collective operates in 5 Romanian stores and all of them are located in Bucharest. With the main mission of curating high-end fashion brands for Romanian consumers, collective unrolled a massive operation within the influencer marketing industry starting with 2018. The results showed up to be above expectations coming from organic strategies designed specifically for the mobile social media platform, Instagram.
To attain a strong lead in the social media arena, collective partnered with Product Lead (a martech platform that creates meaningful customer journeys through smart social data). Their alliance laid the groundwork for a robust program dedicated to social media content creators also known as influencers.
A School for Micro-Influencers
The unprecedented reach social platforms are offering brands nowadays is fusing with the Public Relation. This means that commercials are no longer seen as trustworthy by the general public. Instead, the audience is looking for more authentic and genuine pieces of content.
The result became known as influencer marketing, a new solution creative teams use to share their message in a nonintrusive, enjoyable way. The great thing is that Influencer marketing is a versatile toolkit that adapts to any business size, be it a local brand or an international corporation.
collective acknowledged the potential of this new organic means of advertising ahead of time and initiated a multilayer project. Their goal was to raise brand awareness by establishing partnerships with opinion leaders on social media. By reaching out to influencers and introducing them into the collective world, the brand opened a dialogue with their followers as well. Through posts, reposts, shares, and comments, social media is repeating the same message loud and clear to various groups of users. This phenomenon is similar to the word of mouth effect. Therefore, one post can traverse thousands of social media accounts naturally in an instant.
With the Product Lead technology activated, collective made the most of a platform created to amplify social media for brands. The platform allowed collective to:
- select the right content creators;
- find the optimum number of posts, reposts, Stories, and hashtags per day;
- discover key audience features, improve social media strategies;
- generate ads using conversion-optimized templates.
collective opted for a long-term plan, where one-time projects are replaced with durable, on-going partnerships. Their focus is on micro-influencers rather than celebrities, a much more expensive undertaking that usually results in one post with thousands of likes in a sea of paid partnerships. With micro-influencers, collective gained an extensive pool of creative minds with much better odds of remaining loyal to the brand.
The micro-influencer program collective built is made out of multiple sessions, each with its own theme. Be it a summer vacation or a Halloween theme, the selected content creators are challenged to share artistic instances wearing collective outfits with their social communities in a set period of time.
Throughout the program, the brand offers guidance to influencers. Creators learn how to collaborate with businesses, improve their posts looking at the numbers they score, and stay informed of the latest trends in the fashion industry. It’s a contract that benefits both parties with collective gaining brand awareness across its target audience while micro-influencers receive a platform to take off as freelancers on social media.
This type of partnership format generated a database of reliable creators and a constant stream of social content. Made by creative account owners passionate about fashion, the distinctive photography attracts the right audience in stores and on the collective eCommerce website.
The social media program continues on the collective website – and beyond
Influencer marketing can live outside social media retaining the same influential impact on other channels as well. By partnering with Product Lead, collective replicated the fascination of social media on the eCommerce shop.
“We are proud that the leader in the multibrand industry embarked on a long term journey with Product Lead. The projects we’ve worked on with collective set the tone for a new approach in social media marketing in Romania, one that focuses more on bringing value to the community and less on cold outreach,” claimed the Chief Exponential Officer at Product Lead, Alexander Stoica.
collective launched a shoppable gallery with interactive panels. What differentiates this integration from the typical eStore is the social media-like design. Consumers see influencers-created photos instead of studio photography. Not only do they easily perceive the pleasure the collections bring, but they also discover how to match different pieces and how well the clothes become a variety of outfits.
Influencers’ images reflect their personality through their pose, choice of fashion styles, and background. This freedom of customization makes shoppable galleries memorable. The Product Lead service integrates pins inside pictures with links directly to product pages of the pieces seen in each picture. Consequently, website visitors can consult the gallery for inspiration and add the items they like to the shopping cart within seconds.
But User Generated Content is not only used in shoppable galleries on the website. collective saw the potential of influencers, so it started using UGC in Facebook and Instagram Ads. The results were staggering – an initial week-long Instagram Stories Ads campaign generated an ROI of 7X! That means that for each 1$ invested in ads featuring content from their micro-influencers, they got USD 7 back in revenue.
Since collective has access to all of this UGC created over time, they’re now experimenting with ads across Instagram Stories, Facebook Newsfeed, Instagram Newsfeed. These video ads are built upon conversion-optimized templates from the Creatives Automation feature in Product Lead.
By repurposing user-generated content for their shoppable gallery, collective managed to increase its conversion rates by 250 percent while its Return on Ads Spent expanded multiple times, more than before working with influencers. The key takeaway from this new online marketing strategy is that a network of micro-influencers represents an efficient modern resource that scales up sales.
“Access to the new martech technologies Product Lead develops meant a new stage for collective. The smart analytics, new shop concept, and the in-house generation of interactive ads brought collective closer to the target audience on our customers’ favorite channel, Instagram. We created a rich visual experience generous in insights and features that are of interest to our community for both our social media profiles and our online store. Based on the positive results we’ve registered since our extensive activity on social media, we will continue to invest the majority of our marketing resources in Instagram and new marketing technologies alongside Product Lead in the following years as well,” stated Anca Buzatu, Brand Manager.
A committed company, passionate partners, and a creative approach are essential to achieving marketing breakthroughs and increased revenues with the latest social media trends.