We recently shared some of the ways that brands in the Caribbean are making the best of social media marketing to get the attention of consumers. We want to take a look at yet another brand; interestingly, one of the other banks that has a long history in the region. Scotiabank has been operating in the Caribbean and Central America since 1889, moving to various countries in the region until settling in the 25 countries they operate in now. And a key part of the longevity they’ve had in the region despite so many competitors in each country is by generating trust in their brand. The way they do that is by embedding themselves in communities.
If you take a look at Scotiabank Caribbean’s Facebook page, the first thing you’ll notice is their attention to imagery. The fact of the matter is, platforms like Facebook and Instagram still favor visual media, and that’s how you’ll get the attention of your audience and get them to engage with your content. Scotiabank seems to get that, and the photos that they post show it.
It also helps that those photos are used to tell a story, instead of trying to tell them something. More often than not, photos share a little about the bank’s long history as an international institution, simple tips on how people can save and invest better, and even images from some of their many youth and community events.
Speaking of youth, that’s actually one of the other things that Scotiabank is really keen on. Investment in youth through sport has always been a huge part of Scotia’s Caribbean identity, and something they’re rightfully proud of. You’re more likely to see photos from one of their many ‘Kiddy Cricket’ events than you are to see an ad for a credit card. Their Kiddy Cricket Programme isn’t just about learning the sport, though. It’s an opportunity to empower youth academically by combining the sport with the subjects they already learn in school.
It also teaches them good sportsmanship and fair play. All of this also means that, from a branding perspective, they can more deeply engrain their brand in schools and communities. Every cricket bat and notebook that they donate to schools has their name on it, and builds trust in their brand as one that cares about people and culture instead of just trying to get people to make an account at their bank. When those young people are old enough to start their own bank accounts, though, they’re more likely to go with the name they remember from their younger days.
This has worked so well for them that they even started another sport program – the ‘Next Play Cup’, in partnership with Concacaf, uses football as the tool to engage with youth across the Caribbean. One of the added benefits is that their partners are also encouraged to share more about their work and their brand. That means that regional sports organizations like Concacaf and the West Indies Cricket Board are using their tremendous reach all over the region to talk about their bank and the amazing work they do. It means that even sports fans are continuously exposed to their brand. And that’s not mentioning all of the doting parents who share photos of their children at games and other events, all incidentally selling the same brand.
Scotiabank tries to double down on this strategy thought their philanthropy and community outreach as well. Scotiabank’s various foundations in the region are known for supporting sport, education, health and youth development projects that align with their values. Just like with their investment in youth in sports, their support of nonprofit companies in the Caribbean creates a network of micro-influencers who are all singing the bank’s praises. More often than not, those nonprofits are already well-loved in their communities, which means that their thankfulness of Scotia’s support also comes as a sort of endorsement of the bank’s brand. And, perhaps most importantly, that sponsorship and support means that the bank’s name directly reaches dozens, if not hundreds of people in each Caribbean country, without the bank having to lift a finger to make a post or actively sell an ad.
Sometimes, the best marketing strategy is to go where the people are, support their interests, and tell them how much more you want to do for them. Like all things, though, it needs to seem authentic for your consumers to not think that it was just a trick to sell them something. Because the real goal, very often, isn’t to sell someone something – it’s to build a community first and progress.