We measure success through click-throughs to our site, comments from the readers, and social media interaction. - Stephanie Gaito, Blog Relations Manager, LuLu*s
Stephanie Gaito is the blog relations manager at junior fashion online shop LuLu*s, which runs extensive affiliate and event programs for key fashion and style bloggers., as well as a robust social media an on-site content strategy. Recently, the company sent Jenny of Good, Bad and Fab, Bethany of Snakes Nest, Chanelle of The Penelope Times, Stephanie of Honey and Silk, and Kiara of Tobruck Ave to blog, Instagram and Tweet live from Coachella. As more fashion brands seek to effectively harness the power bloggers and augment traditional marketing practices with those of publishers, LuLu*s long-standing emphasis on blog content and partnerships make this California e-commerce one to watch, and learn from.
Tell us a bit about LuLus.com and your position within the company.
LuLus.com is an e-commerce site with the cutest juniors clothing, shoes, and accessories! We have tons of adorable dresses and so many great shoes! Our customer loves fashion and following the seasons hottest trends. Here at LuLu*s, I am the blog relations manager. My department creates content and partnerships with fashion bloggers in order to increase brand awareness. I also plan blogger-focused events for LuLu*s where we invite top influencers, key brand partners and customers for networking and branding.
What are three things on your to-do list right now?
To begin planning a fun collaboration at the Bust Magazine 20th Anniversary party in July, pull together our Coachella blogger content from this past weekend, and to make sure I have all the right items for giveaways at a blogger event at the end of the month in Boston.
What is a recent success story you are particularly proud of?
That would have to be our last event in February, Style Studio, during New York Fashion Week. We generated our biggest social media engagement which resulted in millions of impressions. Inviting top bloggers, media partners and brands that matched our customers interests created a huge social media pulse. At the time, there was a big winter storm and we still managed to have our most successful turnout yet. We enjoyed many blog posts, Instagrams and Tweets covering the event. It was a ton of work but as with all things difficult, it was SO worth it.
How does the LuLu*s blogger program work?
At LuLu*s, we have seen value in the fashion blogger community for years. Bloggers have an undeniable influence on fashion, which has only gotten stronger. They can be brand ambassadors and spokespeople for your brand and the reach they have amongst consumers is endless. Street style photos and "Outfit of the Day" posts give thousands of readers real-world inspiration and ideas. Seeing that value, we started working with bloggers whose style was a good fit with our brand, through product integration and advertising. Naturally we started small, working with as many bloggers and Youtubers as I could manage. Now, we have 2 more people dedicated to working with bloggers.
What makes a blog the right partner for LuLu*s?
There are so many factors that we take into consideration. It is not only about how many readers, followers and page views a blog gets. We also love to see bloggers that get a lot of interaction from their readers via comments. That shows that the blogger has a strong voice and has influence over her readers. Even though we have had the pleasure of working with many top-ranking bloggers, we also find a lot of value in smaller blogs! With enough enthusiasm and interaction, anyone can be a brand ambassador and it is important to explore all possible avenues for branding.
What is LuLu*s stance on paid vs editorial blog coverage. How do you navigate this?
At LuLu*s, we do a lot of both! As advocates of the blog world, we will always pay for coverage when the situation warrants. Of course we look for what will be mutually beneficial. Often we will exchange product for coverage and other times a monetary compensation plus product is merited. When the blog has a high enough readership or engagement, we will often pay for content.
How does LuLu*s approach editorial-style content across its social and owned media platforms?
We have a team of talented individuals to create content on our blog and to seek out guest bloggers for our site. We are always looking to engage our customers/followers in a way that promotes our brand and speaks to their interests. We try and create original, shareable, and fun content relevant to fashion and beauty! The LuLu*s girl loves fresh, feminine and trendy fashion and we try to incorporate that into all content we produce.
What are five PR Girl must-haves right now on Lulus.com?
1. I love the trendy chevron print and the bright teal! Perfect for running between meetings.
2. Great basic dress that can be styled so many ways! Add a chic cropped jacket and your fave pair of heels for the office. Dress up after work with that statement necklace and a pretty pop lip color!
3. Statement necklaces can easily take your look from day to night. Great addition for after-work cocktails with colleagues.
4. Structured and chic carry-all for your busy PR essentials!
5. Great basic dress for this spring and summer. Not too short and would be perfect with a blazer and a pop neon accessory.