You don’t have to swing at every pitch. But if you’re going to, find a way to make them count. When I managed the brand voice for the Brother Direct to Garment line of printers, that was precisely the ask. The product was an expensive piece of equipment that small business owners took out loans to purchase, so the voice couldn’t be cute and fun like everyone else on Facebook, it was practical and mature. I developed a strategy that wasn’t built around the individual posts or fishing for likes. It was about finding what made the brand relevant in a sea of distraction and low-investment content. It was about DIYers and self-investment, hustlers and self-starters.
For the Super Bowl, we gave practical advice to business owners. For a campaign to show what the printers could do, we tapped into nostalgia to show examples of what other producers were selling. And to emphasize the value, we related with small business owners that were running their business on the back of a napkin.
This one’s tough, frankly. I’m proud of all the work I did for it and I think the strategy I came up with was sound, but I don’t think it was executed to the degree it should have been (partly based on budget restrictions, partly because I didn’t make a convincing case to increase the budget). When I worked on this, the thinking revolved around “posts.” We needed to post something regularly, so it was a matter of finding something relevant and useful to the audience to post about. Again, to a degree, I think I accomplished that. But I would do it differently, knowing what I know now.
I wish I had been thinking in terms of “content.” One of our biggest focuses for the audience, who were primarily buying the product to start their own venture, was providing tips for managing the business side of that, an area we found they had little experience in. In focusing on posts instead of creating a content hub, we were only able to provide them with tiny bite-sized tips that didn’t have the kind of substance that would have built a loyal and engaged audience. I wish we had created a site where we could have posted PDFs and videos and guides created specifically for our audience. The posts could have driven users back to this site.
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