How do you determine your marketing budget and how do you find a way to stretch those dollars when in comes to content and social media? I’ve invited on Emily Teater, founder of Set Creative Studios who works with emerging CPG brands to create content and run their social media and e-mail campaigns.
Startup to Scale is a podcast by Foodbevy, an online community to connect emerging food, beverage, and CPG founders to great resources and partners to grow their business. Visit us at Foodbevy.com to learn about becoming a member or an industry partner today.
Jordan Buckner: [00:00:00] We all know that content is really important for your brand and giving out there, and today, it's hard to figure out kind of what to invest in content, what social media platforms are going to be best for your company, and how to really stand out and set yourself apart. And so to help answer some of the questions around.
Content strategy and social media. I've invited on Emily Teater, who is the founder of Set Creative Studios, and she really works and uses content and creates content with her team and then builds social media to help serve growing brands. Emily, welcome.
Emily Teater: Hi, Jordan. Thank you so much. Glad to be here today.
Jordan Buckner: So one of the big questions that I often hear from brands and that I know you talk about as well is, you know, when budgeting for marketing for emerging brands, where should they be investing their dollars when it comes to creating high quality content? And then how do they stretch those dollars when creating that content and choosing which social media platforms they should really be on.
Emily Teater: That's a fantastic question and one that I get asked quite [00:01:00] frequently as well. And I would say that like most things when it comes to running a business in this industry, it's gonna vary depending on, you know, what your brand is, who you're speaking to you know, what your goals are and a number of other variables.
So I would say, you know, the first thing to do is to analyze. Where your audience is, because that will definitely drive what type of content you need to be creating and what platform you need to be utilizing to reach that audience.
The beauty of what we're going through right now in social media is that not every piece of content that you create has to be this super high quality, beautiful, you know, Instagram feed that we're used to. So we have a little bit of playroom when it comes to mixing in and utilizing the kind of content that's created from our iPhones.
Thank you to TikTok for making these you know, homemade videos more popular and honestly more approachable. And. Brands a chance to really showcase their personality. So I would say that when it comes to your budget, dividing up and figuring out [00:02:00] how much you could allocate towards creating some of that high quality content and then filling in some of the blanks in your calendar with.
Leveraging either your team members that you have who you know are great at video editing, or your audience that you're, we're gathering this U GC style content. So you know, there's a lot of playroom when it comes to how much of that beautiful content we have to have and what we can do to fill in the blanks with things that we can make ourselves.
Jordan Buckner: That makes a lot of sense. One thing that I know a lot of founders have , is that they see very beautiful content that's out there, great photos, great lighting, and they might come to you and say like, Hey, I want similar photos, or I want photos that look like this. But what kind of information do you need?
To kind of create a creative campaign for them that's hitting their goals because you know, if they're really unclear on exactly how they're gonna be using the content, then I'm sure the expectations might be different from what you actually create. So what are some of those like questions that you typically will ask founders or [00:03:00] brands so that you're making sure the create the best content possible.
Emily Teater: So the first thing we do is kind of figure out where they're coming from. So what type of content do you have? Where have you found this content previously or have you been creating it yourself? And that really gives us a starting point in terms of what they've been doing so we can help guide the process and kind of educate them on.
How we can fill in some of the missing pieces of what they've been doing and where they want to go. So it's, you know, first where are you and what are your goals? And then we can kind of fill in the blanks and help decide what they're missing. Typically the content that we make is for social media, email marketing, websites digital advertising,, very.
Rarely does our content make it onto, you know magazine ads or, you know, any sort of print ads, anything like that. So a lot of what we do covers most companies digital needs. So that makes our content you know, pretty widely used. So we don't have to have a lot of specifics when it comes to starting to work with someone.
We can just kind of get an idea of where they are, where they want to [00:04:00] go, and then we can, you know, help fill in the middle sections. And create all different types of content for their social media or their online marketing needs.
Jordan Buckner: Yeah, that's really helpful. I'm curious, how many brands come to you in looking for more like evergreen content versus creating seasonal campaigns that are very specific, like for summer barbecues or holiday baking?
