Working with influencers: Lily Pebbles and Ripples

The Paul Crow , MD of Ripples, shares his observations on how working with influencer Lily Pebbles significantly boosted website traffic, gained free coverage in an interiors magazine and created numerous other marketing opportunities

“Make once, use many. Got it?” That was the lesson drummed into me by a head of marketing on an internet workshop I attended a few years ago. “I’ve got it!” I answered with a smile, promptly tucking a complicated marketing wheel diagram into my folder before heading back down the motorway trying to convince myself I knew what it all meant.

This year, our marketing team demonstrated it perfectly to me. We engaged with Lily Pebbles, who earns her living blogging about beauty, style and lifestyle. We worked with Lily on her bathrooms and, with a combination of her style and our designers’ input, the results were quite stunning and I’d like to share with you what unfolded.

Lily shared her bathroom and her love of Ripples on YouTube and Instagram channels, both of which have almost half-a-million followers. Consequently, our website received more than 1,000 new visitors on the first day. We arranged for an interiors photographer to take shots of the finished bathroom and rapidly built up a stunning portfolio of images from every angle possible.

The bathrooms and photographs were so good that a high-end interiors magazine dedicated three pages to them as a case study. The article focused on the homeowner, her style and the reason she chose the bathroom and in the process, she told everyone how great our designer was. The article was priceless and it was also free. These same photos were also used on our web page gallery, which was then pushed via sponsored posts through our own Instagram and Facebook sites, both of which have rapidly-growing audiences.

Next, for our recently-launched Ripples Style Guide magazine, we included a feature on Lily and her bathrooms, and this again helped project the core messages of our offer – customer experience, great design and quality products. Extracts of the guide were repeated across e-shots and social media.

Each time Lily posted another little snippet of her bathroom, we would see a surge of people to our web page, and more than 200,000 people have so far viewed her bathroom makeover YouTube video. Rather than link them to the home page of our website, we dedicated a new area to the project, so that we could immediately channel visitors towards the specifics of the project they were interested in, right down to a gallery of products used in the bathroom. 

Most importantly, we introduced a call to action for visitors to download the Style Guide and, in return for their name, address and phone number, they could download our new 64-page guide immediately. If they didn’t want this, we encouraged them to add the products they liked to a wish list – as long as they registered their e-mail address, of course. 

For those that chose to remain anonymous, our system automatically checked to see if they had a Facebook or Instagram account, so we could push our latest advert to their screens. In short, we generated a high number of enquiries for our franchisees – all tracked on local CRM systems to know which ones led to sales. Many did.

The suppliers we worked with on this project were great, too. They recognised that they don’t have the opportunity or even resources to reach these audiences themselves and their marketing teams are working closely with ours to understand common goals.

In return, they get to use the images taken in their marketing and they know we are loyal to their products throughout our showrooms.

I appreciate that this may sound like bragging. I’m sharing this with you because the whole exercise was an important lesson learnt from skilled marketeers and one that was built around authentic, relevant and marketable content that we recorded ‘once and used many’ times around a wheel that created some good fortune.

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