Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Rudy Dupuis, global social media strategist, on the value of working with influencers at Clarins:

Carlota Pico 0:12
Hi everyone and welcome back to The Content Mix. I’m Carlota Pico, your host for today’s show, and I’m excited to introduce Rudy Dupuis, who is Senior Social Media Strategist at Clarins, and also has over a decade of experience in communications and marketing. Welcome, Rudy, and thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Rudy Dupuis 0:36
Hello Carlota, thank you for having me. It’s nice to share our experiences.

Carlota Pico 0:41
Yes. I’m so excited to hear more about your role at Clarins. But before we get to that, could you tell me a little bit about your background experience? How did you get to where you are today?

Rudy Dupuis 0:51
Well, I studied communication back in the time when there was no social media, even I when I started. So I studied in advertising, I started in advertising agencies. I had a lot of internships during my studies. And then I started in communication doing, you know, print, radio, TV commercials, and then social media, and I was hooked!

Carlota Pico 1:18
Okay, very interesting. So Rudy, what is a social media strategist?

Rudy Dupuis 1:24
Well, I recently joined the Clarins team, the the global social media team, you know, to take to take care of the global accounts–we have a global account on Instagram, and then we have a strategy to have, like, now we have more than 30 local Instagram accounts. So I’m here to you know, to set the guideline for the market. I accompany them on their local strategies and provide them with content and make sure everyone is going in the right direction to follow the strategy of the brand.

Carlota Pico 1:59
Okay, very interesting. But let’s take one step back–could you offer our audience a thirty second elevator pitch about Clarins?

Rudy Dupuis 2:07
Clarins is a beauty brand, you know, really involved in the environment. So the the motto is like, “Passing on a more beautiful planet to the next generation.” And every product is plant based. Everything is really natural. And they were really involved in the, in the environmental choice, right from the beginning. It was launched in 1954 by Jacques Courtin-Clarins, started in a beauty institute and then became the brand which is today.

Carlota Pico 2:49
Okay, very nice. Well, I’m actually a consumer of your products. I’m a big fan of Clarins. And I’m excited to hear about your social media strategy. So you were mentioning that you have over 30 Instagram accounts–are you also testing out the new Reels?

Rudy Dupuis 3:03
We are planning on doing it. It’s a new format and we are considering what we should do with it and, and with who we should be working with. You know, we can’t do Reels as a brand, but we can work with the influencer or brand ambassador to do them. So we are looking at what it’s becoming and then we will add that. As you know, working in social media, it’s always adapting to new format. I’ve been doing it for the past 10 years. Now we are not, we are not launching Reels soon, but we are considering it and when we’re ready, we’ll launch it.

Carlota Pico 3:40
Okay. So then let me ask you next about TikTok. How are you looking at TikTok in terms of incorporating it into your social media strategy at Clarins?

Rudy Dupuis 3:50
Well, it’s already part of the strategy. We used TikTok to launch the new range by Clarins, which is dedicated to the millennial generation. So we did the launch and campaign over on TikTok and it was a great way to. It was different, and the launch happened before I arrived, but we recently won a prize for brand content for this launch. It was a new way to work with you know, as a brand on TikTok, you work with content creators and you like give them the feedback to talk about your brand and and see what happens. So it’s a really different approach. You have to be considerate about the platform, the code of the platform. Otherwise, it’s useless to go there. And it was really interesting to work with, you know, the young generation and how they relate to cosmetic brands, marketing approach… It was really nice!

Carlota Pico 4:52
Yeah. Rudy, what do you think TikTok adds to the mix of social media?

Rudy Dupuis 4:57
Well, it’s to me, it’s more than like direct communication with the younger audience, you know, you have to be considerate about the audience who is on the platform. So to me it just makes sense for you to talk on TikTok, if you want to address this younger target, and to do so it’s really being ready to adapt to breaking the code–it’s not the advertising code we are used to. You know, it’s even different from what we’ve done on Instagram. It’s more direct, more authentic. And anytime something seems too built up, it doesn’t work. So yeah, you really have to be ready to give it a go and see what happens.

Carlota Pico 5:47
Yeah, no, I remember what Snapchat was a thing. And it hadn’t necessarily arrived to Europe yet, but it was big in the US and then arrived to Europe, but it didn’t really take off. It is big in some emerging markets, like for example, in the UAE, etc. And I’m excited to see how TikTok is gonna take a space within the social media networks, and if it’s here to stay, or if it’s just one new thing that people are gonna test out and see if they like it, if they don’t like it, move on to the next thing, like what happened with Snapchat. I feel like there’s always a new social media happening next, right?

