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As an owner of a business, you’re probably no stranger to running ads for it in hopes that people will notice your brand. But that kind of brand awareness is typically temporary.

It’s not easy to get an ad to stick in people’s minds for long.

Don’t give up yet though, because there’s a powerful marketing tool that you just might be overlooking, one that could actually get you lasting results:

Genuine content. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s an ad or an organic post, what matters is what the content consists of. 

So, how can a brand create such content?

Genuine content makes people care

Genuine content is pretty subjective, we’ll admit. But as consumers ourselves, what we consider genuine content is content that’s not explicitly engineered to push a brand or product to us.

Rather, it simply takes us on a journey with the brand. A common example is behind-the-scenes (BTS) content that has really popped off on social media.

A brand will showcase “a day in the life of” content or candidly share successes and unfortunate happenings. It may sound mundane, but we’ve seen this kind of content resonate with other consumers based on what’s gone viral.

There’s also a common belief that social media algorithms tend to reward this kind of “organic” content, pushing them to different groups of users and increasing your reach without you needing to spend a single cent on boosts.

We know of a few local brands who have leveraged such content as a form of marketing to varying levels of success, and here are four of them that we’ve featured in the past.


Image Credit: HYGR

If you’re into personal care products, you’ve probably seen some of HYGR’s videos on social media. The natural deodorant and lip balm brand has amassed quite the invested following through consistent and frequent posting (51K on Instagram, 175.5K on TikTok).

Their genuine content consists of quite a few things, whether it’s how a new launch is planned, testing their own products, or addressing odd customer requests (such as this one where someone requested for a refund or replacement after their dog destroyed their lip balm… yeah).

In general, their audience appeal seems to lie in their transparency in sharing information. For example, the brand shared snippets of how their popular paper tube packagings are made

Towards the end, though, they explained that it’s not as sustainable as they thought because it’s not as durable in the long run. So they ended the video by asking customers whether they should switch to something better for the environment.

This created a decent amount of community engagement as people began sharing their thoughts on the products and how HYGR should move forward in light of this new information.

Uploading BTS content like this kills two birds with one stone—you’re sharing more details about how the business works to build customer trust while getting real-time feedback from customers.

2. Grumpy Bagels

Image Credit: Grumpy Bagels

Started by an ex-flight attendant, Grumpy Bagels was only opened a couple of months ago but has had crowds lining up even in its first week. And we heard that the current queue time is about one hour!

Much of this is credited to its founder, Claire Tan, and her quick-thinking marketing strategy.

Understanding that the store’s location isn’t in a commercial area, she leveraged her video-making skills and began filming her “Cafe Reno Site Check” series. On her own page and Grumpy Bagel’s, Claire would share the progress of the cafe’s renovations along with disclosing some of the issues they faced along the way. 

This gave her business the boost it needed before Grumpy Bagels’ doors were even opened, with many commenters sharing their excitement to visit and see her finished work for themselves.

Most of the content in the early days showed the planning and BTS construction process. When the store officially launched, she started a new series called “A day in my life: Cafe Owner”.

Doing so ensured that her fans weren’t just left hanging after the bagel shop was set up. The continuity creates a sense of involvement where viewers are brought along to be a part of the brand’s new chapter.

3. Dododots

A popular brand that turns your regular pimple patch into a cute accessory, Dododots has been in the social media game for several years. And aside from dishing out charming skincare products, they’re quite known for showing the ins and outs of running a business.

A noteworthy video is their vending machine reel where they shared how it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

On the day Dododots brought their vending machine to an event, there were many notable hiccups along the way. They could have pretended that it was a resounding success on social media, but they chose to show the realities of owning a vending machine.

Personally, I believe this video to be particularly interesting because there’s a popular perception these days that vending machines make for easy passive income.

This video shows just one of the few ways this isn’t true. This kind of BTS footage fosters better customer understanding and appreciation for the lengths your business goes to, to ensure they have a good experience.

Not to mention, this kind of content can indirectly educate fellow business owners as well.

4. Ministry of Cakes

Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

A home baker turned cafe owner, Priya of Ministry of Cakes took a page out of other businesses’ books and regularly creates Instagram reels. But out of the many videos featuring her cake creations, the ones that do best show what it’s like behind the oven. 

Some of her highest-performing videos are of her setting up her new bakery cafe and sharing how and why she started the business. More recently, she’s also been doing “A Day in My Life as a Bakery Owner” content.

Her views might not yet be hitting the same numbers as some of the other names on this list, but her brand is one that’s still growing (over 9.7k followers at the time of writing).

Despite that, her BTS reels attract the quality of community engagement that even some other bigger brands could only dream of.

Just like in HYGR’s case, viewers would leave comments giving suggestions for business problems she’s facing. One follower even said she’d wait daily to check in on new “episodes” because she really likes the way Priya narrates. 

The personable showcase of Priya’s fun personality through the BTS reels adds character to the branding, making consumers feel like they know the brand beyond just its logo or products. It adds another layer to the brand’s identity.

Is it enough just to show BTS snippets, though?

The honest answer is no. You can’t just film some random behind-the-scenes shots, post them, and call it a day.

Common denominators between all the four businesses mentioned is the authenticity portrayed on screen.

That’s something that viewers can easily spot if you’re not actually being genuine. All it takes is one whistleblower for the whole facade to come crumbling down, and it could be difficult for a brand to recover from the aftermath.

It’s important to remember that such BTS content is meant to humanise the brand. And you can’t do it by making up scenarios that you think people might find relatable. 

While yes, it’s necessary to have a certain charisma and online personality to draw in the crowd, it shouldn’t come at the expense of being something you’re not or showing a side to the business that doesn’t exist.

A good rule of thumb is to envision yourself talking to friends and family when making these videos. How would you tell the story of this challenge or achievement to them? What kind of reactions are you hoping to get from them?

Combine this genuine storytelling with your regular ads, and it’s likely that consumers will not be forgetting you anytime soon.

  • Read articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image: HYGR / Grumpy Bagels / Dododots

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)