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Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve organic rankings in Google. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics Suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next and how to ensure that your writers produce effective posts. There are billions of Google searches happening every day, and Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top.
Benjamin: Today, we're going to hear from an expert in the field of marketing to Millennials. Kate Talbot is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and the author of Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat For Business, which is a best-selling book on Amazon. Her work has been featured n CNBC, TechCrunch and Huffington Post, and in this episode, Kate's going to give us an overview of how she became an expert in marketing to millennials and give us a preview of her book on using Snapchat as a marketing tool. Here's our interview with Kate.
Benjamin: Kate, welcome to the MarTech Podcast.
Kate: Thank you so much for having me on.
Benjamin: It's great to have you here, and we're very excited to learn a little bit about marketing to millennials, so let's start off by you telling us a little bit about your background. How did you become an expert in the field of marketing to millennials?
Kate: Well, it helps out that I am a millennial myself, so that's always good. I have been in the social media space since 2004, really, same age as Mark Zuckerberg. When Facebook launched and really involved myself in social media, I ran it at PR firms. I ran at big brands like Kiva and Virgin America, was part of the safety video launch and then I have been working with early stage start-ups pretty much for the last four years consulting and helping them understand social media, influencer marketing and everything millennial. In addition to all that, I'm a freelance writer, so I write about social media and marketing to millennials for Forbes, social media examiner in gadget and just really love helping everybody understand what our values are and how they can really market to them at their best ability.
Benjamin: You mentioned that you worked with some larger brands. I see that on your website. You've worked with companies like Apple and Virgin America. Tell me a little bit about some of the projects that you've worked on for the bigger brands.
Kate: Yes, so just to give background with Virgin America, I was the only social media person on the brand side there, so I created every single piece of copy, creative analytics for a year straight, no days off, and just really created content that helped the brand shine all through their social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and the list goes on of what I did there. As I said, the safety video, I'm sure everybody saw that, huge launch, over 10 million views, so really helping connect the passengers on Virgin who are that millennial audience, really engaging them through their social media abilities because they're going on the plane. They're tweeting about their experience and posting on Instagram and really utilizing that and helping out the brand of Virgin itself, really understand the social media lay of scapes since it's always changing.
Benjamin: I think before we get into too much detail about how to market to millennials and what are some of the channels, can you give me an overview of how you define millennial?
Kate: I think what's interesting in the news, they always have this idea of the millennial as being lazy, as not working hard, but I think that is a really horrible stereotype. I don't think it's representative of millennials itself. I mean if you look at what a millennial is, it's up to 34, 35 years old. Those millennials went through the economic collapse. I think most millennials are scrappy, entrepreneurial, think of a different way of work style and really have seen a lot more than previous generations in terms of the economy and other geopolitical factors that define how they look at the world. I think the stereotype is bad. I think that there's a lot of ways that you could engage with millennials because of the way that they're digitally made of and they're also just really young and hungry and want to change the world.
Benjamin: Essentially, millennials are the group that is below 35 years old. To me, the delineation between a millennial and a non-millennial is somebody that has grown up with access to a computer and the internet. That obviously changes the access to information that they've been given, but it also changes the methodology in which they consume media and communicate. What are some of the key differentiators for millennials that you see in terms of media consumption, some of the types of messaging that they're interested in?
Kate: Yes. I think the number one thing that I see, whether you're an older millennial or younger millennial is the idea of experiences, and that is more important to them than having a house or having a cool car. It's all about what experiences you can go to and documenting those on your social media channels. You go to Coachella, and you're obviously going to do Instagram stories. You're going to wear certain clothes, and you're going to post that onto your Instagram. You're going to go on trips and travel the world, and you're going to make sure that you're documenting it in real time. I think that's really native to millennials, this idea of wherever you go, you're always going to be documenting and sharing it across your community. The messaging that millennials really gravitate towards is authenticity, and that goes back to this idea of Instagram story, Snapchat stories. The ability for them to have access to information at such a young age really makes them not trust brands as much, so anything that's authentic and personal is key towards millennials and marketing to them.
