Vera Bradley Summer Graduation Influencer Activation
The Vera Bradley brand is well known for its versatile designs, vibrant fabrics, and quality construction.
It’s a brand that has not only stood the test of time but continues to engage audiences with products and
patterns made for the modern woman.
To continue to maintain its relevance, the brand was challenged to reach new audiences across social media
and drive them to purchase products online. As they saw more and more marketers begin to turn towards
influencer marketing to drive reach and online engagement, Vera Bradley hoped they could do more. They
wanted to drive measurable online sales with influencers.
Our relationship with the brand began when they asked us to create a unique influencer marketing campaign
designed to drive audiences to VeraBradley.com with the goal of ultimately converting to sales. If
successful, this campaign would be their first influencer marketing program designed to drive online sales
through influencers, media targeting and real-time optimizations.
Strategy & Implementation
Every great influencer marketing campaign starts with selecting the right influencers. While we knew we
looking into two types of influencers, young collegiate ladies and fashionably sophisticated Millennial and
Gen X women, we also understood that we needed to identify influencers who already had the attention of our
target audience. To accomplish this, we built a list of influencer candidates by matching their audience
data with that of our targets. From there, the team manually reviewed each influencer to confirm they
engaged the right audience, properly complemented the brand with their personal style, and that they
created high-quality, authentic content.
Ultimately, eight influencers were hand-selected to participate in the program. We were careful to only
select content partners who could each lend a unique story or point-of-view to the campaign theme, creating
a variety of storylines anyone within our target audience may be able to relate to. The products they
selected to promote would also match their unique personality and style. Some influencers focused on beach
bags and accessories for summer and others concentrated on backpacks and luggage sets that would help them
prepare for upcoming travel.
Now this is where the campaign takes a unique turn. Unlike a traditional influencer marketing campaign, the
content that each influencer would create was key to the success of a traffic-optimized campaign. Blog
posts were limited while we focused on social content on channels where audiences were likely to click
through and buy during the campaign window like Facebook and Instagram. Not only did the imagery need to be
appealing to the audience, but the social media content needed to be formatted into click-optimized posts
to guide audiences to VeraBradley.com. This meant that influencers creating social only content would
produce carousel Facebook posts and Instagram Stories, while the few who did publish blogs would develop
shoppable images to drive traffic directly to featured product pages.
Campaign content was then shared live across the web for organic audiences to consume. In a traditional
influencer marketing campaign, the team’s job is pretty much over until it’s time to collect results.
However, our strategy was only just starting to ramp up.
As with every Carusele program, we used our Content Performance Index™ (cStack) to monitor each piece of
content in real time and identify posts that were organically garnering the highest click through rates and
relative sales. Our team then leveraged a paid media strategy to amplify top performing posts from the
original influencers’ own social feeds. Ad units were optimized daily, shifting budgets to top performing
targets while creative and ad formats were refreshed regularly to keep results going strong.
As the campaign progressed and more data was collected, we were able to not only target traditional
interest/demo-based audiences but through a proprietary technology that allows us to collect audience data
(blindly) and map users to custom audiences, we created look-a-like audiences who turned out to be one of
our highest converting audience groups (second only to previous clickers who we retargeted.)
Ultimately, the campaign proved successful at not only driving sales but new customers to VeraBradley.com.
Campaign attributable sales were 2X the cost of the all-in campaign costs, an ROI of 2.03.
Click-optimized content led to over 6,200 clicks to VeraBradley.com.
Within 28 days of clicking through an influencer’s ad or 1 day within viewing an ad (Facebook’s
standard attribution windows), 1,408 unique purchases were made.
Since this campaign was the first of its kind, major insights were revealed that would later be applied to
future campaigns. The most crucial of these insights suggested that audiences were more likely to view ads
and then purchase later (67% of all attributed sales occurred within 24-hours of a view) vs. clicking
through and immediately making a purchase.
At the conclusion of this campaign, all 50 unique pieces of content that the eight influencers created were
immediately available for the brand to repurpose as marketing assets, in perpetuity. Additionally,
referencing the final results from our cStack analysis, content was ranked against both other content in
the current campaign as well as related content across previous campaigns to identify which assets would be
the best for the brand to repurpose.
Additional Results of the Vera Bradley Campaign:
1.39M Impressions (Inclusive of influencer potential impressions and paid media impressions)