Social Media Strategy

How to Humanize a Sketchy Industry

Social media is about people, not logos.

I saw a presentation at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Forum in Austin a few ago from Eric Granof, CMO of ExpertBail, which seeks to become the country’s first branded network of bail bonds companies. Like video stores before Blockbuster, and ice cream parlors before Dairy Queen, Expert Bail wants to add consistency and efficiency to an industry besot by Mom & Pop players that often run the gamut from unprofessional to downright unsavory.

What’s particularly awesome about ExpertBail is their unyielding efforts to humanize an industry that has historically been something less than a people first business.

expertbail outdoor How to Humanize a Sketchy IndustryThey have a truly fantastic print and outdoor campaign that manages to acknowledge the public perception of the bail bonds industry and paint a stark and humorous contrast between the people of ExpertBail, and “the other guys” known collectively as “amateur bail”. The bar coasters are an especially nice touch. Talk about location-based marketing!
ExpertBail coasters How to Humanize a Sketchy Industry
The humanization of ExpertBail continues in full force on their website, where they methodically demystify the ins and outs of the world of bail bonds with helpful, concise videos featuring a squeaky clean cast of girls next door. The only tiny complaint I have is that viewers/readers can’t ask follow up questions on the Web page, or easily share the videos in social outlets.

Not coincidentally, the videos are also fully optimized, and rank well in Google and YouTube results for key search terms.

ExpertBail Blog How to Humanize a Sketchy IndustryThey also have an excellent blog “The Bail Bond Jail Blog” that includes regular interview of actual bail bondsmen in the ExpertBail network, including this feature on Timothy Darren Brown of Greensboro, North Carolina. (the family photos are an especially warm touch)

They have presences across every major and minor social outpost, including a pretty decent Facebook page that has more than 3,000 fans. Quite an accomplishment, considering most people would try to avoid having “I like ExpertBail” show up in their stream!

Nice job ExpertBail. If the tequila thing ever gets me in trouble, I’ll be calling.

Every company is comprised of great people. Social media lets you prove it. ExpertBail is doing it. So can you. What do you think?

  • Dave

    This is a great idea. It takes an industry out from under its stereotype and makes it real and a lot less daunting. The “humanizing” effect certainly makes looking for people in their network the logical choice for anyone in these dire circumstances!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Almost makes you want to get in trouble, right?

  • http://twitter.com/ExpertBail ExpertBail

    Thanks for the call out Jay. Creating a brand in a misunderstood category can definitely be challenging, but with the amazing set of new channels out there by which to engage and share your story, specifically social media, we have made a lot of progress pretty quickly. But most importantly, and something I think too many people forget…we are have a blast putting this stuff together. Never forget to have fun.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Bingo! So, so true. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling bail bonds or ball bearings, if you’re not having fun your customers aren’t either.

  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    Thta I

  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    I’ve seen these ads around LA and thought they were pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing the story behind the eye-popping ads.

  • Jerilyn

    Great story…I’ll share it with friends I know that have these types of businesses.

  • http://www.bahrns.com/ Material Handling Equipment

    It’s nice to put a face behind a cold business logo. It gives a business a personal touch. Thanks for sharing the ads. They look great!

  • http://www.rightmindct.com Ed Kuryluk

    Many of the businesses I start to work with have no marketing plan, let alone an online marketing plan. It’s refreshing to see ExpertBail integrating everything they do from blogs to bar coasters. Also, at speaking engagements I conduct, I can’t tell you how often I hear “my business won’t do well with online marketing” my industry isn’t there yet. Meanwhile there are companies such as ExpertBail taking advantage of social media, changing the game.

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