asking your family and friends to share your posts to get the algorithm working, you might want to do a giveaway to start getting shares and traction.

What’s in your content library?


Gather all of your content into one folder that your team can access. This will be your content pool where you’ll go to find images, old news clippings, videos or anything relating to your business. If you make it a habit to populate this folder, your planning will be easier in the future. A good way to start your content pool is using your website’s content. You can always repurpose and use it for social content. While doing this, you’ll also probably start to visualise what sort of content you’ll want up on your social media channels.

Other content ideas:

  • New product updates to keep people interested
  • Introduce new team members to make your brand more human
  • Insights from conferences to show you are a thought leader
  • Behind the scenes snapshots for a positive image
  • Giveaways and contests to expand your reach
  • Photo albums for the user’s visual pleasure

Which brings us to the next point…

Have you created a social media calendar?

It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. All you need is a handy excel sheet that keeps track of the content that you’re planning to post, or have already posted. This will also come in handy when you’re brainstorming for new social media ideas. It also makes it easier for everyone to share ideas. A well-kept calendar will also help you to plan your social media campaigns more efficiently.

What conversation are you joining?

Now that you’re sorted, it’s time to be part of all that social media chatter. Have a look at what’s trending by gathering some data and see where your brand can be part of the conversation. Controversial topics aren’t a strict no-no and may sometimes help your brand to stand out. But make sure that your company has actually something to offer or say about the topic. You have to remember that the social media world can be harsh and controversial topics can easily backfire. But in the end – it’s still up to you to decide if it will work for your organisation or not.

Need help with managing your social media campaigns? Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my.

 

3 Tips to go from media shy to media savvy

The acronym ‘CEO’ will likely conjure images of fearless leaders in command of their businesses and their people, natural-born spokespeople inspiring those in the business as well as those looking on.

The reality, however, is that many CEOs may often be introverts shying away from external exposure and the prying eyes of the media. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, for example, is not only one of the most powerful leaders in the world, but he’s also amongst the most publicity-shy ones.

Staying out of the spotlight, however, will likely do more harm than good. Research shows that an accessible CEO makes a brand more authentic.

Public relations professionals must do more than just convince their CEOs, they must support their leaders in a way that makes the process as painless as possible as well as ensure their CEO will be the custodian for the organisation’s image and reputation.

To help prepare any business leader, here are our top tips to guide the media-shy through the interview process:

Media Training is key

Critical for any CEO or spokesperson, media training is a programme aimed at creating a strong foundation of interviewing knowledge from structuring responses to question redirection. A good media training programme will allow for the media-shy CEO to get a feel of what it’s like to be in front of a reporter and face difficult unexpected questions in a controlled environment.

Media training is not a magic bullet, practice makes perfect, meaning that training sessions should be carried out on a frequent basis to keep the spokesperson’s confidence up. Further, carrying out frequent impromptu mock interviews covering the latest trending topics as well as difficult probing questions around the business can provide the crucial experience that a media shy CEO must be exposed to before sitting down with media.

Practice, practice, practice!

When the time comes for an interview, preparation is key. Naturally, a comprehensive briefing document covering the topics, questions, key messages, interviewer and media profile is a no-brainer. It is vital to sit down with the CEO prior to the interview to gauge their familiarity with the subject of the interview. Working hand-in-hand to craft a narrative and key messages with additional research would help spokespeople feel at ease.

Preparation for the media shy CEO should extend further, emulating the scenario by adopting the questions, duration and style of the interviewer to give the CEO a better idea of what to expect.

Don’t underestimate media relations

Often the most overlooked aspect, and one usually undertaken solely by the public relations professional, is for the business leader to play a first hand role in building relationships with the media.

Building relationships through no-agenda coffees, get-togethers and networking events will allow the CEO to get used to being around media, and most importantly, dispel the myth that journalists are ‘out to get you’. By building these relationships, when the time comes, the CEO will likely be able to sit down for an interview with someone familiar.  

So there you have it, our top tips on how to prepare your media shy CEO to face the media world and not only be more comfortable, but also be in a position to represent the organisation in a way that will grow its reputation and standing in the business landscape.

Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my to talk to us more about media training.

How to get your brand heard in a new market

Venturing into new markets with your brand may be a daunting task. If it’s done wrongly, you could sink vast amounts of financial capital. Succeeding with a market entry, your brand could acquire new revenue streams and new customers at the same time.  

So, what are the things you need to keep in mind when preparing to enter a new market?