Rudy Dupuis 6:22
Yeah, you know, it’s what we saw with Snapchat, the new format with these stories, but Instagram took the lead afterward and Instagram back to the cake. Let’s see if they do the same with the Reels. It’s actually kind of the same spirit. So…

Carlota Pico 6:38
Yeah, no, definitely, definitely. It feels like the big social media networks are just literally taking what’s being built on the ground and incorporating those tools into their own networks.

Rudy Dupuis 6:50
And they have their audiences, so.

Carlota Pico 6:54
I mean, they have the key to success, which is the audience, right? And the brands are already on there using that to their advantage. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about brands that don’t have a big budget. How can a brand with a small budget create or attract an audience to its social networks?

Rudy Dupuis 7:12
Well, the key is really content. You have to post and if you don’t have budget for media, you have to post even more, to be, just to remain present in the Instagram feed in the mind of your consumers. And recently I attended different conferences and basically with it was about TikTok and a small brand in fast food gave it a go with TikTok and, you know, they give you the content creation to the intel, and it was a smash because it was a new format, and they were one of the first to be there. So if you’re small, I would say that identify what is the new format, what is the new thing, and go there before the big players are there. And this is when you get a chance to emerge, because you won’t be able to emerge in a space where big brands are investing millions now. So you have to be clever on your choice of networks and the way you show your content. On YouTube it’s a little different. I’d say that the more important thing is video, at the best to clean your room, have a clean YouTube channel and and use all the SEO you can get on the caption to you know to have your content more flowing when people are searching for it.

Carlota Pico 8:39
Do you have any SEO hacks that you’d like to share with our audience?

Rudy Dupuis 8:43
Well, it’s all available online. Google and YouTube are really nice teachers and they give all the content for free online. So just register to a YouTube class and they give all the access you can get. You know, SEO is just using the right word for referencing things.

Carlota Pico 9:08

Rudy Dupuis 9:08
There are a lot of resources online when you want to educate yourself. YouTube and Google are really, really nice for that.

Carlota Pico 9:16
Yeah, no, that’s definitely true. I feel like there’s more resources now than there have ever been, especially during Corona times, because everybody is taking to digital to attract an audience to their brands and offering free tools in order to capture that audience, right? New marketing strategies!

Rudy Dupuis 9:36
And there is a new feature every six months, so it’s something we didn’t learn in school. So we need to learn. We’re always in training in digital. That’s one of the things I like in this business.

Carlota Pico 9:49
Yeah. Rudy, you’ve been in social media for a really long time–since 2012, right?

Rudy Dupuis 9:54

Carlota Pico 9:55
Okay. How has social media changed over the course of the past eight years?

Rudy Dupuis 9:59
Well, I’ve seen it all. I can start with my main steps in my journey into social media. At first, it was all about organic content and engagement. I remember the days when we had like 20% of engagement rate, organically. And these days, and then and then it was all about media and typing traffic to e commerce. So the media part was all new, at the time, I joined a media agency just to be able to understand how we could increase the performance or organic content with mediatization. And then the thoughts are now with influencer marketing– it’s definitely now a part of the mix. It’s been in France, it’s a little more recent, but in the other markets, especially in North America, it’s been part of the scene for a long time now. But, you know, in France for the five years I’ve been told that it’s not a thing that will last in France, it will not make it. It won’t last within five years. And it’s now our 20% of the marketing mix. Depending on the brand, like some groups are to be spending more or most of their budget into influencer marketing.

Carlota Pico 11:23
Yeah, this actually makes me think of Emily in Paris. I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Netflix show? But it’s about…

Rudy Dupuis 11:29
Not yet , but for the moment, I’m gathering all the comments, and it’s really mixed comments, so now I can wait to watch it myself to have my own opinion.

Carlota Pico 11:37
Yeah, I’m loving it. I want to be Emily, I think. Okay, speaking about influencer marketing, are you also tapping into the power of micro influencers?

Rudy Dupuis 11:48
It depends on the strategy and the budget of the brand you’re working with, you know? At first, like, micro influencers, well they’re for brands to get involved in terms of marketing, but without involving big budget. But then the KPI, you watch like, you don’t get the reach, you have with the macro influencer. So it’s really a strategy choice of how you want to spend your budget. I know that if you look at engagement rates, the micro influencer can also have a better engagement rate. But then you have the low reach, so less people see your content. So it’s really part of the strategic decision for the brand. What is goal for the, on the campaign?

Carlota Pico 12:34
Yeah. And speaking again, about working with influencers, what about creative freedom? How much creative freedom do you advise brands to give to their influencers?

Rudy Dupuis 12:43
Well, the way I work with influencers, and what I’ve seen work is like you provide a guideline. And with that, you know, create a brief with just, you know, the specific of what they can do and what they can’t, and then you have to let them create. Because if you want to work with them, it’s because you have approved their creative approach. So if you want to work with them, and give them specific guideline and do’s and don’ts and too specific guidelines, you know, giving them like we want this kind of content, it won’t work and it won’t feel natural, and it won’t, it will not speak to their community because people who are following them, for example, their creative approach. So you have to give them the opportunity to propose something.

