Helm’s product doesn’t appeal to the masses, so it needed a tightly targeted approach to digital media. nFusion, which claims to use an “audience-first approach,” Huser explained, worked with Helm to create personas of the Helm customers.
Bingaman added precise loyalty data the company had gathered thanks to the foresight of a sales associate who used to work at Barney’s. He suggested that Helm send out thank-you notes to its top customers of the year, which revealed interesting patterns of locations and professions it used to create those personas – like architects and eye doctors.
Now that it’s created personas, nFusion is reaching potential customers through a mix of organic and paid media.
It made the brand more easily discoverable by optimizing the website and creating content via a blog. It’s also set up social media monitoring to keep track of the two key ways Helm customers find out about the brand: from people in the fashion industry and from enthusiastic wearers of Helm shoes.
nFusion is adding some paid social and product listings to that mix and will soon launch a retargeting campaign as well. The idea is to make small tests and adjust the plan quickly according to what works and what doesn’t, Huser said.
A big part of Helm’s strategy involves influencers but it’s not influencer marketing, where Helm pays for social media posts. Instead, it gifts boots to people who might fit with the brand and hope they become evangelists.
On social, the biggest focus for nFusion and Helm is Instagram, where the agency will tally up interactions.
“It tends to be more visual and more focused on peoples’ passions versus the junk you get on Facebook, and tends to be a more discerning audience than you get on Facebook,” Huser summed up.
By focusing on organic engagement and building on that with paid media, nFusion can cultivate Helms’ brand “from the bottom up,” Huser said.
“We believe that brands today are built from a collection of experiences people have, not a huge advertising campaign,” Huser said. "People see through paid advertising, but if they’re interacting with a brand through content on platforms where they’re already consuming content, it feels more authentic.”