Faceless marketing's buzzing right now, but guess what? It's nothing new.

In this episode, I'm diving into what faceless marketing really is, why it's catching everyone's eye, and if it's something you should actually consider for your business.

I’m breaking down what makes this strategy tick, its benefits and drawbacks, and sharing real-world examples of brands that thrive without a face leading the charge.

Whether you're all about keeping your privacy or worried about losing that personal touch, I've got you covered with insights and advice that'll help you figure out where you stand.

So, let's get into the heart of faceless marketing and see if it's the right fit for your brand's vibe or if sticking to a more personal approach is your best bet.

In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:

  • Throwing out the personal brand strategy
  • History of faceless marketing (it’s not a new trend)
  • My favorite fictional personal brand characters
  • Faceless marketing done right
  • The shady side of faceless marketing
  • The pros and cons of faceless marketing

This Episode Was Made Possible By:

Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!

Raise Your Rates 2.0
If you're struggling to have time to keep up with all the updates that happen in marketing or you're ready to hire and you just can't find the space and time to actually hire someone much less train them, that's a sign you may need to raise your rates.

Raise Your Rates 2.0 is a free audio training where you'll hear my process from start to finish, how I raise my rates without being rude and maintaining my current clients while gaining an incredible amount of clarity on how to price myself for new clients coming in.

Resources mentioned:

JFDI with the Two Lauras Podcast: Should You Embrace The “Faceless Marketing” Instagram Trend?
Chloe_'s The New Feminine YouTube channel
The Finance Bar on Instagram

Watch the Episode Below:


Andréa Jones (00:00):
There is a new phrase going around right now, faceless marketing, and in today's episode I want to talk about what the heck it is and why you should care or not. Let's get into it.

Before we get into it. This episode is sponsored by Riverside, which is the all in one podcasting tool we now use for our show. And y'all, they feel super luxurious. Riverside is the All-in-one podcasting and video platform that gives you studio quality recordings right inside your browser and y'all, it's super intuitive and easy to use. Once your recording is done, you'll be able to automatically download separate audio and video tracks and edit it all within a few clicks. It's really very easy. So head over to Riverside and you'll get 15% off. That's one 5% off using my code Drea, DREA at checkout. But y'all, it's free to get started, so click the link in the show notes and get started today.

If you're new here, hi. Hello, my name is Andréa Jones. This is the Savvy Social Podcast where we talk all about social media as a tool to build your business. Let's get into this trend of faceless marketing. It is a trend, so what's happening right now is there are a lot of accounts popping up, namely on Instagram, but also on YouTube talking about the power of building a brand that is completely faceless. And what they mean by this is having content that uses a lot of stock photos and video mostly to sell your offers. It really is the antithesis of what we see with influencer marketing, and it is the exact opposite of using your personal brand as a tool to build connection with your audience. So you may know based on that explanation how I feel about it, which is I don't particularly care for it and I'm going to talk about the reasons why today because it's something that I've gotten asked about.

A few people have reached out to me and said, Hey, what's your thoughts on this new faceless marketing trend? And I'm like, this isn't new. It is not new. But I will say in my research, I did find a fantastic episode by the Two Lauras. I will link to it in the show notes if you head on over to their podcast, it's a recent episode where they talk about faceless marketing as well, and really they get on their soapbox and talk about what it is and how it is and it's just brilliant. So got a link to them, shout out to the Two Lauras. But y'all know I'm a big fan of personal brands and this faceless marketing trend, it ain't new. Brands don't have to have a face to market their business. In fact, lots of brands market their business over the years without having a face to go alongside it.

Think of traditional companies, right? Like traditional marketing, take social media away. We're going back 30 years now. How did Marriott Hotels market their company? They use radio ads, TV ads, they would have maybe actors in the ads or they would use footage of their hotels, but they wouldn't really have a Mr. Marriott, who is the face and name that represents the company? So faceless marketing is not new. Walmart, Sephora, Chipotle, all of our favorite everyday big brand big box store products don't typically use faces or a face in their marketing. They have lots of faces in their marketing and they use a brand approach. They have maybe brand guidelines, mission statement, and honestly it's fairly neutral, right? It's not based on one person's personality. It's more of like let's appeal to as many people as we possibly can. When I coach and mentor and strategize with online business owners, typically I don't recommend this route because we have such smaller audiences and because we're not going typically for the brand, we are here for everybody.