Carlota Pico 13:27
Yeah, no, it’s a tricky issue. Because on the one side, you want to make sure that the influencer is obviously playing by your rules. But at the on the other side, you also want to give them the freedom to talk to their audience, because who knows their audience better than themselves, right?

Rudy Dupuis 13:43
To me, it’s more like, you know, identifying what you don’t want, really, which is not possible for you to have to publish, and then share it with them being really honest with them, just so we can avoid this or that, and then see when we can be in final agreement.

Carlota Pico 14:01
Yeah. And how do you know how much to pay an influencer?

Rudy Dupuis 14:05
Oh, this is a tricky question. There’s no, there’s no grid. So, you know, every market has specific approaches, and it’s the biggest concern and the only thing I learned from the years I’ve worked in influencer marketing is just when you do one campaign, you have to be careful on how you pay each of the influencer you’re walking with because they’re talking to each other and if you pay one more than the other, it’s tricky keep up. But then it’s like now it’s we have more data, too. At first like we had no data and, it was a really organic approach. And now we have data, we know their origins, we know how they speak to their audiences, and so there’s always a way to negotitate.

Carlota Pico 14:54
You know what this actually makes me think about Facebook and LinkedIn. Are they’re really influencers on those two platforms? I haven’t really seen it done before.

Rudy Dupuis 15:05
Just to me, it’s really Instagram than can do the business of influencers. On LinkedIn, I think it’s more about, you know, public speakers. It’s more like, I wouldn’t call them influencers, but maybe more key opinion leader because they’re here to defend their point of view. And on Facebook, I wouldn’t identify any influence of working on Facebook.

Carlota Pico 15:30
It’s crazy that they haven’t tapped into the influencer marketing strategy yet, because they could attract a good amount of cash to their networks if they were to tap into that.

Rudy Dupuis 15:42
Well, you know on Facebook and Instagram, it’s all falling in the same bucket. So…

Carlota Pico 15:50
True story, true story. Okay, well, let’s talk about you and let’s take a walk down memory lane. So you’ve been in marketing communications for over 10 years. What have been some of the most memorable marketing moments to date?

Rudy Dupuis 16:04
Well, you know, every step of the way you have like, as I said, your job in social media, and digital, it’s like changing every six months because there’s a new network, there’s a new feature, there’s new ways of working on content, on media with influencers. But one of my proudest moments I would say, like, was my first job in a social media agency in Paris. I was working with Marcel, and after not even one year, my client asked me to join directly their team. So this was one of the proudest moments of my career, to you know, when you are pulled from your job for a former client. I was, I have always been working in logistics at the time, I had yet to work in a company. So it was a great opportunity back then. And then it was a really great, great moment.

Carlota Pico 16:59
Okay, beautiful. What about challenges? Because I’m sure you face a few challenges along the way as well?

Rudy Dupuis 17:05
Well actually, yes, it’s always depend on the brand you’re working with. At the time I was joining an insurance brand. So insurance and social media, like at the beginning, it was a lot of, you know, people complaining and a lot of hard situations. So we had a lot of work to do on the CRM. And then how do you speak about insurance in an engaging way on social media? This was a really cool challenge. And then it was all about what we should do with media. So I changed job and I switched to a major agency to learn how we can improve content and, you know, organic with media and then influencer marketing and, how you and how you mix all three of them to have an engaging communication strategy. This is what you know, it’s always about learning and, being open to the newness. I remember people are saying that years ago, “Oh influencer marketing, it will never catch, it’s not a thing.” Now it’s, you know, everybody’s doing it. So you have just to adapt and be open to change.

Carlota Pico 18:12
Can you foresee any trends taking shape in 2021, and beyond, on that same note?

Rudy Dupuis 18:18
I wouldn’t be able to take a stand on this. If 2020 has shown us something, it’s that we can’t anticipate. Like, you know, everybody, we can go back one year ago, nobody would be able to identify that of the COVID cases, the consequences of working from home on social media. So I wouldn’t have a say on this, on what will happen. It’s not even clear what will happen until the end of this year, so…

Carlota Pico 18:52
I guess we just gonna we just have to take it day by day and go with the flow, right?

Rudy Dupuis 18:57
You know, as they say, you know your platform, you know, what you know, and can already can focus on what you’re doing and doing it well, and then you’ll be ready when the situation evolves, but now is like focusing on what you’re doing already and doing it well.

Carlota Pico 19:14
Okay, well spinning off of our response, Rudy, let’s say you can give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be? It can be about life or it can be about marketing.

Rudy Dupuis 19:27
Well, the advice I would say is like, trust your value, like you know and working in this business, sometimes you will be you will be hit by the rudeness of the big companies or big corporation. Just trust your value and and move on.