Understand your market
  • Do your research. Never assume that you know what your target audience wants. You need to have the facts and research to back it up. Take a close look at the market and find out what the most pressing needs, issues and desires of your target audience are. It will help you to position yourself as the answer they’re looking for.
  • Where do they get their information from? There’s a plethora of platforms for content consumption – both online and offline. But how will you actually reach them – through blogs, newsletter subscriptions, newspapers or social media? Focusing your efforts on the appropriate channels will ensure that you get the most mileage out of your resources.  
  • Tailor your content. Something that works in China may not necessarily see the same success in Singapore – or vice versa. Localising content helps to shape your messages in a way that your customers can relate to.
Know your competition
  • Make a competitive analysis. Walking into a new market it’s important to identify the factors contributing to the success and failure of existing brands. What has the market leader done so well that elevates them to their current position? Why can’t other brands find their footing? Learn about the methods your competitors use and find out which they are not using.
  • Differentiate your brand. At the same time, there is also great value in making sure your brand stands out. But what are you offering the market that differentiates you from others? Moving into a new market and immediately trying to compete with everyone else in the industry is not a task to be taken lightly. Carve out your own niche and communicate it to your target audience. Operating in a specific niche will reduce the number of direct competitors your brand has to manage.
Have an eye on the market
  • Spot trends. Depending on what industry you are in, markets tend to move fast today. Trends are insightful and a powerful source of information. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends allows you to understand the current interests and wants of consumers, which will help you to capture the attention of broader audiences.
  • Network the industry. Smart business leaders know to always be on the lookout for emerging trends and be prepared for what comes next, so they won’t be left behind. However, not all trends start online. Get a feel for the industry by attending networking events in your field.
Look for media opportunities
  • Owned media. Build a communication strategy for your brand. Make sure you are consistent in what you say and how you describe your brand. Using your own media channels, such as your company blog, social media or thought-leadership pieces on LinkedIn, are an easy way to spread the word. Just make sure that you are on brand.
  • Earned media. Earned media is often the aim of a brand’s PR and social media efforts, including media coverage, social media posts, reviews, and blog mentions. As the average consumer is bombarded with countless advertisements daily, earned media is one way to stand out from the masses.

The following questions will help you when looking for brand-appropriate earned media opportunities:

  1. Is there something unique about your organisation that might interest local, national, or trade-related news outlets?
  2. Do you have existing customers who are possible brand advocates?
  3. Are they willing to tell the world why they’ve had a fantastic experience with your brand?

Why is earned media so effective? It’s simple – customers trust the opinions and experiences of other customers more than any other source available. The road to success may be a bumpy one, but take these tips into account to smoothen your journey as much as possible.

Trying to break into a new market? Drop a message to hello@mutant.com.my

 

Mastering media relations in the digital-only age

The recent news of Today Newspaper and Campaign Asia shutting down their print editions and going fully digital got us all talking about the fate of newsrooms and journalism.

Make no mistake, earned media is still hugely important for brands and that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. However, the way people consume media has changed drastically and that has far-reaching implications not just for journalism, but also PR and communication teams.

Here are some tips to help you keep up and evolve:

Know your editors and their beats

This is key to ensuring your news is visible to those who need to see it. Understanding the new media landscape from a journalist’s point of view is paramount if you want to participate as a business owner, marketer or PR professional. And there’s multiple ways to do this! Start by reading every online and print publication that matters. Staying  in sync with topics journalists cover will only benefit your campaign. Industry news and hot trends are a must, but knowing what captures the attention of journalists and editors is the key to a successful pitch.

Use social media to connect

As more information goes out on social media, these platforms have become a valuable story resource for the journalists and editors. Social media is a key ingredient to mastering media relations, so use it effectively:

  • Gather intelligence – Want to pitch a story idea to a reporter? Then use social media to learn what makes them tick. Target specific journalists or bloggers and follow them on Twitter, their professional Facebook pages, Instagram or LinkedIn. It will provide you with insights that can help you with your next pitch.
  • Build relationships – Interacting through Tweets or comments can be a gateway to a conversation. Don’t underestimate the impact of a well-placed and thought-through comment.
  • Promote your thought leadership – The more you share your content and thoughts on social media, the higher your chances to appear on the feeds of journalists or editors.
  • Respond to breaking events – Share information that helps putting a related breaking story into context. You will have a good chance of attracting the attention of journalists. While you’re at it, pay attention to trending hashtags.
Use Google analytics for insights

Welcome to the age of data-driven PR. Using Google analytics, there’s an abundance of data insights at your fingertips, ranging from the source of your traffic to how many pages a visitor viewed. You can track visits from published PR materials and the source of leads. You can find out more about what your target audience looks at and where they come from. These insights into the readership of digital news websites add a strategic element to your campaign.

