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David Leach from online photo printing company PosterCandy on marketing & preserving memories

Agnieszka Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 11 April 2019

Managing director David Leach from PosterCandy on creating forever memories with the online photography printing company

PosterCandy logo 250x250Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for PosterCandy?

David Leach (DL): I?m David Leach, managing director at PosterCandy. I?m responsible for strategic development and driving the business forward.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about PosterCandy.

PosterCandy is an online photo printing company. Our customers can simply upload the photos that they love from anywhere, across any device with a choice to print in a variety of products from collages and mounted prints through to photo strips and framed prints.

We use real photographic printers with dark rooms, so the quality of our prints is really second to none.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

DL: Through building our customer profiles we have identified that our primary target audience is women aged between 24-45 years old predominately located in Australia. Our products allow our customers to create a collection of memories in a physical format that they can cherish and share with loved ones. We tend to find women, particularly mothers are more inclined to have the desire to do this.    

PosterCandy website gif image 600x300

SMP: When was the company founded, how many people work there and how is it funded?

DL: Created as a concept in 2015, PosterCandy is an ecommerce arm of Look Print. As such, we specialise in the highest quality print for commercial, photographic and fine arts. With all the resources of our parent company at our disposal, since inception, we have employed three additional staff for the day to day coordination and customer service.

PosterCandy was initially funded by Look Print but the business is now totally self-sufficient and growing.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to site, social channels et al and how do you do it now?

DL: Initial marketing was based around both the product and our story. In all sizes other than our largest, all of our products are original Silver Halide Emulsion Kodak Photographic process, a time tested and proven technology. As such, the quality and ?feel? of PosterCandy posters is both unique and absolutely best in class. PosterCandy was the only company providing such a service made in Australia for Australians, with other products available being manufactured internationally with all the additional shipping issues and costs working against them. As such, we were able to obtain editorial promotions and competitions through most of the weekly and monthly magazines valued by Australian women, specifically mothers.

Over the last few months we have adopted a more integrated and holistic approach using various channels such as Facebook and Instagram through to email marketing and paid ads. With the social media world and the nature in which people are buying is constantly evolving, we tailor our marketing activities in line with this.

Photograph of David Leach, managing director at PosterCandy What are the challenges that you?ve encountered and how are you overcoming them in what you have been doing so far at PosterCandy?

DL: We have a fantastic product backed up with incredible service and a wonderful solution to a problem most don?t even know they have yet. As such, we find educating people to be one of our main challenges.  

Put simply, we all have so many photos ?in the cloud? that we can share at the push of a button, but what about the memories from last year or the previous right back through to 10, 20, 30 years ago?

Most will have been ?lost?, never to be enjoyed, shared with friends, family, children or grandchildren ever again.

The solution? Print your favourite/most memorable photos to be shared in the future. There are so many different and fun ways that these can be displayed from our poster collages with the choice of displaying between four to 368 images to photo strips and square prints that can be cherished for years to come.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

DL: The highest moments enjoyed by all of the team are seeing all the wonderful happy photos that people print to remember and all the positive comments we get about our wonderful product and customer service. It?s simply fantastic to be able to help people to preserve and share so many wonderful memories.

SMP: What are the main social channels are you using, why and which are the most effective for PosterCandy?

DL: One of the great things with PosterCandy is that you can upload your photos onto our online editing software from image banks across any social media platform. As such, it is important for us to have a large presence on these platforms.

We are predominately most active across Facebook and Instagram which we find to be the most effective channels that appeal to our target audience.

Over the last six months we have noticed a large increase in people engaging with us on Instagram due to the popularity of this platform. People are now so active on Instagram that we want to share with them how easy it is to take their Instagram photos and create a memento that they can physically cherish.  We also have a presence on Twitter @PosterCandyAU.

Hyperlink to online photo printing company PosterCandy across social media 600x

SMP: What sort of activity / engagement are you receiving across the social channels that you use and how do you create / sustain this?

DL: On Facebook we have almost 7,000 likes and on Instagram PosterCandy has almost 5,500 followers. We also have a Twitter account @PosterCandyAU, however find that we can engage a lot easier with our customers via Facebook and Instagram. Posting relevant and timely content that appeals to our target audience is absolutely essential to us.

Across these channels we post content that we believe will be appealing for our target audience such as competition announcements at PosterCandy, any promotions that we have and also some posts that are just for fun.

We have identified that 95% of our audience across Facebook and Instagram are women. We have done a lot of research into when our followers are most active on social media ? which tends to be in the morning and on an evening and, as such, we will time all of our activity to ensure that we communicate with our audience when they are active.  

SMP: How are you breaking through the competitive nature of photography and the services you provide in the digital photography age?

DL: PosterCandy breaks through the competitive nature of other photographic products because the quality of our photo print is of the very highest standards, being gallery grade quality. This is combined with great customer service where we go above and beyond to make sure our customers are wholly satisfied.

A lot of similar products available on the market do not compare at all to PosterCandy?s in terms of quality, hence why they are cheaper in comparison. We think it?s really important that customers invest in such quality in their photo prints as in 10 to 30 years? time, PosterCandy prints will look as good as the day they were very first printed, similar to the photos that previous generations will have taken.

