Case studies: 5 online tricks high street brands have used to reel in buyers


Whether it’s leveraging persuasive user-generated content, an interactive tailored quiz, or lucrative media partnership, retail brands today need to be relevant, ready and well-equipped. Here’s how they do it:

1. Social hubs

Brands launch and create pages on their website and digital channels which they infuse with user generated content. They pull and curate the best contributions from multiple social channels, such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to influence and engage consumers.

Bauer Media’s Grazia magazine partnered with fashion brand Marc Jacobs, to launch their “Minute by Minute” London Fashion Week campaign. Their website included a real-time social hub, featuring tweets and Instagram posts from customers, using the hashtag #LFW, which saw over 11,000 readers engage with its content.

2. Shoppable UGC

“Shoppable” user-generated content allows brands to connect social media users’ posts directly to product or brand-related pages. This feature allows consumers to engage, click and buy directly from their influential peers’ posts.

Clarks created a shoppable social hub on their website and Facebook page to leverage the shareability and authenticity of their brand advocates’ content on Instagram. Adding embedded “Shop Now” and “Buy Now” call-to-actions allowed visitors to click directly to the storefront.

3. Hashtag giveaways

Everyone loves a freebie. Giveaways help spread campaign exposure across social media. Customers may be asked to answer a question, give an opinion, or share a story, followed by a specific hashtag to enter a competition. Sponsors use the hashtags to find all of the entries into their giveaways.

Camelbak, for example, ran a recent promotion in which users were asked to share photos and examples of where they used their Camelbak water bottles. Entries were all gathered in one shoppable social hub, which encouraged users to browse both products and photos of their peers. As a result of this contest, Camelbak experienced both a 22% growth of Instagram followers and a 20% growth in sales.

4. Online quizzes and polls

Testing the general or specific knowledge of consumers with a series of questions or voting mechanisms drives engagement that results in better audience insights and conversion rates for retail shops.

Costa set-up a seven week poll campaign where they asked their customers to cast their vote on their favourite pastime or hobby, with the chance to win an all-expenses trip abroad. Over 90,000 consumers took part, providing Costa with plenty of rich audience data for future marketing purposes. Having been named the UK’s favourite coffee shop for the fifth consecutive year, Costa used radio, online and social media along with the #nationsfavourite hashtag to maximize campaign reach.

5. Sweepstakes

Online contests where a prize or prizes may be awarded to a winner drive high levels of engagement surrounding a specific event or cause, increase brand awareness and open a channel of communication with customers in the future.

Rimmel London set-up a simple yet effective seven-day sweepstakes campaign with a fantastic prize on offer to their consumers. In exchange for a few personal details, the prize was just too hard to resist for over 11,000 entrants hoping to win an all expenses paid trip to London, to live the Kate Moss lifestyle.

About Author

Richard Jones

CEO of EngageSciences

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