What’s the story behind your business? Do your customers get an insight into what happens behind the scenes?
Telling your story through digital marketing is a powerful way to humanise your business, engage customers, and distinguish yourself from competitors. AD HOC’s Andrew Ferdinando has trained and coached more than 2,000 New Zealanders as a virtual marketing director. Here are his tips for effective storytelling through digital marketing.
What does humanising your business mean when it comes to digital marketing?
We talk a lot about showing customers behind the brand. Consumers are becoming more discerning about who they buy from. Showcasing the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ behind your business helps people understand what you stand for. The easiest way to do this is to introduce the people who are calling the shots.
Why is telling your business story on social media so important right now?
In almost every category competition is high. Telling your story is a great way to distinguish yourself from others. A great example of a company that has done this well is Lewis Road Creamery. New Zealand is full of dairy companies yet Lewis Road Creamery has set itself apart as a premium brand with highly effective storytelling.
What are the most powerful ways to tell your story online?
There are so many ways to produce content. The stats consistently tell us that video is the most effective format. However, you should go with a form of content that suits you. This could be written articles (blogs), imagery, illustrative designs, infographics, audio (podcasts), email newsletters, etc. Content can be delivered in many different ways.
Which New Zealand business does this well?
One of AD HOC’s clients, Red Badge, is a large security firm with an extensive workforce across New Zealand. They wanted to showcase the fantastic team who represent their brand so well. Inspired by the social media account ‘Humans of New York’, they created a series of content named ‘Humans of Red Badge’ where they introduce us to different team members, and we can meet the person behind the uniform.
If you have a limited budget, what should you focus your spend on?
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Find one or two platforms and concentrate on these. Start by creating one quality piece of content on a regular basis and commit to doing this consistently.
What’s a social media myth you’d like to bust?
There is no magic bullet. Social media is simply another marketing channel. Like all marketing, it requires a strong strategy, creative execution, and technical ability. And you need to give it time.
What are some no-no’s when it comes to social media?
The most important thing is to be consistent. If you dip your toe in occasionally, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see success.
How can business owners engage their staff to help humanise their business?
Educate your team as to why marketing is important. Then identify the people who are keen to be involved with the social media efforts. Remember, Jamie Oliver was discovered when he was a very young chef at the River Café in London. A documentary TV crew was at the restaurant interviewing the owners when they came across this young man in the corner who was born for the camera and super keen to be involved. Perhaps you have a Jamie Oliver in your business. Get them engaged!