Jake Prinsen, Nelson Schmidt Inc.:"Brands with a strong digital presence can actively engage with their audiences and foster a sense of shared responsibility."

Creating organic engagement through a digital presence

出自 India Fizer , AdForum

Nelson Schmidt Inc.
Milwaukee, 美国
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Jake Prinsen
Content Writer Nelson Schmidt Inc.

In the latest installment of our series focused on how agencies are advising their clients on brand communications to connect with a digitally-native audience, we sat down with Jake Prinsen of Nelson Schmidt Inc. to learn about this shift from a B2B perspective.


In what ways are you leveraging new platforms and technologies to engage and resonate with the digital-native nature of Generation Z and younger consumers? Further, what channels and formats are you prioritizing and how are you adapting your content for these platforms? 

For recent campaigns, we’ve sought out influencers on popular video-focused social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. They help us conduct product reviews, share testimonials and produce content that educates consumers on our clients’ products. We’ve also tailored the content we create to these platforms, producing short and long-form videos for Reels, Shorts and other trending formats.

On the back end, we’re constantly assessing our tech stack to ensure we’re using the most accurate tools to track newer content forms. We recently switched to a new public relations platform to more efficiently track this content think podcasts and the videos referenced earlier. We’re also moving to a more robust social media monitoring system, which will allow our team to easily and effectively post, track and measure impact.


How are you tailoring your messaging to align with the values and interests of modern consumers, and how does this differ from your approach with previous generations?

We serve clients whose products or services are considered purchases, which is the opposite of an impulse buy. They’re often business-to-business related, but not always. These are longer, more complex customer journeys and require a mix of brand awareness, along with lower-funnel messaging throughout the purchase process. We have a lot of touchpoints to consider, with numerous opportunities to tailor the message to buyer mindsets and situations in every stage of the customer journey. But the biggest change we’ve experienced over the last few years? There’s much more top-of-funnel brand messaging than in previous generations, when many B2B marketers concentrated solely on lead generation. Considered purchase marketers are finding that creating awareness early on leads to better conversion results, which is a strategy we’ve practiced for decades.


What role does culture, sustainability and social responsibility play in your brand's communications strategy for engaging with younger demographics?

Younger consumers often prioritize brands that align with their values and contribute to society. We found this especially true as the COVID-19 pandemic and social equality movements led companies to think more seriously about how their brands can improve. A big part of this is demonstrating transparency in communications related to culture, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability. Brands with a strong digital presence can actively engage with their audiences and foster a sense of shared responsibility.


In what ways do you utilize user-generated content and interactive experiences to connect with younger consumers on a more personal level? 

Getting audiences to engage with our clients’ messaging is vital in today’s marketing environment. But it must be done in a way that doesn’t feel like coercion. They need to trust that you're leading them down a path they decided to take. For example, we helped the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation promote health and safety during the pandemic by collaborating with influencers. We recruited pro athletes, community leaders and even pageant winners to help the state generate content that promoted pandemic relief. As the state and small businesses rebounded, the campaign was deemed highly successful, and its impact was powerful. People engaged with the content on a more organic basis because it was authentic, real and relatable.


Can you share any examples of successful campaigns or collaborations with young influencers, organizations, or platforms that have helped shape your brand's communication approach for Generation Z and beyond?

Addressing the needs of our current client roster, most messaging we’re creating isn’t focused on younger audiences. But we've found Millennials and older generations do react positively to influencer messaging. We recently helped launch a product for a very passionate group of outdoors enthusiasts, deer hunters. We reached out to outdoors influencers across YouTube, TikTok and Instagram to help push the product on social, in addition to popular hunting podcasts. Despite launching later in the hunting season, the initial metrics are much better than the KPIs we anticipated. And, using last season’s data, we’ll be able to expand on the campaign, knowing exactly which channels were successful.