Suggested read: Up your PR game with data

Don’t limit your press releases

While it’s important to announce product announcements or executive changes, press releases can do much more. Use press releases to promote whitepapers, webinars, blogs and much more. Online content is becoming  more diverse in topic and imagery. It’s rare for a publication to be solely print nowadays, so it’s vital to consider content for the website.

A journalist is more likely to run your story if you can provide a few good quality images, a video and an infographic. Online publications rarely use only text. Announcements that are a little different and use alternative media will capture the attention and make your viewing experience as diverse and interesting as possible.

Need to get up to speed with digital media relations? Get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.my

 

How to determine marketing priorities as a tech startup

As a tech startup owner, you’re faced with a multitude of challenges and anxieties as you think of ways to grow your business. Budgeting, resourcing, manpower, business development are all high up on the list, but so is marketing, which often doesn’t get the due it deserves. That’s because startups don’t know where to begin and have trouble identifying key priorities. And we get it — with so many options and so much jargon thrown around, it can be a confusing.

Take a step back, breathe and focus on one thing at a time. Here’s a few tips to help you determine your marketing priorities:

Audience group

Get the ball rolling by identifying your target audience. What are you trying to sell and who is it for? Do you have a brand voice in place? If not, focus on concurrently establishing your brand voice.

Whatever your end product or service is, defining your audience group allows you to identify the best marketing and media channels allowing for a more streamlined marketing strategy. For example, if you’re in the business of developing a payroll system, consider channeling your funds towards platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter for your digital marketing, instead of consumer-facing platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

Budget

Here comes the word that no startup owner wants to hear – budget. As a startup running on a lean budget, every dollar counts, but that doesn’t mean compromising on marketing. Expensive marketing doesn’t necessarily equate to good marketing and vice-versa.  Relying solely on your product attributes sounds idyllic, but more often than not, it isn’t enough.

We’re living in a digital age and this means you should take advantage of online channels and social media – after all, it’s free to use and easy to set up. Also, explore other avenues such as user-generated content, blogs and white-papers instead of spending money on advertising.

Define outcomes

Every marketing campaign has to have clearly defined outcomes and objectives. To do that, you need to identify where your company sits in the growth cycle.  If it’s still early days, brand awareness and data generation should be part of your KPIs. The data you acquire from these efforts will help define future campaigns too.

However, if you’re startup has taken off beyond the brand awareness stage, you should focus on ramping up sales and building a lead gen pipeline, meaning it’s time to reassess your marketing priorities and make necessary shifts.   
For B2B brands this means focusing on content marketing, while consumer-facing startups may consider giveaways and social media flash deals to excite their consumers. User-generated content is a great way to create buzz around your brand — not only is it free, it also considerably improves brand engagement.

Suggested reads:

If you need help getting started with your marketing priorities, drop us a note at hello@mutant.com.my 

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.my to talk about how to make your brand ready for the next generation. 

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Let’s talk branded video content

From online TV or subscription services like Netflix, to free video on platforms such as YouTube and social media, folks in Asia are consuming more video content than ever before. You’ve heard this all before – and while brands now have a robust video strategy in place, creatives are still far from perfect.

Here’s our 5 key takeaways on creating effective online ads for branded video campaigns:

Optimise video for mobile

Mobile is already the primary device for accessing the internet in APAC, yet, brands still choose to produce glossy 30-second TV-type ads that do little to hook mobile users. Because content is consumed differently on mobile devices, brands need to ensure their videos capture attention and emotion from the get-go.

Make a sentimental pitch

Video tech company Unruly’s data shows that sentimental storytelling ads are the best performers for 18-34 year olds, a key audience segment for many brands. The study showed that millennials have a stronger reaction to emotional content like this 2014 campaign for Thai Life Insurance.

 

 

Make it work for sound-off

According to Unruly, 80% of millennials mute a brand’s video ads. To engage this audience, advertisers need to create content for a sound-off experience. Avoid dialogue and use text and graphics to draw consumers in

Tailor video for specific social media

YouTube users hold phones sideways to consume content, while Facebook videos are best viewed upright. Majority of Facebook video is watched without sound, while YouTube is always played with full sound. Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter come with their own peculiarities. Brands that stand out are the ones that are tailoring social media content for each channel and country’s internet speeds.

