Vanessa Wong, Native Manager @Society Social recently spoke to a room of enthralled Women in Digital Melbourne members to talk about the future of Social Media, life as a Native Manager and how aspiring bloggers and content creators can build a career! Alex Hobbs, WID PR Assistant sat down with her to gain a few more insights that we could share with our members around the world.

A. Describe a day in the life of a Native Manager: 

V. Working in a social media-led agency such as Society makes for very interesting days as there is always something new and interesting to learn!

I have to consume a lot of content for work so I always start the day listening to podcasts. My favourite podcasts are Mamamia Out Loud, New York Times’ Modern Love and PNR This Old Marketing. When I get to my desk, I do the usual email and to-do list scans but then I pop onto Facebook to watch my daily Tasty video and be up to date with everyone. I am really passionate about content so it doesn’t take much effort for me to read, watch, and listen.

On Mondays, my little Melbourne team of three do a quick team meeting to look at the week ahead, set priorities and assess where we might need support from each other. We are constantly working on a number of live projects ranging from large partnerships with publishers such as Mamamia, Buzzfeed and Broadsheet to hyper-targeted word-of-mouth campaigns with brand advocates.

My weeks are usually packed with meeting different suppliers, listening to webinars, attending conferences and of course, having long lunches & drinks!

There is never a dull day!

A. What are the main challenges in native content?

V. Being the newest kid on the Digital block, the biggest challenge is defining success metrics. Much like content marketing, native content’s older brother, it is easy to simply measure performance based on a cost-per-lead/acquisition, and then brush native content off as a lot of work for very little result.

However, the power of native is the ability to influence perceptions and articulate complicated key messages. Our campaigns are seeing average dwell times of over two minutes and how else can this be possible? This is at least two minutes where a consumer is fully engaged and immersed with your brand.

The channel sit on a much higher position within the sales funnel and once we get over this speed bump, clients are usually really quick to come around and really, the results speak for themselves!

A. Would you agree that content based advertising is increasing in demand? Do you believe this is due to higher engagement then a force fed approach?

V. Beyond higher engagement, content-based advertising demonstrates a brand’s commitment to understanding their target audience and I think this is one of the main building blocks of success.

Also, very simply, content works! Recently, Stockholm School of Economics proved the efficacy of content marketing scientifically and Sharethrough also have a great infographic on the neuroscience behind native ads.

A. How do you go about analyzing a target group to serve them the most relevant content? 

V. We work very closely with our content producers (whether they are bloggers or publishers) to identify topics which would resonate with their readers. They know their readers best and authenticity is key with all our campaigns.

A. Do you see native ads becoming the future in digital content? 

V. People don’t want interruptive and frankly, annoying ads anymore. Ads which are highly targeted and provides value is definitely the future.

A. Do you find clients are hesitant of using bloggers/influencers in their business solutions due to the very opinionated and two way channel this platform encourages? 

V. Social has always been a two-way channel, whether it’s with bloggers or with Facebook. These channels usually self-regulate quite quickly. For sensitive campaigns, the key is to have a solid crisis management plan and experienced community manager.

A. How often would you recommend a blog needs to be updated to keep audiences engaged but not offended?

V. It would depend on what you are prepared to commit to. Whether it is fortnightly, weekly or even daily, once you have a content calendar mapped out, it is essential to stick to it.

A. What would your top 3 tips be for beginner bloggers/ online content creators? 

V. Know your niche and establish yourself as an expert, build trust by being authentic, and keep it up!

A. Throughout your career have you ever officially or unofficially had a mentor? If so how was this experience for you both personally and professionally? 

V. I have been really lucky to have been mentored both unofficially and officially and I definitely wouldn’t have grown as much as I have over the past year if not for my mentor. She consistently pushes me outside my comfort zone, is always a great listening ear and strongly believes in me.

A, Do you believe groups such as Women In Digital assist in more developing more confident, current and cross platform digital solutions? 

V. Women In Digital definitely empowers women to learn more in a fast changing landscape!

 A. Thank you Vanessa! If you are interested in learning more about Society Social check out www.societysocial.com.au  

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