Episode 171: Emma Tessler – Master Your Marketing: How Video Can Revolutionize Your Social Media Strategy
Emma Tessler joins Brynne and Bob on this episode to discuss the biggest trend in social media marketing today – and that is VIDEO. It is a misconception that TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content are not for highly corporate industries, such as B2B and B2C companies that fall under finance, banking, and mortgages. The reality is video is being pushed by social media platforms more and more because of its impact on users. If your content strategy is not video first, it’s time to reevaluate.
Emma Tessler is the Founder and CEO of Ninety Five Media, a woman-run digital marketing agency that builds results-driven digital marketing strategies for scaling brands. Emma and her team help their clients connect with their ideal clients, build community, and convert audiences to customers. Listen to this episode and learn how to begin leveraging short-form video that converts.
Emma Tessler 00:00
To me, making sales social really means approaching sales in a way that is modern and doesn’t look at selling as those kinds of “sleazy” salesman that we sometimes think about when it comes to a car dealership but really approaching it from an angle of being authentic, being very genuine, and really looking at sales in a way to build deeper relationships and serve your audience rather than just try and make a quick buck here and there.
Bob Woods 00:30
Welcome to the Making Sales Social Podcast! Featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Bob Woods 00:55
My guest for this episode of making sales social is Emma Tessler, founder and CEO of 95 Media. A woman runs digital marketing agency that builds results-driven digital marketing strategies for scaling brands, she and her team help their clients connect with their ideal clients, build community, and convert audience members into those loving, loving, loving paying clients. After her first exposure to the world of digital in 2015, Emma identified that social media platforms were the future of marketing and the key to scaling a business in today’s world.
Emma and her team have worked with over 100 clients in more than 25 industries, helping them monetize their online presence and see some pretty incredible results. Emma is a podcaster, too. So she lives in front of the mic like I do. And her show is called “Stop Scrolling, Start Scaling”. Love the title, check it out on your favorite podcasting platform.
So Emma, welcome to Making Sales Social.
Emma Tessler 02:00
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Bob Woods 02:01
We’re happy to have you as well. So our first traditional question is, what does making sales social mean to you?
Emma Tessler 02:10
Such a great question. I think, to me, making sales social really means approaching sales in a way that is modern and doesn’t look at selling as those kind of “sleazy salesman” that we sometimes think about when it comes to a car dealership but really approaching it from an angle of being authentic, being very genuine, and really looking at sales in a way to build deeper relationships and serve your audience rather than just try and make a quick buck here and there.
Bob Woods 02:41
That is the perfect I think, definition of social selling, especially when it comes to the authenticity part. Lord knows we’ve been having plenty of conversations in various areas about people who are still inauthentic on social and I mean, you can’t be inauthentic anymore period, just because it just doesn’t fly but especially on social. People have so many complaints about it. So I’m glad that it’s just excellent to see that you just have that instant grasp of it.
So let’s go back to 2015. Remember back then, when you discovered that social media was the future of marketing, I’m just curious as someone who’s been in marketing, like myself, marketing and sales for many years before 2015. I’m just curious, what was it that made you think that at that point.
Emma Tessler 03:32
So 2015 was really my first exposure to the world of digital marketing. It obviously existed far before then but that was really the point where I was working on an internship, the person I was working for wanting to grow her brand on Instagram never had done it, never saw anyone do it, we were just kind of like, “I think this could be something.” And since I was the youngest person on their team, she just kind of handed me her phone and she was like, “Go ahead and figure this out.” I was in school for interior design. That’s what I was going to college for. I had zero background in marketing, I knew nothing, and really just kind of learned it by fire but when I was exploring and learning this new industry that was really up and coming, especially in the –really I focus on the social media part of digital marketing.
So those social media platforms, there were not a lot of brands that were marketing themselves on Instagram back in 2015. And if they were it was just kind of like a little dabble here, there. It wasn’t really taken that seriously but I looked at it and I just really saw the potential and it was shocking to me that some brands weren’t seeing that and that this really wasn’t being capitalized on yet. And now of course fast forward less than 10 years later and the landscape looks very different but it was a really exciting time for me back in 2015 because whenever you see something up and coming, it just kind of lights and fires you and it gets exciting. It’s kind of like looking at TikTok in 2020, you could see that there was a lot of potential with that platform. Not everyone knew what to do with it and here we are two, three years later and saying, “Well, oh my gosh, I wish I had gotten on the platform two years ago when it was really starting.” And so I think it’s just really great to be able to identify potential and to tap into that as soon as you can as a brand.
