Cooking Up Content
Content creation is the backbone of all marketing strategies. It's what we watch on Youtube, the posts we like on Instagram, the ads we watch on TV, everything we see on a website and so much more. In order to succeed, every brand must have a strong content strategy. But how do you streamline all this in a way that's effective and resonates with your audience?
Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with Kristin Bryan, a marketing expert who launched her own company with her sister that has partnered with major brands in their own content creation. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines the importance of content strategy and how it can drive your brand from the expertise of The Chef Sisters' Kristin Bryan.
A Little More About Kristin
Kristin Bryan along with her twin sister, launched The Chef Sisters, a media company focused on creating content and marketing both food and beverage brands and restaurants. After a 15-year marketing career stemming back to managing national partnerships with Plum District and Groupon to founding a direct marketing company focused on businesses founded by women entrepreneurs, Kristin found a new way to use her storytelling skills to focus on the culinary industry to create food content, recipe development, product partnerships, food photography, marketing, and product reviews.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: I'd love to start off and have you share a little bit about what got you to here today because you have had the journey of journeys.
Answer: Yes, I have. It's been a long journey, but a fun, exciting, bumpy road at times. But to just keep it short and simple, I started out as a marketer, and mostly sales and marketing, developing partnerships, developing sales and marketing teams. I specifically worked with startup space. Love startups. I launched my career in a startup that eventually was acquired, and that gave me the taste for building things and really just bootstrapping your way into a really successful business.
So I got the bug young and started working with startup companies, helping them develop their sales teams, and then I started working with them on developing marketing. It just transformed itself. I found myself working with companies like Plum District, which was a Kleiner Perkins company in San Francisco, and then Groupon, and then launching my own career, my own, excuse me, my own company. It's been a great road, and then I decided to change career paths and use my marketing background to help develop The Chef Sisters Media.
Question: I think your career path actually completely led you to this point where you've been able to leverage. To me, it's not really that you got off a career path. It's you learned how to build national partnerships and strategies with other partners, and that's so important for all the clients that you work with. You learned how to actually do marketing in general, and that's what you're doing now too. So this is just another path that you're on the next step on it. Would you agree?
Answer: Yes, it is, it is. I think really where those skills were honed was when I worked for Plum District and Groupon, especially Plum District, we were really a Groupon for moms. Although the company is no longer in business, they were acquired and then absorbed by other companies, which happens in the startup space quite a bit. But the women entrepreneurs that we worked with were so inspiring to me, and they were innovative, and creative, and smart. They developed these products that just blew me away. I would get them on my desk, and I would think, "Oh my goodness, I would've never thought of this. This is fantastic."
What surprised me was how many of them didn't know, "Okay. I've got it. I don't know what to do with it. How do I tell people about it?" Everybody's first reaction is, "Oh, I put it on social media." I mean, actually, it's a good start, but there's so much more to do before you put it out on social media. I just fell in love with these women entrepreneurs, and they inspired me and my entire team who I had a team of moms working for me who are brilliant, business women. They would bring me all of these fantastic entrepreneurs, and we would set up these campaigns for them through the company.
It was just this really fascinating, inspiring time in my life where I realized how much is needed out there for people who have all these great creative ideas, and they really have a product they can take to market. They just don't know what to do with it once they get it there. So that really inspired me to double-down and learn as much as I could about what works and what doesn't work.
Question: So what does work? Why don't we start off there? You have different clients. What do people need to keep in mind when they're trying to get out who they are and what they do?
Answer: The first thing I say is, "Be authentic. You are the only you, and you developed this product. It's your product, your restaurant. It's your. No one else has it. So be authentic." The second thing is be of service to the customer and know who your customer is. So those are really the top three things. Know who your customer is, be authentic, and then be of service to your customer. When you keep those three things in mind, marketing is fairly simple. You just have to follow those few bullet points basically and go back to those every time. So if you develop a campaign for social media, ask yourself, "Is it authentic? Is it really us, or did someone talk me into being this?" I will say one of my favorite authors is Seth Godlin.
I'm sure everybody has read that book because he is amazing. He has something that I always tell people who are asking me, "How do I market this product?" I have a customer or not a customer, but a client who just launched a... or he's going to be launching a very specific website. It's very e-commerce-driven, and you have to... In fact, I actually wrote it down. You have to ask yourself these questions. "I will focus on people who want what? My product is for people who believe, and I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get X." So those. I think that everybody who went to school and studied marketing and these all kinds of technical, and analytical, and data capturing that has to go along with all of this. But when it comes right down to it, you do have to ask yourself questions about who your consumer is, and what you can do for them, and how your product will benefit their life.
Question: So what do you do to actually make it yours?
Answer: That is such a good point. So to make it yours, you, of course, Marketing 101, had to have a point of difference from your competitors, but you also have to have your own voice. A lot of people I think are afraid of putting their voice into their marketing, but that's what makes you special. A friend of mine who is not a client, she's absolutely amazing. She's from Medellín, Columbia, and she came here. She was actually part of an internship program. I met her, and she went back to Columbia and started her own acai company. She makes acai food products. She's all her own. I mean, there is no one like Valentina. She is just vibrant. In every bit of social media that she puts out there, you can tell it's Valentina because it's her, and it's unapologetic. It is her.
So she doesn't care that she has very strong beliefs about things. She puts it out there. She feels extremely strong about being a vegan, and I think there's an incredibly wide scope of consumers out there who love what she does and who would buy her product because of that. So her product isn't necessarily just for vegans, but she puts a lot of amazing content out for people who really want that lifestyle, and then she puts her stamp on it. I mean, she's colorful and vibrant, and everything she does is... Every social media post she has has this incredible color. So you really just have to be authentic. You have to figure out who you are and make sure that your social media reflects who you are and who you feel that product, what that product should say to your consumer.
Question: What are other things that people should be keeping in mind when they're off to the races and developing content for their brand and trying to figure out how to market it to their audience?
Answer: First of all, make sure you know who your key consumer is or your audience is and understand them. I know that that is not fun. Especially if you're not an analytical mind, you really have a very creative mind, and you don't like the analytics involved or the data, you really have to think that through, and you do need to understand, who are they? How do they live their life? If you have a restaurant, how many times do your patrons go out to dinner every week? Of course, now, that's a whole different story. We have to change the way that's thought, but... or how often do you order food? You need to understand that about your customer, and you need to know who they are. Do they typically come in with their families? Do they come in alone? Is it typically a date night? You just have to understand who your consumer is first, and then develop your campaign around elements of that consumer so that you know that you're fulfilling a need for them.
Check Out The Podcast!
Kristin has SO MUCH of great information from her experience in content strategy. Check out the rest of the interview on our podcast below to learn more about how to drive your business further with a stronger content and storytelling.
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