Shopbop brand president Shira Suveyke may not always be comfortable with some of the posts of the influencers that the global online retailer works with, but the strategy of giving them complete creative control on sponsored content on their respective Instagram accounts is one that has proven to be successful.
“Their followers come to them for their authentic voice, not for you as a brand to dictate what they’re saying, so we give our influencers complete creative control, anything from the product they select, to the format of their post and what they say in the post — which isn’t always comfortable,” she said.
“But that creative freedom that we’ve given influencers, that’s translated to authenticity around Shopbop when you’re seeing the influencers’ posts. That’s definitely our secret sauce.”
Amazon-owned Shopbop relies heavily on influencers and Instagram when it comes to marketing and the promotion leading up to the opening of its first pop-up in Manhattan’s SoHo to market its 20th anniversary was no exception.
Purely Instagram-led, it began with sending 30 smash cakes to influencers about three weeks before the grand opening.
“It went viral,” Suveyke said. “It was incredible and from then all the way to the opening, we put all of our programing on Instagram and the reach was entirely through Instagram in terms of how we marketed the store.” She added that in that instance it was organic and not paid.
That certainly got the message across to its customer base. Shopbop received more than 9,000 RSVPs to its events at the pop up — such as a styling event with Arielle Charnas of Something Navy — before the doors even opened, eventually welcoming over 20,000 customers in its first 10 days.
“We had early signs that the traffic was going to be strong, but certainly social and the impact of how we use social was remarkable,” added Suveyke. “We had people coming in from our headquarters to help support the store because the traffic was so large.”
The aim of the pop-up and its event-heavy calendar was to increase engagement with the Shopbop brand, but an added bonus was that it ended up selling “tons of clothes.”
An example of this was a denim party Shopbop held with Levi’s and Tezza. While there was a long line — as expected — for customers waiting to take a selfie with Tezza, there was also one for the denim station and at the register, which Suveyke described as “super rewarding.”
Instagram will continue to be a big focus for Shopbop: “We know that 70 percent of our customers get their fashion inspiration from Instagram…so with that we continue to focus on content and creative on Instagram and social platforms,” she said.
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