Bob Woods 05:21
Yeah, definitely. And then also monitor, you know, at least keep abreast of changes to I mean, because when you take Tik Tok tick tock is a prime example. I mean, Tik Tok back in 2020 was about you know, Gen Z was dancing and stuff like that. Nowadays, it’s much different. There’s so much more varied content on there, you can get a lot of education off of it, and things like that and I imagined that, you know, even though you got into marketing in 2015, a lot of things have changed even since then.
Emma Tessler 05:54
Oh, my gosh, they change every single week, much less every year. Always something new.
Bob Woods 05:59
Like what, for example?
Emma Tessler 06:02
Well, I think if we look at Tik Tok, it’s a prime example of one app change the landscape of marketing on every other platform. And that was really the first time that we saw such a massive change in the way we approach marketing and in the type of content we need to create and what I’m talking about is that Tik Tok forced us all to adapt to video content. And it made such a splash and drove such numbers on their own platform that every other app took note of that and changed the way that they then push content the way they’ve you know, articulate their algorithm and what they want consumers to be looking at and we could say, “Well, you know, I look at Instagram just for photos.” But Instagram doesn’t care. Instagram wants you to consume video on that platform. We’ve seen Facebook rollout reels, YouTube now has shorts, you can post videos to LinkedIn as well and Tik Tok alone made one of the biggest impacts on social media, and it still is constantly changing but I would say the landscape of digital marketing, when you look at social media specifically has changed more over the past three years than it did five years prior because of that one change in content.
Bob Woods 07:16
Yeah, that’s just amazing, which actually gets into our next topic about what’s working today? So you spelled out some things that you know, that you’re seeing bringing in positive results for your clients, as well as trends, “Hello, Tik Tok” better seeing success out there. So we started just a little bit talking about short-form video, and this is specifically short-form stuff. So you know, like Facebook reels, IG reels, or as these old people call it Instagram reels, you know, Tik Tok, and then even LinkedIn posts while they LinkedIn had stories, but got rid of stories.
Emma Tessler 07:54
They did, I don’t know why they got rid of them either. I was excited for them to really take off, but they got rid of them very quickly.
Bob Woods 07:59
Yeah, yeah. It was literally like a couple of weeks. It’s like it’s here and then oh, Jesus gone. But the good news is you can still do that type of format within LinkedIn posts, and quite frankly, short form, I think works better in LinkedIn posts anyhow, rather than longer stuff. So it’s probably not a bad thing. But What trends are you seeing in that, you know, especially this audience of sales and marketing of, you know, like B2B, especially the B2B or the professional, B2C component of people who are in like financial services, and banking and mortgages and things like that? Because you ain’t gonna see them dancing?
Emma Tessler 08:42
No, you’re not. And I think there’s this misconception when it comes to video by so many people that it’s “unprofessional.” And there’s only ways to do video and an unprofessional, quote, unquote, way. Meanwhile, there is a very professional way and I’ve seen so many brands do this, to make a dancing video, not that everyone needs to do it, but like, there are ways to do it. And then on the flip side, there’s a lot of other options where you can show up, you know, in your blazer, you can show up really professionally, while still providing value to your audience.
And so what I would say the biggest trend is truly video and if your content strategy is not video first, it’s time to reevaluate because if you are and I see this so often with your more traditional businesses like finance or loans are lawyers. A lot of the time your feed is filled with these graphics, their educational graphics or their you know, three ways to do this or the number one reason to hire so is your lawyer. And the graphic approach is not dead, but it should not be the only type of content you are creating, in my opinion.
Based on what we’re seeing and based on what we know on every platform video is getting pushed out more. So what I challenge you to do is look at “How can I turn that graphic into a short form video?” it can still be the same information. If that content is really important to your audience, however, turn it into a video.You can get on video, you can say, “Hey, here are the three reasons why you need a divorce lawyer in particular to draft up your prenup instead of like, you know, someone who couldn’t sell your house for you and like, draft those papers.” right. So whatever kind of content you’re creating, you could always turn that into video and I would recommend that over 50% of your content actually be video today.
So that means if you’re posting four times a week, two posts should be video or more, if you’re posting five times a week, three posts should be video, and really looking at it at that and I guarantee you that you will see a huge spike in your brand reach and your engagements after just a month of doing that.
