Social media, email, and content marketing expert specializing in building project maps using the RACI chart method | Helping B2B companies implement a 9-point strategy to drive long-term and sustainable growth
Hey everyone! My gosh, has it been a long time! I’ve been so busy working on my career that I haven’t had two seconds to post on my personal website. Transparency aside, I wanted to share a new series based on a weekly project I run at work called Social Media Update. In this series, I touch on social media and general marketing strategy, and I thought it would be great to share it with you all.
I’ll work my way back to when I started at Longboard, so here is our first instalment! Have fun with it, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
Finding the ‘intriguing angle’ is the idea that we can focus on big-picture topics like our core aspects (innovation, sustainability, quality) to create compelling content that impacts our target audiences.
When creating social media content, we can ask and answer a couple of questions:
Q: What is a significant concern for our business and other businesses today?
A: Our audience demands a greater understanding of where and how our products are sourced and manufactured.
Q: What approach can we take?
A: We can and should comment on sustainability by promoting a transparent and traceable approach. This entails a mix of carefully curated messaging that effectively positions our differentiators while driving an emotional reaction from our audience.
For example, we could share that all production is on-site and that we have an incredible production team that helps to build our premium products. We would also mention that we pursue responsible consumption and production, which helps create sustainable architecture that positively impacts the environment and the communities around us.
Our team is mindful that we must not fall into the trap of hoping word will get out and the customers will come. Through proactive and strategic messaging, we can understand why we do what we do, and share that message with the world.
So, what did you think of that? Do you feel inspired to identify some core aspects of your business, then do a deep dive into how they can impact your target audience? Please share your thoughts!
A good curveball is an opportunity (remember, problems are opportunities) to:
1 – Own your dreams.
2 – Reimagine the world.
Own Your Dreams
To own your dreams, you must recognize, acknowledge, and value the fact that something is waiting for you out in the world.
It is there to fulfill.
It exists to make you happy.
You are satisfied when united (or reunited) with it.
It becomes a part of you and can be shared with others.
Owning my dreams is being connected to work I’ve always envisioned doing—building a sustainable and scalable brand that will influence people inside and outside the operation.
Reimagine the World
Second, to a good curveball is our ability to reimagine the world. Through a clear and defined vision and mission, we can accomplish anything. With a good heart and holistic stance, our world can become something better, more equal and more understanding.
Reimagining the world involves pushing boundaries, setting new standards, and developing a structure or process that leads to innovation, progression, and growth.
I think I get thrown more good curveballs as I age, so I hope this becomes the norm and the opportunities don’t cease!
As I continue to inspire and empower people to make a difference in their daily lives, I recognize three things that matter to me today. Of course, there’s always more, but let’s get started with these!
One of the biggest influencers in my marketing career has been the formative relationships I have built over time—in both the long and short-term. Having a direct report has taught me to be vulnerable and courageous as I’ve had to steer a small team in a viable direction while maintaining strong, personal connections which benefitted the entire team. I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to work directly under the Founder and CEO of Clearbridge, Ryan Kononoff. He has taught me many things about engagement and the effort required to make meaningful projects matter to an audience. I am also thankful for every other team member I’ve had the chance to grow alongside.
You are bright.
You are dedicated.
You are special!
2 – #goodenough
This is one lesson that has helped me to conquer my perfectionism. I recall working on one of my first projects, a new brand book (or later called a Playbook), which in scope was a huge undertaking that could have demanded months of work. But with the knowledge that a marketer should be agile, or as the Agile Marketing Manifesto states –
“To keep up with the speed and complexity of marketing today, we must deliver value early and often over waiting for perfection.”
In creative marketing, we challenge ourselves by generating work that is original, unique and that manifests a change in its surroundings. In analytical marketing, we must use data sets to quantify results. Pairing the two (creative + analytical marketing) is where #goodenough truly shines—we can experiment to determine what approach works the best, and we don’t have to wait to be enlightened. We should find insights with every movement or decision we make!
