If You Build It, They Will (Not Always) Come

If you’ve ever visited our website, our social media, or even our office, you’re probably familiar with at least a few of these pretty faces.

These ladies spend more time in front of our cameras than almost anyone else. But what do we actually do with all these photos of them?

These ladies are employees, and sometimes customers, of one of our favorite clients, Sophie. When Ashley, super stylish entrepreneur and Sophie Boss Babe, recruited us to help her showcase and drive traffic to some of her favorite new merchandise in a fun and fresh way, we knew a lookbook was the answer. However, we couldn’t stop there, because just building it, doesn’t mean that customers will come, or even know that it exists. It’s our job to make sure that potential buyers know that Sophie has new items and just how fantastic those new items are, so these photos become part of a bi-weekly blast of Sophie’s newest arrivals that targets a huge range of current, past and potential shoppers! 

Here’s how we do it:

The shoot

We mix it up! Each shoot takes place in a different location around the Joplin area (we live for a good back alley or open field) and features 3 or 4 of these amazingly talented models decked from head to toe in Sophie goodies; tops, bottoms, jewelry, bags, shoes and more! We go into each shoot with a shot list, which consists of:

 

 

  • group shots showing full outfits
  • close up group shots
  • individual shots of each model showing full outfit + bag
  • individual shots of each model showing full outfit without bag
  • close up shots of each model
  • detail shots of the back of each model’s top
  • detail shots of each model’s bag
  • detail shots of each model’s jewelry 
  • detail shots of each model’s shoes
  • a shot of all the featured bags together
  • a shot of all the featured shoes together
  • a shot of all the featured beljoy bracelets together
  • and a few random shots just for fun

 

 

The edit

Sophie is short for sophisticated (bet ya didn’t know that!) so we keep our edits clean and generally limited to color correction and sharpening, with the exception of special holiday shoots like Halloween or Christmas where we add fun effects like fog or snow. The entire set is then exported at web resolution, and we’re ready to roll!

 

 

The build

The lookbook itself is built through a Shopify app that is installed on Sophie’s website. This app is integrated with their product list so we are able to not only build each page of the lookbook in order, but to tag each item and link it to its product page, thus allowing shoppers to view item details and add them to their cart. Each lookbook features a group shot cover photo as well as full outfit images of each model and close up, detail images of their tops, jewelry, bags and shoes with all items tagged and linked for easy viewing and shopping. Sophie also always offers a 20% discount on every item featured in the lookbook!

 

 

The drive

Now that the lookbook is live, we need to drive people to it! 

We start with current active customers who are already shopping on Sophie’s website, with a series of homepage banners that feature images from the shoot. The first banner leads to the lookbook album while others lead to Sophie’s main category pages like shoeshandbags and accessories. Not only are these banners affective in showing online shoppers the newest merchandise and driving them to the newest lookbook, but they also serve to change up the look of the website regularly based on current seasons and trends.

 

 

Our next step is a paid Facebook ad. This ad is run Friday afternoon through Sunday at midnight and targets everyone who likes Sophie’s Facebook page (give it a like and you may very well see our next ad in action!). Target audiences for Facebook ads can be narrowed down in such detail that it’s almost unbelievable, but for our purposes here, page followers are the perfect audience. The ad is set up as a carousel ad, meaning that it features multiple images (Facebook Ads Manager calls them cards) that viewers can scroll through. We typically use a group shot and a close up shot of each model to give viewers a good look at Sophie’s new items. We give each ad a fun and catchy title, mention the 20% discount, and link clicks back to the lookbook on Sophie’s website.

 

 
 

The third phase is an email campaign. For this campaign we use Mailchimp email marketing service. Mailchimp connects to Sophie’s POS system and allows us to maintain a current list of Sophie’s customers’ emails as well as status information like when they last purchased, if they are local shoppers or not, new subscribers, etc (much of this information depends on employees entering it upon purchase). The emails are clean modern, and include several photos from our shoot which link back to the lookbook and to specific items that were featured. They also include links to Sophie’s main category pages and to Sophie’s social channels. With each new lookbook email campaign, we send out two separate email, one to current customers (defined as those who have purchased within the last 100 days), and non current customers (defined as those who have not purchased within the last 100 days). By separating these groups into two separate campaigns, we can compare open rate, click rate, and revenue statistics between the two groups to determine how successful our emails are at driving business and to give us insight on how Sophie’s customers like to shop.


 

The final piece of the lookbook puzzle is social media. Sophie does a killer job with their social presence so we don’t even have to get our hands dirty here. We simply send them a link to the full album of edited photos to serve as extra content that they can drip out over the course of the following few weeks and they take it from there. These photos get thousands of views from Sophie’s Facebook and instagram followers alone!


 

All the feels

We love our lookbook shoots for a lot of reasons: fun and challenging new locations, talented models that we get to pull in for other projects too, opportunities for out-of-the-box creativity, and great shoes (we can’t lie, some of us shop while we shoot)! But one of the best things about our Sophie lookbook shoots and the blasts that follow, is seeing the direct results of our hard work in the numbers, the clicks, and the comments. We love when what we do works flawlessly, and we love when our clients love it. It gives us all the feels.