Emily Teater: So most of our clients , are repeat customers, and we work with brands a couple of different ways. One of the ways that. We do that we structure our relationships is through retainer agreements where we work with companies consistently on a regular basis. And this is something that has helped a lot of these up and coming brands stretch those marketing dollars like we talked about a couple questions ago, so that they don't have to take a huge investment and make it into this content.
We can kind of chip away at building them an asset library that allows them to kind of be playful. And to your second question allows us to kind of start to. Dial down and figure out where they're missing and what works and then what doesn't work. So one of the ways is through the retainer agreements.
In that case, we would. [00:05:00] Create a, a good mix of evergreen content and say, we're coming into the holiday season. We've had a lot of Thanksgiving shoots going on in the studio right now as we kind of gear up for the holiday season. And then once that dies down, we'll start to kind of rebuild into the evergreen types of content.
The other way we structure our relationships is through you know, just. Quarterly shoots or twice a year shoots where brands will come to us usually with a very specific need in mind for product launches, for seasonal campaigns, things like that. And we take those on a case by case basis and just kind of build whatever it is that they need at that time.
Jordan Buckner: One thing that I love about the work that you and the team do is really around creating delicious looking recipes that incorporate the product photography in there as well. And so, I mean, is that like a core part of what you do? Because I know I see a lot of brands that have great product shots, but they don't quite capture the taste appeal.
Right. And I think that's one thing that you're able to really capture with the team is creating these great kinda recipes and, and the taste appeal that go along [00:06:00] with it.
Emily Teater: It's very kind of you to say. Yes, in short our recipe development, our recipe content is one thing that really sets our company apart from other content or social media agencies is because we can do almost any type of recipe in-house.
And it's a great. Piece for brands to be able to utilize on their social. We have some brands will take our recipes and print them on recipe cards and drop them into, you know, shipments of product for, you know, in-home deliveries. So it gives brands a great chance to kind of showcase their product in different ways.
If you are a very standard product that has kind of like a one or two use case. We can get really creative in terms of show showcasing to consumers, different ways to use that product to kind of spark their ideas, their inspiration. Maybe , it excites them to come back and repurchase your product in order to try a recipe that they've seen.
Or if you're a very widely known product, it's just really fun to be able to style things differently and really drive that taste appeal, like you said.[00:07:00] And then from there we can build recipe videos that can also be leveraged on social media. So it's a really fun piece that definitely sets us apart and gives brands a wider variety of types of content to use to, you know, drive sales either online or in store.
Jordan Buckner: We had a chance to work together with Joyful Co and a product shoot that we were doing to get new photography for our website and email lists. And, you know, it was interesting as I was thinking about content and my approach to it I was one of those founders that was kind of as, I've used kind of professional shoots before.
I've used done a lot of d i y shoots before as well. And for me, I really found that our, like social media pages, you know, having really nice content is helpful, but there's less of , a direct impact because the content isn't always like seen by your full audience. But I was really thinking about, you know, where are the locations and mediums that would most make the most impact and be seen by the most amount of people.
And as I was playing out content, it was our website and images there, the email flows that we [00:08:00] have that are set up. That are going out to all of our customers who purchase so that they're able to, you know, see some of those great shots over and over again and really be inspirational about using our products.
And then also beginning to use those , in our, like outreach messaging, some of , our print materials and flyers. And so I really love that, you know, we really work together to create images for multiple uses, kind of across digital and , kind of flyers.
Emily Teater: It was a really fun project and the packaging and the design and everything was so beautiful it was really our pleasure to be able to kind of capture. The life behind the new product that you're creating and the experience behind, you know, receiving these wonderful gifts. So it was fun to be able to kind of push our studio space to creating these different elements, creating these different experiences that will visually help your consumers experience through, you know, what they will see and how they will feel when they receive those products.
And I'm glad that we could create some things that are very, Versatile because we know that growing brands need [00:09:00] versatility and they need to be able to stretch that as far as they can go. So we, were glad to be able to partner on that
Jordan Buckner: with our boxes. I think they're a little unique in that each of our boxes contain four to eight different items that are kind of all included as well.
