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How to nurture and retain talented people within a business

How to nurture and retain talented people within a business

How to nurture and retain talented people within a business

The talent and advertising industries are filled with fast paced, creative businesses, who all want to hire and nurture the most talented and innovative people. By their nature, talents are often looking for new challenges and opportunities to progress, leading to high levels of staff turnover industry-wide. This is something all agencies battle with, in an effort to retain talent within the business and reduce their staff turnover.

A way to approach the issue of attrition is to simply embrace it. People are on a journey throughout their careers and, by recognising this and identifying why employees are moving on, we can achieve our aim for employees to want to stay longer, simply because they can see the benefits that matter to them within the business. Our aim should be to help people do their best work whilst they’re with us and facilitate the learning and development that helps them realise their goals.

At Blackpaper, during our current period of innovation, we’re aiming to address the reasons why our colleagues and team members would look to move on. Here, I run through just some of the ways we are approaching our talent engagement strategy to enhance employee experience and ensure that, when they do choose to move on, they look back on their experience with us positively.

The challenges of retaining talented people

It’s no secret that having talented people working with you provides a competitive advantage. Not only are you able to provide clients with an enhanced service, but your business is able to grow and challenge itself at a faster rate. This has the added benefit of attracting further talented people, who will recognise the success of your brand and see themselves reflected within your staff.

With this in mind, talent attraction and retention are both critical parts of securing business growth and development. By engaging your talent and recruiting employees who fit with your company culture and want to grow, you are securing a strong group of talent to help you and your clients accelerate. Talents have strong networks from an early stage in their careers, and large agencies are wonderful for forming long-lasting friendships. By providing a positive environment, your existing talent are more likely to recommend past colleagues that align with your brand values and company culture.

But, this can be a double edged sword. When your competitors are focused on not only winning clients from you but tempting talented staff to join them, being able to provide an exciting, promising, and engaging work environment can be the difference between maintaining your staff roster or witnessing a potential mass exodus. Being able to engage current talent and giving them reasons to stay and develop with you can turn the tables on any conversations they’re having with friends at other businesses.

The cultural impact of a high turnover

The impact of a high staff turnover goes beyond the quality of service you can give to your clients, and the consistency in the faces they interact with. Being able to provide stability for your talent helps foster a positive environment and long-term working relationships. When high levels of turnover are taking place, this can create unrest and (in many cases) increased workloads for staff needing to train new starters.

When companies are going through periods of innovation, this can also be a key point to look at how talent is being nurtured within the business. If you neglect to ensure your talented people feel included in innovation and that the ‘people’ side of the business is equally as valuable, you may experience higher levels of turnover, which could turn your period of innovation from a positive to a negative experience.

Companies that want to keep innovation going while experiencing high staff turnover need to foster an open environment of trust, where employees feel safe and comfortable in speaking up. For employees who are hesitant of change, innovation can seem worrying and lead them to seek other opportunities. Ensuring they feel included and that their voices are being listened to will help mitigate any increase in turnover and make your staff feel valued.

While going through our own period of innovation, we’ve taken the time to ensure we’re including people development within our plans. At the heart of building a client centric culture, we’re ensuring that our people have the access to the development and training they need, and that the company culture we’re building is one of always learning – no matter what level you sit at. To put it simply, our aim is to help people do their best work at Blackpaper and capture the fresh ideas & raw talent that feed innovation – ideas that can (and do!) come from anyone within the business.

As for engaging with and recruiting new talent during a period of change, it’s important they are able to excel while also being a good culture fit, both in terms of working well with the existing team and helping to drive that change. When recruiting, support people managers in finding out what their teams are missing and getting an ideal personal profile in place. Give clear guidance on company culture, and encourage interview questions to be based around values to help identify how interviewees will fit with both your brand growth goals and existing colleagues.

Generational differences

It could be that a generational difference in the approach to employment. Whereas it was traditionally common to have a job for life, this is no longer the case, and younger generations are more likely to ‘job hop’ to find somewhere which is a good fit for them.

