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Case study: using Google+ for fashion retail marketing

H&M show how to engage an audience with Google+

Google has just produced a great new case study on how H&M are using Google+.

H&M are a useful example to look at to learn approaches to marketing in Google+ since it has been successful in building a relatively large audience of nearly 1 million followers.

Miriam Tappert, Global Social Media Manager at H&M, explains the objectives for setting up the brand’s Google+ page were simple;

“To be where our customers are, have a dialogue and share the latest fashion.”

This case illustrates a couple of core digital marketing principles:

  • 1. Ensure you track your target audience's media consumption patterns and establish a strong presence in those media
  • 2. Tailor your content to each medium, while maintaining integration with the wider communication strategy. Following the media neutral planning rule 'play to each medium’s strengths' optimises message relevance and effectiveness.

 H&M uses Google+ to engage its audience

H&M has integrated Google+ into its social media strategy, making the most of its unique functionality to engage and communicate brand messages to its target audiences.

At Google+ we have chosen to focus on inspiration,” says Miriam. “Nice images, films, and, of course, a lot of fashion.” Video and photos frequently in posts, as visuals are an effective way to promote fashion and lifestyle.

We think it is important to be active and post news every day, just as in our other social media channels,” Miriam continues, “and we are also careful to make sure that what we publish is relevant to our followers.”

The steady stream of interactive content tailored specifically to the audience engages H&M’s followers around the globe;

We want our followers on Google+ to feel that what they get is unique”, Miriam says

Regular posts encourage interaction by inviting followers to share their experiences and opinions on points of fashion. H&M are careful to follow-up and share followers’ contributions, creating a dynamic ongoing dialogue that keeps followers engaged like with this thread about fashion travel:

H&M’s tailored dynamic content strategy

H&M creates a unique rich media offering that is dynamic and up-to-the-minute. The interactive content is tailored to both medium and target audience, reflecting latest fashion industry trends and its Google+ followers’ profiles.

H&M use regular relevant ‘fashion themed’ artistic, aesthetically pleasing content and often includes celebrities. Tailored content includes exclusive collection previews and contests through Google+, as well as unique experiences, such as access to behind the scenes footage, like being a Vogue editor preparing for an H&M photo shoot.

Integrating social extensions with AdWords drives 20% CTR uplift

Achieving an impressive 22% CTR uplift, H&M demonstrates how to make effective use of social extensions integration with its AdWords advertising; its Google+ page receives elevated levels of brand recommendation, +1’s and direct traffic.

H&M uses a range of engagement metrics

H&M uses a good range of engagement metrics to track campaign performance, including:

  •  Average number of +1’s per post
  • Average number of reshares per post
  • Average number of comments per post

 It achieves a very high rate of shared posts and “View Ripples” allows the team to see who’s sharing content and what is being said – a vital aspect of social media monitoring that identifies important influencers and tracks community formation.

Impressive results

The effectiveness of H&M’s tightly targeted and tailored Google+  communication strategy to engage its audience is in no doubt when you review its results (no commercial results given):

  •  Total followers: over 940,000
  • Average number of +1’s per post: 72
  • Average number of reshares per post: 11
  • Average number of comments per post: 22
  • 22% CTR uplift in search due to social extensions

By Kate Boothby

Kate Boothby is a freelance writer, editor and consultant, specialising in direct and digital marketing and online learning. Her experience spans several market sectors, including charity, leisure and marketing education. Kate writes and edits online courses and her direct and digital marketing case studies and more general articles have been published in a variety of European journals. Connect with Kate on LinkedIn.

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