Integrated Digital Marketing from an Intern’s LOOK
This is a first person perspective from our summer 2017 intern Tyler Fischer, a Business major from Florida State University. LOOK threw Fischer into the deep end of the social media and digital marketing pool and he didn’t flounder for a second. Here is his take on his summer in Melbourne, Florida with LOOK Marketing.
For the past 14 weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of interning with the award-winning agency, LOOK Marketing. I am incredibly grateful to have worked for such a fantastic agency and expand my knowledge of the marketing field. As a marketing student at Florida State University, it was extremely valuable to relate academic learnings to real world integrated digital marketing. Some of the tasks included; managing an Instagram account, monitoring Public Relations, developing monthly reports, and helping anywhere I could prove useful. As my time with LOOK comes to an end, below are some insights I have gained through this experience.
I Thought I Knew Social Media
Growing up with social media platforms, I considered myself fairly knowledgable of digital marketing. However, I quickly learned that I was barely scraping the surface of social media. LOOK challenged me with leading an Instagram page for a major boating industry client. I took this page on as if it were my own; I immediately began researching everything related, linked, and loosely associated to the client’s brand and lifestyle, including its history, competitors, and audience. My posting is based on my own interests and are only seen by friends. In contrast, a client’s Instagram profile requires a completely different mentality. Your audience is potential customers and owners, they are the people who are going to talk about the brand to their peers.
As I managed a big brand’s Instagram page, I was given access to extensive analytics. I was tasked to advance plan a month’s worth of content, learn what content yields the best output using analytic tools, develop monthly reports including actionable tactics, and generally grow the page and audience. It was fascinating to see followers engage with the content that I had created. With access to these tools, such as Iconosquare and Percolate, I was able to stay organized and make smart digital marketing decisions. As social media continues to be a staple for today’s fast changing digital world, I’m confident with my skills to grow and keep up with social media for clients.
The Constant Task Of Content Generation
A few weeks in to my internship with LOOK, I started to see social media differently. My mentors encouraged me to look deeper into the content of the pages I followed and to note the techniques and strategies that top companies were using. Quickly after starting to manage this social media channel, it was surprising to learn of the constant need for content. I had initially assumed that content must be flooding in from followers and photo shoots, but it’s not the case. I would spend hours scrolling through hashtags and followers’ pages in search of potential pictures and videos to use. A majority of the UGC is not usable for various reasons, but finding a good one equal to striking gold.
For our client, Wellcraft Boats, new user-generated content was minimal, as the brand was literally relaunched only three years ago, so it was vital that I find as many owners of these new model boats online and engage with them. Through this process, we started to find pages that post great photos and videos and leveraged this content. Through our engagement strategy, we saw an increase in people sharing their photos with us.
Although this was the case for a smaller page, it was insightful to see how the larger pages operate; larger clients like Sea-Doo watercraft and Evinrude Outboards, which have a huge online presence, have a lot more content at their disposal due to larger budgets and higher engagement by their fans. I also learned the more you ask, the more you receive. It became a norm for our Instagram posts to end with a phrase like, “Tag us in your photos for a chance to be featured.”
After a few weeks of posting to Instagram, I learned that the quality of content directly influences the success of a page, and part of the quality involves delivering the message to our desired audience. We could do this through strategic timing, quality, relevance, and a well-planned, strategic editorial plan. One of the best pieces of advice my mentor gave me throughout my internship was to take a step back and look at the whole picture; does the content of all these posts together tell the brand story we want to communicate? Providing value to these followers is extremely important; if there is no value, there are no followers.
Some Communicate More Than Others
I believe good communication is the key to success, and after my experience with LOOK, this statement goes far beyond success. Communication is the key to everything. Whether the communication is with clients, your audience, or your team, the more there is, the better. I had the chance to work with a ton of great companies and see how each one communicates differently. For example, some clients would communicate often with feedback, expectations, upcoming events, etc. However, some would provide much less, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just required a different approach. With less client direction and hands-on involvement, there is more freedom to post what I saw as valuable to fans. This meant there were minimal approval processes, which meant there was always a lingering uncertainty.
Getting to experience both ends of the spectrum was extremely valuable. It taught me how to handle different types of clients. Another aspect of communication I have come to appreciate is working with a small team. LOOK truly treated me as one of their own and included me in a variety of tasks that I may not have been exposed to in a bigger team. This meant I could give my opinions and ideas on projects, participate in calls with multiple clients, and have real responsibility within the agency.
After talking to my friends who had been interning at large corporate organizations, I found it was rare for them to engage with their higher-ups. I am grateful to have had the chance to work closely with the founder and his expert team; at any point during the day, I could talk with Tim, ask questions, and gain insights on anything and everything. Ultimately, being able to communicate fluidly played a huge role in my ability to get the most out of my time as an intern.
Why LOOK Marketing
Interning at LOOK Marketing was an amazing experience. I was provided with the experience needed to grow professionally and personally. Working with a smaller team allowed me to take on real responsibilities under their direct guidance. I was able to ask questions frequently, make mistakes, and learn from the experience as a whole. Every member of the LOOK team provided valuable expertise. I know I was learning from some of the best digital marketing minds on the Space Coast.
Aside from my team, LOOK as a company is a cool place to work. LOOK has neat equipment like drones and SPX water cannons at our fingertips. Awesome clients like Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Wellcraft, and many more made this an intriguing experience especially with my interest in action sports. Not to mention LOOK Marketing also shoots its own content for client use, which I participated in. One shoot involved riding a Sea-Doo through the crystal-clear water of Silver Springs while drones flew overhead for Boating Magazine. My summer highlight with LOOK was a solo mission down to the Keys to deliver a Sea-Doo unit to be used in a shoot for Sea Ray boats. The highlight was pulling a Sea-Doo up onto a 3-million-dollar yacht, which I luckily accomplished first try.
Although my time with LOOK Marketing was short, everything I have learned here will stick with me. LOOK Marketing has provided me with valuable experience and a tremendous amount of new knowledge. It’s exciting to take the next steps in my education with this added knowledge.