Leaning into this attitude of finding the right person for the right job works both ways. By taking the time to consider whether an opportunity is a good fit for them, the mobility of younger employees enables businesses to find a good fit for the role and should try and match the flexibility of younger employees, working with them to find a place for their talents within the business.

In the case of junior and entry level staff members, we try and give them the opportunity to truly learn their trade and be exposed to all parts of the business, along with the marketing industry as a whole. This is a true benefit to being a smaller, more agile company as we can facilitate our staff following their interests and filling any knowledge gaps. Natural curiosity is a quality every marketing agency should value in employees and being able to encourage and fulfil this for your employees helps them identify where they want their career to go next.

Teaching managers to be coaches

It may seem simple but putting clear personal and career development plans in place gives staff a clear idea of where their next steps are and what they need to do to get there. By engaging staff in creating personal development plans with their managers at times of change, they will feel valued and recognised, and have a clear view of where their role fits within the business. To go further than this, the plans we encourage our staff to create can include future career goals, both within and outside of Blackpaper.


The Relationship Between Content Creators, Influencer Marketing And The Music Industry

The Relationship Between Content Creators, Influencer Marketing And The Music Industry

The Relationship Between Content Creators, Influencer Marketing And The Music Industry

With the rise of apps that have a centralised music offering, and the pandemic shifting what consumers want to see, the music industry is becoming more and more reliant on influencer marketing.

We’re unpacking the relationship between content creators, influencer marketing and the music industry to reveal the latest trends that are emerging between artists and content creators.

Why Is Influencer Marketing Becoming Essential To The Music Industry?

Influencer marketing is finding its place within the music industry thanks to apps like TikTok and Triller. The popularity of these apps is undeniable, with more than 90% of TikTok users aged between 16-24 going on the app more than once daily and the Google search for ‘How To Make A TikTok’ increasing by 400% at the beginning of year.

These social media apps are encouraging people to create their own videos to music they have produced or remixed themselves. The video and music editing tools available on these apps give people easy access to create such remixes, and often, these become huge hits that raise awareness of the artist’s track who is being used.

The music industry is catching onto these trends and realising how important it is for artists to be collaborating with creators on these platforms and creating their own content.

Why Are Artists Collaborating With Content Creators?

The key reasons that artists are collaborating with content creators are:

To Find Innovative Ways To Engage Their Audience

When music artists and content creators come together, they are able to create amazing content that resonates with their audience. This provides artists and music labels with new opportunities to engage their audience, and possibly tap into new and unexplored audience demographics.

Pursuing New Revenue Streams

Many brands and artists are changing their content strategies as a result of the pandemic and using platforms like TikTok to pivot their offering and explore new revenue opportunities. Using social media to advertise their music can boost sales and help artists recognise the power of social media as a well-established revenue stream.

At-Home Content

As a result of the pandemic, many brands have been left with fewer resources and lower budgets. The content creators of today are their very own production powerhouses, and this relieves the pressure on brands to produce all of their own content.

Remix/Viral Potential

Many of the viral videos on these apps use repurposed and remixed music content, which have the potential to broaden an artist’s reach exponentially. It can be predicted that apps like TikTok will continue to excel in both popularity and value, and influencer marketing platforms will be increasingly used to help artists supercharge their influencer marketing strategy through repurposing strategies.

How Are Artists Becoming Content Creators?

Artists are seeing success in using social media to create their own content and interact with their audience in new ways. There are plenty of opportunities to grow a fan base and produce new content that can then be shared and boosted by music content creators. A great example of this is Marc Rebillet, who is using platforms like TikTok and Instagram to grow his audience and offer music content.

The Value Of Ambassador Programmes

The Value Of Ambassador Programmes

The Value Of Ambassador Programmes

Stand-alone influencer marketing campaigns are super effective for product launches or special events that need to create an instant splash, but we’ve found that ambassador programmes hit different.

