People-focused content: Why your employees make the best ‘models’

As content marketing and employer branding specialists, we work on the ethos that businesses and organisations are all about people. Obvious, right? Then how come most websites you visit feature only the brand’s products and services? Or, worse still, stock photography featuring people who aren’t even part of the business?

Putting your people at the centre of your content doesn’t only enhance customer engagement by giving them something to relate to – it makes your employees feel appreciated by positioning them as the face of the business. I can vouch for this as an employee of Engage Comms as we’ve just launched our new website showcasing our team and it makes me feel more bought into the business than ever. It will also make others want to work for you as a business that really cares about its people.

Daisy Days Bronte flat caps - The Emily and The Branwell

Capturing authentic images of your products and services

On our recent project for client Daisy Days, we learnt first-hand how effective using ‘real people’ as models can be. We established a partnership between the Haworth-based gift shop and headwear-designer-to-the-stars Rhian Kempadoo-Millar which resulted in the development of an exclusive range of Bronte-themed Yorkshire flat caps tied into the bicentenary celebrations of the literary siblings’ birth. We knew that high quality images of the range was going to be central to bringing customers to the store and online shop but we also knew that we needed to showcase the hats in a way that local people and tourists could relate to. A ‘high fashion’ shoot using professional models wasn’t going to cut it.

IMG_0375We found the perfect photographer – Kathryn Widdowson – who was not only based locally but had experience of shooting local people in local settings on the rugged moors. It also helped that she loved the hats and as the owner of a Springer Spaniel could relate to one of our key target audiences of dog walkers. By the end of the day she was wearing the hats herself between shots!

So, we had the photographer but we still needed the perfect models.

IMG_0403When our director Helen suggested I did it, I was apprehensive – wasn’t I supposed to be behind the camera with her directing the shoot from a marketing perspective? But she pointed out that as someone who loves the Yorkshire Dales, dog walking and ‘rural’ fashion brands, I was the perfect subject. We also asked Joe Drury who works at Daisy Days’ sister café Cobbles & Clay (as well as being an artist and musician!) He had good local knowledge on what would make the best ‘Wuthering Heights’ style Bronte backdrop and the right ‘look’ for the designer tweed flat caps. We were amazed when he agreed to it but we’re so glad he did as he was a natural in front of the camera and brought a really authentic feel to the shoot. The fact that we were both so invested in the project from a personal and professional point of view made a real difference.

The power of people-focused content

teamWe know that people-focused content makes a big difference when it comes to customer acquisition and attracting the best talent to your business. As well as the authentic models we used in the shoot, we also shared behind the scenes pics featuring the ‘artistic director’, photographer and designer, which has dramatically increased the reach and engagement of the campaign on social media. The campaign images were sent to the media, used on the website and via social media and on printed materials including a pop up banner in the shop. They contributed to us getting high quality media coverage that directly converted into sales and customer feedback showed that it was the images of people they could relate to wearing the hats that made them want to buy one.

Understandably, your employees may be reluctant to feature in photo and video content due to vanity or shyness but if you can persuade your best ambassadors to be part of your brand, it will pay dividends.

If you need help with creating people-focused content as part of your wider content marketing and/or employer branding strategy, get in touch!

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