Brand Interview Series: Tobi Pearce (@sweat)

Genevieve Maslin

November 27, 2018

Genevieve Maslin

November 27, 2018



This week we continue to look at thriving on Instagram from the perspective of brands - we interview the energetic women's fitness brand Sweat on how they create a thriving community on Instagram to build a massive online brand presence.

Sweat's founder and CEO Tobi Pearce opens up on how they create content that connects with their audience and how it encourages meaningful engagement with the brand.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.36.14 am

Take a peek at his strategies to creating a loyal community through engaging content across Instagram, Facebook and Youtube and his thoughts on influencer marketing. Check it out!

How do you create brand loyals when there’s so many other health/fitness players in the same social space?

I could go through what we do at Sweat to create brand loyals but I think what is more important to focus on is what we don’t do. On social, an issue that many brands and individuals face is that people don’t trust them or their messaging. This is particularly evident in the fitness industry with many people and brands making claims about results that are not achievable. At Sweat we don’t focus on aesthetic or selling our product to achieve a certain look. Instead we take a holistic approach to health and wellness and pride ourselves on our ability to add value to our users first, and develop credibility. We provide our community with content that is:

  • Credible
  • Authentic
  • Value-Adding; and
  • Engaging

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.10.17 am

What marketing tactic/combination of activities helped to accelerate the Sweat brand on social the most?

Our marketing philosophy is based on creating an ecosystem where multiple marketing strategies exist together to achieve our desired success. This ecosystem of efficiently executed marketing strategies has allowed us to leverage the ever growing network effect present on social media and the internet.

How do you stay top of mind on social when every business ‘pays to play’?

It’s not about how many people see your content, it's about how many people actually care about what you’re saying. Sweat uses a combination of paid and organic activity on social media. We stay top of mind by making our content suitable to our audience.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.25.49 am

What’s been the social content/marketing activity that surprised you in how much it resonated with your audience?

Sweat’s user generated content which we call ‘transformation photos’ are interesting from a social content and marketing perspective. From early on, we understood the value of user generated content and encouraged users of our product to post their transformation photos. These photos provide our community with real and relatable content which helps to prove that our workout programs yield real results.

It's interesting to note that the transformation photos are actually our lowest engaging posts quantitatively. However, qualitatively they are winners because they elicit purchasing behaviour. They motivate our audience to actually download and purchase the Sweat app through:

  • Gaining attention

  • Generating interest

  • Creating desire; and

  • Causing action.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.16.22 am

How do you tailor content/provide different support to different segments of your audience?

We tailor our content by dividing our consumers into different personas. In doing so, this allows us to better understand individual needs, desires and emotional profiles of different types of consumers. Again this allows us to provide suitable content to our audience that is reliable, authentic, adds value to their life and is engaging. Some of these persona categorisations would include; geo, age, fitness experience, training preference, eating preference, stage of life and motivation level.

What are you mindful of when it comes to marketing in health/fitness space (with so many rules/regulations/health police looking to call them out)?

We ensure that any content we publish across any of our channels provides value, credibly educates and where possible elicits an emotional response from our followers. We minimise risk by ensuring that our content is always speaking true to the brand and touching on these three things. We understand our followers and community and more specifically, we know what they are looking for when they come to one of our channels so we focus on keeping a good balance and ratio of content types to keep them engaged. We ensure that we are only producing content that will speak directly to them.

Our workout programs are created by our expert personal trainers and are backed by our in-house sport scientists, additionally our nutrition content is developed by our expert in-house nutritionists. Trust among our users is fundamental to us and a true value to our company.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.28.31 am

Do you ever receive any push back or negativity? Do you have an example of this?

When it comes to social media you’re never going to please everyone. We’re very mindful of this and we are cognizant of the fact that everyone's health and fitness journey’s are different and are individual. I can recall a time early on when Kayla and I decided to create a cooking video where we made some pasta together and uploaded it on Instagram. Once it was uploaded, we started receiving some positive comments like “love seeing you guys cook together” and so on but then we started to receive some quite intense and negative feedback from others who were criticising us for the way we were making the pasta sauce. So again - you’re never going to please everyone. At the end of the day, as long as your content speaks true to you, your brand and your brand values then continue in that vein.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.19.26 am

What features on the Sweat app set it apart from your competitors?