Bob Woods 10:52
Yes, I think you gave a bunch of people heart attacks at this point and this is something that I was going to talk about a little later but I think it’s actually a good time to bring it up right now because if you’re doing this amount, I mean, you have to be consistent, you have to have a process behind it. And you have a complimentary course called “Master Your Marketing Course.” that’s all one word, masteryourmarketingcourse.co and I think that that probably really plugs into here because you put kind of a system around it because if you don’t have a system around this type of thing, you’re just not going to make it, right?
Emma Tessler 11:33
Absolutely. Yeah, that course is really great. There’s actually a whole module just about video content. So if you’ve never really dived into video, that’s a great place to start. But I definitely would say working with a partner or working with someone who is very in tune with social, if you’re not, it’s only going to benefit you because a lot of people, a lot of business owners, you know, or even just kind of like sales reps. Social media isn’t your thing. And it’s totally fine that social media isn’t your thing. Just work with someone who can provide you with support around that. Because truly creating those ideas and then executing it is the hardest part. And so for example, when we work with clients and our social media management service, we come up with the concept, we come up with the idea we know the audio we’re going to use, tell you what you know, you need to film and send us back the raw file.
And literally all you need to do is basically show up as the talent I like to say, and you are in the video, if you’re the face of your brand. Now it gets a little different. If you’re not the face of your brand, you know, there’s a lot of opportunity to get a little more creative with that which some people don’t always think about. So for example, if you want to take a graphic post, that’s maybe three reasons why you need a divorce lawyer, for example, then you could turn that into something different like moving elements in a video, you can work on it, create it in Canva. Canva is an amazing tool to create graphics if you don’t use it already. And you can produce a video that doesn’t have your face in it too. So I might say 50% of your content needs to be video but does your face need to be in all the content? No, it does not.
Bob Woods 13:05
Okay, good. So let’s go to the next point that you made on your site. And that’s called “The Creator Economy.” But I want to kind of adjust that a little bit to our audience because it’s really, when we’re talking about social selling and using it and sales, and this is where marketing comes in as support too. Your relationship with your audience is what’s important. So, you know, we should really be nurturing that more rather than just you know, going for the cheap likes and going for, you know, increasing follower count, while increasing follower count isn’t a bad thing, obviously, you’re not doing content just to get those counts up and to get likes up and things like that. How do you see that coming back to sales and social selling?
Emma Tessler 13:52
Well, at the end of the day, we’re looking for conversion metrics. And so you touched on a great point, to create content, just for likes, means nothing. What you’re really looking for are conversions. You’re looking for website clicks, you’re looking for sales at the end of the day. And so rather than creating content, posting and ghosting, just hopping off a platform after a post is up, building that relationship with your audience is incredibly important and so in order to do that, what you really need to focus on is your engagement with your audience. So what engagement looks like and it’s really just sales on social media is you are actively in your account, you’re finding your target audience, you’re commenting, thoughtful comments, not just “Wow gorgeous photo” on their post, and you’re replying to their stories. You know, you’re starting conversations in DMS as well.
However, we need to be really cognizant of not doing the cold pitch because consumers have become extremely aware. Everyone knows when we’re being cold pitch on social these days. Those tactics work back in like 2018, 2019 and they do not work today. So what I would recommend is Just like you would in a conversation where you’re trying to learn more about someone, maybe you’re on a networking event, or you’re just in a coffee shop and you’re chatting up the person next to you try and find something that you have in common, or something that you can compliment them on, and begin the conversation there. It sounds so simple but oftentimes, we forget that conversations on social media are really conversations with another person on the other side of the screen and so when you’re approaching social selling and creating content, and converting that audience, you need to be having those conversations, rather than just posting and hoping for the best.
Bob Woods 15:34
Emma, you’re hired. I just want you to know that I mean, seriously that’s exactly what we talk about all the time, is engaging in meaningful conversations, adding value all the time helping people out. I mean, one of the phrases that I always use is stop talking about how you help people and just help people. That’s exactly the type of thing that we do here. And I’m so glad to hear you echo those thoughts as well, even though you didn’t know you’re echoing them, which is fantastic.
So next thing, let’s talk about carousel posts really quickly, especially on what we talked about on LinkedIn, which, you know, LinkedIn supports carousels, but they used to like the feature prominently. Now you can only do it on mobile, and it’s their templates and things like that. The one thing that I do urge you to do, though, is go to Emma’s activity. So Emma Tesler T-E-S-S-L-E-R, look at some of her activities. Look at some of the actual posts that she did. She and her team have taken single graphics and have kind of taken and have kind of built them into quasi carousels, basically several graphics, all with the same look, when you click in on them. They act like a carousel.
