DickiesStore.co.uk is the official online distributor of workwear and accessories in the UK for the global Dickies brand. Having enjoyed steady 15% year-on-year growth the domain held top positions in the SERPs for almost all relevant search terms by 2013. This had been achieved through traditional SEO with limited content generation and virtually no social media. It seemed a glass ceiling had been hit.
That’s when DickiesStore asked us to help them expand even more in the coming year. Challenge accepted.
The overarching goal for DickiesStore was to cement the brand as a category leader in online retail and grow their market share by developing new audiences. Because DickiesStore sales are seasonal we had a strict timeline to work towards and a distinct revenue target to beat, which was 15% up on the previous year.
We decided on a total transformation of the underlying SEO strategy with a huge shift to brand building tactics. We immediately began developing a fully integrated creative campaign that included everything from Content Marketing to Social and Digital PR.
We knew exactly where we wanted to take DickiesStore and we knew how to get there. What we didn’t know yet was how good it was going to feel to smash every record we set for this campaign to smithereens.
Our target for the year was 15% growth on 2012 figures. By November, their busiest month, we were trending 44% above the previous year’s figure, and 53% above the 2012 revenue figure. Their social audience grew from around 2000 to 8000. Boom!
A campaign like this illustrates the importance of integration across channels.
Our brand building strategy revolved around a few core initiatives. First priority was to refresh the totally product orientated website and relaunch the inactive DickiesStore blog which had previously failed to gain traction. Next was to hit Social hard by reviving a product focused Facebook page and using it as a springboard from which to broaden the audience, encourage engagement and create interest. We achieved this by writing awesome blog posts, setting up great give-aways and reaching out to targeted audiences with useful, lifestyle orientated content.
DickiesStore presumed that because of their product range, their target audience naturally lay in the building trade, but research showed us that a far broader audience could, and should, be catered for. We identified lifestyle verticals the brand could tap into like gardening, agriculture, camping and even dog walking - more on dogs later.
We updated the look and layout of the DickiesStore website with the goal of improving user interaction and conversion rate. Emphasis was placed on user reviews and USPs. We simplified navigation and added video content to product pages. Then we re-styled the blog and used it as a platform to publish lifestyle-centric content which would lead users to specially created pages on the main site – especially during campaigns.
Our main tactic was the creation of a bidding scheme which was based on factors such as seasonality, geographic location and availability. To hit our online sales target of 15% growth, we deployed the latest Google offerings and applied a separate Bing and display optimisation strategy. To ensure effectiveness, we implemented A/B and multivariate testing for ad copy and landing pages in addition to using various bidding technologies.
Research revealed that Dickies gear was useful to niche interest groups outside of the workwear industry, so among other lifestyle verticals we ended up reaching out to dog lovers. After developing a bespoke landing page featuring products like rain gear, jackets, boots, wellies and hi-vis clothing, we started creating content for dog walkers. We connected with personalities on popular pet forums and blogs who gave us exposure by featuring products and doing give-aways. We also approached dog sanctuaries and shelters and gave them a platform on which to promote their cause. Why? Because everyone loves dogs.
With our plan firmly on course and a killer content calendar, we managed to steer the Facebook focus away from products and into lifestyle. Doing this took the fan base from 2000 to 20 000 in just a year! Because of this, engagement and reach increased significantly and we saw in an increase in traffic to the website and Social assisted conversions. Facebook is now one of the top 5 referral traffic sources for DickiesStore.
A number of content based Digital PR and outreach campaigns have been rolled out since we started working with DickiesStore. One particularly successful one was the visual “Evolution of the Dickies Brand” which appealed to fans of vintage clothing and advertising. We created various pieces of content to support the concept and managed to build many successful relationships with various influencers and publications because of it.
“This concept had been floated for some time with the client and in March this year, together with team re-structures their end; they have been fully committed to assisting with rolling out all the required changes. Implementation was swift and the two teams formed a very good working relationship that really helped to deploy work smoothly. Naturally seeing these results come in and having had a hand in making it happen is most pleasing to both the client and us. Records being smashed week on week, month on month can’t help but please stakeholders!”
- John Macknay, MD of DickiesStore