Stylerunner is an Australian online business specialising in women’s activewear. In the past three years, it has seen sales figures skyrocket, growing by a whopping 1736%. This is supremely impressive considering Australia’s limited market, and even more so when you consider that Stylerunner was launched in October 2012, and was a two-person operation. In the five years since, they have become the #1 women’s sportswear store in Australia (Stylerunner now have 64.1% of all online activewear sales in Australia).
Immediately, what is most familiar to most visitors on Stylerunner is its unassuming, almost typical e-commerce store layout. This goes to show, simply, that having a fancy and unique design is often not necessary for success. Much of Stylerunner’s success has been attributed to their clever social media and content marketing strategies, over more “traditional” aspects of digital marketing. In this article, we’ll further explore this strategy Stylerunner employs.
A Strong Social Media Presence
In a short amount of time, Stylerunner has amassed 549k followers on Instagram, and 47k likes on Facebook. This is a staggering social media following, but it also begs the question: how did they get there?
Unsurprisingly, founder Julie Stevanja asserts that Stylerunner’s success is largely attributed to a building a strong social media presence early. At this time of writing, their Instagram account has over 12,000 photos uploaded – for its five years that its been around, this would mean that they have uploaded an average of six pictures a day. This is no mean feat when you think about it: a quick glance through their Instagram reveals that each picture posted is high-quality and purposefully crafted for their target audience. This success from their Instagram marketing plan is apparent when you see that Stylerunner’s posts often enjoys a high level of engagement from their followers.
Indeed, Stylerunner’s Instagram feed functions like a “mood board” of sorts, where appealing pictures are curated from different products and brands. This meticulously created Instagram feed is a great way to entice their target market into purchases, and also establishes them as authorities in the women’s activewear market.
Building Relationships with Influencers
Stylerunner is known to consistently maintain their relationship with influencers on Instagram by gifting them with free products or by reposting their fitness photos. This further solidifies Stylerunner’s position as a leading destination for women’s activewear, and also extends their reach with the support of influencers. In many cases, Stylerunner does not even pay for these “partnerships”. They simply repost pictures of their customers who use the hashtag #Stylerunner or have the official Stylerunner account tagged in their photos. This means promotion is essentially free – many Instagram users are more than happy to use hashtags if it gives them a chance to be “featured” on a popular social media feed.
As Daniel Wellington has showed, a solid influencer marketing strategy is essential in many markets today – with the help of influencers, their business grew to $220M in revenue in just a year. Influencer marketing is especially important when you are in niches such as, but not limited to: Fashion, Grooming & Beauty, Sports, and Hobbies. However, it would be wise to exercise a degree of caution when utilising influencer marketing, as guidelines for transparency are much more stringent today than they used to be.
A Dedicated Content Marketing Plan
Triple-White is Stylerunner’s online magazine, dedicated to fitness, fashion, health and beauty, and tech. Stylerunner has created an entirely different domain for their content marketing efforts. With the wide range of topics and substantial content on the website, it is easy to see the aggressive content marketing strategy at play. The site also serves as an effective sales funnel – articles on fitness and fashion frequently promote products sold on Stylerunner.
In addition to these style and fitness topics, Triple-White also dedicates a fraction of their writers’ efforts on healthy recipes, tech gadgets and apps, celebrity interviews and their workout routines. Writing about these topics do not usually allow for promotion of their activewear products, but they do it nonetheless. The reasons for doing so are simple. Writing about a wide range of topics that appeal to your target demographic helps in many ways:
- Generating organic search traffic from long-tail keywords, and consequently, traffic to Stylerunner (via sales funnels)
- Establishing Stylerunner as an authority site for activewear, style and fitness, and health – in the same demographic
- Generating traffic via social media shares and likes, with the potential for good content to go viral
If you do not already have one, a content marketing plan is absolutely essential for e-commerce, for the reasons listed above.
Often, it can be too easy to get caught up in SEO/SEM strategies, and on-page optimisation in order to generate traffic and revenue. While they should still be the bread and butter of any e-Commerce business, it could be worthwhile to implement a highly aggressive social media and content marketing strategy. One of the main benefits is that this could greatly boost your brand name and recognition much more effectively than SEO-related plansm which tend to have you aiming for product or industry-related keywords. When you have a brand name as recognisable as Stylerunner, you no longer have to worry about being at the mercy of Google and their ever vacillating search algorithm.
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