Brent and Sara MacIssac didn’t want to set up a marketing agency. Hell, they didn’t even really want to become an influencer.
When the couple came up with Dashboard Living about scotch in a Bedford bar five years ago, they just wanted to build an audience – and maybe one day use it to support a company that didn’t even exist.
Almost 30,000 social media followers later, however, a lot has changed.
Brent And Sara’s Instagram and Facebook pages, Dashboard Living, serve as one of the most popular travel blogs in Nova Scotia today.
It exploded a few years ago during their “100 Days of Nova Scotia” campaign in which the couple produced 100 videos over 100 days of travel destinations in the province.
Brent explains that brands soon paid him and Sara to promote their products and services.
“Our audience booked rooms, bought the products we talked about, and converted from fans to customers for our partners. To our surprise, we were influencers, ”he says.
That success eventually enabled Brent and Sara to quit their corporate jobs and focus entirely on Dashboard Living.
Soon other companies were asking her for advice on building their own audience, just like Dashboard. From then on, it only made sense to expand Dashboard Living into a marketing agency.
“We became random influencers that became a random agency, and now we’re a conscious mix of the two,” explains Sara with a laugh.
Both Brent and Sara have backgrounds in corporate marketing, so it’s no surprise they were able to build successful brands. Now they want to help other small businesses harness the power of modern marketing.
“Because we are in both worlds, this is a serious advantage for our customers. We have the influencer perspective and the agency perspective, ”says Sara.
Brent explains that a good marketing mix is essential in today’s media environment. Businesses want to make sure they have multiple touchpoints on multiple platforms to get their message across.
“With our approach, companies can target their content strategy with the right audience, work with people on their email, collaborate with people on their websites and all these different types of touchpoints, and take a more holistic approach,” he says.
“Lots of people enjoy the shiny, eye-catching social media posts, but this is only part of an effective modern marketing mix,” adds Sara.
She says social media posting is only a short-term strategy. Because of this, at Dashboard, they focus on both strong social media messaging and the company’s long-term marketing strategies, including customer journey mapping and conscious content marketing.
“Long-term strategies honestly aren’t that sexy, but they’re more effective for campaign longevity when it comes to managing your marketing dollars efficiently,” she says.
Brent says the biggest thing he learned to make Dashboard Living a successful brand is that sometimes you have to be willing to fend off people who aren’t the ideal audience to connect with those who do are.
He’s quite a cautious and conservative person himself, and jokes that “people always liked Sara a lot more than me”.
It wasn’t until he showed more of his authentic self on Dashboard Living (and risked alienating a few people along the way) that more people reacted positively.
He says this is an important lesson for companies trying to market themselves today.
“We learned that what everyone else is doing at any given time is usually not the best strategy for a given brand, so we do things differently,” he says.
To learn more about how Dashboard Living can take your marketing to the next level, visit them online at https://dashboardliving.com/marketing. Or, Check out her Instagram account here.