To us, having an amazing quality print makes those precious memories even more special.

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities for your sector and the competition that you have?

Most competitors are racing to provide the cheapest, disposable product. PosterCandy believes that memories should last a lifetime and be inter-generational. Many people today are focussed on instant gratification rather than longevity.

If your home is burning down what do you race to save? Well, family and pets of course ? and photo albums. So many memories are lost when the smartphone or computer is upgraded or even lost. Gone for-ever. Helping people to see that printing photos and having them available to enjoy daily is the best ?memory? insurance you can have.

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media, social platforms and/or technology for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

DL: People?s behaviours and technologies is constantly evolving. We?re particularly intrigued to see how virtual reality will integrate into social media in the very near future. Interestingly, we were reading that 50% of investment in Silicon Valley right now is related to virtual reality.

Augmented reality is already intertwined in social media platforms and really brings a fun element. When such technology becomes more accessible, it will be interesting to see how e-commerce companies will use this through social media to engage with new users and increase brand loyalty. One day we can see our customers using new technologies via social media channels to project our products onto their walls at home to see what they will look like before buying ? which we think will be pretty fun!

PosterCandy our products website image 600x300

SMP: What are your top five predictions for social media for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

DL replies with:

  • Rise in nano-influencers. There has already been such an increasing number of influencers with less than 10K social sharing companies? products and we think this is only going to continue to grow.
  • Increase in storytelling. Research has shown that consumers engage with companies that tell a story and the emergence of sophisticated AR technologies will enable businesses to continue to do so in a fun and interactive way.
  • Instagram takeover Facebook. We have certainly seen an increased number of customers making a shift to engage with PosterCandy on Instagram and we think this platform has the potential to be the king of social media platforms.  
  • Video, video, video. Video remains to be popular across social media, particular short videos. We think there may be a rise of live videos appearing across social media in the next 12-months.  
  • Better content. We think as companies are becoming smarter with their social media activities, content is only going to get better and be a lot more focussed.

DL replies with:

  • Know your audience. Before communicating anything on social media, it is absolutely essential that you know who you are talking to. You need to know what are their interests and motivations, and most importantly reasons as to why they would want to engage with your company and brand.
  • Love and care about your audience. Be responsive to the people that engage with your company and respond to them in a timely manner with information that is going to benefit them. You need to nurture your customers and build a long and lasting relationship.
  • Work with people that can help to propel your brand. Influencer marketing has become highly prevalent with seasoned influencers taking companies to new heights. Engaging with the right influencers is important. You should heavily vet any influencers to ensure that they are a good fit for your brand and can represent your products and services in the very best light.
  • Stop selling and start communicating. Followers will instantly switch off if they feel like they are constantly being sold at. Creating content that gives back to your audience is a great way to engage with them and add value to their experience as a follower.
  • Measure and evaluate. There are amazing analytic tools available. Don?t just assume that what you are putting out there is right and will stick with your target audience. Keep testing and constantly evolve your approach. Social media is fast moving, and most importantly take the time to measure what is working well and what isn?t.

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that you?d like to share?

DL: It is a definite positive for all businesses to continue to learn from past mistakes and keep going. Not everything that you do is necessarily going to yield the results you desire every time, so preserve and continue to evaluate and learn in order to grow as a business.

SMP: Best way to contact you and PosterCandy?

DL: Via our website or or +61 2 9568 6855

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

DL: Breakfast this morning was a few pieces of gilled bacon on a bed of freshly chopped lettuce and a cup of espresso coffee whilst sitting in the morning sun, facing west, overlooking water and bushland. Perfect.

SMP: What?s the last good thing that you did for someone?

DL: I strongly believe that the greatest privilege in life is to be able to help others. In business one of our four values is to ?Help to build better lives? which we practice every day. Daily we?ll choose to help others to feel better about themselves, to have fun, to enjoy what they?re doing. Even small things help, such as giving way to other drivers even when not expected.

Yesterday we offered to help a friend create a logo, then last night offered another some financial advice, the day before that we offered to lend some money to a team member with a personal financial problem. Every day, it?s an honour to be able to help others.

SMP: If you weren?t working at PosterCandy what would you be doing?

DL: PosterCandy is one of my interests. If not PosterCandy I would look for other ideas to create something fun and challenging to ?help to build better lives.?

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

DL: My last holiday was to Lake Tahoe with friends in summer. They have a beautiful cabin on the lake. As always, the location helps but this was all about family, friends and experiences.

For me it?s not about ?where? but about the ?experience? one can have anywhere one goes. Be it at home, local, interstate or international, I just love new experiences.

SMP: What?s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

DL: Walk around and personally say ?Hi? to every team member and chat with them for a few minutes. Then coffee. Then, whatever?s most urgent.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

DL: So, a superpower? To help everyone be grateful for life, for who they are, for what they do have, instead of not being grateful, feeling that life should be ?better? for them, and resenting who/what others may be or have.

Life is an Attitude. With the right attitude, with all its up and downs, it is totally amazing!!

Got an interesting story to tell? Get in touch.

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