3 – Indispensability
I rarely finish an entire book in one sitting. It’s often hard for me to finish it at all. I prefer to scan information and read what will be of value to me. Such was the case with Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. As he writes –
“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”
Such an important lesson because it’s much too easy to forget your worth. We must use every inch of our being to recognize and become more self-aware. In marketing, the potential to get lost in a sea of tasks and activities might forsake where the value truly lies—creating, ideating, and examining the wonder and change that a type of approach can incite.
Being indispensable takes:
A growth mindset
And most importantly…talent. You can’t duplicate indispensable work. I truly believe this!
A pièce de résistance, I hope you find value in reading it!
I love to write, and emails are a breath of fresh air.
No editing. No fancy words. No issues over length. No need for profundity.
It has been almost five years since I left Bell Mobility to pursue a career in marketing, and one thing that has drastically changed is how often I communicate via email.
I miss the simplicity of it all. I miss reaching out to my clients daily. I miss the back-and-forth motion that builds connection.
At Bell, I had so many great relationships; I used email to build better ones along the way. It was just so damn efficient. Templates allowed the writing to take shape quickly. In mere minutes, I was sending off concise and compelling messages. Over and over again. Each email was re-read once, at most twice, and then sent so I could continue to the next case. It was a beautiful workflow, and it was all supported by Salesforce.
And by the way, I am trying to write more like Seth Godin. Also, finding my way back to my university days. My favourite professor and mentor, Paul Woodrow, graded an essay I wrote on the fallacies of Coca-Cola, commenting in tiny writing and bright green ink, “Swift and punchy, Chona!”
So begets my email manifesto –
I will always try to write swift and punchy.
If I can remember to, that is.
Alas, I have a pop quiz for y’all.
I want you to decide which entry below is authentic, meaning not edited. And which one is “fake”, as in completely and utterly revised from its original style + tone.
How can you tell? What gives it away? Which is written better?
Ah, so many questions to ponder, but if only we had more time.
Off to bed, now, enjoy the exercise!
For all my years as a Corporate Account Manager at Bell, some of my fondest memories included writing emails. I loved how fluid and uncomplicated it was to craft messages on the spot without spending copious amounts of time editing. I would not mind working on some ideas to “wow” our current and prospective customers with something easy to read, memorable, and impactful!
I spent many years as a Corporate Account Manager at Bell, crafting friendly and professional emails. I thought it was so exciting (yup, I love communication!) to be able to write something on the spot that didn’t require any editing. It’s an art form really. Would love to work on some ideas to incorporate more emails into how we communicate with our customers.
Effective communication is simple, straightforward, and accurate.
It follows a linear path and is easy to digest.
Still, in its best forms, it can empower and inspire us to uncover new ways to respond to business demands and challenges. This is change!
a b c
For example, by understanding what type of communication drives our customers to choose us over the competition and then using that data to promote growth, we can harness communication to cultivate opportunity.
a b c
a b c
Here are some things to consider:
Be self-aware and understand the need to adapt your message to your audience
Communicate what you are doing, why you are doing it and how you are going to get there
Build a system or process, then be accountable and track your progress
Focus on transparency, empathy and consistency to elevate trust
Create opportunities for learning and development
Practice active listening to understand and feel the situation
Share your milestones, challenges, concerns and victories
How do you develop an effective communication strategy? What are some important values that support your communicative work?
The ‘support local’ movement is a force driving change worldwide. It moves people to want to purchase fresh, healthy products from farmers. It creates a connection between shoppers, where we can ignite conversations to examine how we’re doing our part and why it’s so important. Products are showing up more readily and in places where you least expect to see them. Overall, there is a feeling of togetherness, kindness, and open-mindedness that helps promote awareness and captures the interest of new, existing, and prospective customers.
