Elle Campbell is a marketer, social media strategist, brand storyteller, and owner and chief operator of Elle Connects.
Tell me a little about your background and what you do now?
Campbell: With my content marketing business Elle Connects, I help brands and businesses tell their brand story and connect with their customers through content creation and social media marketing.
I first went into business in 2012, when I was working at a medi-spa clinic in beautiful Vancouver, and I saw the opportunity to boost sales and build the business through social media marketing and email newsletters. Soon, I was doing it full-time with a roster of clients and became known for working with Canada’s leading real estate teams and agents.
I had a few people who really believed in me and helped me grow my network and my business – I’m forever grateful for that. I’ve since expanded into the U.S. market and also work with a few select lifestyle brands – which I love.
Our business model is very boutique: our approach is to go deep versus broad, working only with a small, select roster at a time. I like to be creative, hands-on and to have meaningful relationships with the people I work with.
I just relocated to Toronto from the West Coast and I love the energy here.
What are your future plans for Elle Connects?
Campbell: I really believe in the power of specializing in one industry or niche (in my case, real estate) to become the best at it. However, I typically leave room in my roster for one to two lifestyle brands – I find the variety challenges me and exposes me to new worlds and new, exciting marketing strategies.
For years, I immersed myself entirely in the business and had no life outside of work. I think it became a safe haven for me, so I didn’t have to feel heartbroken over failure in other parts of my life. Now, I’m waking up – I’m investing in my relationships, I’ve developed a strong yoga practice, I’m reading books, I’m seeing new places.
I suspect that as I become a more interesting person, my work will, too. I suppose no entrepreneur is ever satisfied. I always want to grow and I’m ready for the next level.
Why is it important for businesses to adopt a social media and digital marketing strategy?
Campbell: Five years ago, people would ask me if it’s important for a brand to use social media – now it’s not even a question. I worked for a marketing firm in 2012 and they didn’t believe that social media was ever going to take off. But it seemed so obvious to me. Why wouldn’t you connect with your target audience where they were hanging out already? It was like low-hanging fruit.
Are companies today more receptive to using these platforms?
Campbell: I don’t think “why” is really even a question anymore either. I think it’s becoming widely accepted that it’s the best place to reach other people who are (or could be) interested in what you have to offer. The nuance now is just doing it well – doing it in a way that is both effective and authentic to you. And that’s where I come in.
Why is it important for companies to develop a brand?
Campbell: Since the beginning of time, people learn and understand information by way of storytelling. A well-thought-out brand story connects the dots for people and explains why your services or product could solve a problem they have. As well, it helps them relate to you and trust you.
I’ve seen business owners really come to life in their business as they begin to share their brand story – it engages them, gets them involved. It gets everyone excited to be at work. Developing your brand story is effective and satisfying for the business owner, too.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.