Ambassador programmes are long-term campaigns that span for weeks, months, or even years. This type of activation creates deeper connections with an audience, builds awareness and engagement around a product or service, and generates more meaningful results over time.

In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the benefits of this influencer marketing strategy, and offer best practices that will ensure the smooth running of your next ambassador programme.

The Benefits Of An Ambassador Programme

More visibility: Ambassador programmes bring a wealth of content that is shared over a long period of time. This means that both product and brand messaging are put in front of the eyes of many, leading to an increase in visibility and exposure.

More stories, in one: In producing a wealth of content, a creator can tell multiple narratives in one campaign. A piece of content may focus on a product, outlining its USPs, and another piece of content may focus on a certain brand message, all using the recognisable voice of one creator.

Strong relationships: When a brand works with a creator over a long period of time, a strong and therefore effective relationship is built. If there are strong foundations and values are aligned between both parties, the content produced will look and feel genuine to the target audience. This lends to another benefit perfectly – a creator who has a strong relationship with a brand will be more likely to over-deliver on content. When this happens, the creator’s audience gets more organic content and a brand gets more value for their money; it’s a win-win situation.

Ability to adapt: By building a campaign over time, you can adapt and optimise the content shared and overall performance of the campaign. You will consistently be learning from your campaigns and adapting as you go, making sure you’re getting the best possible results out of the content delivered.

Authenticity: A creator who chooses to work with a brand on a long-term basis and on multiple occasions will appear more genuine and their content will fit naturally and authentically in their feed. The brand will be able to negotiate exclusivity clauses for the duration of the programme, making sure the creator doesn’t engage with competitors.

Best Practices To Ensure A Successful Ambassador Programme

Now we’ve outlined the benefits of implementing this influencer marketing strategy, we’re going to recommend our best practices that ensure a successful and effective ambassador programme.

Select your ambassadors carefully: Candidates for your programme should be vetted with great care, to ensure they are a perfect fit for your brand and your campaign. Here, at Influencer, we vet creators across three categories: Science, Synergy and Style. Within these categories, we take a deep dive into their community demographic, to ensure the set of creators are representative of a wide range of verticals and audiences, brand safety and brand affinity, the ‘look and feel’ of previous content, and how content has performed in the past.

It is also important to vet your chosen creator throughout the programme, which adds one final category: Sustain. The very nature of an ambassador programme means that you should be measuring and assessing performance throughout the length of a campaign, ensuring that only the best performing and most authentic creators remain a part of the programme.

It is important to remember that if any red flags show during this process, you can change and replace the potential under-performers.

Plan smartly: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – and this could not be more true for ambassador programmes. From the outset, our campaign managers help your brand set goals and KPIs, design activation phases for the campaign and identify strong calendar moments that campaign content could naturally align to.

Without a clear direction from the outset, creators and brands alike can end up creating content that doesn’t hit the spot, so having clear objectives and deliverables can help to create content that really converts.

Be flexible and stay collaborative: It is important to monitor and measure performance of the content throughout the campaign, so you can adapt your strategy when needed. It is also useful to lean on your creator to understand what works for their audience and what does not, and inform your strategy from there on.

Creators know their audiences well and will be the best guides on how best to communicate your message, making sure it resonates well. Keep conversations with your ambassadors active throughout the programme and don’t be afraid to make changes during the process.

Create opportunities: As outlined above, we’ve seen that ambassador programmes typically lead to over-delivery in content. So, we encourage you to capitalize on this. Create opportunities for organic content to be posted, whether that be through events or special events.

As well as this, don’t always save creator content for one channel. If you share content across multiple platforms, your brand and brand message will disseminate to a wider audience and ultimately increase exposure further.

Let the creative do the talking

Let the creative do the talking

Let the creative do the talking

Digital marketing has always been driven by data. this is especially true for paid media campaigns. With the rise of paid media, brands should focus on the look and quality of the creator and their content, and let paid media look after the performance of the post.

In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at why creativity is just as important as data in paid media campaigns.

