In July of 2018, a blogger and writer named Rosey Blair published a series of Instagram stories that were then seen by more than 250 thousand people. The next day, she republished the story on Twitter and the story went viral again.
What was Blair’s story? She asked a stranger on a plane to switch seats with her so she could sit next to her boyfriend. That woman and her new seatmate seemed to be hitting it off, so Blair and her boyfriend gave a play-by-play of the meet-cute, and the story, now known as #PlaneBae, became so popular that the Today Show ran a segment on it.
Blair’s story was unique and spontaneous, but there are lessons for any marketer in the way her story was told, retold, and spread.
Broaden Your Definition Of “Content”
Content marketing is recent, but it seems to be the future of marketing. More and more companies are investing a huge amount of resources into producing original, high-quality content.
But Blair’s content wasn’t highly produced, planned ahead, or branded. She used simple screenshots, photos, and short videos with little to no embellishment to tell a story that kept people interested.
Highly produced content certainly has its place, whether it takes the form of articles, podcasts, or videos. But when it comes to social media, it’s not all about distributing the highly curated content you create. Focus on the substance, not the sizzle.
Be Prepared To Seize Opportunities
To create great content, you’ll need to prime your mind to look for opportunities wherever they might present themselves. Blair and her boyfriend saw a moment many would have ignored or overlooked, but instead, they turned their observations into a compelling story enjoyed by thousands.
Your social media opportunities probably won’t take the form of two people on a plane, but you never know! Keep your eyes and ears open.
Make Real Connections With Real People
We’ve talked time and time again about the importance of delighting your customers after they make a purchase. Existing customers not only attract new customers, but they become recurring customers themselves. Recurring customers spend more, buy more often, and are more likely to buy new products. Keeping your current customers happy is the most important thing you can do to keep new sales coming, and connecting with those customers is the best way to do that.
As humans, we make connections with other humans. We seek relationships with other people, and those connections are one of the main drivers of our loyalty. Moreover, we tend to start seeing brands as people — people with images, voices, and personalities. We forge connections in our mind with those brands, and when those brands make an effort to connect back with us, we respond.
Blair’s story created a connection between her audience and herself. Her voice, her personality, and her style came through in abundance, just in the way she told her simple narrative. As you try to do the same, think of authenticity first and foremost.
You can put the effort into quality all you want — and you should! But you’ll also need to be willing to embrace unconventional methods if you want to forge relationships with your customers and audience.