WEEK 3: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Babette Pepaj by Oskar H. Borin

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Oskar H. Borin

Oskar Hugo Borin

Oskar Hugo Borin

What better way to get people to talk about your brand around the dinner table than to help them make dinner? “ – Babette Pepaj

On October 27th, our Best Practices in Social Media for the Communications Professional class had the pleasure of meeting Babette Pepaj, founder of BakeSpace.com.

Despite dealing with a sore back, Babette made it to our class in good spirits. She kick started the discussion by describing her past career directing and producing TV shows for outlets including the Discovery Channel, MTV, NBC, TLC and ABC. She noted with some humor it was a darker period in her life that prompted her to attend a baking class, which eventually inspired the idea to start an online community where home cooks could swap recipes and share their passion for all things food-related.

Babette Pepaj

Babette Pepaj

Babette uses her core BakeSpace.com website, along with her TECHmunch Food Blogger Conference and Cookbook Cafe publishing platform, to host and post branded content that’s useful, engaging and sharable. She also utilizes various social media outlets such as Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Google Hangouts to post and syndicate her content, as well as keep her audience engaged.

Babette noted that shortly after launching BakeSpace, she was approached by advertisers who wanted to place banner ads on her site. Rather than pay a developer to create the ad units, Babette instead had the clever idea of making the brands members of the online community, complete with member profiles and their own recipes. This led her to create a new and very engaging advertising opportunity for brands eager to connect with BakeSpace.com’s members and bring people together to enjoy food online.

Today, BakeSpace has evolved into a platform that specializes in posting branded food content in the form of recipes, cookbooks, competitions and live streams via Google Hangouts.

What is branded content? Babette describes by example how BakeSpace enables brands to share recipes organically online – whether it be a dish presented in a movie, TV show, or even an animated feature such as Disney’s “Inside Out.”  Recipes are customized to her audience’s preferences, and presented in an organic and relaxed manner.

Overall, Babette’s guest appearance was both informative and entertaining. Despite encountering some technical difficulties with the projector, it was eye opening to learn how brands can promote themselves and interact with their audience in novel ways utilizing live video and various social platforms. While some may perceive the approach to be unconventional, it is innovative in that it takes advantage of technology to deliver new types of branded experiences.

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