Telum Talks To... Founder of Born Bred Talent Clare Winterbourn

Telum Talks To... Founder of Born Bred Talent Clare Winterbourn

Born Bred Talent was the first communications agency in Australia to use social media platform TikTok to promote a brand, when they helped launch Superdry’s new clothing line with the #SDMyWay campaign.

We interviewed Founder Clare Winterbourn about why brands should consider TikTok in their communications strategy, how to manage and foster influencer talent, and if TikTok is more than a 10-second flash-in-the-pan.

Why are brands like Superdry using TikTok to promote clothing?
The model of reaching the younger generation has changed. Facebook was all the rage, then about a decade ago young people moved to Instagram, and now they’re using TikTok. The platform has that strong core youth audience, which is largely because of the musical element.

We have been working with Superdry on influencer lead strategies for quite some time, and they were launching a store in a highly Chinese-Australian populated area in Melbourne. They had such a strong Instagram strategy, but my data was showing me that a lot of the people they were trying to reach were not on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. In our market, we talk about diversity in campaigns, but too often put people of different nationalities in the content without thinking about where they’re consuming it. So, we advertised that there would be three well-known TikTokers at the store about 24-hours before it launched. We only advertised it on TikTok. More than 300 people lined up to meet these young people, and as a result of that TikTok strategy we tripled Superdry’s set KPIs for that activation. You could say they were the first brand, the early adopters, that threw everything into it and took a chance, and it's really paid off for them.

How do you work with TikTok talent to ensure a campaign is a success?
We've been really lucky. We were first to market in Australia in this space. One of our core focuses is having a really strong education background. Every Wednesday we run Zoom calls with our influencer talent and often have up to 70 people on the call. We’ve had the Head of Commercial Partnerships from Instagram come and talk to them, we’ve run YouTube development courses, and even had merchandising companies give talks. We bring in leaders in tech to educate them about their responsibilities as a creator. What we’re aiming to do is to help foster this next generation of content creators to be knowledgeable, mindful, produce great content, but also have the wealth of knowledge to continue to grow their field, which is their business.

We want our partners to use their social media reach for good. We’re about to launch in partnership with the Starlight Foundation. It will be the first fundraiser on TikTok using TikTokers. In June, we will have about 25 influencers using their platform to raise money. Giving them the ability to think outside the square and do things that aren’t just generating money is important, especially given the age of a majority of these creators.

Why do you think TikTok will have greater longevity compared to past short-form video apps like Vine?
The content is so different and I think who they're drawing in is completely different. I saw my corporate, mid-forties brother on TikTok six months ago during the Rugby World Cup. A whole lot of the All Blacks had downloaded TikTok and were doing the Haka. They became the highest trending hashtag in the world. There was this massive influx from a completely different group of people who never would have engaged with Vine.

I think content on TikTok is very inclusive. It's now being reported as the most popular social media platform for professional athletes in New Zealand and Australia, the most popular platform for the LGBT community, as well as many other different verticals.

TikTok is now also being used as a search engine. Five years ago, teenage girls were jumping onto Youtube and searching for the newest beauty trends. Now they’re using TikTok in the same way. Also, the e-commerce side of it is coming soon, and I think that will be a real game changer. It will then become a shoppable platform that will offer a lot of different things. This will also help to ensure the longevity of the platform.

What is your advice to people in communications thinking of using TikTok to promote brands?
Anything you know about social media now, forget it. Brands that are coming onto the platform and treating it the way they have treated Facebook or Instagram are not succeeding. This is a completely different ball-game, and you really have to learn the platform intimately before you'll have success on there. It's an entertainment platform. So work out your entertainment strategy, and work out how you can incorporate your brand into that. Don't come onto the platform and blatantly sell, sell, sell from the get go, because you won't achieve the same results.

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