Benjamin: You mentioned that millennials are more interested in a accumulating experiences than they are possessions. Why is that the case?
Kate: It's cultural capital, and that matters more because unfortunately, the way that social apps are nowadays is that we get that dopamine hit every single time we get a like or a share or a follow. I think that we've been growing up with making sure that the content that we're producing goes out, and it gives us that cool factor. The idea of having a house to a lot of millennials, A, it's really unaffordable and then B, it's also not free. I think that we're so used to traveling and having so much access that being able to post on social media is way more important than being stuck in one town and settling down. You can see that in the birthrate declining or the marriage rates as well.
Benjamin: Tell me a little bit about some of the marketing channels that you find are effective with reaching millennials.
Kate: I would definitely say, first off is always thinking about influential marketing. Millennials really love influencers on Instagram and YouTube way more than they like celebrities nowadays. They feel like they're their friends. They're following what they're wearing, where they're going. I think if you think about influencer strategy first, that's the way to go. Then, you figure out which platform your audience is on. YouTube influencers have humongous reach, but older millennials aren't watching YouTube as much as younger millennials, so I'd really just think about video, of course is big in social media right now. Influencers, and then finding the right audience of where your community is, so whether that's Snapchat, whether that's Instagram or YouTube, but I think that personalization is really a big factor for millennials. It's seen on those three social channels.
Benjamin: When you say influencer outreach, tell me a little bit about how companies can find the right influencers. What do those relationships look like? Let's go a little deeper there.
Kate: I think the misconception with influencer marketing is that you have to have a huge influencer like a Kylie Jenner or a Logan Paul. Those big YouTube influencers who cost so much money and will have a return on investment, but what I think is really great is really thinking about what your niche is and really understanding who are influencers within your own communities and researching those. You can do that through hashtags, finding the right influencers within what your community is passionate about or working with influencer agencies to do so. I worked with many influencer agencies and micro influencers. They have 10 000 to 100 000 followers do really, really will, and they have a high ROI. Really think about your strategy of not shelling out tons and tons of money for the big ones because they might not be as effective, but really finding the ones that speak to your audience and might be better price points for your investment.
Benjamin: I like the tip of using hashtags that you think are relevant to your audience to find who your influencers are. You mentioned that there are influencer agencies out there. What do the relationships look like between brands and influencer agencies? Can you give us a sense of what it costs to test influencer marketing as a channel? How are those deals structured?
Kate: Each deal is going to be completely different. There's influencer marketing agencies that you work with big managers like CAA or UTA, but you could also just work with other companies where you're swiping left or right if an influencer like Tinder, like if an influencer matches your brand. Then, those kinds of contracts are one-to-one personal because it could be doing a whole video. That video could be X amount of money, or it could just be a photo and it's 10% a profit. Each one is different, but I would really research what you think their budget could be and really think about the ROI because you don't want to be spending money and then not seeing any return on investment because the influencer didn't really produce any results.
Benjamin: It's interesting. I'm just Googling Tinder for influencer marketing, and I found a service called HOLLYFY, which allows you to literally swipe left or right on an influencer. I understand that there's a range in terms of how much a company will pay to reach an influencer, and it depends how many likes that person has, but are those deals on a cost-per-impression, on a cost-per-post? Is there any way to build in a performance-based criteria to how you pay influencers? What's your experience working with creating a collection of influencers for a brand at scale?
Kate: Again, I would really research who your community is, but then also work with the agencies themselves because the agencies will have dashboards. Those dashboards will give a lot of in depth information similar to when you do advertising campaigns with Facebook. You'll be able to see exactly what you say. Cost-per-impression, any sales. You'll obviously do trackable links, brand reach, brand affinity, comments, likes, influencers that are also engaging with those influencers. You really want to get a deep dive into what your investment is and then see what your goals were. Was it direct sales? How many sales did you get? Was it just brand awareness and brand lift? It's really all about what your goals are, but it's great nowadays with the amount of analytics that we all have access to, to really see if that investment did work out. In doing so, you can either pivot your strategy to do more influencers or limit it and think of a different strategy for your outreach campaigns.
