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IN CONVERSATION WITH saskia Vernon

The secret to a successful marketing campaign

We caught up with Saskia, founder of London-based creative and social media agency Whittle, to chat all-things social media, content creation, marketing musts and e-commerce brands.

Can you tell us about the services you offer?

Whittle is a creative and social media agency, with a strong focus on in-house content creation. We work with a variety of luxury lifestyle brands spanning sectors such as homeware, interiors, food and sustainable fashion. Our primary role as an agency is to grow our clients online presence through organic social media and digital marketing, as well as creating beautiful imagery and video content.

What has been a career highlight for you since launching Whittle?

There have been several, but seeing a brand through the different stages of growth will forever feel the most rewarding. One that stands out in particular is British knitwear brand, Navygrey, who we worked with from the very beginning. I remember sitting with Rachel, the founder, discussing logo colours and fonts, to then working on campaign shoots with a large team and seeing the brand flourish globally. I’ve experienced this with a number of our brands over the years and I’ll always feel so proud of those growth journeys and the privilege of playing a small part in that.

What do you enjoy about working with ecom brands in particular?

There are so many things but mostly I love how quickly and reactively we can make things happen. As a small, nimble team and especially with the size of brands we work with, the sign off process can be very speedy if needs be and I think this enables the best work - especially on socials where being reactive is so key to creating engaging content.

What are your favourite online stores and why?

Of course I’m biased and want to say all of the brands we manage, but if I had to pick someone we don’t currently work with, I’d say homewares marketplace, Glassette. I’m passionate about interior design so I find myself regularly browsing their beautiful site for new brands to discover. I think it’s beautifully curated and they also do a brilliant job with their marketing. Their socials and newsletter design are 10/10.

Your favourite marketing/ social media trends of 2024 so far?

The landscape is ever-changing so by the time this goes live I’m sure this will sound behind the curve! But for this year, we have seen with our clients that showing a more authentic representation to what goes on behind the brand, and most importantly, seeing those faces, makes such a difference to engagement. We take huge pride in creating polished, beautifully shot content for our clients but there is definitely an increasing need for UGC-style content to keep things relatable. A healthy blend of the two really is the golden ticket!

What are your secrets to a successful marketing campaign?

For a marketing campaign to be successful, in my experience, it just has to feel authentic and true to the brand. The second brands start veering away from their core principles, for example, to chase engagement and followers, it really shows. Just because something is trending on Instagram, it doesn’t mean you should be jumping on the hype. We are constantly evaluating what is right for each client, and this varies a lot across the board. For true success on socials, brands need to be adaptable to the landscape but also confident holding their nerve that staying true to their core messaging means they will eventually find their tribe.

Can you give our readers some advice for creating content that captures an audience? 

When reviewing content that’s going out for our clients, I am constantly asking myself the following questions.

  1. Is there a clear hook for this piece of content?
  2. Am I learning something from this?
  3. Does this feel inspiring to me?

If the answer isn’t yes to at least one of those questions, it doesn’t get approved. I believe that truly understanding who your audience is, no matter how big or small, is the key to successful marketing. If you can strongly visualise who that person is, then you can market to them in the most authentic-feeling way possible. Nobody wants to feel like they are being sold to, it has to feel natural. So when creating content, get yourself into the shoes of the follower / consumer. Ask yourself, what is going to light them up and make them feel inspired? How are you going to make them want to be a part of your brand and most importantly, lifestyle. If you can nail these points, you’re onto some winning content.

What are 3 online marketing tools you can’t live without?

Shopify is an obvious one for us as it’s how all our clients sell their products, so we would be lost without that! Closely followed by Klaviyo, an amazing platform where we create and send out beautiful client newsletters. The analytics and data side of this platform is also integral to informing our content strategies. And lastly, a bit boring and techy, but a tool called Veed - it uses AI technology to add subtitles to all our video content and is incredibly accurate, saving us a LOT of time. Which, in arguably one of the most fast-paced and reactive industries going, really is key!

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