At Sweat we pride ourselves on delivering positive lifetime and longtime value to our consumers. We understand that every women’s health and fitness journey is unique and individuals seek diversity in their workouts and require differing levels of exercise. To service this, we provide women with variety and flexibility with the health and fitness content that we offer. Our users have the ability to choose what content or program they want to consume and when they want to consume it. This coupled with advice and education around food, weight loss as well as lifestyle and health changes, is how Sweat is constantly ensuring our offering is leading in its category.

We do our best to talk to and provide solutions for every one of our users and their individual problems on a one to one basis whether this happens through social, email or our product.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.49.30 am

What are your thoughts on brand collaborations? Do you use influencers, and if so, how do you select them?

Brand collaborations = NO

By collaborating, we are saying we agree and are in support of everything those brands do. Brand collaborations very infrequently provide value to the end user, they provide value financially to the business and sometimes from a branding perspective.

Influencers = very rarely, but mostly a no.

We will only work with influencers if their love for our product is real and genuine.

We don’t believe we should need to pay people, to love our product. We don’t want the end user to be able to see that we have paid a person of influence to promote our product as it is unauthentic. We have relationships we leverage of course, but they are very rarely commercially driven.

What’s your favourite single piece of content/series created for Sweat?

Sweat recently launched our second ‘Made By You’ campaign video which is really exciting. The campaign features two mums from New Zealand, both of whom have five children. The campaign video shows them sharing their incredible fitness journey’s with the Sweat app and how it has positively changed their lives. The purpose behind creating this campaign was to highlight the benefits the Sweat app can provide to time poor women, particularly mothers. Also, a little more quietly, we have just finished editing the final version of our end of year campaign launch video, stay tuned.

 

 

What’s your top Instagram marketing tip?

Ask what your consumers want to hear about, don’t tell them.

Ensure your content is:

  • Credible
  • Authentic

  • Value-Adding; and

  • Engaging

What is your top Facebook marketing tip?

Leveraging the ability to link out.

Do you use YouTube? If so, why/why not?

Sweat does have a presence on Youtube, however to date it hasn't been a huge focus for us. We are currently in the process of implementing Youtube strategies for each of our trainers which will provide another way in which women can consume our health and fitness content.

We see Youtube as a great way for us to connect with our broader community and feature guests which could help increase reach and relatability. We‘re looking forward to doing more in the Youtube space in 2019.

 

 

What tools do you find indispensable for social media?

Our in-house development team created a social media content management tool which we use daily and has become a vital part of our content strategy and approval process. This tool helps us to ensure that all of content across our social channels is checked (whether by exercise scientists, nutritionists, internal comms team) to make sure that it aligns with our brand. When it comes to performance, we use measurement and tracking services like Iconosquare to monitor our performance.

We also find that our customer care team play a vital role in listening to our audience. We currently have a team of six in our Customer Care team who are constantly managing our social platforms, responding to our community and monitoring their comments.

What content performs better for you (video/still imagery)?

It depends whether you’re focusing on quantitative metrics or qualitative metrics. In terms of quantitative or vanity metrics such as likes, comments and shares, video would definitely be the better performing content on our platforms. They also help to position our Sweat trainers as experts in their field which ultimately builds trust and credibility in their brands.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.22.57 am

Do you think Instagram stories are important?

Yes, I think they’re very important because again, you can link out from them, also because of the way Instagram feed consumption behaviour is you can instantly get to someone's feed through IG stories. Therefore, the percentage or likelihood of exposure is very high.

What do you feel is most important to your community and how do you provide that in your content?

For our consumers, it’s all about the value we can provide them through our content. We focus on providing relatable, meaningful and relevant content to assist them on their health and fitness journey’s. We have created a product that generates real results, is science based, and truly focussed on an experience that encompasses the users needs so our content needs to reflect this. We don’t often post explicitly about our app on our feeds, we post content that supports our brand, our product and our key messages.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.24.38 am

What’s the next big thing for Sweat?

Our goal at Sweat is to continue providing the best health and fitness content for our consumers. We’re constantly looking for areas within the business to improve upon so that we can continue to be the world’s leading health and fitness destination for women.

In the coming months, we’ll continue building on functionalities within the app and provide more and more content for our users - aiming to give them even more variety and solutions to their health and fitness needs.

Comments

Relevant Blog Posts

Looking for social media services?

CONTACT US