Customers don’t just want a product, they want to be part of a community, even embed it into their lifestyle. They’ve also grown impervious to normal marketing means, turned off, more often than not, by the regular sales pitch. It’s why companies such as Jungle Creations have been spurred on to put social media to good use.
By their very definition – “social” – such platforms champion frank opinion, instant responses and the ability to spread one post, tweet, snap, whatever you like, in a matter of seconds to numerous people world-wide. It’s a double-edged sword, but when done right, you’ll find a loyal following that perhaps – just maybe – rivals that of a football team’s.
Indeed, the benefits are worth investing time in a platform, with businesses now spoiled for choice in terms of how to go about communicating, from picture-based Pinterest to pure-video YouTube.
But perhaps taking many companies by surprise is Facebook, which gained new-found popularity after founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions for video sharing became clear. It’s become a brilliant starting point for businesses, which foster a great reputation on the platform before diversifying channels and expanding operations.
Jungle Creations is one such firm, and its Facebook page was crowned the world’s most-viewed in the media space in May.
Of course, we couldn’t help but wonder how a company achieves such an accolade. Speaking with founder Jamie Bolding unveiled that the original intent behind Jungle Creations – a Facebook page and website both going by the name of Viral Thread at the time – was to collate videos and stories spread across the internet that students could easily access through one Facebook page.
The strategy included finding the quirky and humorous, and it proved a success. In fact, a lot of revenue and traffic on the website was being driven by Facebook, convincing Bolding to invest more into his idea. He rebranded the company to Jungle Creations, which is now in charge of numerous channels raking in nearly 4bn views a month.
“It all started with one Facebook page and as we went along we added new channels to the new brand and the audience started growing more and more,” Bolding explained in more detail. “We tapped into the various niches. Our Twisted channel, for example, caters to food lovers and Nailed It became the go-to place for DIY fans.
“Whatever the channel though, the goal stayed much the same – to bring the best and funniest content from around the web, be it pictures, stories and videos, and offer them up in one place.”
Below is a video that garnered much success on the Twisted channel, where people, including those on the Twisted team, can share recipes that or slightly quirky – like a sushi burger – and easy to make.
But despite what one may think, Bolding explained, there’s no secret formula, “and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying”. It’s an amalgamation of strategies which varies depending on the business, how you want people to view you and, of course, the target audience. There are, however, a few things set to increase your customer base, not to mention the chances of creating a viral hit.
“We wanted to create really fun, crazy stuff because it’s the most likely to go viral – and we want to be known for being quirky. I feel like it’s the type of content truly everyone can enjoy, but there’s also another reason behind it. In a way, our target audience came to us with the initial Viral Threads creation, and we applied what they liked to the new channels.
“The best advice, we learned, was to listen to your audience and go with what works. Sure, there are a few failures along the way, but that’s part of understanding who your followers are. And the more you’re willing to listen, the more open you are to trying new things for their sake, the more likely it is that your customers will engage.”
It also boiled down to tweaking the content for their viewing pleasure. On Facebook, for example, it’s better to make the video a square instead of having it widescreen.
“Facebook also requires you to put the most intriguing points across first. When people are scrolling down their newsfeed, you have a matter of seconds to hook them. On YouTube, it’s the opposite. They’re already committed to viewing the video, it’s why they’re there. Instead, it’s more about building a story and ending it on an emotional high.
Emotions are a common factor across all channels, Bolding said. In order for customers to engage, they need to feel something, be it anger or joy. It will get them clicking on that share button as well.
Here’s a humorous and topical sample of the content produced by Jungle Creations.
Getting them to feel, share, contemplate, and write about their views are key. “Customer engagement needs to always be on your mind,” he said. “Let’s put it this way. In the early days we tried a few things that were out there on Twisted, but it was perhaps unachievable to followers. So we ended up trying to put a twist on dishes by only using ingredients people would have around the house.
“More people got involved, and in some way they realised it was a move done for them. Customers aren’t stupid. They really want to love your brand, they want to interact, and they’re good at spotting when it’s all about them or all about the money.
“Now more than ever, bosses have started to realise the content they push out reflects on their company and speaks volume about whether they care. We’ve entered an age were people don’t want that extra marketing push. If they think you’re cool, if they like what you do and say, even what you stand for, they’ll find your product themselves. Talk to them and gain their respect first.”