Small Business Marketing: Establishing Brand Presence in Social and Mobile Media

January 23, 2014

How Orca Coast Playground developed their mobile and social strategy

By Alexandra Estanislao

It’s more common than ever these days to see businesses rise to the top and fall right back down just as quickly. The way these businesses market themselves has a lot to do with the outcome. How, and where, you communicate your message to your target audience and consumer is critical. Consumers today are moving to online, social and mobile media to be informed, to browse and to buy, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Any brand would do well to be present where their potential consumers—and competitors—already are. Particularly, being “mobile friendly” and “social media smart” is the name of the game. The lesson? Fish where the fish are.

Global Leadership: Speed + Agility

We all want to be masters of the universe. But how? One local company, Orca Coast unnamedPlayground, has evolved their marketing strategy to place themselves at the top of the playground heap both locally and internationally. Their solution has been to be fast or faster than the next guy when it comes to publicizing, advertising and marketing their playgrounds. As well as velocity, their strategy has been to be agile. This means that they have had to evolve along with technological and communication trends. In the extremely competitive playground business, they have to be just as fast, and faster.

Here are some insights into how Orca Coast Playground kicks butt both locally and internationally:

Practice mobile and social media marketing, whether it’s B2B or B2C. Creating a great mobile and social media experience is vital, as most people use their mobile devices frequently for social media updates and other online information.

As part of a mobile and social media marketing initiative, they conducted market research and created a Facebook page two years ago. They ensured their content spoke directly to their target audience in a way that was consistent with, and that reinforced, their brand, and that the content was consistently updated and fresh.

Their Facebook presence went from zero page likes to 575 within two years, compared to a current average of 35 page likes for their main competitors. They also ensured their corporate and online sales websites are mobile friendly, or have mobile app versions; this provides convenient, fast, efficient access to their products as well as information for both existing and future clients.

kidsThey created messages that communicate to a global audience, or target, using different messaging to account for regional differences. If you want to expand your business outside of your local area, think localization. And here’s the really interesting part: playgrounds may be universal, but concepts of children’s play—how they play and why—can vary from culture to culture or place to place. Remember: you’re marketing across cultures.

And never stop growing and maintaining your (social) network of contacts. Stay in the loop, converse, listen and be aware of what is happening around you in the market. As a company that “cares and shares”, Orca Coast feels it has a responsibility to create strong, lasting bonds with past and present clients, business associates and other contacts in the custom playground market, as well as with their prospects. This includes contact and awareness between their social media presence and Orca’s—which means that consistent, regular participation in social networking is important.

Be aware of what your competitors are putting out there and ensure that your messaging addresses it. In a smaller niche marketplace such as indoor playgrounds, competition is fierce. As Orca Coast’s social media marketing is primarily B2B, their social media management focuses on managing pricing expectations and misconceptions about their products—particularly to a more global group of customers. Fluctuating currency exchange rates and logistical differences can play havoc with marketing and, importantly, deal-making.

OCP_JoeysWorld1Orca networks their network, and uses it to help increase reach and publicity. Orca Coast Playground has formed a network of friends, clients, fans and business relationships through Facebook that assist on a daily basis to spread and share news, including updates on their playgrounds and other information useful to both consumers and the industry. Helping your networks helps you.

Above all, the message is be agile, tenacious, consistent and fast.

Alexandra Estanislao is the Marketing Executive Assistant at Orca Coast Playground Ltd. (OCP), a Canadian indoor playground equipment manufacturer and installer. In business for a decade, OCP has become a globally trusted name in playground manufacturing and installing through building the finest soft playgrounds available, and by guaranteeing their safety, quality, durability, creativity and value.