Were there any challenges that you experienced when shooting our boxes? I'm just curious.
Emily Teater: Honestly, no. I think the most challenging part was to try to figure out which products we wanted to use in which scene, because we really wanted to use all of them because they were all beautiful.
So we had to kinda limit ourselves and make sure that we were highlighting, you know, just a couple of items. So the challenging part was, Holding back from using every single one because , it was a really fun experience to be able to unbox them ourselves and then start to play with, you know, the different elements.
But in general, no, like, the packaging was beautiful. Everything inside was beautiful. You had done a fantastic job kind of dialing down what you needed. So it was really seamless and enjoyable.
Jordan Buckner: That's good. You know, one thing actually just recording one of our other podcast episodes that's gonna be [00:10:00] coming up soon where I worked with a company that does influencer marketing and helping to get product out to micro and nano influencers. And I did this with our kind of the previous brand product of good food brands. And that was a product that had no. Unboxing experience, I'll be honest, right? Like it came in a corrugated box. We had a branded tape.
But in looking at the images of people unboxing it from that campaign, everyone would take the products out of the box and shoot them on their own. Mm-hmm. And it was great showcasing the products inside, but our branding completely disappeared. Yep. And so one thing that I love , and being able to see even in our photography is that the boxes really shine as like the gift item itself within the shots.
And they look really great and it was awesome being able to see those come to life. I.
Emily Teater: Yeah, they really did. I mean, we wanted to ensure that beautiful box was kind of front and center, as well as showcasing the experience of what happens once you [00:11:00] receive the box. So it, there was really a lot , to, you know, to be able to play with.
And I think brands can kind of take note of that as well when it comes to sharing an experience , with your unboxing, especially if you're a a D2C brand. Having something that sets your branding apart is always beneficial because then you can have, you know, the branding experience from start to finish and leverage a lot of different assets there.
Jordan Buckner: You know, I'm curious on the content side, as you are working with accounts on like their social media presence, how has your approach to content and content creation changed over the last couple years with the advent of things like TikTok?
Emily Teater: Well even since TikTok started, there have been so many different platforms that have come up, you know, since then we've got threads, now we've got lemonade, we've got all these different pieces. So you know, it really comes down to focusing on which platform , your brand will benefit the best from, because now there's so many options.
Whereas before, we were focused very heavily on, you know, Instagram and Facebook. Now we have a lot of different selection and a lot of different platforms to choose from. So number one is always making sure that [00:12:00] we are, you know, selecting the correct platform for the brand and focusing down on those.
There's also YouTube shorts, like there's tons to pick from. And I think when brands try to do everything, you get lost a little bit and you don't need to be everywhere. There are, you know, some great fits for every different kind of brand. So that would be the first one is being very mindful of where your presence is.
And then also now we have this because of TikTok, we have these, you know homemade video or homemade. Pieces of content as I like to call them which give a really great opportunity for brands to showcase their personalities. So instead of having to be these beautiful curated Instagram feeds you know, with every single piece thought of, there's a lot more play that can happen on.
Any type of platform, no matter which one you're on. So instead of having to be very specific when it comes to what each post is, there's now this approach where let's just try a couple different things, a bunch of different things and see what works and then dial down in on that. I think to a [00:13:00] certain extent, Instagram still is very curated, but with, you know, the rise of TikTok and these other platforms where we can have some more personality we can just be more playful which is nice.
It's nice to be able to have some more. Fun instead of stressing over each and every single individual piece that goes up. So I, I'd say that would probably the biggest change.
Jordan Buckner: Have you found that you're shooting more video content instead of still images? I.
Emily Teater: And where as before we were shooting video content in the studio with, you know, higher quality cameras and lighting and all of that. We are now all reaching to our back pockets and pulling out our iPhones for the content that we are shooting.
We also have, you know us personally at set Creative studios have a range of creators that we can leverage because now we wanna see faces and personality. So it's definitely a driving force in. Content right now is making sure that we have enough video content to go around because it's in very high demand currently, as I'm sure you're aware.