Think beyond views

When it comes to measuring a video’s success, views aren’t everything. Whether it is to increase awareness, consideration, or influence sales, it is important for advertisers to establish marketing goals for their campaigns, and then come up with a set of KPIs to track and measure campaign success.

 

Let us help you create effective content – drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my

 

 

PR is evolving, and so should you

The way we communicate has completely changed over the past decade, including the concept of Public Relations and the way we do business. Recent office chatter brought up stories of how things were done back in the day. All media clippings were processed in-house and keeping a media list up to date was a job on its own. Today we outsource these services that helps us focus on what’s important.

In a rapidly evolving industry, there is no place for complacency. PR professionals should develop a hunger to learn more and become a specialist in the field. The ability to write an impressive press release and put together an amazing pitch is no longer good enough. The scope has moved far beyond drawing up a media list, writing a press release and following up. In order to make an impact across all platforms, we now have to focus and build relations with key media in the digital and social space. PR professionals or agencies that are not evolving with this landscape will be left behind.

Clients are expecting more. They want to be relevant and make an impact where it matters most. Here’s how PR and marketing can adapt to meet clients’ growing needs and demands.

Access to information in the palm of your hand

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, the way people access information has changed entirely and continues to change. Your target audience have gone from readers to users. Information is readily available to anyone, everywhere, at any time. Make sure you change with the times and keep content interesting, relevant and easy to consume. Check out our blog 3 ways to help bring your content back to life for some tips!

Find the right influencers

PR professionals and brands still dismissing influencers and bloggers as real content creators are committing professional suicide. Influencers are the most connected people today. Their devoted followers trust what they say and many influencers have larger followings than many media outlets. Collaborating with an influencer in your industry is a great way to get traction and interest in your brand or product. A word of caution though — don’t go in blind, it’s important to partner with someone who is relevant and authentic to your audience and brand.

Learn a new skill

The PR scope is getting wider and clients are demanding more. To be able to keep up with the demands, learn a new skill, understand how digital platforms work – it’s the only way to improve your offering.

Content

Content is and will always be king. Having the ability to create compelling and shareable content will make you indispensable. Learn the art of writing for various platforms. Know your audience and create captivating content that will get people talking. Great content adds value to SEO efforts and it encourages engagement, which means your content or brand will be seen.

Public Relations will always be about storytelling and being able adopt a forward thinking approach to how we achieve our targets.

Need help telling your story? Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my

How to create a Buyer Persona

Sophie is 35 years old. She’s just been promoted to Marketing Manager at the Tech company she works for. She learned the ropes in a Marketing Assistant role and her seniors expect a lot from her position. Her first order of business: improving the effectiveness of the company’s marketing.

Here’s the catch, Sophie isn’t a real person. She’s a buyer persona – a representation of an ideal buyer.

With consumers exposed to as many as 5,000 marketing messages every day, creating user personas help businesses break through the clutter and capture attention with relevant content. It humanises your customers and paints the picture of an individual buyer, identifying their problems and values.

Apple’s success story

Apple effectively uses buyer personas for its different products. Check out their persona focus technique in this iPad 2 advertisement:

 

Now watch this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFPB4OUqrM

 

The first features the user scrolling stocks and investment portfolios, capturing the business professionals’ attention. Suddenly, they can see how this product would fit into their work life and visualise themselves using it in their day-to- day business needs. The second shows an adrenaline junkie preparing to take on the torrential rain with his iPhone 7. Creating this persona attracts the outdoorsy types and demonstrates the waterproof features of the new device.

How to create buyer personas

Creating the profile is probably the most important stage in the process – get the wrong persona and you’re marketing to a completely different audience, not to mention wasting your time and efforts.  Here’s a couple of steps to consider to get you started when creating your buyer persona:

1. Establish the basics

Segment your target group and ideal buyer by gender, age, job title and role responsibilities. Identifying these basics will give you a strong starting point of who you are targeting.

2. Learn from example

When you create a persona, you are creating an example of your ideal consumer. From this example, you can identify your consumer needs, objectives and potential obstacles. Doing this also gives insight into how your buyers view your products and services. Use this information wisely to improve your offerings.

3. Study, study, study!

To do this study their needs, concerns, frustrations, urgency to buy and ability to buy. This helps to develop and tailor content that appeals to your target audience, resulting in greater leads and sales.

 

If you need help creating your buyer persona, drop us a note at hello@mutant.com.my – we can help you to tap into your target market!