Benjamin: Let's talk a little bit about some best practices. Who do you think is doing a great job reaching millennials, and what are some things that you've seen that stick out?
Kate: I'll give an example, and then we'll go into big brands. I actually work for non-disclosure, but they do an amazing job, and it's Dote Shopping, D-O-T-E. They were on Planet of the Apps, which was an Apple Music reality show. Some are the Shark Tank. They do fashion shopping. It's a mobile mall for the Gen-Z millennial generation. They've been able to tap into every single Gen-Z influencer all around the US. They call them Dote Girls, and they do these fashion influencer shoots with them. When I started there a year ago, they were 600 Instagram followers. Now, they have 45 000, and it's all about each day is a different influencer, them sharing their behind-the-scenes stories in the Instagram stories. They go live. They do an Instagram live show, similar to HQ Trivia, so really thinking about who your audience is, what they're following and really tapping into those influencers and making it seem very "cool girl," and if you want to be part of a Dote community, you can be a cool girl like the influencers.
Kate: Then, bigger brands that I think are doing great with millennials is Everlane. They were really first to market with thinking about their digital strategy with Snapchat and Instagram. They've tapped into that millennial market very well, making sure that if you're a millennial, you're wearing that backpack that they have or the right white shirt and really doing so through their marketing campaigns. I think they've been able to scale to the amount that they've been able to mostly through their digital media strategy.
Benjamin: You mentioned two fashion brands, and I understand how it's very easy for ... Let's take the picture-based social networks, the Instagram, the Snapchat to the world for people to observe what clothes and influencer is wearing. What are some examples of people or what are the industries that, outside of fashion, that are leveraging influencer marketing, or is this really just an eCommerce on fashion play?
Kate: I hear this question a lot because, of course, Snapchat is very beauty fashion, B2C consumer base, but I definitely think there's a B2B play as well for all of this. You could look at the Snapchat channels of Gartner. I mean Gartner is as dry as it comes. They're looking at the magic quadrant, but they're also able to utilize Snapchat and Instagram stories when they're going to their big conferences and they're giving the behind-the-scenes of the conference. They're interviewing those thought leaders, and they're connecting with the people at the conference through these social channels. Again, remembering that millennials aren't just 22, 23. They're 33, 34, and those could be VPs of companies. They really are thinking about that digital consumer who is in the B2B market. They're making Gartner fun. You can see that as well with Salesforce and HubSpot and all these kinds of B2B companies that are humanizing their brand through millennial marketing.
Benjamin: That, to me, sounds more of a content play where they're reaching millennials or using the social media channels that you mentioned to distribute their message and, as you said, humanize what they're doing, as opposed to do customer acquisition and reach a new market.
Kate: Exactly. A lot of these aren't really customer acquisition plays. A lot of them are brand awareness even in the eCommerce space. Then, they'll do direct sales later. I would never say that you could make a one-to-one sale right off the bat. It's a really long game with a lot of these channels.
Benjamin: Talk to me a little bit about the analytics and measurement of marketing to millennials. If you're using influencers and you're building your social channels, how do you evaluate success?
Kate: What I think is really exciting about the data and analytics with all these stories if we want to just specifically look at that at first, is that you are seeing who is looking at your story, and you're creating 10-second or less clips, so what's neat is that you're seeing where there's drop-off. You can see within the story itself if some kinds of content isn't performing, and you can leverage those in or out of your content. If maybe boomerangs aren't doing well within your Instagram stories, just get rid of those and only focus on video itself. In terms of influencer marketing with the ROI, I think that's a really big deep dive into the direct sales or the brand awareness play. I think that you can really have so much access to analytics nowadays.
Kate: You can do trackable links on every single kind of link that you put out within your Instagram or your Snapchat. Within that, you have a swipe up feature as well, so you can see people who are swiping up, or you could do a promo code within a snap or Instagram and ask people to Snapchat that and put it on their website. There's so many different plays that you could look at for analytics and being tracking if it's just more brand awareness or there's a direct sale or completion to it.
