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How To Master Behind-The-Scenes Content

I have a confession to make.

I’m always telling our clients (based on their metrics, of course) that they need to produce more behind-the-scenes content to help sell the brand’s story.

My confession is that I’m not sharing enough of my OWN behind-the-scenes content.

Whoopsies.

If people connect to other people, and not logos, then sharing this type of content can really help your audience connect with the WHO of your brand.

Here are a few ideas to emulate and master your own “people content.”

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Be On-Brand, Don’t Babble

Last week, realizing the error of my ways, I decided to post my own behind-the-scenes content.

On Fridays, we post a “FUN FACT FRIDAY” stat, tip, fact or trick, on our Facebook Page but this past Friday I shared a fun fact about myself:

There are a few things to note here:

  • Our audience is used to Fun Fact Friday, so we tailored our behind-the-scenes content around that
  • We often talk about “digital detoxing” and how it pertains to social media and online marketing
  • I used a call-to-action (CTA) and asked others how they unwind
  • I signed off with my name, personalizing the post even more

While skiing would be an off-topic post for us, tying my activities into our usual brand messaging helped this feel more on point for B Squared Media.

Like any other content, you need to provide context for your viewers.

Stock Photos Are Stale

How many brands do you see creating memes and posts with stock photos? A LOT.

Those cheesy grins and over-the-top team building pics may give you the giggles, but did you know that most consumers actually ignore stock photos?

In fact, real photos are 95% more effective at capturing leads.

Shouldn’t that be your visual content marketing goal?

My point is this: Even when a post may call for a meme or stock photo, try to be smarter than the average bear and use your own, original photos.

This way you’re conveying your message AND showing off your behind-the-scenes content.

I realize this doesn’t always work, so take your thinking to a more strategic level and figure out if there’s a way to visually convey your message without an overused fake photo.

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Follow These Five Ideas For Behind-The-Scenes Content

1) Put Your People In Focus

Whether it’s you, your employees, your team, your customers, or your advocates, leverage the power of your loyal audiences.

Start building from there and be on the lookout for people and influencers who can help you with behind-the-scenes content.

An example: Recently a brand advocate for B Squared Media, Tamara, held a workshop and used our hashtag, #ThinkConversation, as a part of her lesson.

Her students tweeted our hashtag out, and we were able to retweet that content as a part of our own, global behind-the-scenes content.

2) Innovate With Tradition

I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but going back to telling YOUR unique story, show off what traditions your company participates in.

Do you have a summer pow wow, a yearly training session, or a weekly sales meeting?

Give a behind-the-scenes look at what makes your brand tick — and more than likely you’ll also check the box of showing how you’re different.

3) Showcase Products & Services (And Then Some)

It’s all too easy to give us visual stories about your products.

Take it a step further and ask your community to weigh in on the next batch.

“Hey guys! We’re about to order more ! Do you think we should stick to blue, or go for red this time?”

Or, solicit user-generated visuals of your product to use in your posts.

And even if you’ve only got services to speak of, peel back the curtain and let us see the wizard in action!

The same goes for speaking events, trade shows, webinars, live streaming, etc.; grab a screenshot, picture, or video and SHOW versus tell when it comes to your authority.

4) Give ‘Em A Sneak Peek

Creating something new?

Bringing on a new team member?

Partnering with a brilliant business on a project?

Create compelling photos that lead your audience down the rabbit hole without giving away the goods.

This entices conversation and anticipation — two great things when branding.

5) Leverage Visual Social Mediums To Deliver Behind-The-Scenes Content

It’s well known by my Instagram followers that I don’t use the platform to share tired memes made of stock photos.

In fact, I rarely use it to talk directly about my brand.

Instead, I use it as THE source for behind-the-scenes content on the double B behind B Squared … me!

It’s my opinion that Instagram isn’t the mega platform it is because of made up memes and inspirational quotes.

What makes Instagram so special are the faces, the sights, the stories, the PEOPLE.

You can use your behind-the-scenes life to be transparent and let your audiences in.

Think about it: What do you relate to and trust more?

A Keep Calm And Carry On meme, or a photo with a smiling face and a story about how they got that grin?

Got Any Additional Behind-The-Scenes Tips?

Be sure to let me know in the comments section below, as I plan to take my own advice in 2015 and share more behind-the-scenes content.

 


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Category: Branding, Content, Content Marketing
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17 Comments. Leave new

  • Great post Brooke! The way most people feel about a brand, store, business, etc. is usually based on how they feel about the people they encounter during their experience. Happy, friendly, helpful people = a good feeling about the brand. Grumpy, detached people = not a good feeling about the brand. Basically, people make the brand. Digital takes people out of direct view, so going “behind-the-scenes” is a great way to add the personal relationship back into the equation and helps put faces into context with the logo again.

    Reply
    • Agreed, Josh. I also think in a world of sameness, a behind-the-scenes look can really help differentiate you from your competition. Plus, I know when I see pics of your kids and your life, I feel like I “know” you more (even though we’ve never met in real life). I like that aspect of building on what’s there and having transparency lead to (hopefully) trust.

      Reply
      • Exactly. Having not met in real life is only a technicality. We’re able to add the personality people love about us offline onto our online and create that feeling of closeness by sharing the personal side of our lives beyond the professional. I know the professional Brooke from B Squared Media and the personal Brooke that likes skiing and zombie movies. People want to do business with people, not logos.

