Mission Matters Interviews Cohley CEO Tom Logan to Discuss Content Engineering, TikTok, and Cohley's Creator Network
Cohley CEO and Co-founder, Tom Logan, recently sat down for an interview with Adam Torres of Mission Matters. Mission Matters Media is a media, publishing, and marketing agency dedicated to the needs of business owners, entrepreneurs and executives. Adam is an international speaker, author of multiple best selling books and host of the Mission Matters series of podcasts which has a 3,000+ episode catalogue.
In the interview, Tom and Adam discuss Cohley’s proprietary Content Engineering process, TikTok marketing program, and content creator network. Keep reading to catch some of our favorite highlights, or you can watch the full interview below.
Adam Torres: “Tell us a little bit more about Cohley and why you founded it.”
Tom Logan: “So my Co-Founder, Erik Graber, and I met at a company called Piqora where we were focused on the user-generated content space, which is to say we were helping brands locate and then acquire rights to photos that normal people were taking on their behalf. And the whole point of user-generated content, at least then, was to tell a more authentic story behind the brand to make it a little bit more relatable and to provide social proof points, oftentimes right at the point of purchase on the actual website. So, then we see the rise of the influencer space. Influencer marketing was becoming this huge buzzword. Brands are having a ton of success, all this clout, generating sales and whatnot. What we saw in the influencer marketing space, because of our perspective, was these individuals as branded content creators. We see them as addressing nearly all of the challenges that we faced at Piqora - quality of content, the timing of the content, legalities... Today we're in an environment where brands need more content than they've ever needed at any point in history. So rather than continue to apply this antiquated model of creating content, which is putting tons of money behind photoshoots or paying a bunch of professionals to create that perfect curated asset that would be this one-to-many marketing message... what we've created here is the ability to tap into external, third-party content creators. We’ve curated a large network of over 110,000 photographers, influencers, content creators, videographers, and product reviewers to help brands get the content that they need to meet their heightened content demands at a much lower cost, in a way that also leads to significantly better performance.”
AT: “How much content is enough? How much is too much?”
TL: “In general, I would say that more testing equals better results. If we're looking at Facebook advertising, for example, you know you're going to run a lot of ads that aren't going to unseat your king of the hill winner in a specific category. But, 5% of the creative assets that you push out will actually take that crown. So, once you find a winner that's performing even better, what happens to your advertising spend? It goes further. You're paying less per click, you're paying a lower CPM, and you're able to acquire more customers because facebook is essentially rewarding you for testing different content and for feeding content to consumers who want to consume it.”
AT: “So I know you have a four-step process called Content Engineering. Tell us more about that.”
TL: “The Content Engineering process essentially mirrors the scientific method. The way that it works, specifically for Cohley, is that we can generate all of these diverse assets from a variety of different individuals that are ready to be activated on a variety of different channels. That's a great starting point for brands. But, content is completely valueless if it's not actually put to work and activated. So the next step after ‘generate’ is to actually ‘activate’ the content. Through our technology, we're able to help brands and agencies take the content and activate it across digital channels (that could be TikTok, email provider, websites, Facebook Business Manager, SMS, etc.). We tie these assets directly into these synchronous marketing channels to really bring the results to life. We take that same methodology around testing and apply it into each one of their digital marketing channels, so that they can continuously improve performance. And that feedback loop, that Content Engineering process, it never stops. It's not like you reach the pinnacle and then head back down. Once you find that winning ad or email strategy, you're at risk of losing that edge. So, in order to stay on top, you need to keep that Content Engineering loop going. In order to feed that, you need more content. The beauty of it is that we can help mid-level companies compete with the goliaths of the world by using this Content Engineering strategy.”
AT: “Let's go into your TikTok partnership. Tell us a little bit more about this and how this came about.”
TL: “I feel so fortunate as a business leader to be a part of their meteoric rise. And what they've done and been through this year - it's been so exciting to be a small part of it. A couple months ago after a variety of conversations, they finally settled on five creative development partners. And the entire point of this creative development partnership was that they have a lot of advertisers who are obviously keen to do a lot of testing and find success on TikTok, but they quickly realized that if brands brought their stock instagram strategy or their standard video content strategy to TikTok, and expected that to succeed, it was falling flat. TikTok users are very passionate individuals who have a particular view of how the platform should function. It should be an authentic, organic, and natural feeling. So if you go in there with highly produced content, the TikTok community will kick you out pretty quickly. What we're helping a lot of TikTok advertisers do is generate creator-driven assets that are TikTok native. They can then incorporate those assets directly into their ad strategy on TikTok. Early on in 2016, we were very focused on doing a lot with user-generated video and guess what? We were way too early on it. People didn't answer our emails. We quickly had to realize we're not quite there yet. But what TikTok is doing is causing brands to be much more open to the idea of incorporating content that's shot by real people in a way that's creative, fun and, a little looser than traditional forms of media or platforms. We see that as a good thing. It’s another opportunity for brands to connect with consumers in a way that's more fun and more lighthearted. And I think that's been appealing for people.”
AT: “Can you talk about what Cohley has meant for the creator side of things?”
TL: “We are truly nothing without our creator base and are eternally grateful for these individuals. Sure, they're fairly compensated and have a variety of opportunities to grow, but their professionalism and their ability to work hand-in-hand with brands to create assets that have immense value is really cool to see. We incorporate a variety of up-and-comers and we’re able to bring those people in when they're very, very micro (just a few thousand followers) and see them find their voice or find their niche. They get to start working with different types of brands and bring value to not only the brands themselves, but also to their own communities. Whether it’s fitness tips, nutrition, or beauty. I’m just amazed at what people are able to do, oftentimes just with smartphones. They're so creative and that's such an advantage for us because brands might have some trepidation around incorporating outside individuals that aren't directly overseen by their marketing or PR team. But they get some of these assets back from creators within our network and their reaction is just like ‘Oh my God this is so cool. I never thought about it this way.’ That's just such a great reaction. It makes me really proud of our creator group.”
Written by Tom Logan
Our CEO and Co-Founder Tom is no stranger to the Cohley blog! With seven years under his Cohley belt, Tom is our go-to on all company updates, new tech initiatives, and data focused trends. Tom helps to dictate our direction, monitor and emphasize our culture and put colleagues in the best possible positions to succeed. Tom is a self proclaimed Tech guy, Sports Writer and Lover of Rom-Com's.