Benjamin: Okay, great. I think that's a good stopping point for now. That wraps up today's episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to Kate:: for joining us today. If you're interested in learning more about Kate:, you can find her website at katetalbotmarketing.com. A special thanks to Searchmetrics for sponsoring our podcast. If you're looking to grow your online presence, go to searchmetrics.com to request your free tour of their platform. If you'd like the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on martechpod.com. If you're a subscriber to the MarTech Podcast, we just want to take a second to say thank you. We want you to feel like a member of our community, so if you ever have questions or you'd like to be a guest on the show, feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can find us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Our handle is benjshapLLC.
Benjamin: Now, if you haven't subscribed yet and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, we've got some great episodes coming up including the second half of our interview with Kate::. Hit that subscribe button in your podcast app. Okay, that's it for today, but until tomorrow when we publish the second half of our conversation with Kate:: covering millennial marketing, my advice is just focus on keeping your customers happy.
Benjamin: Welcome back to the Martec Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve organic rankings in Google. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next and how to ensure that your writers produce effective posts. There are billions of Google searches happening every day and Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top.
Benjamin: Today. We're going to hear the second part of our interview with Kate Talbot, who is an expert in marketing to millennials. Kate is an entrepreneur, a marketing consultant, and the author of Oh Snap. You Can Use SnapChat for Business, which is a best selling book on Amazon. Her work has been featured on CNBC, Tech Crunch and Huffington Post, and she's worked with big brands like Virgin America and Apple and also consults for smaller startups.
Benjamin: In this episode, Katie is going to talk specifically about SnapChat and the contents of her book. So if you're interested in learning how to reach millennials, or you're interested in using SnapChat as a marketing tool, I think you'll really enjoy this conversation.
Benjamin: Here is the second part of our interview with Kate Talbot. All right, Kate. Welcome back to the Martec Podcast. In our last conversation, we talked a little bit about some of the channels of marketing for millennials. We covered kind of YouTube and Instagram and I want to focus the rest of our conversation specifically about SnapChat, which is the topic of your book. So give me an overview of the theme of your book and tell us a little bit about marketing on SnapChat.
Kate: So I read this book in 2016 when SnapChat was the prime storytelling platform and I've always loved SnapChat because they were able to create a really authentic platform comparative to other social media channels. I started writing about SnapChat in 2016 for Social Media Examiner and I saw the amount of intrigue that people had that they didn't understand the platform, that they really want to know about it and they were having a tough time with a user interface. So what I did is that I wrote about SnapChat. I took my articles, I wrote for Social Media examiner, added to them, and then luckily I have a lot of relationships with brands and media, so great case studies are in the book from NPR, Virgin America, Airbnb, Vox Media and Sundance and the list goes on. So it's really a mixture of case studies that can help anybody out, as well as just really a tutorial one-to-one about how to use SnapChat itself.
Benjamin: So give me the overview of some of the best practices for people using SnapChat. And I'll preface this with, I'm just on the outside of being a millennial, I'm 37 years old and have a SnapChat account and I've found the user experience to be relatively confusing and I know that they changed it recently. Tell me a little bit about some of the best practices for using SnapChat as a marketing tool.
Kate: So, of course SnapChat is super authentic and what it has that is really exciting is all the lenses and I think that that's really where they're able to shine. So what you can do is humanize your brand and I think that's what SnapChat really does. Whether you're a B2C company or a B2B. So what you could do, for example, is interview a product designer or interview with C level executive and give them a filter. Give them a flower crown. Yeah, it might feel a little silly to them, but it's really authentic to the platform and it really creates a way to engage one-to-one with your community. Another best practice, if you're telling a story, and I love this one from NPR, is always include the text because a lot of people are watching these stories while they're traveling, so make sure that you include text if there's video and now what's really neat is that you can swipe up. So I'd always include, especially for marketers, always be thinking about conversions, have a swipe up feature and include a website for people to learn more. So best practices is always about utilizing the platform itself, making sure that it's accessible to people and they're really understanding the content as well as then driving them to a sales channel where they can learn more about what your product is.