So what is important in putting together a carousel like that in terms of the content as opposed to the tech stuff? I think uploading and things like that is pretty easy. Let’s just talk more about content.
Emma Tessler 17:06
Definitely. Yeah. So the reason that we create content like that today is because a couple of years ago, everyone was reading long captions. And when you think about how I can provide value in a post a couple of years ago, you would do that in a caption, and you would, you know, kind of have your hook, you would have the body, you’d have the conclusion, you’d have a CTA. And it was all in this very long caption, whether that was on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, wherever you were posting. Today, if you’re posting a long caption, no one is reading that. And so if you want to provide actual value, it’s way better to do it in either a graphic where you have everything on one slide, a video where it is keeping your consumer actively watching the whole video, or a carousel.
And I prefer when we’re not doing a video, I prefer to do a carousel. And there’s a big reason why, that a lot of people don’t think. When you’re looking at a carousel post as the consumer, say I’m consuming a carousel post on LinkedIn. So I’m looking at a multi-photo post on LinkedIn. If there’s 10 slides, I’m spending 10 times the amount of time-consuming that content that I would a single photo and what that tells the algorithm is that I am extremely interested in that content and because I have to swipe through each post, each photo to consume all of the content, I’m sitting on that way longer.
That’s the same thing on Instagram, tells the algorithm the exact same thing, tells the algorithm the same thing on Facebook as well. And so when you consider how can I make my audience spend more time on my content in order for the algorithm to know they want to consume my future content? Carousels are a really, really strategic way to do that.
Bob Woods 18:45
And then for those of you who are like, you know, what about uploaded documents into PDFs? That’s definitely another way to kind of mimic that carousel feel too in fact, sometimes people even do like graphics that go from one page to the next, that just make the flow look really seamless as you’re going through it now when you print it out or if you’re looking at it individually, if you download it in your PDF reader, it may look a little strange, but the information is still there at least but you know, just having that kind of flow there is really important too. So speaking of LinkedIn, you actually address just the importance of LinkedIn which I love. And so I have a feeling just from our conversation already. I think I know where you’re gonna go with this but just any general thoughts about LinkedIn from your perspective?
Emma Tessler 19:39
I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. I have tried to get everyone I know on LinkedIn for 10 years now. And very few people have listened to me because I’m you know, a very young millennial and a lot of people my age don’t really look at LinkedIn as the, you know, important platform and I love that, you know, older millennial and beyond are really looking at LinkedIn as a very viable platform and you know, it changes depending on the industry you’re in as well. But LinkedIn is truly a huge asset and an incredible way to build connections with potential buyers, with your current clients, with people who may not know you, or even your own network, who may have forgotten about you in the past, but want to reconnect or have an opportunity to work together in the future.
So I strongly believe if you’re creating content for our business, have a LinkedIn business page, but also repurpose the content you’re posting to that page on your personal page because that step where we’re like, “Oh, well, you know, it’s just me, you know, I’m not the brand.” But at the end of the day, your personal profile is going to always get more traction than a business page on LinkedIn. And although you won’t have the analytics to really track that traction on a personal page, as you do in your business page, it’s still getting in front of people, it’s still good driving engagements. And if someone sees that content, they’re going to be resonating with your brand. And it can ultimately drive brand traction for you too.
And so I would encourage you to really get active and strategic on LinkedIn. If you’re creating content for other platforms, start by just repurposing content onto LinkedIn. That’s primarily what we do at 95 Media, you know, the carousel posts we were just talking about, we really create them for Instagram, and then we bring them over and repurpose them on LinkedIn. And they work on both platforms. And so don’t look at LinkedIn as like, “Oh, I have to create all this unique content just for LinkedIn.” Yeah, you might want to and there’s certain features like polls, which are really, really great tools on LinkedIn, that you don’t have in other platforms but if you’re just trying to get started, drive that traction by repurposing content from other platforms.
Bob Woods 21:39
Yep, absolutely. And again, Emma, you’re hired. And besides that, the other thing is that, when it comes to other platforms, one of the things that I suggest people do is that they have the URL for their LinkedIn profile on all of the other platforms, because most of the platform or all of them, I can’t think of any that don’t right now have a place where you can put a hyperlink to something somewhere else, push people to your LinkedIn profile, that’s important, because they then get exposure to you. And hopefully, you have the profiles done like how we teach it, which is a value-added profile. And that’s many other shows, you can look at many other shows where we talked about the importance of the profile.
