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Brainstorming and subsequently executing on creative marketing tactics is what keeps top brands on top, and what helps to propel small and midsize businesses to household name status.
Of course, finding the time within your busy day to not only brainstorm, but put the wheels of creation in motion can be difficult for quickly scaling businesses. Online store Flash Tattoos’ recent collaboration with Beyoncé proves that while it might be difficult, it certainly isn’t impossible.
Flash Tattoos utilizes influencer marketing as a regular aspect of their overall marketing campaigns. In the past, they’ve created custom collections for the likes of The Miracle Foundation, Rainforest Partnership, Waves For Water and Goldfish Kiss, so their team is used to the process of co-creation and co-marketing leading up to increased demand and brand awareness.
Then again, working with a name as notorious and admired as Beyoncé comes with its own set of unique circumstances for which even experience can’t quite prepare you –– beginning with first just getting noticed by the superstar.
“We were really excited about collaborating with Beyoncé, not only because we are huge fans of hers, but also because the partnership grew organically,” says Kirsten Stoddard, marketing and PR manager at Flash Tattoos. “She was a genuine Flash fan before we even started talking about designing a collection together. We first spotted her shining in Flash Tattoos in late August 2014, and after that, we started sending her some of her favorite collections –– and luckily for us, she kept wearing them!”
Drafting a Holistic Strategy — From Site Traffic Load to Social Media Hashtags
The creation of the collaboration was nine months in the making, which allowed for plenty of time for the Flash Tattoos team to develop a holistic campaign strategy. But due to Beyonce’s high profile, two specific backend non-negotiables first needed to be addressed: proper inventory levels and site load capabilities.
“Prior to the launch, we reviewed past sales data to forecast the estimated inventory needed. We really wanted to avoid selling out of the product too quickly due to high demand,” says Stoddard. “We were well prepared, which definitely worked in our favor because we had 10x the normal traffic at our peak.”
Stoddard continued: “Ensuring the website was able to handle the debut of such a high profile collection was also a top priority when preparing for the launch. We made sure the website design was streamlined so we could minimize page load times, increased our server bandwidth to accommodate high volume, and ensured support teams from Flash Tattoos and Bigcommerce were standing by in case an emergency arose. We ended up having the highest checkouts per minute over all the other stores on Bigcommerce, which was over 2x total orders per minute, compared to the total of all other stores on that day. It was really exciting to meet those kinds of goals, knowing that the team at Bigcommerce was there to make sure our website was in tip top shape and performing well so that those goals were reached.”
Once all of the technical issues were solved, the Flash Tattoos team went to work on creating a marketing strategy to earn them the highest possible ROI. After all, if you have the chance to work with a prominent influencer, your campaign strategy must be flawless.
“We coordinated the campaign details with Beyoncé’s team, which started with the creative direction for the campaign,” says Stoddard. “Once we had the images selected, we got to work on the press release and prepping images for media. During that approval process, Beyoncé’s team produced a photoshoot with Beyoncé in her collections for an exclusive story on CR Fashion Book, which we were really excited about.”
“We also submitted social media posts with imagery to put in the calendar, to make sure we were aligned in our messaging. All of those digital elements –– including the packaging –– were accompanied by our #BeyonceXFlashTattoos hashtag. We also made several announcements on our blog to share some details with our readers and customers.”
Business to Business Advice: Be Prepared to Roll with the Punches
To be fair, the collaboration didn’t go off without a few delays. For example, close to launch, the original announcement date had to be pushed back about a week. But, due to clear and concise planning across all three teams (Flash Tattoos, Beyoncé’s and Bigcommerce), the last minute changes didn’t throw anything off.
“We had a Plan A that we outlined, but of course we also went over Plan B scenarios to make sure we were ready at a moment’s notice in case any emergencies came up last minute,” says Stoddard. “We’re glad everyone was able to be flexible with us as the final pieces were put into place to announce the collection.”
For other brands looking to utilize an influencer campaign to increase their own brand awareness and bottom line, Stoddard has a few helpful tips to keep you sane during the process.
- Start early: It’s never too soon to reach out to an influencer you want to work with and start brainstorming ways you could collaborate.
- Plan for the best, and be prepared for the worst: It’s inevitable that problems or delays will arise at some point during the process. Just stay positive, come up with creative solutions and keep chugging along. All those exhausting late nights are worth it in the end!
- Be flexible! Plans can change, and rules can bend: just keep an open mind, and be able to jump on a moment’s notice. You never know what can change in a day!
In all, influencer marketing campaigns are high-stakes initiatives that require a holistic view of both your brand and your collaborator’s –– as well as thoughtful governance around site maintenance for high traffic loads and strategy for increasing market share of voice during the launch.
“The Beyoncé collaboration has definitely introduced us to a lot of new customers, and created a lot of buzz about the brand,” says Stoddard. “When the collection first hit, there was a flurry of excitement from the media which was exciting, and that translated into a flood of visits to our website. We couldn’t be happier with how well received the collection was from our customers, bloggers, editors and producers –– and how well the Bigcommerce team and our website performed under such high stakes!”
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