Benjamin: Do you see SnapChat being used as an effective tool for customer acquisition? Is it for branding? Is it for retention? How are big brands effectively using SnapChat?
Kate: I would definitely say brand awareness is the main one, because you're really creating those one-to-one relationships with your customers. What I think is really neat too is that people will chat and you create relationships with brands really easily and the social media managers will reply. So I think that somewhere that SnapChat really excels with is creating these story relationships that are about brand awareness, but then that customer relationship gets really strong because of the chat feature, so it's a really great way of connecting with the customer itself and I think that brand awareness and customer loyalty is really where it shines.
Benjamin: There's been a trend in social media for I guess facebook really specifically to copy some of the features that SnapChat had created originally, specifically stories, lenses, filters. Those are things that now seem to be available on multiple social networks. So how is SnapChat different from a marketing perspective than some of the other channels that are out there like Instagram, Facebook and twitter.
Kate: So, as you said, everybody's copied everybody and it was a real blow when I was writing my book, when Instagram Stories came out because it was a moment of, “Oh crap, now I have to think about what this means for SnapChat” and of course you have to always be forward-thinking and you look at the data, Instagram Stories has done extraordinarily well and SnapChat especially with their redesign is not in a great place. However, that being said, I have a lot of faith in SnapChat because I think they're very product-focused and they'll be thinking of the next thing and I think the way that they're doing augmented reality and using the Lens Studio where you can create your own augmented reality itself within it, is really exciting and yes, everybody has the same product features, everybody's using a femoral content to tell stories, but the future of SnapChat is bright, I do think and I am hopeful that they'll come out with new products that will keep people on the platform itself.
Benjamin: You said something interesting, a femoral content. What do you mean by that?
Kate: So a femoral content to me is, and this is what SnapChat was originally, is that you create content and it disappears and I think that that was so exciting because before then everything was on your grid and curated and perfect and when you create a femoral content, it goes away and of course now you can save it, but in general, a femoral content is all about being your authentic self. Sharing your story in 10 seconds or less and having it disappear. And I think this a new form of storytelling that's really intrinsic to millennials and how they're going about their day because they're constantly capturing content wherever they are and on the go and not only share it to their story, but sharing it with their friends one-to-one.
Benjamin: Why is that type of content so interesting to millennials?
Kate: So there's a quote that I love from Business Insider and it said, “If you're my true friend, you get an ugly selfie.” So I think we grew up being a digital natives and having these perfect photos and trying to be the perfect student or the great employee and not writing the wrong tweet and not doing that stuff, so we always wanted like a place to just express ourselves. And with SnapChat it was the best place to express yourself. Whether you put on a lens or you scribbled and it just went away and it wasn't something that was staying there that future employers could see or your mom could find on Facebook. It was what you could share with your friends and it was your authentic self and I think that society was really craving that kind of creative expression.
Benjamin: Interesting. And how were the audiences different between the multiple social networks, between twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat?
Kate: Well, SnapChat, you're obviously going to get more of the Gen Z audience because they love streaks, streaks are when you go back and forth with friends and SnapChat streaks are super important. As I manage YouTube and Instagram influencers last summer who are still in college, I learned that they will make sure that they'll never lose a streak. Even if they traveled internationally, they'll get a plan just to make sure that they don't lose their streak, so SnapChat is still really, really important in that Gen Z audience. Instagram, you're going to get more of the celebrities, the influencers, the older millennials. Facebook, obviously everybody's on it, but it skews towards 35 to 55 and then twitter is everybody who wants to read about political news all the time and probably should put their twitter feed down, but we can't stop looking at it.
Benjamin: I'll stay away from the twitter and the political conversation. You mentioned streaks. Sorry, what is a streak again?
