The power of behind the scenes marketing

What do a self-made videographer, a self-made internet entrepreneur, a British department store, the world’s oldest airline and the world’s third most valuable brand have in common? Behind the scenes marketing. And major success.

What is behind the scenes marketing?

Behind the scenes marketing is a promising and increasingly popular marketing strategy for entrepreneurs and businesses who want to grow and engage their audience by being honest and transparent about their brands.

More and more entrepreneurs and businesses share authentic details and stories about their brands. In doing so they offer unique, authentic, refreshing and often surprisingly helpful insights on how to grow your own business.

Examples of behind the scenes marketing

Behind the scenes marketing is a promising marketing strategy for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. The following examples illustrate how 2 self-made entrepreneurs and 3 leading brands add behind the scenes marketing to their marketing mix to grow and engage their fanbase.

1. Devin Graham a.k.a. Devin Supertramp

Devin Graham is a 29-year-old self-made videographer and YouTube rockstar. In the past few years Devin has produced numerous spectacular YouTube videos, most of which have easily reached 1 million views. The following behind-the-scenes video shows what a day in the life of Devin Graham looks like (you really want to see this):

Devin has more than 1.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, more than 162K followers on Facebook and his most popular video to date (Assassin’s Creed meets Parkour in Real Life – see below) has reached over 31 million views.

Devin has clearly found a recipe for creating viral videos. His secret? Hard work, great quality and behind the scenes marketing. Devin is very transparent in regard to where and how he shoots his videos.

Devin has even opened an extra Behind The Scenes YouTube channel where he uploads unique footage and background info about every video he makes. The Behind The Scenes channel may not be as popular as the ‘real’ channel, but with more than 360K subscribers and more than 50K views per video, it definitely reaches a large audience.

2. Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn needs little introduction on this website. Pat is a 30-year-old self-made internet entrepreneur who has built a large and loyal following by sharing free tips and advice on internet marketing and sales.

Pat is the man behind the Smart Passive Income Blog and the immensely popular Smart Passive Income Podcast. He has more than 75K subscribers to his newsletter and more than 46K loyal fans on Facebook. His podcast was downloaded more than 5.5 million times.

Pat’s secret? Pat does not only share tips and advice, he even shares a detailed breakdown of his income every month. To the very last cent! This provides an amazing 100% transparent view on how he grows his business and success.

3. John Lewis, kings of the Christmas ads

John Lewis, the British upmarket department store, has a solid reputation when it comes to creating viral Christmas ads. This year they surprised the world with “The Bear and The Hare”, a moving animated ad. Or so it seems.

The Bear and The Hare is not an animated ad. It is a 2D stopmotion video with a 3D animated effect. How do we know this? Because John Lewis shared the behind the scenes video about the making of “The Bear and the Hare” together with the ‘real’ Christmas video.

The Bear and The Hare has reached almost 10 million views now. The making-of video reached ‘only’ 167K views to date, but the authenticity and craftsmanship displayed in this video have definitely boosted The Bear and The Hare’s worldwide success.

4.KLM through Flynt’s eyes

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines may be the world’s oldest airline, it is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative airlines, in part due to their great use of social media.

KLM has more than 4,5M active followers on Facebook, more than 2M followers on Google+, 650K followers on Twitter and more than 100 agents in their ‘social media hub’.

Last year, the airline introduced Flynt, KLM’s ‘Very Important Puppet’ (VIP). Flynt is a puppet with an attitude, a dedicated Facebook page and more than 6K friends. And Flynt provides a refreshing and intriguing look behind the KLM scenes.

Flynt tests new KLM products, departments and destinations on a regular basis and he entertains and engages his fans with funny pictures, stories, videos and quizzes.


5. Coca-Cola: Refreshing the world, one story at a time

Last week we discussed the new Coca-Cola website. Coca-Cola’s new website is a true storytelling platform, built from the ground up to grow and engage its audience.

Coca-Cola’s Unbottled blog certainly helps in this respect. The stories shared on this blog give a unique look behind the scenes of the brand’s rich heritage, innovation, careers and marketing programs. And the fans love it!

Demanding and rewarding

Behind the scenes marketing can be demanding. Crafting and promoting compelling stories and viral videos and building a loyal fanbase takes time, effort and perseverance. Then why do brands of all sizes invest in behind the scenes marketing?

Because it works! Behind the scenes marketing may be demanding, but it can also be very rewarding!

Why does it work?

Behind the scenes marketing works for 2 main reasons:

1. People are curious by nature

Who doesn’t want to see what’s behind the curtain? Who doesn’t want to see the inner workings (or: the reasons for success) of successful brands?

By painting an honest picture about your brand, your success and the road to your success, you can increase your trustworthiness and added value in a world of ‘selfies’ and self-promoting brands.

2. People love stories

We’ve written about storytelling before. Storytelling is as old as mankind. Good stories stick, great stories are passed on. They travel from mouth to mouth, not from brand to consumer.

Ever wondered why ‘storytelling’ is such a buzzword these days? It’s because storytelling works! Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs on social media, just published an interesting presentation and book on this subject. Highly recommended reading!

What about you?

Do you take your audience behind the scenes of your brand? What details and stories are you sharing? What are your results with this kind of marketing, and how much time and effort does it you take to accomplish these results? Please don’t hesitate to share your stories, examples and questions through the contact form below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on behind the scenes marketing.

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