When someone says bacon to you, what images pop into your head? There was a time when the word bacon was mentioned, all that came to mind was a side dish paired with my morning eggs, but now when I bite into one of those delicious strips of juicy pork heaven, I feel as though I’m consuming what it means to be American. I think of characters like the beloved Ron Swanson, a waving American flag, and just about any food wrapped in BACON!
So it should be no surprise that when I heard about the Bacon Club from my latest chat with Cori Wilson, the Account Director at Cannonball, I immediately signed up. Sure, I have a love affair with bacon, but what I love more is branding and advertising. The planning and creative ideation that goes into conveying your message to a targeted audience is what I live for. With direction from Cori and ideas from the creative team, Farmland Foods Bacon Club’s website can easily engage and resonate with their target audience. The site is open to anyone, but you need to sign up through an email or Facebook to be a member. With exclusive content such as video tutorials on how to build your own bacon football stadium, articles suggesting bacon is the new cracker, and contests and drawings to enter for bacon memorabilia, this club is a dream for all bacon lovers. This brand’s online presence is not just a good example of advertising, but a great one.
Ever noticed when you meet someone in person you later find yourself reading their tweets in their voice? A simple idea, yet very powerful when engaging your audience on Twitter. Take my meeting with Danielle Hohmeier, a social media and content strategist with Atomicdust. I met Danielle a couple of years ago through Twitter, but it wasn’t till this recent sit down for coffee where I had the pleasure to hear the voice behind her tweets. After our conversation, I found myself paying more attention to her online content. What was just another connection on my social networks became a voice of influence. Not that I would be making any life changing decisions at her suggestion, but if she posted a YouTube video, a new coffee shop in town, or anything remotely social in nature, I would be more inclined to click on it and take her opinion into account.
So this got me thinking; how do you create an online presence that engages its audience and increases the influential power of the brand? Danielle’s personal accounts were what prompted me to ask her for an interview, so what could your brand do to encourage your audience to learn more about you?
Every content strategy is unique for every brand, but something that remains the same among all influencers is their brand’s character can clearly be identified. Put simply, don’t come across as though some robot has hacked your account. Danielle often tells clients to imagine what boards they would use to fill out their Pinterest account, and use that as a starting place to identify the character of one’s brand. In other words, whether your social presence is for personal use or professional use, ask yourself what character attributes align with your brand. Would your character dress business professional, casual, or maybe even sport a punk-rock style? What furniture does your character’s home or office supply? What makes your character laugh? These type of questions will help build a persona for your brand and aid in creating a content strategy to help establish rapport with your audience.
A week or so ago I met with Drew Langenberg, a Senior Marketing Specialist with Mercy Hospital. Our conversation jumped from his responsibilities with Mercy, to his expertise in marketing and communications, but what resonated with me most was how he struggled like the rest of us in finding a job worthy of his professional abilities.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Communication, a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism, and multiple internships, he found himself producing for a couple of local news stations. After a few years producing the news, he found himself having to choose between his job and his wife…and he chose his wife. I could end this blog after that last sentence, and I think everyone would get the idea of Drew’s character. In 2008, he gave up producing the news and moved to St. Louis for his wife’s job. The job market was not that friendly, but to make some impact at home, he took a job at The Wine Merchant as a sales associate, with the intention of continuing his search for a job worthy of his professional expertise. Being a public relations professional by trade, he approached his job search as though he was taking on a client. With the 2008 Presidential elections rolling around the corner, he found employment to be a trending topic that he could use to craft a story about his personal underemployment dilemma. What happened next can only be described as pure luck. He submitted his story to all the major news outlets in the St. Louis area on the heels of a national jobs report, and it just so happened to be the week that Washington University was picked to host the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. The news producers in the area needed stories to supplement their coverage about employment and other hot-button topics covered in the debate. Drew’s phone started to ring, and soon enough he had a news crew covering his efforts to move up and out of underemployment. This publicity, along with other professional development efforts, led to an appointment as Director of Marketing Communications with FOCUS St. Louis, an organization with a mission to engage citizens to participate in active leadership roles and overall enhance the St. Louis community. After proving his worth yet again, he found his way to Mercy Hospital, where he remains a very passionate photographer and marketing specialist for the various services Mercy offers.