Jordan Buckner: Yeah, and I think that's something that I see founders struggling with is either like I. Maybe personally, , they're not [00:14:00] as comfortable like being on camera or even just like editing and creating the video. But they also don't know if they should like, hire a full-time creator to kind of be the face of their brand.
They're kind of in this in-between. Have you seen any examples , of brands kind of doing that successfully, of kind of working with content creators or kind of how they think about leveraging? Both like founder created content and creator created content on their feeds.
Emily Teater: I think there are some brands where , the founder wants to be front and center and they wanna be very involved and I see brands that are very successful at that.
Kevin's Natural Foods, for example. Kevin is a huge piece of their social media presence because he is a huge part of the story and why the company is there and why they care so much. So it's great to have that founder because he wants to be there. If your founder isn't interested in being a part of the content, they don't have to be.
It's just as great to. You know, have your social media manager if they love being a face of the brand or someone who creates the content, that [00:15:00] works just as well. So it really depends on what works for the brand, what the story is that you're telling, and making sure that you are remaining true to that.
If you have a great founder story and your founder doesn't wanna be a part of it, it's kind of a challenge, but it can still be done. So it really just depends on how each brand needs to approach, you know, what they're doing.
Jordan Buckner: Yeah. It's interesting because I'm personally experiencing that and working through it in the sense of you know, with Foodbevy, I'm very like front and center and like my face is out there.
I'm talking, creating a lot of content that's natural. With Joyful Co. I like love all the gifting, all the things that we're creating, but I think talking to consumers versus founders who I kind of get to know and have a relationship with is a little different for me in terms of like the types of content that I'm creating.
And so part that , I know I'm still working on is figuring out that right balance of what's the type of content to put out there into the world. That's natural for me and being comfortable like talking, but also making sure it's things that our customers want to hear about or wanna hear from.
Emily Teater: Yeah, and I think it's kind of [00:16:00] an ongoing conversation to your point. It can vary and it can change and there is a lot of flexibility. You can rebrand, you know, if you start in a certain direction and it doesn't work and you're finding that a different type of content is working very well those pivots can happen all the time.
So I don't want brands to feel like they have to have everything figured out, you know? Every single day. There's a lot of wiggle room. You know, the media and social media especially moves very quickly. So if you decide to make that change, it's very easy to, you know, work those adjustments in. You can go to our social media page, especially on TikTok, and you'll see a lot of my face, I'm behind our brand as well.
So yeah, it just depends on what works for you and what message you wanna be telling. But there's a lot of wiggle room, and I do understand that, you know, Foodbevy is you. Whereas Joyful Co you maybe wanna have your face as a little bit more of a backseat, so it feels more like a you know, just a different brand.
And I think that's, completely normal as well.
Jordan Buckner: Emily, thanks so much for sharing all of these tips and strategies. I'd love for you just to give a quick overview of Set Creative Studios and kind of the [00:17:00] breadth of work that you do in case anyone is interested in working with you.
Emily Teater: Awesome. Yeah, , this was so fun, Jordan. Thank you so much for having me here today. In a nutshell, we do content creation and social media management we are here from concept to consumer, so we work with brands to help brainstorm and tell their message through all different types of visual mediums.
They then use that content on all sorts of different. Digital marketing landscapes. Some even take it into store. And if you need help on your team, you don't understand social media, you don't wanna do it anymore. We also do social media marketing for brands, email marketing all kinds of stuff.
Everything for your digital landscape. We've got you covered. And we would love to work with some of the brands in your roster.
Jordan Buckner: I love that you not just work on creating the content, but you also are implementing email marketing, social media marketing, so you have a direct connection to what's working and what's not working across multiple brands, and you're able to then leverage that to help all of your clients together.
And I think that's just amazing.
Emily Teater: Thank you so much. We've worked hard to build this. We've had a [00:18:00] lot of trial and error in figuring out what works for our brands, and we're in a great spot and we love being able to do it.
Jordan Buckner: Thanks so much for being on the podcast today.
Emily Teater: Awesome.
Thank you so much, Jordan.