I wanted to create a fun digital ad that spoke to the nature of the ‘support local’ concept, one that explores options (expressed using a carousel format), eliminates predisposition (articulated in the ad copy), and ultimately grants us the ability to choose (the call-to-action ‘but local first’) – take action (decide what you want to eat for breakfast) or take action through inspiration (are your eggs local? Well, you can get them laid the same day of delivery! How awesome is that!). The inspiration trickles through in a matter of seconds affecting all those involved (conveyed through various images, colours, animation, and the image of a family). As individuals watching the ad, we feel more attuned to thinking about what’s on our plates, how it got there, where it comes from, and why our consumption habits can negatively or positively impact the planet. The focus remains on the following values –
Help the planet
Grow the community
What are your thoughts on this ad? If I could make one change, I would use a graphic of a globe in place of the farming graphic (at the end of the video). Does it speak to you and make you feel empowered to support local? Let me know your thoughts; open to discussing with you!
A grid, which features multiple images split into a visually appealing frame, is one way to brand your business on Instagram.
Three benefits (that connect in the end) –
Command attention: make a lasting first impression; if a viewer’s average attention span is about eight seconds, they will have some time to absorb what you have to present to them.
Stand out: imprint your audience’s mind with a quick taste of your identity; give them immediate access to your information and interests while establishing credibility and authority.
Tell a targeted story: communicate who you are to your existing and potential followers while stimulating emotions, and on a practical side, organizing the layout of your images into a narrative.
I created these grids when reviewing the masses of content I have made over the past year for DirectFood. store’s email marketing strategy (a whole other topic on its own). I like how the colours and shapes seem to speak to one another, and the creative copy helps deliver a message in tune with the selected graphics and photographs.
If you like this sort of work, let me know. I’m happy to share more impromptu design posts here for you!
The stack of magazines was impressive. Elle, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit and People. As a 13-year old, I just wanted to fixate and rip, fixate and rip, fixate and rip. Slowly, I was adding to my expanding wall collection, and I was proud. How were the ‘best’ images selected, and what made them ‘iconic’? What mattered to me at the time—creativity, originality, colour, composition—made it onto my closet doors, locker and school binder clear insert. If I could think of these images in my sleep, they became iconic. I will never forget one in particular. The triangular red and white logo juxtaposed against a black and white photograph of a girl pouting while a man anticipates…
What intrigues us about this image? Almost instantly, we find ourselves peering in, linked to the experience. We sense she is in the wrong place; however, we do not feel that she does not belong or would rather be elsewhere. Time and space are interrupted. We ask ourselves, “Will it occur?” But the chain of events does not matter. What matters is that we are suspended in a rare and captivating moment. And because the image is black and white, we are transported to the exact scene where the ‘film’ unravels. Then the bold red of the typeface and the logo bring us back to life, and we are suddenly alive; the advertisement has won us over…without a guess!
If we know that people can impact an ad’s efficacy, should we consider using people on food packaging? Could we use the interaction between a man and a woman on a coffee bag, for example? In my opinion, yes. Imagine this. A tired corporate executive finds herself standing in a Whole Foods Market. There is no one around. Soft music flutters in and out of her ears. She is standing in the coffee aisle, looking at bags and bags and bags. There’s so much unique packaging, she’s not sure what to choose. But then she sees it—a couple set in black and white. The photograph is beautiful; the packaging seems bound by eternal love as the image wraps fully around the product. It portrays something the executive longs for on a deeper level. “I’ll go for this,” she thinks, grabbing it to pay.
Using people in ad imagery is not a new concept, but could potentially be an innovative idea in the food and beverage domain. We know that ads are geared to make us think and feel. And there’s a whole range of themes emotional ads can trigger, from love to empathy to excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever spent valuable time and money on a product that didn’t trigger an emotion somehow. Even if it may go unrecognized—the power and influence of an emotional experience are unforgettable.
Should packaging portray a feeling using images of people? And if so, what are the most effective ways this can be executed?