We're definitely can conserve everybody type of strategy because that requires the mega box of a Walmart or a Sephora to put behind brand awareness. So typically we're using our personalities to build no like and trust factor. That means getting our audiences, our community members on board with who we are. Then we're leveraging that trust into saying, Hey, you trust us, you feel like you know us, why not buy something from us? And that's kind of my position around that strategy. However, large companies do use faces in their brands as well. Maybe an entity that they've hired. One that comes to mind is Flo from Progressive. Y'all know Flo from Progressive, if you've watched any TV commercials in the past, I don't know, 20 years, I don't know if she's still on there, but she's a great example of a personal brand that was created. It's a fictitional character to represent that company and lots of other companies do this.

I think of Geico with their little Geico Gecko. That's a character, that's a mascot that represents the company and that character, that mascot gets to have their own identity in their person, and frankly, to me as a consumer, it's more memorable, which is why I typically recommend personal brands. Now, there are other companies that do this specifically in social media marketing. One of my personal favorites is Headspace. So I use Headspace as my daily meditation app, and it started off with Andy, their kind of primary voice behind the app being the sole kind of personality behind the app because when you downloaded it, that's the voice you got. Now they have a collection of fantastic meditation facilitators, and so if you look at their social media, it's one of the ones I look at constantly when I'm working with larger companies that want to have more brand awareness without having a face behind it.

Headspace is a great example of this faceless marketing idea in that they don't have a single person that represents their brand and a lot of the things they post isn't focused on a singular individual. It's more about the collective and the community experience and all of that to say this current faceless marketing trend is a marketing gimmick. It's a name that someone put to something that already exists, and it's not new per se. There's a YouTube channel that I found in my research called The New Feminine by Chloe, and it is essentially a faceless YouTube channel that's been running for years and years. And so this isn't a new trend. Essentially someone is using their own voice and then using stock video and text on the screen to illustrate the points that they're creating on the channel. You don't know who's behind it. There's not a person that it's connected to, so that's a faceless YouTube channel.

So if you search like faceless YouTube, faceless social faceless marketing, this goes back a few years. The reason why it's becoming popularized today is because of this marketing gimmick right now. There is a gimmick happening right now where marketers are trying to sell their offers, and the offer is, I'll teach you how to do faceless marketing. It's just putting a name to something that already exists. To take it a step further in my research, a lot of these faceless marketing accounts are selling you the toolkit to help you sell a faceless marketing account. So you could sell it as well, very MLM style, right? They're like, I'll sell you this framework that you can sell this framework to the next person where they're going to sell the framework. It's so insular. It's a little bit shady, and it's part of this wave of master resell rights, which is basically what I just described, MLM style product for digital marketing.

So you get the rights to resell the product as many times as you want. Y'all the winner of this strategy is a person who created it, the top of the downline, so to speak, and it's very appealing to me. It's up there with passive income and make money while you sleep, make money from the beach. It all sounds good and nice, but the people who are making the money are the people who told you how they made money from selling the thing. Same thing with faceless marketing accounts. It doesn't seem like anyone who is selling a product on faceless marketing has another account where it's actually faceless marketing. They're usually selling something about how they grew this current account as a faceless marketing account in my research that I did before this episode. That being said, like I said, I follow many people who are faceless marketers.

The one that comes to mind is the finance bar, the owner, and the name is slipping me right now, but the owner of the finance bar, she has some pin to the top of her feed photos of herself, but most of the content doesn't have her in it. It's graphic design content, very consistent, has been that way for years. Great example of faceless marketing. I mentioned Headspace is a great example of faceless marketing. There's a few quote based Instagram accounts that I honestly, I tried to search for them. I couldn't even think of the name because to me that's the downside of faceless marketing, which I'll get in a second. But there's a lot of quote based Instagram accounts that I follow, and there's a few about what your Enneagram type is or what your sinus. I follow a lot of Libra accounts that say, Hey, Libra, here's what your predictions for the year are.

