About the Client
Amazon UK has a fashion division based in Shoreditch, London, that designs clothes for the Amazon-owned brands: find., Truth & Fable, Iris & Lilly, Meraki, and Aurique. The brands target mainly millennial women looking for accessible and trendy wardrobe pieces that can be up updated frequently and they’re most likely to find them on Instagram.
The client has asked for bespoke Instagram training for their team that consists of two marketers and ten designers who help to manage the brand’s social accounts – primarily Instagram profiles. Their main concerns were how to effectively market the brands on social media, train their team and increase their skillset, as well as to understand specific tools within Instagram, and ultimately increase sales.
How We Worked Together
Prior to the training, we looked at the topics that were the most critical to the team, the company goals, and the level of expertise of the participants.
The training took place in central London and took one day from 10am till 5pm, with one hour lunch break. The participants were mainly designers managing the Instagram accounts, and a PR staff member who needed to broaden her expertise.
The first step to achieving Amazon’s goals was to look at their weaknesses and strengths. During the training, we looked at solutions that would be consistent with the brand ethos and created a strategy that would help Amazon get the results they wanted, which was to “make fast-fashion sell faster”.
Goal No. 1: Leveraging the Team’s Skills
The first problem of the team was that none of the designers had been trained in social media marketing and the two marketing experts were lacking a deeper understanding of marketing on Instagram. Therefore they couldn’t use it to its full potential.
The first step was to bring the team to the same level by delivering bespoke training in plain language; this included answering Amazon’s questions about the Instagram algorithm, using hashtags, increasing their follower base for the newest brands, using paid ads, and creating relevant Stories.
The team has learnt what content to publish, when to publish it, and how to create content effectively for Instagram. They embraced using 3rd party tools such as Later for scheduling content which enabled them to post more frequently and save 8 hours of work per month for each fashion line.
Goal No. 2: Increasing Brand Awareness
Because the brands are included in Amazon’s product catalogue, they blend in with other products. The result is that very few people know that Amazon has their own fashion lines.
We created a more frequent posting schedule for Amazon brands and chose the right set of hashtags to increase reach and impressions.
Using hashtags has given Amazon 10-40% more impressions per post and creating Stories with content about behind-the-scenes and events have helped to connect with an existing audience as well as new users who search for related keywords.
Goal No. 3: Repositioning the Brand on the Market
The functional design of Amazon’s website doesn’t make the brands look desirable or aspirational, nor does it showcases their products adequately to millennials.
Focusing on lookbook photos, model shots, and user-generated content from influencers and publishing it on Instagram could show Amazon’s fashion brands in a whole new light. Another step would be focusing on the message which did not mention any benefits for Amazon Prime members.
Publishing content more frequently on Instagram has made the products more desirable and trendy, appealing to their target audience. In addition, the global e-commerce platform has other benefits: Prime members can get their clothes delivered in one day with free shipping and returns. This means a “try on – buy later” and an “easy orders and returns” approach. Once the brand has started to communicate these benefits, it’s been able to position the fashion brands on the market and compete with brands like Asos.
Goal No. 4: Maximising Influencer Marketing
Global companies like Amazon often struggle to connect with their audiences because they’re faceless. The team had started a number of collaborations with influencers and bloggers but the process had been ineffective due to obstacles in communication.
While influencer marketing doesn’t work for every brand, working with influencers could help Amazon project their fashion brands as the new place to “shop for fashion on demand”, as well as give more personality to their fashion brands. Using apps like TRIBE and INTO that connect companies with influencers would be the perfect solution to drive the results faster.
The marketing team has started collaborating with influencers and has generated more earned media (user-generated content) in less time. They also started focusing on turning the influencers into brand ambassadors and creating long-term partnerships.
Goal No. 5: Increasing Sales
Despite the company size and a great number of website visits, the brands are facing a challenge in generating sales, largely due to a lack of conversion ads and also because it’s difficult for Instagram users to easily find the products on the Amazon website.
The marketing team needed to learn how different ad objectives and budgets affect the results as well as create a “shoppable” function on Instagram that can be enabled with 3rd party apps (for accounts with less than 10,000 followers) and how to turn on the integrated Instagram Shop tool.
The marketing team has started using ads and has optimised the spending budgets. After enabling the shoppable tools on Instagram, customers have been able to locate the products more easily, resulting in more website clicks and sales coming from Instagram.
Conclusion: Amazon’s Takeaways
Amazon has increased brand awareness by training their design team to produce more timely and regular content for the Instagram feed and Instagram Stories, using the right hashtags, and training the designers to support the marketing team with extra content.
Using influencer marketing has not just helped to reposition the fashion brands on the market but has also made the faceless brands more relatable to their audience.
Finally, the fashion brands have increased sales by making their accounts “shoppable” with 3rd party tools and creating new campaigns that focus on Amazon Prime membership benefits: fast shipping, free returns, and pay after you try.
The result is that Amazon’s fashion brands are reaching new customers, making more sales, and are well-positioned against their competitors.