Case Study: Burro Content Strategy

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Client: Burro, Seattle, WA and Koforidua, Ghana

The Challenge:

Burro is an inspiring startup with a unique, complex story that wasn’t being told effectively on its website. There was plenty of content, but it was dense and difficult to read online. The company’s founder undertook a major site redesign to present Burro in a more compelling way, and engaged Secret Sauce Creative to lead the content strategy. The budget was small, so we needed every word to do more, just like Burro’s innovative, hard-working products.

Burro light Ghana

Secret Sauce Contributions:

  • Performed detailed audit of existing site content to determine what was usable, what changes would be needed, and what was missing.
  • Collaborated with founder and site designer on inspiration, overall strategy, user experience, and site design.
  • Created clear, detailed voice/tone guidelines to establish brand voice and inspire all brand copy.
  • Created detailed site outline with specific copy requirements and direction for each page.
  • Developed plan to establish and maintain company blog, including overall inspiration, post types, media, and suggested post topics.
  • Extended brand storytelling approach to social media channels, providing training and inspiration and crafting overall strategy for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Burro Ghana do more

The Results:

  • The “on-the-ground” story of Burro is now unfolding authentically across channels through evocative stories and imagery.
  • The Burro team has been able to establish and maintain a high-quality blog and social media presence without outsourcing.
  • The Burro Facebook community—small and growing organically—is highly engaged, with some posts achieving virality (response/share rates) of more than 20%.
  • Site copy readability has increased by 65%.
Burro Ghana Secret Sauce Creative

Do you need your content to do more? Please get in touch!

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Case Study: Wonder Forge Social Media Activation

Client: Wonder Forge, Seattle, WA

The Challenge:

Establish a vibrant social media presence for an independent board game company, starting from zero fans/followers and minimal brand awareness. Develop brand voice, amplify existing marketing efforts, and cultivate relationships with partners and influencers — all in less than an hour a day.

Wonder Forge Facebook Fan

Secret Sauce Contributions (Ongoing):

  • Collaborating with team to clarify objectives, crafting social media strategy, and drafting sample posts to ensure alignment.
  • Creating and maintaining Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube profiles.
  • Building a comprehensive, integrated editorial calendar; writing and publishing all posts to creatively build an authentic, inspired brand presence.
  • Setting up an integrated dashboard to track and respond to all brand and product mentions as well as content from key partners, bloggers, and industry influencers.
  • Integrating tightly with PR outreach and partner social media efforts, including Twitter parties, Facebook giveaways, and trade shows.
  • Building an organic, low-budget brand ambassador program to identify and reward the company’s most enthusiastic and consistent fans.
  • Identifying new influencers and bloggers for outreach.
  • Creating processes to capture and make use of valuable fan insights, and ensuring they are fully integrated into all areas of the business.
  • Providing thought leadership on best practices for word-of-mouth marketing and emerging social media platforms.
Wonder Forge fan tweet

The Results:

  • After two years and zero incremental spend, Wonder Forge has a relatively small but highly engaged, passionate, and supportive social media community (2,400+ on Facebook; 1,700+ on Twitter).
  • 100% response rate to fan comments, posts, and tweets.
  • “People Talking About This” Facebook measurement often eclipses those of pages with communities that are 10 or even 20 times larger.
  • Brand sentiment remains consistently 100% positive, with frequent “love” mentions.

Wonder Forge facebook fan post

Insights:

  • It is possible to cultivate a highly engaged, enthusiastic community with a very small investment (of both dollars and time).
  • Responding to fans consistently and positively goes a long way toward building brand loyalty.
  • Paying close attention to what’s going on with influencers, key partners, and bloggers reveals priceless insights and new opportunities.

If you would like to talk more about cultivating social media community without a big budget, please get in touch.

Case Study: Mix-N-Match with Sir Mix-A-Lot, June 2011

Client: Giant Thinkwell, Seattle, WA

Mix-N-Match with Sir Mix-a-Lot, Facebook Game

The Challenge: Create hundreds of buzz-worthy questions for a Facebook game featuring pop culture icon Sir Mix-A-Lot  on a fast, fluid schedule. Drive outreach and launch on a shoestring budget.

Secret Sauce Contributions:

  • Established overall content approach, voice, and high-level parameters to support game spec and deliver innovative Facebook social gaming experience.
  • Crafted 1,000+ clever, entertaining game content elements to engage Sir Mix-A-Lot’s fans.
  • Helped mastermind and execute social media and PR strategy behind what GeekWire called “The greatest PR pitch ever.”

“[Catherine] instantly gets the idea, makes it better, asks tough questions, drives the process, and then delivers the most awesome content one could have imagined on time and on budget.” Adam Tratt, CEO of Giant Thinkwell (full recommendation here)

The Results:

“MixNMatch is Giant Thinkwell’s first game, and it’s cute and funny enough that we would like to see more from this shop.” Jolie O’Dell, Sir Mix-A-Lot Likes Big….Facebook Games, Mashable

Insights:

  • Researching and referencing personal details in PR pitches gets them noticed.
  • Creating an optimized social media dashboard is a cost-effective way of amplifying a launch.
  • When you can make a bona fide character like Sir Mix-A-Lot laugh out loud, you’re on the right track with the content.

Sir Mix-a-Lot with Giant Thinkwell

If you need content or inspiration to support your launch, please contact us.

Case Study: Empowered Careers Brand Guidelines

Client: Empowered Careers (formerly Encore Career Institute), Los Gatos, CA

The Challenge:

Establish a clear strategic foundation to guide brand development for a rapidly growing tech startup focused on continuing education. Create focused tools to get a complex web of employees, partners, and stakeholders on the same page and unlock visual and content expression.

Steve Poizner, founder of Empowered Careers

Secret Sauce Contributions:

  • Explored and reconciled competing visions for the brand through a brand archetype study. Rallied team (including high-profile founder Steve Poizner) around the “Hero” archetype.
  • Evaluated and synthesized competitive landscape to inform brand position.
  • Created 40-page brand bible to articulate brand fundamentals and inspire cohesive expression. Contents included archetype summary, competitive analysis, high-impact quotes to capture consumer insights, brand values, mission/vision/position, and brand pyramid.
  • Developed brand personality guidelines, including voice & tone guidelines, brand vocabulary, and high-level messaging framework.

“Online learning is by nature solitary & lacking in personal support — these are big drawbacks to an otherwise very successful program.” Student quote selected for inclusion in brand bible

The Results:

  • Team began using “Hero” language to determine brand approach and evaluate brand identity concepts.
  • Copywriter tackled content creation for dozens of site pages with a clear creative starting point.

I especially find the “Who Are Our Bad Guys?” section to be very empowering. It inspires me to do my job and fight for what’s right in online education.” Empowered Careers copywriter

Insights:

  • Hearing a brand’s story and vision directly from the founder is a consistently effective tool for bringing a brand into focus.
  • Taking the time to articulate high-level brand guidelines can go a long way toward minimizing creative churn, especially for a startup.

If your brand would benefit from some foundational documents to guide creative execution, please contact us.