Social Media Marketing: National Storage Case Study

There are two type of products in the world; those that are exciting by nature and those that aren’t.

As marketers, we obviously love working with exciting products but we particularly enjoy being given the opportunity (and creative freedom) to transform a traditionally unremarkable product into a remarkable one.

This week, Reload Media are excited to launch National Storage’s “Nate Story” social media campaign – an adventure into the world of product differentiation through social media.

How did we pull it off? Read on…

The Brief

National Storage is more than just a bunch of storage sheds.

Firstly, they offer:

  • Climate-controlled storage (for important things like wine and art);
  • Moving supplies and support;
  • Storage insurance and security;
  • Packaging supplies;
  • Records management and much more.

However, awareness of these augmented product offerings was not high amongst National Storage’s target markets.

Secondly, storage is not a frequently purchased product (you only move house as often as you can bear). Therefore, developing top of mind brand awareness was a critical factor towards increasing the lifetime value of each National Storage customer.

Finally, National Storage possesses industry-leading customer service; a competency that the company was keen to transition into the social sphere.

The Campaign and Execution

Led by Reload’s Head of ROI, Paul Goldston and chief Creative Consultant Jonathan Peck, the Reload team set about creating a campaign that engaged with National Storage’s target audience and communicated the company’s key messages in a fun and entertaining way.

This resulted in the creation of Nate Story, National Storage’s new Social Media Community Manager. Nate works day to day inside his very own office/storage unit, responding to customer queries, joining relevant social media conversations and uploading engaging, relevant content to National Storage’s social media channels.

A key factor in this campaign was the production of a number of “webisodes” featuring Nate that set out to educate the audience about National Storage’s product offerings in an interactive and engaging way (you can see  ‘Webisode 1’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’ of this video series below).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEr8MWAHT1c&w=560&h=315]

Furthermore, the Facebook page was re-designed (twice… thanks Timeline!) to showcase the brand’s services and to create a platform for fan engagement through ongoing conversation and interactive promotions… including the popular ‘Store a Memory’ promotion.

The “webisodes” were firstly scripted and storyboarded, with Nate himself then recruited. Filming took place over two days before the episodes were edited and completed.

The social media assets of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube were meticulously scoped and wire-framed, with a clear plan for each channel, before being designed and built.

Ongoing Engagement

The success of any social media campaign is all about the long-term. The key is, as Facebook continually spruik, ‘lightweight interactions over a long period of time’. That’s why National Storage now have Nate responding as quickly as possible to all tweets, Facebook messages and comments that occur across National Storage’s social media channels.

Further to this, Nate will be responding according to the jovial character and tone developed for him within the social media strategy (which was also reinforced throughout webisode series).

This was a critical factor in transferring the company’s commitment to customer service into the social media sphere.

Finally, a comprehensive Social Media content strategy and schedule was produced, meaning ongoing tweets, posts and videos could be structured to ensure the social campaign remains engaging over an extended period of time.

This campaign is just in its infancy, with plenty more cool elements still to come…

You can check out what Nate is up to over on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/klFWiADytg4&w=560&h=315]

Craig Somerville is a Director at Reload Media, having worked extensively on the digital and online strategies of leading companies within Australia and around the world. With a background in marketing and economics, Craig's unique experience offers great insight into how the world of search and online marketing is changing in today's rapid marketplace. He is also a Google AdWords Qualified Professional and regularly consults on all aspects of digital marketing including search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and social media.