A recent article from Social Commerce Today, touched on the innovative method that Elle Magazine is using to keep ahead of the curve and remain relevant in an ever digitized society.
The major fashion publication is embarking on the utilization of Social Commerce and Social Media to digitize their content and encourage interactions with their brand. Elle has taken content from its magazine and created a “Trend Guide” on their Facebook timeline which enables their fans to interact with their favourite products and click-through to purchase those items in a 3rd party e-store.
They’ve landed some big names for their affiliate program in this initial test for launch including Gucci, Nine West, Bebe and Tommy Hilfiger. Marketing for this program will be including an email campaign notifying their fans of the Trend Guide, promotion on their website and an extensive Facebook ad campaign to help drive traffic to their app.
From various interviews, Elle’s SVP , Kevin O’Malley, explains that this initial launch is not focusing on a revenue-generating model but rather is being used as a test to see if Facebook is the right platform for Elle to generate and share revenue down the road.
“The value proposition for us is that even if we don’t make a sale, this becomes like a shopping widget that goes out on her wall where friends can see it.”
The major benefit will come to the affiliate brands who gain “free” exposure when Fans of Elle share and interact with their products, giving brands visibility throughout Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social tools.
In my opinion, the real test will be whether or not Elle will be able to monetize and shift the buyer behaviour of using Facebook as a source to shop. If this test manages to go beyond the “Likes” and “Shares” and put money in their own and their affiliate’s pockets, they potentially could cause a shift for other fashion publications to follow suit. This is a welcome change to the way publications are thinking and more companies should be looking to push the envelope with innovative ideas to help drive interactions and add value to brands.
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