The Scarf Shop was a brand new store that I helped launch through a brand awareness and link acquisition campaign. The goal was to get the brand in front of the target audience and increase website traffic and contacts.
At the beginning of the campaign, The Scarf Shop had no existing audience to work with. They had no product photos. The website wasn’t even live.
Because there was no website to point visitors to or get links to, I created a coming soon page (see how I improved the conversion rate here) with an offer of a free scarf giveaway to collect visitors’ contact information and begin building an email list for the launch.
Fashion is huge on Instagram and I knew creating an Instagram profile for Scarf Shop would be effective not only for building their brand, but also as a tool to connect to fashion bloggers and influencers.
The strategy consisted of reposting beautiful photos of people wearing scarves, commenting on people’s photos who wore scarves, and reposting lifestyle photos from photographers on Instagram.
This became an essential tool in the outreach and brand building process.
Fashion Influencer Outreach
Since The Scarf Shop didn’t have brand awareness, a backlink profile, or photos of their products being worn, sending scarves to fashion bloggers and influencers became the solution to all three of these problems.
I collected a list of over 300 fashion bloggers who fit The Scarf Shop’s brand style and would be most likely to work with us — not too famous and not too unknown.
I requested the The Scarf Shop send us around 50 scarves that we could take photos of at our office. I requested a coworker to model them for me outside and we built a small catalog of products. The strategy was to give the fashion bloggers one scarf of their choice in exchange for making a blog post and Instagram post with it.
The outreach process consisted of three essential emails.
My name is Reggie and I’m emailing you on behalf of my client, The Scarf Shop (@thescarfshop). We are contacting you to see if you’d be interesting in working with us!
We have been following your Instagram account for a few weeks now and really love the image you portray and it aligns with the image we want to represent for The Scarf Shop, too.
We are willing to send you one of our premium 100% silk scarves for you to keep in exchange for including them in a future OOTD and tagging us.
Our official site launch is scheduled for April (http://www.thescarfshop.com) and we want to build up our brand and hype as much as possible before the launch with your help.
Does this interest you at this time?
I chose not to link to our product catalog in the first email in order to pique their curiosity in hopes of more responses. If they replied showing interest and asking for more details, we would send them a second email.
Thanks for getting back to us!
Here is a link to a public album on Google of the scarves we have to send to bloggers:
We would like to send you one of our 100% silk scarves to keep in exchange for posting it in a OOTD and tagging us on Instagram, your blog, and other social media profiles you use.
If you like one of the styles and would want to include them in one of your posts, reply with the designated number in the file name for the scarf you like along with your shipping address.
Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Here is what the product catalog looked like:
Because I also wanted to use their photos for additional product shots on the store’s site and other marketing materials, I included a small clause in the final email to inform them we want to use the photos.
We’ll ship out your scarf first thing tomorrow.
And lastly, some legal details: we want to make sure that it’s understood we will jointly share the rights to the images. We will never sell the images or give permission to use the images for whatever reason to a third party. However, we want joint rights to the images to use on our social media channels, website, and other promotional material.
If you agree to this, please type the words “I agree” in a reply email.
And then we will be all set to send the scarves to you 🙂
We hope you love it!
The campaign was a huge success. We acquired beautiful photos from fashion bloggers, links from their blogs, shout outs and tags on their Instagram, and hundreds of new followers on The Scarf Shop’s Instagram.
Out of the 300 fashion bloggers I reached out to, 33 of them were interested in working with The Scarf Shop and requested a scarf. I also received over 100 photos in total. We sent our favorite bloggers more than one scarf as well.
Here are some of my favorite photos we received:
Creating Relationships with Fashion Bloggers
I didn’t just get photos, links, and Instagram followers — I also built relationships with these influencers. The Scarf Shop is able to continually run this campaign every season where we work with our existing relationships and build new ones.
I also worked with a couple fashion bloggers more closely where they helped develop premium content for The Scarf Shops Blog.
Here is a “how to” guide produced with the help of one of the fashion bloggers:
How to Tie a Turban
How to Tie a Head Wrap
Increased Traffic and Leads
Before this campaign started, The Scarf Shop had no website, no brand, no traffic, and no contacts. When the website launched in November 2015, The Scarf Shop already had people familiar with brand, which resulted in over 2,000 visits in the first month of being live; nearly 5,000 visits in the third month.
By the end of January 2015, The Scarf Shop had over 580 contacts.
Although they were all found through Instagram, most of the fashion bloggers also had websites where they would make their full post and link to the website of the brands they were wearing. Some of the bloggers who received a scarf made full posts on their blog and linked to The Scarf Shop’s website.
The result was 21 confirmed, relevant back links from 10 referring domains:
The Scarf Shop’s Instagram has grown to over 1,900 followers and will continue to grow as professional product photos are taken internally for every product, as the website grows and improves in design, and as influencer outreach campaigns continue and scale.