        Reply
        • IRL feels like the cherry on top these days — it’s not necessary for an amazing sundae experience, but it certainly adds an extra “pop” to it. If we can provide similar IRL experiences (like personal stories and photos), hopefully they help to build that trust and “knowing.” Love that you know about my zombie obsession, btw!

          Reply
  • These are excellent points, Brooke. I think brands that can really do this well can gain a competitive advantage by creating more of an emotional connection with their followers. There are some good actionable points here to keep in mind to be successful. Also, I love that hat you’re wearing! Have a great day.

    Reply
    • I TOTALLY agree, Steve. It’s so hard to stand out these days (and maybe, just maybe, that fox hat I like to wear skiing will help me do that). 😉 Thanks for sharing your insights!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    January 29, 2015 10:47 AM

    I loved that photo of your digital detox. It was so relaxing and perfect for a Friday post plus it gave that personal touch of YOU who are the BB behind B Squared, the brand.
    On Instagram I do mix behind the scenes with visuals about my latest blog post or some #SeeItFirstOnInstagram exclusive peeks just to my followers there. I know there are people who only know me from Instagram, so I think including a bit of the branded visuals can help with lead generation.
    I avoid food and cups of coffee, even though sometimes, just sometimes, one could be ‘in order’ (think of Dumbledore’s voice – of the Harry Potter movies).
    Behind the scenes are great when things are actually happening, like IRL meetings with clients or UGC. I wish I had a BAR or a SHOP and could ask clients to post photos on Instagram. In those cases sharing photos while preparing the food or even just buying the ingredients would be awesome.

    Reply
    • Glad you did, Amiga! As for IG, I’m not saying mixing professional and personal is wrong at all — it’s just not how I choose to use the platform. For me personally it’s about sharing more personal, behind-the-scenes content (rarely is it even related to the brand/business). I could be doing it all wrong, but that’s how I feel like using IG (and often times how I feel it was meant to be used). There are plenty of successful companies/people who do exactly the opposite as I do. That’s what’s so great about social, there are many solutions for the “problem” (much like math, which I hate, BTW!).

      You’re right. I often think of how “easy” (outside looking in, of course) it would be to have an office, or team, or product to showcase daily. Sprout Social does a great job with their company and team and behind-the-scenes content!

      Reply
  • The first thing I thought was that a podcast is also a very sly way to do this. By listening to someone on a regular basis, you get to know them even better than through any other form of content distribution. Sometimes, I need to remind myself that many of the podcasters I listen to the most don’t have a clue I exist, other than knowing they have an audience in general. That’s how connected it makes me feel. And the best part is that it makes their brands much more appealing.

    On the other hand, you can easily overdo this personal touch thing if you’re not careful. I recently wrote a blog post about mixing up Facebook posts, with a 5-point scale of how much you’re asking of your audience. At one extreme, you’ve got the downright sales pitch or launch, on the other extreme is the cup of coffee or palm tree picture with the question: ‘how are you spending your vacation days next summer?’ The key is to keep extremes at the low end in quantity. We all know the Facebook pages that have discovered those personal posts do really well, and keep going for those same buttons. It’s the ‘meme disease’: pictures do really well, I need to use humor, so I’ll plaster my wall with memes.

    What I liked most about this post is that you really show how to mix those personal touches with the day to day business and derived content. If you can make your everyday content about making a connection (not about yourself, obviously), you’re making your business that much more appealing. And I think having different ways of doing that, keeping your instagram about you, for example, makes it much easier.

    Sometimes, your blog posts spark half a novel in response.

    TL;DR: Very useful post, I have a few people in mind that could use some B2.

    Reply
    • Ah-so, grasshopper! That’s a good point. We often find when talking to our guests that they will mention something along those lines … there’s something about hearing someone’s voice, the way they speak, their cadence, that helps you feel more connected. Such an astute view, Bas.

      I also see your point with over sharing. I’ve written about that before. I watched one brand write blog posts about the owner’s family member getting cancer (and then running ads to the blog post on Facebook). Something about that struck me in a bad way. It was too much info for consumers, and it felt more like they were playing the victim and wanting sympathy points versus letting us get to know them. There are also studies about playing the emotional card, and they cite that an emotional pull is good, but too much emotion can have a negative outcome, so we need to be careful as you mention.

      I’m so thrilled that you’ve connected with me on this. That makes me happy. 🙂 Write those novels ANY time … even if they’re to show a different perspective. As the owner of this blog I have a responsibility to educate, be a resource, and to be open to conversation (that part especially since it’s in our tagline!). I can’t sit here and tell you that MY ideas are THE BEST ideas. I can only share them with you in the hopes that we connect, converse, and add other POVs for the community. So thanks!!

      Reply
  • Hi, Brooke,
    For a business team that does not have a physical location, but instead everyone works remotely, what kind of behind-the-scenes content can you suggest?

    Reply
    • Hi Melissa! Great question. You guys can do individual shots — it doesn’t have to be together. Look at Sprout Social for ideas. They highlight team members (by themselves, not in a group). Just try to make the overall/whole story cohesive and tie it to the brand, but still give insights into each team member, how they’re different, how their location is different, but how that adds to the team as a whole. Hope that helps! 🙂

      Reply
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