Power of Social-led Strategies: A Conversation with Natalie Koutsikas

Power of Social-led Strategies: A Conversation with Natalie Koutsikas

Welcome to another insightful edition of Marketer Interview, where we delve into the minds of remarkable professionals shaping the marketing landscape.

Today, we connect with Natalie Koutsikas, the dynamic force behind Digitale, Adelaide’s go-to social-led creative agency. With over a decade of experience in social media and digital campaigns, Natalie is recognized as one of the “Top 20 Australian Social Media Managers to Work With 2022” by the Australian Business Journal.

As the host of the Digitalks podcast, she frankly speaks about creativity, marketing, and entrepreneurship, interviewing marketing minds and experts, earning her podcast a spot among the top 5% most shared globally in 2022.

In this exclusive interview, we aim to uncover the insights and strategies that have defined Natalie’s journey and made Digitale a trusted name in social-first marketing.


Can you share your journey into the marketing world and what inspired you to specialize in content, social media, and digital strategies?

I always had a passion for marketing and understanding consumer behavior. Still, I found myself working as a Real Estate agent when I decided to dabble in this new thing called social media and adopt a content strategy as my primary marketing force.

I quickly became the number one agent in my core market and the most followed agent in South Australia. This experience proved that social media can have serious business outcomes, so I am passionate about purposeful content with the end consumer in mind. I will bark on about the power of social media to anyone who will listen.

With over a decade of experience, what pivotal moments or projects shaped your approach to social media and digital campaigns?

Driving Ryderwear’s Influencer Marketing Program in 2017/2018, I experienced the shift from influencers with millions of followers being critical to micro-influencers who create great content and have highly engaged communities changing the game. This still shapes how I manage creator collaborations today and see content as a commodity.

Naturally, COVID-19 significantly impacted how we use social media and truly separated the good from the great. In the long run, it has solidified the importance of using social media to be social and driving two-way conversations with your audience.

As the founder of Digitale, what motivated you to establish Adelaide’s most trusted social-first creative agency?

I saw the need for content to be created with social in mind and the amount of wasted content and, in turn, budget on producing short-lived brand campaigns that simply didn’t translate on social media.

There was a gap, and I was, and still am, committed to educating my clients on how social media is a critical part of their marketing strategy rather than an afterthought.

How do you stay ahead of trends in a constantly evolving digital landscape and ensure your strategies remain effective?

I’m a very active social media user personally, and I am still very hands-on with our clients. There’s no better way to keep up than being in the trenches yourself.

I’ve also always been very aware of my purchasing behaviors and the marketing that I’m exposed to. I am that friend who always asks how they found out about a brand or why they follow particular brands and people on social media.

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You’ve interviewed Australia’s leading creatives and marketing professionals on Digitalks. How has this exposure influenced your strategies and perspectives?

I’ve always been one to look at marketing holistically. Still, the podcast highlighted each discipline’s role throughout the customer journey and how the best outcomes come from when they all work seamlessly together.

When you have a leading performance marketer saying why they love organic social and how important it is in building a brand – that’s music to my ears!

Can you highlight a social media campaign with unique challenges and how your team successfully navigated them?

No challenge was greater than launching Eos by SkyCity in June 2020, when we couldn’t access the hotel until November.

We had to build awareness, promote unique experiences, and book rooms with no hotel. Our strategy in this period was to capture content with items found in the rooms and hotel (e.g., robes, slippers, amenities, vouchers – pretty much anything branded) and capture them off-site.

Additionally, we created content to showcase the signature experiences (in-room hair and makeup and personal training) in a boardroom and on the River Torrens. Still, we angled perfectly so you could see the parts of the building that weren’t covered in scaffolding to build a connection.

Much of this content is still used today throughout social media, within the hotel on screens, and within promotional collateral. By November, when we finally had access to shoot within the hotel, we had already gained over 10,000 followers and had a fully booked hotel for the opening period.


Your agency has worked with brands like OTR, 23rd Street Distillery, and Eos by Skycity. What key elements do you believe contribute to the success of a social media campaign for such renowned brands?

Having a clear purpose and understanding of what role our socials have in our audience’s daily lives is what truly drives success.

We know who we are, what we are, and why we do what we do – this clear direction becomes a filter for every piece of content we produce, and if it doesn’t align with these values, it doesn’t get posted.

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What, in your opinion, sets Digitale’s approach apart from other agencies in the market, particularly in terms of a social-first strategy?

We can look at the entire marketing picture to develop a social strategy that aligns most with the client’s goals and be resourceful and cost-effective in the long run.

We pride ourselves on connecting the dots and putting ourselves in the target audience’s shoes to understand how social can add value to their journey with the brand.

How do you measure the success of a social media campaign, and what metrics do you find most valuable for your clients?

Success looks different for everyone, so getting really clear on this when we first start working with a client is so important.

Generally speaking, though, the key metric we look for to indicate social success is reached, particularly non-follower reach on Instagram if brand awareness is the goal.

We also like to pay close attention to saves, shares, and watch time to indicate content engagement. Most importantly, we look for correlations between spikes in these metrics and website traffic, inquiries, sales, and other critical business outcomes.

Could you share insights into the tools and software indispensable for effectively managing social media and digital campaigns?

We love Asana for managing our client campaigns – it provides structure and transparency for what goes into a great campaign.

Later is our scheduling tool of choice and allows for an excellent overview of campaign analytics.

We also utilize Google Analytics to understand user behavior and break down traffic sources in line with organic performance to identify trends and opportunities.

What trends do you anticipate will shape the future of content, social media, and digital marketing, and how is Digitale preparing for these changes?

We are seeing a welcome shift towards platform native content, bringing social back to what it was created for – to be social.

Brands value building engaged communities more than ever and connecting their online and real-life brand experiences. Of course, AI is a massive contributor to this movement, with brands being able to create seemingly “real-life” activations that drive both social and real-world brand engagement. If only Big Ben were wearing a North Face jacket.

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