Kate: So what you do is you snap back and forth with your best friends or your boyfriend or your girlfriend or whatnot, and you're taking a photo and you're sending it to them and you get a different kind of notification in SnapChat that's next to your name, whether it's a fire or a sunglass emoji and they all mean different things and you want to have a streak with your best friend because everybody sees who you're having streaks with through your chat feature. So it's this whole complicated social network within SnapChat, it's very intrinsic to the idea of, you know, high school cliques, high school drama and that's why Gen Z really loves it.
Benjamin: So streaks are important for SnapChat in terms of it's a way for people to show that they are having an active relationship with someone else. Is there a way for brands to take advantage of that?
Kate: I wouldn't advise brands to think about streaks because I'm not sure how many people would want to continue having a streak with a brand over and over again. But what I do think that SnapChat could do well and it does do well is within the chat feature and that chat feature can help out within crisis or getting feedback on a product. And what's great is that you could do group video chats; you could do batch 15 of your favorite customers, give them exclusive content and then chat one-to-one. So you could really think about kind of similar to mail when you do email marketing, doing segmentation. You can do that within SnapChat as well and create different groups of people who are following your content. And give them exclusivity or build those relationships so there's a way to really keep that chat one to one, but do it in a more marketing professional type of manner.
Benjamin: So tell me a little bit more about how are you leveraging the multiple different social networks and what direction are you heading in your career?
Kate: So I have always loved SnapChat but I am really focused on Instagram Stories right now just because that's where my audience is having more older millennials. So I want to make sure that they're watching my content. As a solo entrepreneur, I obviously want to be on every single content channel, you know, I'm a social media content marketing, freelance writer and whatnot. So obviously using twitter to engage with prospects, journalists, engaging conversations and then LinkedIn right now is such a huge place for content and just making sure that I'm always posting articles that I've written, posting articles that I find interesting, and then photos and videos there as well. So I'm obviously of course on all the social media platforms and making sure that I'm top of mind so that when people think who they want for a marketing consultant then they have obviously seen my Instagram Stories for last month or my content on LinkedIn and they'll think of me.
Benjamin: Before we wrap up. Any advice for people that are just starting? Obviously you work very closely with a lot of millennials, or you're targeting them often, what advice do you have for people that are early in their career and how can they leverage the channels? What tips can you give to people that are younger than you starting their marketing career?
Kate: So what I would do is making sure that you're obviously capturing content and you're being excited about the industry itself, but make sure that you have your own website and make sure that you're showing that you can create videos. So maybe make a YouTube channel and have a topic that you really enjoy and just create those every single day or every week or whatever you want to do to show companies that you can optimize and you understand how to utilize these different channels and do it in a way that's intelligent and smart, and then also on your website show that you can write blog content, long form, short form, and also just making sure that you are on top of photography as well as how to create stories themselves because a lot of these brands need a really scrappy small team, so if you can know every single aspect of the social media role, that is awesome and then just making sure that you're proving to the outside world, if people Google you or they look on your LinkedIn or they're looking at your website, that you know what you're doing and you're confident in your abilities.
Benjamin: Okay, great. Well, that wraps up this episode of the Martec Podcast. Thanks again to Kate Talbot for joining us to talk about how to reach millennials and social networking. If you can't wait until our next episode and you'd like to learn more about Kate Talbot, go to katetalbotmarketing.com.
Benjamin: A special thanks to our sponsor Searchmetrics. If you're looking to grow your online presence, go to searchmetrics.com to request your free tour of their platform.
Benjamin: If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website, martecpod.com, and if you're already a subscriber, thank you very much. We want you to feel like a member of our community. If you ever have any questions, you can reach us at email@example.com. Or you can find us on twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Our handle is Benjshap LLC.
Benjamin: If you haven't already subscribed and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, we've got some great episodes coming up. So if you're interested in hearing about topics like paid social advertising, growth hacking, B2B marketing, go ahead and hit that subscribe button in your podcast app.
Benjamin: Okay. That's it for this time, but until our next episode, my advice is just focused on keeping your customers happy.