Carlota Pico 19:47
Okay, that’s very good advice. And what about the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?

Rudy Dupuis 19:54
The most inspirational advice I got was at my first position in Montreal. The boss was a big fan of Richard Branson. And the poster of Richard Bronson said: “Good thing always happen.” No… it said like “Good things never happen when you say no.” Like, just never say no to new things, you think you don’t know where it will lead and just enjoy the ride!

Carlota Pico 20:20
Okay, beautifully put. Okay, we are going to be moving into our next set of questions, which are rapid fire questions. That’s your recommendations for audience. So we were talking about influencers, we were talking about people that inspire you. What’s another person that you admire? So another influencer or professional role model that you’ve learned a lot from?

Rudy Dupuis 20:40
Well, actually, I think I’m going to stick with Richard Branson. He’s really the kind of people with a big, huge business, but always also focus on personal life and how to mix performance and you know, being also a good father, good businessman, good family, man. So this is kind of where I am looking to.

Carlota Pico 21:06
I love those people who are just good at everything, like they’re good at their job, and they’re good at being a family man…

Rudy Dupuis 21:13
Well, balance is key for me.

Carlota Pico 21:16
Yeah, no, it’s key for me as well. But it’s easier said than done–hitting that boundary.

Rudy Dupuis 21:20
Really, yeah. You can easily get stuck in work. And it’s good to have like, someone in mind that encourage you to improve your balance.

Carlota Pico 21:32
Yeah. Rudy, what about ways that you disconnect from work–on that same subject? How do you disconnect from work from work?

Rudy Dupuis 21:39
Sports. And really, when I see people are going on the run with their headphones on and with music… it’s like, running for me is the moment I just like switch off the telephone and do something else. And then it’s always a, you know, being with my family, friends and parents. And really, when I respond to just switching off and being in the moment.

Carlota Pico 22:04
Yeah, no, it must be difficult to have a social media job because you’re always talking with other people. So having a little space for yourself, must be really great as well, in terms of mental health.

Rudy Dupuis 22:17
Exactly. I’ve learned it the hard way!

Carlota Pico 22:21
I think a lot of people have. What about a resource that you’d like to recommend. So for example, a book, a publication, a hashtag, a group or a community?

Rudy Dupuis 22:32
Well, to me it’s like I’ve been working in this for so long, I follow groups on LinkedIn, on on Instagram, but sometimes, just think sometimes and what’s you’re following on Instagram and do cleaning, because your feed can easily get swamped with people you’re not interested in. Just take some time to make sure you follow the right person–even on Twitter–and your feed will improve and get you information you’re now interested in.

Carlota Pico 23:04
Yeah, that’s a very valid point. Although sometimes hard, because I feel bad sometimes for de-friending, or de-following somebody that I know who was my friend, but who is no longer my friend–I don’t really care about their life. But it does make me feel bad doing that. So there is this like emotional part to it.

Rudy Dupuis 23:24
Yeah, you know, sometimes you follow people and start posting and just taking space on your own. You have to consider it like your space, so it’s just you’re unfriending people just because it’s not matching your interests now. So…

Carlota Pico 23:37
Yeah, it’s like your house, so who you want to invite to your house, right?

Rudy Dupuis 23:40

Carlota Pico 23:41
Okay. And last but not least, Rudy, what’s your favorite app at the moment and why?

Rudy Dupuis 23:47
The app I wished I have invented is Mapstr. It’s an app where you can record all of the restaurant or places you like. And it’s always you know, you have you can have quickly a tendency to go to the place you know, and go back to them. And with Maspter, you’re like discovering new places, you see something online and you say “I want to try this” so on your Mapstr, it’s always reminding you like okay, this, I am here, I can go there. And when you travel you can see the places where your friends were. I love this app.

Carlota Pico 24:22
You know, that’s so funny because yesterday I was interviewing another social media expert, also in the beauty scene, also based in Paris, and her favorite app at the moment is also Mapstr. What a coincidence!

Rudy Dupuis 24:35
Oh, you need to connect us!

Carlota Pico 24:36
Yeah, I would love to after this call. Okay, Rudy,m well, thank you so much for joining me on The Content Mix. It was awesome to meet you and to learn about your experience in marketing.

Rudy Dupuis 24:47
Well, thank you, Carlota. It has been a pleasure. I loved talking and and sharing about this great industry. It’s always changing and so it’s really cool to to keep on seeing what’s happening.

Carlota Pico 25:02
Yeah, definitely I couldn’t agree more. Okay, and everybody listening in today, thank you for joining us on The Content Mix. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out The Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews just like this one every day, so keep on tuning in. Thanks again, have a fabulous day and see you next time. Bye!

Rudy Dupuis 25:26
Thank you. Bye!

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