Interview | Cass Gowing

Cass Downing SAE Tutor

From in-house roles with fashion businesses to working as a freelance consultant, SAE’s Content Creation and Online Marketing Lecturer Cass Gowing has a wealth of experience to share with our students. 

The world of content and social media is fast-paced and always evolving with new trends and technologies shaping how influencers and businesses operate in the digital space. 

We caught up with Cass to learn more about content and social, her experiences and how anyone looking to work in content can ready themselves for a career in the sector.

How did you start working in content creation? 

I have worked in-house for marketing teams, predominantly in social media, for the past 13 years. I worked in fashion, then decided to go freelance. 

I now offer freelance marketing consultancy and create user generated content creation. I saw the role at SAE come up and thought it would be a fantastic fit for me with my experiences.

In terms of my career, as I’ve become more and more senior, I’ve adored the mentorship side of my role and nurturing my team. I had this educational interest from the perspective of a marketing team leader. I still continue to run my freelance business so I have a great mixed working week with various different projects. It means I can teach while staying in touch with the industry and what’s happening out there. 

Who are your clients? 

My clients are a real mix, I work with a PR agency who represents lots of disruptive, challenger brands, fitness apps, a fertility start up, it’s a very broad range. In terms of content creation, it’s wellness, home, and lifestyle. I have a real mix of super fun clients. 

What is the main focus of the course? 

In the first year, students focus on photographic storytelling or communication design. I teach the latter and this looks at building a website, utilising an existing CMS platform, considering a content plan, target audience, SEO and touching on wireframes, building and creating the content.  

Then in the next trimester, audio and podcasting is the focus, then video production. The other module I teach is called Creative Studio, it’s essentially teaching students how to create and run a social media campaign, that takes up more of their time and focus. 

I have live clients for the students. There are 12 different start up brands with briefs, then they can pitch to the client to get some industry experience. They will create a social media campaign, specifying what channel it will be on. This doesn’t have to go live but we want them to plan the campaign. 

In the second year, they look at online marketing, so taking a social campaign and thinking about other digital channels they can utilise too. This is partnered with another discipline at SAE, so they can partner with students who are studying Audio Production or Game Development and bring to life another collaborative project.  

The advanced specialist project sees them learning the final skills they need, then their final project is the equivalent of a dissertation. The students lead on this and specialise here, whether it be podcasting or social media. 

Cass Gowing SAE tutor

Are there particular social media platforms you focus on? 

Students are given an overarching view of the social media landscape, the purpose from a user perspective, then how brands and businesses use them. 

We are focusing more on Instagram and TikTok for businesses right now. Facebook is great from a paid point of view, we explain the importance of this but only offer an overall experience of this side of social. This is about honing in on certain channels, how to read analytics and create engaging content. 

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into content creation or social media? 

My top advice is to use the platforms, so when Instagram launches their new sticker functionality on Instagram stories, you’ve already seen it, you understand how it works as an end-user. Take a second to look at what brands are doing too and the kind of content they are pushing out there, start to analyse how businesses utilise these platforms. 

Staying up to date on the latest trends is also super important, particularly as you get to the point where you interview for entry level jobs or internships. You will always be asked what your favourite campaign is in that sector – so having a good understanding of what’s happening is really useful. 

Also, just trends, you need to stay on top of what’s happening in different niches, so spending plenty of time on social is really important. You also need to be comfortable creating content with a camera, shooting content, ensuring it looks and feels good, in line with a certain aesthetic if that’s what a business or brand is looking for. Download CapCut, the video editing software owned by TikTok, and get used to editing your own content. 

Can Gowing SAE 3

What campaigns have you been most proud of? 

I used to work at Hunter, and we did a few memorable campaigns, one where we had a 100 foot air balloon shaped like a wellington boot that was flown across the world. I had to share the content around it, so working with it and making it reactive was lots of fun. We also did a lot of experiential guerilla-style activity too, we did a ‘hunt the backpack’ campaign.

I worked with the content team to create a quiz to give clues to where these giant backpacks were. If you found one, you could win £10k and it was coupled with this experiential activity. I was given a concept, asked to help make this make sense to the customer, then execute it across digital channels. 

What roles can Students take up? 

At the start of a career, there are real benefits to working in-house and for different businesses. I feel like entry level opportunities are great, go somewhere, become a sponge, soak up what you can, then move on when the time feels right. It helps you understand different sectors and helps you learn new skills.

You can freelance on the side but I feel that entry level opportunities in content creation are great – as a social media assistant or executive, or specific roles in content creation. 

Find out more about Cass and her work.

Study Content Creation at SAE

Whether you want to work in photography or video content, SAE’s Content Creation and Online Marketing Degree could be perfect for you.

Our degree will provide you with the skills, experience and knowledge to create images, video and other forms of engaging online content.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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