HOW IT BEGAN
Our relationship with Lazenby dates back to 2015. The first project we did for them was a 4-minute brand video – their first since the company was founded in 1999. The video features their Managing Director and offers insights into how the company operates, their range of services, and their standard floors installation process – the imagery that everyone loves.
Since then, we’ve produced a 2nd video in 2018 – a case study on a major commercial project with a stunning, technically complex cast in-situ staircase – and a 3rd video in 2020 on another major refurbishment of a commercial building on London’s Oxford Street.
“Print advertising is dying”, the client shared with us when asked about when they realised social media could have a positive impact on their business and sales. “Around 18 months ago we decided that we needed to dedicate more focus to digital and social advertising. We felt it was important to act and get ahead of the curve before our competitors.”
In May 2021, Lazenby reached out to us with a problem – they were unhappy with their social channels. Posts were inconsistent and content was samey. In the world of concrete flooring they were leading the field, but online they were trailing way behind. Part of the new vision they had was to transform their Instagram page into a platform for customer care and support, and ultimately increase the number of enquiries coming through social media.
We were only too happy to step up to this strategic and creative challenge, and in no time we found ourselves completely immersed in their concrete world.
“We had worked with Seveer in the past and liked the high quality, professional content that was created. Our brand image is associated with premium quality so we wanted to ensure this was replicated in our social media profiles.”
THE RETAINER – CONTENT CREATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
In order to meet Lazenby’s needs, we proposed a partnership where we’d manage all their social media channels and content creation. This management role includes a range of rolling commitments, from strategy and scheduling posts to copywriting, community engagement and monthly reporting. All business-related enquiries and customer support is handled by the client themselves. Content creation has been just as diverse, ranging from curating user-generated content (UGC) and assets taken from their existing archive to designing print ads and email footers, and – of course – video production.
The great thing about this approach is that, although we’re responsible for strategy development and execution, it remains a highly collaborative environment. The client is the expert in their field, so all materials are reviewed by them before being published (including copywriting), as well as the social media marketing strategy, which needs to be run and approved by them before being executed.
“The benefits of outsourcing these services is that it frees up our time to concentrate on the everyday challenges of running a business. Our sales team can focus on sales and customer service rather than having to worry about checking all the social channels multiple times a day in case there has been an enquiry.”
MARKETING, SALES AND BUSINESS GOALS
Understanding how effective an online strategy is depends entirely on the overarching Marketing and Business goals you’re trying to achieve. But where marketing and sales might historically have been treated as separate entities, with this approach they are totally harmonious. By adopting a relationship based on active collaboration with the client – and agreeing that this would be a “long-term” approach – we’ve been able to build something efficient and effective, that brings sales and marketing as close together as possible.
Our priority from day one was to develop a strong online presence on which an engaged community could be built, increasing the % of total enquiries that could be attributed to social media. By doing this leads would increase, but in a totally measurable way, and in a manner that allows Lazenby to provide more personalised support and meet prospects wherever they are.
For the business, the main goal is to have a healthy brand and extend their value offer outside their services and products spectrum.
OVERVIEW OF SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Here’s what we set out to achieve from our strategy:
– Brand building
– Community engagement
– Focus on the user and what they want to see from Lazenby
– Offer a mix of content and formats native to each platform
– Offer value in every single post
– Transform Lazenby’s social channels into a “go-to hub” for all things concrete (inform and inspire)
Some of the key metrics we track to measure performance are reach, engagement rate, profile/page visits and follower growth. We also pay close attention to click-through rate metrics and website taps as that gives us a clearer picture of overall interest in the brand and the potential number of leads.
Lazenby have two core audiences: residential (homeowners, architects and contractors) and commercial (architects and contractors). Both of these groups are fairly active across all platforms, so there’s a balanced mix of content tailored to each, as well as some content suitable for both.
We’ve seen a lot of different trends over the last months, and learned a lot about what both groups are most interested in. Some of the most popular content themes have been project overviews, product specs/details and behind-the-scenes insights demystifying the installation and manufacturing process.