Those are all examples of faceless marketing. They're brands that are entities that post on social media that don't have a personality brand driving that brand. So we're going to take a quick break When we get back, I'm going to talk about the pros and the cons of faceless marketing so you can decide if it's for you when we get back.

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Alright, so the pros of faceless marketing. I can't deny that there are some advantages of it. As someone who's a very private person, to me, the idea of having a faceless account feels romantic. It feels great. You mean I don't have to use my personality as a way to drive this account, especially right now I'm batch recording a bunch of podcast episodes headed into a bit of a maternity leave, and I'm tired, very tired. In fact, this very episode I kept doing research for and going, lemme research some more before I record it because I kept putting it off and putting it off. And so the idea that, oh, there's a way to create content that doesn't require me. It can feel romantic, right? You can romanticize that idea. The privacy piece though is one that kept coming up in my research.

I was doing a bunch of searches and Facebook groups and anecdotally a lot of folks were saying they like the idea of it because they're introverted or they live a very strict family life or they don't want to share their location where they live. They don't want to share details that can be found online. And I definitely relate to that. I was watching TikTok videos and there are several tiktoks who based on what you put in your video, they will find where you are. And they basically use that as a way to show how easy it is to find people's locations. And that can be scary sometimes. The amount of information we put online can be scary. It's one of the reasons why I don't share photos of my daughter on social media. It's one of the reasons why I'm very hesitant to share things like when I travel, y'all won't know, you'll know when I get back.

So typically I'm trying to limit that stuff because it puts us in a very vulnerable position. So I understand the desire, the craving to create a brand and a business that doesn't rely on your personality. And that's where my boundaries around things are pretty tight. Boundaries around my personal life, my family, my kids, my husband. We just try to maintain privacy as much as we can. So I understand that as a pro of having a faceless brand. The second pro that I see with having a faceless brand is that there's a huge focus on the content itself and not the person. And I think this is where a brand Headspace really shines because the focus is on their frameworks, their concepts, their perspective, and how that perspective can help you, the person, the consumer on the other side of the screen. And so I do see there's a huge benefit to really having a content strategy that's focused on the content itself and not the personality behind the content.

I do though think that it's challenging to do that starting from scratch. So even a brand like Headspace did have Andy who was the lead meditator to start, and then as their brand matured, they were able to focus on the content more. I don't see a lot of brands that rise in popularity that aren't solely, that don't have a personality behind it initially. As consumers and humans, we kind of want the backstory. So my husband and I like to watch Shark Tank and here in Canada it's called Dragons Den, very similar shows. And we always comment on how there's this usually quite emotionally driven story behind a lot of the brands that appear on Shark Tank or Dragons Den. We hear the founder started the company because of a grandmother who passed away from cancer or because of a husband who died in a fire or because of a kid who's battling some sort of physical disability or any of those stories like heart wrenching stories.

We love them as humans. Our hearts literally feel like we're connected to someone when we hear a story like that. And so to not leverage stories like that or to not even share them as a connection point makes it challenging for people to remember. And I mentioned I follow a bunch of quote accounts. One of them does these beautiful illustrations. I think it's called The New Happy or something like that where I couldn't find it because there's so many accounts named the same thing. I see their posts in my feed all the time, and I could just not see a post for a long time too, and it wouldn't impact me. I've never purchased anything from them. I kind of just look at it and go, oh, that's nice. And so I do think that is one of the cons of all of this is that while it's great to be focused on content, it can be hard to stay memorable if you don't have a personality behind it.

And this is where mascots can come into place. Duolingo does a fantastic job of this with their little bird. That bird becomes the mascot for the brand. And even through video on TikTok, which they're dominating at right now, they're able to use a mascot as a memorable way to stay connected with the brand. So you can still have a faceless account, but I would suggest if you're thinking about going that route, think about a mascot or an avatar, someone who would represent the brand. And while I mentioned there's the pro of maintaining privacy, there is that lack of personableness will not make it feel safe to purchase. That lack of personalization may make it more challenging for someone to make a purchasing decision depending on your content. I think some lower cost items are a lot easier. I think of brands that are exploding in popularity like or even wish.com.