The other important thing, though, is that once they hit your profile, they show up at who has viewed your profile, so you can actually see who’s visiting you as opposed to on the other platforms, which most of the time you can’t see Tik Tok is kind of implemented something like that now, but both people have to agree and it’s a little gets a little convoluted but you know, that’s just one way to actually take advantage of other social platforms. So that you can push through to LinkedIn, and you can see just who the heck people are. (Emma: I love it. 100%) Yeah, yeah. So just when it comes to just salespeople and sales teams, and things like that, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see them making out there?
Emma Tessler 23:06
So we work with companies who have sales teams, and our biggest struggle has always been that they don’t always, and you might resonate with this as a listener, but you look at yourself as the sales rep rather than someone who truly embodies the company and wants to share the content of the company too. And so what I mean by that is, if you are representing the company, I would highly encourage that you work with your marketing team, so that you can repost content that the brand is posting, even if that just means sharing the post consistently from the brand page on LinkedIn, I would work on creating a consistent brand voice that represents not only you but also the brand.
So if we’re looking at LinkedIn, specifically, you’re sharing the content to the business from the business page to your personal page. And then you’re also sharing content about you and about your consumer. So what I mean by that. you are the salesperson, you are the person going and making the sales in person or via zoom, or however you’re doing it right. Why would somebody be picking you to give their business to rather than someone else? At the end of the day, when we look at sales calls, we’re always trying to build that personal connection, we’re trying to build relatability with other people.
So when you approach your content from a lens of how can I be relatable? How can I be approachable and genuine in my content, the same way that I am on a sales call or in at a lunch or a dinner that’s going to start generating more interest in your content and more comments that are saying, “Oh, you know, I do the same thing, or that’s so cool. I wish I was a part of it.” And on the flip side of that you also want to be sharing the success of your clients too. And that’s a big one we tend to forget, you know, share the success we call it user-generated content in our world, it’s UGC.
And when you share user-generated content that could just be, you know, someone sending you say you sell, you know, ink for printer. So it’s just a really basic example. But say someone sends you a review or a photo of their printer and it’s, you know, 10 times better than it used to be with their old provider, share that, because that’s going to allow your consumer to relate to that content to say, “Wow, I’m going through the same thing. I mean my printer, or whatever it might to be 10 times better.” And by feeling that relatability with the content, they’re then going to know that you obviously can then be the solution to that problem.
Bob Woods 25:38
Very good. Very good. So let’s kind of continue that feeling a little bit there. So we all love those “one thing you can do right now,” takeaways kind of thing, you know, kind of click-baiting if you want to put it like that. I don’t know what, but what is the one thing that salespeople and sales organizations can do right now, to improve their marketing, like in that social selling kind of way? Just a one quick thing.
Emma Tessler 26:02
I’m gonna say what you don’t want to hear and it’s video.
Bob Woods 26:06
Well, no, no, I love hearing that. They don’t want to hear that probably, but yeah.
Emma Tessler 26:11
They don’t want to hear it but it’s totally fine because as a salesperson, you’re a personable person, you know it your personal person you get out there, you can build relationships easily. I think everyone just needs to focus on emulating that characteristic in their video, we all get clammy, we all hate video in the beginning. So what I would recommend is, you know, film something four times before you publish it if it’s new to you, but just get started. Because the longer you put it off, the more your competition is going to be doing it before you and you’re going to be left behind. So I would say get started with your video, create your plan for yourself. Look at Master Your Marketing if you need some tools to get started but really just get started this month, just kick off.
Bob Woods 26:50
Just do it as a very popular company says. So if people want to learn more about you and your offerings, where can they go?
Emma Tessler 26:59
Absolutely. So I am most active on Instagram. So we are 90.5.media on Instagram. Our website is 95media.co. As you mentioned, we have our podcast where I share a lot of really great marketing tips. Stop Scrolling, Start Scaling Podcast and Master Your Marketing course is really just the place to start and in my opinion and then you can kind of branch out from there as well.
Bob Woods 27:23
Wow, this was fantastic. Fantastic stuff. I really, really appreciate you coming and speaking with us today.
Emma Tessler 27:32
Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun
Bob Woods 27:33
Sure, Emma Tesslar digital marketing extraordinaire. Thanks again. And thank you for streaming this episode of Making Sales Social. So remember when you’re out and about this week, be sure to make your sales social.
Thanks for listening and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales, training and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social Podcast. Leave a review down below. Tell us what you think, what you learned and what you want to hear from us next.