How Simon G. Used Local Influencers to Support its Retailers

TechnologyJul 17, 2019

How Simon G. Used Local Influencers to Support its Retailers

The partnerships were part of a multi-pronged approach to drive traffic to in-store trunk shows.

This shot from influencer @oliamajd came as part of Simon G.’s social media campaign to support several retailer’s in-store events.

Glendale, Calif.—Simon G.’s latest marketing endeavor saw the fine jewelry brand leverage its social media strength to support some of its retail partners.

Last May, the brand launched a multi-pronged marketing approach to support key store events across the country at five of its retailers, including Collins Family Jewelers in San Diego, Almassian Jewelers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Ben Garelick Jewelers in Buffalo, New York.

For each, the brand created what it referred to as a “social media moment,” hosting trunk show events that were promoted through local influencers posting concurrently with paid advertising by Simon G.

The brand wanted to show its retail partners ways to successfully utilize social media and influencers to transform business, Simon G. Vice President of Marketing and Communications Brooke Brinkman said in an interview with National Jeweler.

Simon G. has a strong influencer program of its own, she confirmed, so the brand dipped into its budget to cover 100 percent of the costs associated with the retailer influencer campaign.

Choosing the Right Partners
Simon G. wanted to ensure the influencers they chose were relevant. They focused on fashion and lifestyle influencers with compelling content, a strong local following and high engagement to help promote the trunk shows on their platforms.

RELATED CONTENT—The PR Adviser: How Can I Find Local Influencers?
“We want to make sure that the content that they’re posting does represent luxury, is authentic, that they’re someone who would truly wear the product and that it’s not someone who just has a strong audience but is posting about lip gloss and water,” Brinkman said. “That’s not necessarily the person we want promoting events. We want to make sure the content they’re putting out truly does resonate with the audience.”

The goal, after all, wasn’t just awareness of the brand and the event coming up at the local retailer, but to drive traffic to said event.

They asked the influencers to not only promote the trunk shows ahead of time but also to attend them, providing behind-the-scenes content shots of the new collections.

The partnership included influencers like @oliamajd (430,000 followers), @thegrguide (17,200 followers) and @matalasi_ (13,100 followers).

On the retail side, the brand relied on its sales team to identify retailers that not only could use the help but also would be open to the approach and willing to provide real feedback to Simon G. about what worked and what didn’t.

They looked at retailers, Brinkman said, that held the trunk show every year to allow for a year-over-year comparison, as well as those that held the event sporadically or didn’t put as much behind it to see how the additional support benefitted it—or didn’t.

Adding Another Layer
To boost the influencer aspect and expand the overall reach, Simon G. also developed a weeks-long social media paid advertising campaign on its own platform to run while the influencers were posting. 

This comprised a three-tier approach designed to connect with consumers along the path to purchase.
RELATED CONTENT: How Simon G Reached Millennials at SXSW
Three weeks out from the trunk show, the paid social ads consisted primarily of branded advertising in the retailers’ local markets.

The following week the ads looped in the retailers, telling the consumer where they could find Simon G. in their area.

The third and final week had an actionable message: here’s a specific event to attend.

Brinkman said Simon G. has seen the best results in social campaigns when the paid ads work in tandem with an influencer campaign.

Lessons Learned
Last year, the brand launched its “Committed” marketing campaign, designed to speak to a category of jewelry rather than focus on specific products, in hopes of communicating a broader message to consumers.

In a similar manner, this spring’s influencer campaign helped Simon G. show retailers the new ways consumers want to receive their information that don’t involve traditional shots of jewelry pieces, Brinkman said.

It appears both Simon G. and the retail partners found it a success.

The entire campaign accrued 873,547 impressions (how many times the content was displayed) with an average of about 3 percent engagement (measuring shares, likes and comments) and 15,482 likes.

Of the five influencer-promoted trunk shows, Simon G. said that Collins Family Jewelers of San Diego was the most successful.
RELATED CONTENT—The PR Adviser: Finding Local Influencers, Part II
Second generation jeweler Briana Collins said they gained followers on the retailer’s Instagram and Facebook page during the promotion but also saw a lot of traffic come to the store during the trunk show.

“It was an amazing plan of attack. I loved the organization and methodical planning to target the audiences.”

She said that though many of the people who bought during the event were their regular customers, they loved the buzz and ahead of it and the way the influencers were live posting from the trunk show.

Collins added that Simon G. and the retailer are on the same page when it comes to evolving their marketing strategy.

“The way of the future is heavily related to online presence … Local jewelers and small business need to partner with big, savvy businesses like Simon G. to make sure they are getting the best exposure possible, especially on social media when every impression counts.”

And what she learned?

“You can’t get your name out there enough.”

Simon G. will build on the program in 2019, it said, adding in a paid element for online and out-of-home advertising.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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