‘Authentic’ view: DIY videos help market STI Fabrics, partner companies

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — STI Fabrics, maker of Revolution Fabrics, is tackling digital marketing for both itself and its partners with a hands-on video-making approach in the hopes of telling stories and growing brands.

Each of the videos focus on teaching viewers about STI Fabrics’ and its partner companies’ products, product maintenance, production processes, company stories, design processes and more. Anderson Gibbons, STI Fabrics’ vice president of marketing, makes the videos himself with a “classic video blogger setup” — a hand-held camera, microphone and light — which allows him to go from place-to-place at a lower cost than a traditional film crew setup.

“Marketing is all about becoming more authentic, so you don’t need to spend $100,000 if you don’t want to anymore,” said Gibbons. “More and more, people just want to see what’s behind the brand, and the furniture industry seems too hesitant to do that. They seem to assume that the customers know where furniture is made, what an eight-way hand tie is, but they really don’t.”

STI Fabrics’ videos range from a minute to a few minutes each and are posted at least twice weekly on Revolution Fabrics’ Instagram, Facebook or YouTube pages. Gibbons also shares any content he creates with the companies and people he works with on the videos.

Making the videos gives Gibbons and the manufacturers and retailers he works with a chance to teach consumers and create content for social media channels, something that Gibbons said is key to creating a brand and growing consumer relationships.

“Content is king, so if you aren’t constantly creating something for your social platforms, then you won’t be able to become a household name, which is what we want Revolution Fabrics to become,” Gibbons said.

Offering video services also gives STI Fabrics an added selling point to offer when manufacturers and retailers buy or sell products that use its products.

“Being that we make fabric and this is a relationship-based industry, we want to tell our story and help our partners, no matter the budget, tell their story and hopefully sell more product,” said Gibbons.

Gibbons made his first video with STI Fabrics in August 2016, but he got started making video content for himself while still in college at Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship.

In a hands-on class that gave him $10,000 to create a business and turn a profit, Gibbons started his own hospitality company by renovating a 1980 Bluebird bus and renting it out to visitors for trips around Montana. To promote the bus, Gibbons knew he would need to create social media content for the service but did not want to spend the whole of his budget on just a few photos from a professional crew, so he invested in equipment for himself and learned how to shoot video through Internet tutorials and trial and error.

“The first few I made on my own were not good, but over time I learned, and they got better. And I saved a lot of money and made a lot more content than I would have with a professional crew,” said Gibbons. “It taught me a lot, so I have been applying that knowledge at STI whenever I can.”

Now, Gibbons has created hundreds of videos for the company and even begun extending video services to STI Fabrics’ design ambassadors, like Cheryl Luckett, who uses Revolution Fabrics in her designs.

Gibbons created content about Luckett’s designs for things such as the Julian Price House, a 1920s Tudor-Revival-style mansion in Greensboro, N.C., and most recently working with her to create a video highlighting her new Belle collection, which was launched at October High Point Market.

“Our goal in 2019 is to continue to help support the companies who help us and grow our content creation even further,” Gibbons said. “To me this is the greatest time in advertising history since maybe the printing press or the switch from radio to TV advertising in terms of telling stories, so we are just going to pursue new ways to do that and new ways to bring our partners into that.”

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