Creativity is key:

When selecting creators for a campaign, brands can get caught up in looking for the perfect statistics and insights, which usually include engagement rate, audience location, and age. Because of this, a creator’s creativity, style, and quality is often overlooked.

Here at Blackpaper, we take an in-depth look into a creator’s profile, analysing both the account and the content. Whilst it’s important for us to make sure that the creator will target the right audience, it’s also important that we match their content style and quality to what the brand is visioning for their campaign. In doing so, we spend time on both the creative, making sure that the content looks and feels just right, as well as the creator’s data and insights.

Creators are the creative masters:

Once the creators are selected, we encourage brands to hand the reins to the creators themselves. Creators are experts in content creation – they know their audience’s interests inside and out and can create killer content that they know will perform.

Because of this, when putting together a campaign brief we make sure to keep the creative relatively broad so we can give the creator the much-needed control over their content, meaning they can produce something that will achieve the campaign objectives.

When the creator produces high-quality, creative content, a brand can then reuse this content elsewhere. This is where paid media comes into play, and where the performance of the post can be managed.

The power of paid media:

Paid media is booming. A couple of years ago we would see paid media being used very sparingly, but now, we see most digital marketing campaigns include an element of paid media.

Paid media is an incredibly valuable and powerful part of influencer marketing. Brands can invest into having their content shared with targeted audiences who are likely to be interested in the brand or product, either through ‘boosting’ their organic content on the creator’s profile, or designing unique advertisements reusing the content the creator has produced.

Hitting the perfect target audience is key for marketing and advertising, and paid media allows us to have increased control of this. And that is why brands should focus on the look and quality of the creator and their content, and let this paid strategy look after the performance of the post.

At Blackpaper, we are committed to securing our clients a maximum return-on-ad spend by offering clients guaranteed business results – including guaranteed sales and guaranteed acquisitions.

But, how do we achieve this? Through our creator partnerships, we are granted access to a wealth of invaluable audience data – not just the audience who follow a creator, but also those who engage with campaign content

As a result, we can retarget an already interested audience, which helps keep your brand at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. This joined-up approach allows us to target the audience you want to reach and boost the overall impact that your influencer marketing campaign delivers

How Content Creators Can Help Brands Share Their Values

How Content Creators Can Help Brands Share Their Values

How Content Creators Can Help Brands Share Their Values

Now more than ever, consumers want to use products and services that align with their values, causes and beliefs. In fact, 87% of consumers buy from organisations that share their own set of values. Because of this, it is essential that brands take notice of what their consumers have to say.

Displaying brand values is no longer about writing them down and simply saying you support a cause or viewpoint. The modern consumer wants to see brand values in practice, whether that be making big value-led decisions, or collaborating with content creators to display and share their core values.

Below, we are taking a deep dive into why it is crucial for brands to share consumer values, and how content creators can help relay a brand’s values, causes and beliefs to a target consumer.

Why is it crucial that brands share consumer values?

More and more research is proving the importance of shared consumer and brand values. Showcasing shared values can open brands up to new, socially conscious audiences and increases the longevity of consumer relationships.

With values underpinning the brand-consumer relationship, it is more likely they will stand the test of time, as 64% of consumers believe that shared values help to create a trusted relationship with a brand, and for Millennials, that percentage is even higher, rising to 83%.

It is also important to consider that consumers will shun brands that present values that they don’t agree with. In this sense, it is crucial that brands are authentic and honest about their message, and nail down who they are and what they stand for.

How can brands relay their values to the consumer?

Sharing brand values is more important than ever, and content creators can help ensure this process is authentic.

It’s important that brands steer clear of virtue signaling. That is, the process whereby a brand or person publicly demonstrates ‘one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue’. This kind of approach can seem inauthentic or like a tick box exercise. Instead, what consumers really want to see is brands living and breathing their values.

For the modern consumer, sharing values is something that should be demonstrated day in day out, and creators can assist in forming that association between brands and values. With so many amazing content creators out there, brands should lean on this community to share their message and their values far and wide.