Since we started working with Lazenby in June, we’ve introduced video in their content format mix, and – unsurprisingly – this has been one of the top preferred formats.
Repurposing archive video
In the early stages of the retainer (June/July), we hadn’t had an opportunity to shoot new video footage, so we decided to dig into the Lazenby video archive. Reposting the three brand videos (the ones mentioned in the “How it began” section) wasn’t really an option – the length wasn’t appropriate for Instagram, and the audience had already been exposed to those pieces several times.
As per our company policy, at the time of filming the brand videos, we’ve recorded much more footage than was needed for the commissioned films. We do this in every job as a safety, and also because it might be needed in the future for social cuts or re-edits/updates. So thanks to our forward-thinking practices, we were ready.
From the 2017 and the 2019 footage, we were able to create four engaging social media videos ranging from 30s to 50s in length. These were published between June and August, with a fantastic response across all four.
Colour showcase video series
Right at the start, Lazenby challenged us to create materials to promote each of their individual floor colours from their standard collection. When drafting ideas, one of the things that caught our attention was how they showcased each colour on their website – a close-up photo of a sample and then on-location pictures of the finished floors.
We wanted to replicate that in the form of video to distinguish it from past materials, and so a “colours video series” was born. Making use of Lazenby’s extensive photography archive, each video showcases a different floor colour in a variety of architectural spaces so viewers can see how it behaves with different brightness levels, against different decoration, furniture and colour schemes, etc.
Product awareness videos
Lazenby is best known for their iconic polished concrete floors and surfaces, and without a doubt that remains the core of their business. However, they also offer other concrete products such as tiles and sinks which can live in the shadow of the ‘hero’ floor offering. To address this and raise awareness of the rest of the product offering, we’ve created a number of behind-the-scenes videos of the manufacturing process. Instead of typical product promotion, we took an educational/informative approach, which sat really well with both audiences. This organically generated hundreds of content interactions and reached far more accounts than expected.
Besides the pre-cast concrete videos mentioned above, all other live-action videos on Lazenby’s social channel were of commercial projects. And considering that prior to planning the video their Instagram audience was biased towards residential content, it made sense to produce a residential case study as well.
The video performed really well in terms of generating interest and reaching new audiences – and earned Lazenby hundreds of profile visits and dozens of new followers.
Community engagement on Instagram
Community engagement goes far beyond curating in-feed content and interacting with followers in the comments section – whether in their feed or on the brand’s profile. It is about encouraging conversations, having genuine interactions through DMs and crafting playful interactive Stories.
In doing these we’ve run a range of initiatives such as “this/that” floor colour polls (which these audiences really enjoy) and encouraging people to message Lazenby through Q&A stories.
At the time of writing, the whole approach is only about five months old, but a positive impact can already be seen. The data we’ve been collecting and reporting back to the client shows that the community is growing, reach keeps increasing, and engagement rate (per post by followers) is higher than the platform’s (global) average of approximately 1.22%. But numbers aside, how does the client feel it’s going? And what has the experience been like for their sales team?
“Social media is a great way for a new customer to message as it’s not as formal as an email enquiry. People are much more likely to send a passing comment or message on social media, compared to a formal enquiry or phone call, as it requires less effort. Engaging with these enquiries is a crucial step for us to increase sales.”
The client has also shared that they noticed that the consistency in posting and activity on social has been having a positive impact on employees’ morale and involvement with the brand. “Our staff always love to see what we are posting on social as they get to see the end results of all their hard work.”
We were also curious to see which content pieces they were most impressed with.“Seveer produced several great pieces. Most notably the video case studies done with Winter House and LSE look amazing. Very few of our competitors can showcase their work in this quality so it really sets us apart from the competition.”
CLOSING WORDS FROM SEVEER
It has definitely been an exciting few months, and a steep learning curve for everyone involved. Turning an occasional production relationship into a close, collaborative strategic relationship overnight requires real trust and openness, but the results speak for themselves. If we’ve achieved this much in less than a year, we can’t wait to see what’s possible in the months ahead.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Lazenby for trusting us with this ongoing project, and for the quotes they supplied for this case study.
Disclaimer: This article was written and published in November 2021