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    #Newsmaker: Former TikTok senior leader Scott Thwaites launches EDC squared

    In a digital age dominated by platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, Scott Thwaites recognises the pressing need for brands to revolutionise their approach to audience engagement. The landscape of short-form video has shifted the paradigm, challenging the advertising industry to break free from traditional molds.

    With newly launched EDC squared, Thwaites aims to use his vast experience from TikTok and Twitter to introduce a refreshing perspective on Everyday Creators and Everyday Content by unlocking the true impact of short-form video.

    Scott Thwaites is the founder of EDC Squared. Source: Supplied.
    Scott Thwaites is the founder of EDC Squared. Source: Supplied.

    What inspired you to launch EDC squared in South Africa? What do you hope to achieve with this venture, particularly in the context of short-form video content?

    Our decision to launch EDC squared in South Africa stems from our desire to make a positive social impact. Recognising the abundance of creative and diverse talent in the country, we are motivated to create opportunities for individuals all whilst providing brands a solution that solves for the modern day marketing challenges.

    Short-form video is becoming increasingly popular. How do you see EDC squared addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by this trend in a unique way?

    Short-form video thrives on a content-centric approach rather than a social/influence-centric one. This means brands need a constant supply of content, they need diversity of content and they need content that is authentic. Brands ultimately need a content first approach to engage with consumers in the way they want to be engaged with in this era. That is what EDC squared is addressing.

    You mentioned that the advertising industry has struggled to adapt to the new short-form video landscape. How does EDC squared bridge this gap and provide a more innovative approach?

    Existing tools and ways of working have been designed and developed based on the social era, there are tools and ways of working that were solving for what was needed to win in that era.

    At EDC squared we are revolutionising the approach, we’ve developed a solution and way of working specifically designed for this modern landscape. An approach developed in the short form video era, for the short form video era.

    Can you provide an example of how EDC squared has helped a brand unlock the authenticity and impact of everyday content through short-form videos?

    We recently published a PepsiCo, NikNaks OwnYouNak campaign case study, you can find the case study for that below. This shows the impact and effectiveness of unlocking Everyday Content from Everyday Creators.

    #Newsmaker: Former TikTok senior leader Scott Thwaites launches EDC squared

    Could you share more about your experience on the senior leadership team at TikTok?

    Joining TikTok in its infancy and playing an integral role in its growth over nearly four years was an extraordinary journey. From a small office in Dubai with just five people and minimal revenue, I had the privilege of contributing, and witnessing the transformation of an entire industry, the transformation from the social era to the short-form video era.

    What challenges have you encountered while launching and growing EDC squared, and how have you overcome them?

    Launching and building a business brings new challenges every day in regards to the actual business side of the house. I do feel though we don’t talk enough about the mental well being of such a journey.

    That's the part I find most challenging, it's an emotional rollercoaster so that has to be managed. I try to overcome this by keeping the highs low, and the lows high to maintain as flat an emotional line as possible.

    How do you envision the future of short-form video content and its role in brand engagement and marketing? What trends do you think will shape the industry in the coming years?

    In an industry and era where data is becoming more and more of a challenge, brands cannot target users in the same way they once did.

    I believe with this we will see content being used as targeting, content being used as audience segmentation and content for delivering personalisation precision. Brands will need to shift to a content first approach versus an audience first approach.

    Your company launched in August. What have been the lessons learned so far?

    During my time at Twitter and Tiktok, although I was part of big global organisations, my timing and remit within those organisations meant I was very much focused on launching and scaling new markets, essentially new businesses.

    The main lesson I learned through that and continue to learn today with EDC squared is to be laser focused. It’s incredibly easy to be blown slightly off course or to spread yourself too thin as there is so much that could be done. It's critical to stay focused on the core problem you are solving and the value you are providing.

    What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to enter the world of short-form video content and digital marketing?

    I’d encourage them to be unapologetically themselves. Across multiple walks of life I often see people trying to replicate others. When it comes to short-form video content, owning your uniqueness and content diversification is what holds the key to breakthrough. Yes look at others and what others are doing for inspiration, but own it and be you.

    About Karabo Ledwaba

    Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at karabo@bizcommunity.com
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