Let’s face it, there are tons of marketing agency’s out there, and digital marketing types alike, who claim to be “guru’s” in the vein of all things social media marketing & content development. Titles like “5 Ways To Dominate At Social Media Marketing” flash in your face on a banner ad while you’re minding your own business, googling recipes on what to make for dinner. You see them everywhere – how to social post, blog, get leads, drive traffic..blah blah blah, better than anyone else. “it’ll work – guaranteed!” – sound familiar?
I remember as a kid, staying up way too late to watch old movies – sneaking snacks so my mom wouldn’t hear. Drifting off to sleep with the flicker of the TV, I would be woken abruptly by Vince Shlomi, aka the ShamWow Guy, like, how awesome was that anyway!? In fact, in the wee hours of the morning, all channels would come alive with cheesy infomercial goodness that would suck you in, having you convinced – “I NEED that!”
Now, as a group of mature, responsible men here at Birchbark Media (ok, we’re men – let’s leave it there), we often only see our eyelids past 11pm – never mind infomercials. But fear not! Because all you need to do in 2016 to get you fix is google “digital marketing tips” and the world opens up to every marketing “guru” on the planet trying to sell you on their full-proof strategy like it’s the “Slap Chop” – heck, they’ve even got a snazzy e-book – they must be legit, right?
Here’s the thing, here at Birchbark we have no problem saying “hey, we used to really suck at what we do”, but we we’re ok with that because this meant we were learning, and we haven’t stopped learning. Even now we would never claim to have reached “guru” status (actually that word is cringe worthy – right up there with evangelist..yuk!). However, while earning bumps, bruises, and experiencing a whole slew of “failures”, we came through it with an understanding of what really works in the world of content marketing. TIP: it doesn’t all fit in an infographic, slick downloadable white paper, or even in this blog.
With that, we thought we’d leave you with some of the simple things we’ve learned along the way. Minus the flash, shine, or slickness (that’s a word, right?). Just some simple things that have kept our clients happy and our doors open.
This is a no brainer – right? Wrong. Of course don’t lie to your clients or anyone else for that matter – but also, don’t lie to yourself. Marketing isn’t rocket science, but there is a method which is made much more difficult when trying to effectively and creatively market something you don’t believe in. Our founder, Scott Adams, has a real passion for adventure travel, and it’s where he got his start. Bringing that love for the outdoors into the video and content marketing realm was just the natural next step for him – thus, Birchbark was formed. We’ve been so lucky to create successful campaigns for Wanapitei Canoe, helped Fantastico Sur build a solid social media following, and bring more attention to Pure Adventures‘ guided and self guided tours. In short, starting up an agency and saying “we’re going to get rich by only servicing lawyers” won’t, in itself, make you money, or more importantly, make you happy if you aren’t passionate about law o begin with. Create a niche around something you love, educate yourself, and the rest will come.
From day 1 we’ve been nothing else but our authentic selves. From our candid meetings with clients to our own marketing initiatives – we are who we are, and trying to be anything else just doesn’t make any sense. How can you possibly sit down to a client strategy session and say “we need to show who you really are to strengthen your brand ” – then turn around and pretend to be something we aren’t. People aren’t stupid, and if your audience gets even a whiff of inauthenticity, they’ll leave and never come back.
Be Creative Or Die
A little dramatic? Not at all – in fact, this is the Birchbark motto. You can learn everything else but if you don’t bring a creative person on board, your business will, sooner or later, lose out to those who are injecting creativity into their work. With the digital marketing industry shifting by the second, having a person/team to navigate the twists and turns is essential to a business’ survival. Especially for ourselves, we are always looking for new ways to bring light to local topics with a “Birchbark twist” – like a campaign we created in response to a downtown space being transformed into an urban park. It got attention, and showed to the public that we are fun, creative and diverse in our approach to different projects.
Thanks for hanging out! If you feel like being nice, give us a follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!