Have you ever followed a brand on social media and considered yourself a big fan, but don’t consume their products for whatever reason? Brand fans don’t necessarily lead to conversions, but they are just as important to a brand as consumers because they are the heart of the company’s engagement and content marketing strategy.

One of my favorite brands to follow on Instagram is BarkBox. With over 1.7 million followers on the platform, BarkBox has established themselves as a social media powerhouse. But what makes them really stand out from other brands is that they engage people outside their target market with their content. In fact, many of BarkBox’s loyal fans don’t even have a dog and have no need to purchase their product.

Puppy Love

According to their former VP of Brand Reach and Affinity, Allison Stadd, content marketing is one of the company’s strong suits and they wear it like a badge of honor. She said, “One of the things I think that we’ve done really well is not (being) afraid to lean on social to not talk about the things that we’re selling.”

And while they sprinkle in the occasional BarkBox of the month marketing and have links to shop items in their profile bio, most of BarkBox’s content is comprised of memes and customer snapshots, giving their profile a very home-grown look that has made the brand more approachable and susceptible to engagement.

For instance, a video of a puppy playing with a butterfly resulted in over 112,000 likes and 2,181 comments, and had nothing to do with BarkBox or their products – just pure unadulterated puppy fun, and it’s one of the company’s most engaging pieces of content this year.

Although your fans aren’t buying, they can help you land customers!

The beauty of content marketing is that it can lead to awareness and really elevate your brand’s levels of engagement. And while content marketing without copywriting doesn’t lead to conversions or sales directly, it’s still worth fostering this strategy to build relationships that will eventually convert. I know that while I don’t have a dog, I’m always looking out for gifts for my friends’ dogs and sharing with them when the latest BarkBox is out. While the brand is not directly benefiting from my purchase, my loyalty as a brand fan is leading to word of mouth marketing and support for their page which helps earn them credibility.

Are you a brand fan? Head over to my Instagram and let me know your thoughts and how you support your favorite brands when you happen not to buy what they sell!

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