Some of these lower E-commerce shopping platforms or their lower price points have exploded popularity because the risk is a lot lower. You think to yourself, okay, I'm willing to spend $15 and if the thing that I get isn't exactly what I wanted, at least, it's only $15. And so it's a very much a bulk play at that point. And they still spend a ton on advertising to make up for the lack of personalization. But the higher in price point you go, the more personalized we want that experience. For example, I once went to a nail salon. They asked me if I wanted anything to drink. I said, yes, I'll take some water. They put the water in a wine glass. I don't know, something about it. I was like, oh, this feels luxurious. And then suddenly when they're upselling me on things I feel like I'm getting personally cared for and I'm receiving a high level of personal service, that makes it easier to say yes.

So if you do have a brand that doesn't have a face or a mascot or avatar, you have to think about how can you make the interactions with your brand personable without losing that faceless experience. I'm talking specifically to digital online businesses here. Maybe someone can prove me wrong, but I don't think you could sell a $10,000 mastermind from a faceless account. And usually these faceless accounts that are teaching that strategy teach you to sell the concept of a faceless account to someone else. Okay? So again, very MLM, but I will say the last pro of this faceless marketing strategy is that you just can repurpose content endlessly. You can create content almost endlessly if you're not the one recording the videos, if you're not the one taking the photos, if you're not the one using your stories, you could use anyone's story. You can use no stories and you can repost to your heart's content.

Again, I think it's going to be very challenging to grow that. But I think about brands like the finance bar where a lot of their content is repurposable. I've noticed trends over the years from following them that they sometimes post content around specific holidays like how to save money around Valentine's Day. I bet you if I would go back last year around Valentine's Day, they posted something similar. And that is very appealing from a marketing perspective. So it is possible if you still, after all of this, want to create a faceless marketing brand, please don't use it to sell the concept of faceless marketing. Number one, we don't need another MLM situation over here. That's not what I'm talking about. But the second thing I want you to think about is creating a personality behind the brand, really creating a perspective that it represents the brand.

The brands that do this well are the brands that work well. There's another one that I just thought of that I follow, girl Powered marketing. It is a brand for marketers, and they have a very young millennial style to their posts. They talk a lot about the woes and the challenges of working in the marketing industry as well as some of the things that we like about marketing, and I like following the brand. I think marketing millennials is another one that I follow on LinkedIn that does something very similar. I don't need to know necessarily the person behind the brand, but I do enjoy interacting with them on social media. What I purchase from them, I don't know. I never have. And I typically personally make buying decisions based on someone that I feel like I can trust, especially digital transactions. I'll just give my money, my credit card information to anybody.

Now, if you also want to consider creating a faceless marketing brand, think about something like creating a mascot. The Duolingos. The Geicos, like an Aflac there, there's a goose. They all have representatives of the brand, and it could be an interesting way to illustrate your point to build trust with connection with your community without necessarily having to be you the founder, the creator. Some final thoughts. I do think faceless brands are a hundred percent possible, and I think the start of this conversation is because there are marketers out here selling offers that feel very much like make six figures in six days using my six cool toolkit, and then they're selling you something that you don't need, and then the thing they're selling you, they expect you to go out and sell the same thing, and they're selling and making money off your dreams.

Okay? So just be careful. Proceed with caution. If you stumble across this faceless marketing trend, it's kind of like a little bit of a buzzword right now. It is not new, and if you can't understand what they're selling right away, it may be master resell rights or PLR. I've been seeing that private label rights where they sell you the rights to resell something, there's something wrong with that particularly, but the thing that they're selling is it's very MLM, the thing that they're selling you. They're telling you to go outsell. That is all for this week of the podcast. Next week, I'm talking more about trending content, and if you should even consider posting trends. I love this conversation. I'm so excited about it. I'll see you then. We'll talk soon. Bye for now.