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Jess Loughrey - Martin Miller’s Gin

Written by Gin Foundry

Social Media Marketing, instagramers and ginfluencers can seem a world away from the old school try and buy approach of yesteryear, but it’s a key battleground that brands are competing in to position themselves favourably in. What does it take to succeed and who are the people behind the keyboards that are making you thirsty on your commute home? We met Jessica Loughery the Global Social Media manager for Martin Miller’s Gin to find out more.

Hi Jess, How long have you been working on Martin Miller’s Gin and what’s your favourite part of the role?

I have been with the Martin Miller’s Gin team since June 2018.  There are so many great parts of this role, being in the global team, I have had the opportunity to work on so many exciting projects and campaigns. One of my favourite parts of the role is having the creative freedom for Martin Miller’s Gin’s digital content. From social media content creation to influencer campaigns, I can really be creative while still keeping the brand at the heart of everything.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about social media marketing?

I would say the biggest misconception is that social media is something you do not need to put much time and effort into, and is almost an after thought. This is not the case. The more time you can give it, the more results you will see. It needs a significant amount of planning. Simply, you want your audience to engage. To do so you need to put out engaging content but also be able to engage back.

And that takes a lot of time to do well. Owned channels aside, what’s the main challenge facing Gin brands in the social media landscape today? There’s so many people to engage with for starters!

Standing out and being relevant to your audience are the two main challenges facing most brands. How do you make your content different and (most importantly) better than the 100’s of other gin brands? This takes time and being able to react quickly to current trends. Meaning people want to engage with you over another similar brand. Having the best new content is just one way to stand out from the crowd, which isn’t always easy in an undeniably saturated market.

What’s been one of your campaigns (or specific focuses) over the past year?

Working with influencers globally has been one of my specific focuses over the past year, and will continue into 2019. Influencer marketing is now a big area, with paid posts and sponsored content flooding Instagram daily. I was really keen to work with influencers who I believed already had a passion for our gin and could curate something new and organic. This builds relationships with a whole new audience rather than just using it as a marketing tool.

It must be a fun challenge to take the brand into these different spheres. Do you have a defined objective when it comes to what you are looking to achieve or is it too broad to simply differentiate them as everything integrates with the next. (i.e. brand awareness, engagement, more website traffic, etc.)

For me, one of the most important KPI’s when it comes to social media is engagement. This is the key to see how well posts and campaigns are performing. It’s not only the amount of ‘likes’ you receive, it’s who is commenting, starting conversations and ultimately sharing on to their friends. This all works in line with the overall objective of brand awareness. Being a household name and a go-to in the gin market.

What future social media marketing trends are on the horizon that you feel will have impact on Martin Miller’s Gin (and gin in general)?

I think this year consumers are going to really value honesty and authenticity. At the end of 2018, Instagram announced they’ve started to remove inauthentic likes, followers, and comments from accounts. This is a step to create a more genuine community, which I believe is a much-needed step. I think this trend will go further than just Instagram statistics but also with what brands put out there in regards to products, content and marketing.

Let’s hope so, there’s a lot false claims being made that would be great to have some movement on. One of your campaigns in 2018 was Martin Miller’s Meets, which was slightly more trade focused. Do you feel that even though its the same platforms the ways you have to engage casual fans and drinks trade are very different (and if so how)? The video series seems to meet both in the middle quite nicely.

To a certain extent, both audiences are very similar. They have the same values, and are looking for a similar thing when it comes to our social media. I think now more than ever, the casual fan is keen to copy drinks they enjoy on a night out for example and bring that bar experience home. Martin Miller’s Meets showed a glimpse of an industry they may not have otherwise seen, allowing an almost behind the scenes feel. For someone in the drinks trade, this allowed us to showcase just a few of the bars that have supported Martin Miller’s Gin. As well as maintain and strengthen our brand awareness within the drinks industry.

Pink is in at the moment - have you had to factor in things like cocktail trends and colour trends into what you do or do you forge your own path and let the others get swept up in all of that stuff?

#PinkGin has 110,000 posts on Instagram… Which I think says it all! As with any other brand, we look to keep up with trends in the industry. For us, as a more traditional gin, this has gone down the cocktail and garnish experimentation route. Thankfully, one of our classic serves is a strawberry and black pepper G&T. This is always a popular choice with trade, mixologists and the consumer with continued love on our social media channels.

Lastly - having had to take images and curate feeds - when you are at home, is your garnish game strong or by that point it’s about simple serves and just enjoying the moment

My garnish game is definitely strong. I always end up being the G&T maker at home (no rest for the wicked). My favourite would be, strawberries and black pepper with Indian tonic of course. However you might sometimes see the occasional grapefruit garnish or elderflower tonic instead!