If you are a frequent Instagram user, you must have come across a barrage of images of a woman sitting at the poolside that have been reposted. This is the strategy Sunny Co Clothing used to gain followers; they simply promised to deliver free swimming suits to those who reposted their photo on Instagram.
During this campaign, the photo from sunny clothing went viral as several people were reposting the photo showing a woman sitting beside the pool with a red one-piece swimsuit.
Although several people were posting the photos online, some declined to call it a scam, those who reposted the image were the winners in the long run as they got the free swimsuit and all they were required to do is to pay for the delivery cost.
Sunny Co Clothing is a startup or rather a brand that was founded by two college seniors in the University of Arizona. They felt that swimsuit giveaway would enable them to be popular and make their brand popular.
Social media users were guaranteed to get free swimsuit provided they reposted Sunny clothing’s post using a particular hashtag. In addition to giving away free swimsuit, Sunny clothing went ahead to donate $1 to Alzheimer’s Foundation for every re-post made.
Although the duo expected their post would go viral, they never knew it would get them followers within a short period. Their Instagram account went from 7,000 followers to 750,000 followers within one day thanks to their strategy.
The fact that the giveaway was a free swimsuit, the deal felt like it is a scam. Actually, after Sunny Co Clothing went viral, the internet busted with memes, comments, and accusations that the organization had failed in its marketing strategy.
Actually, lawsuits could have followed if the company would have failed to give away the swimsuits to the users who had reposted their photo. This would have been worse for the company had they failed to keep their promise.
Despite the memes and accusations by the content consumers, the giveaway was a success, and those who reposted the photo were guaranteed of getting their swimsuit. This was one of the greatest promotion stunts by Sunny Co Clothing, what a way of growing a brand. Some of the reasons the promotion was a success was:
They did not Lose Money in the Promotion; They Actually Made It!
The thousands of social media users who shared the photo online failed to follow the link and understand the terms of the deal. Even though everyone who reposted the photo was guaranteed to get the swimsuit, they still had to cater to the handling charges. Actually, this is one of the gray areas of marketing ethics, and it has been previously practiced.
Another organization has been using the technique, the fact that Sunny Co Clothing used it does not imply that it is new. In fact, Loretti Watches run their operations fully for one year. Their consumers had to pay for the shipping and handling fee, and they could get their preferred products for free.
In addition, most of the consumers hardly realized that swimsuits are manufactured at a cheaper rate; it is actually produced at a much lower cost than the shipping and handling cost being charged. In the clothing industry, the products manufactured from abroad are produced at lower prices, and they cost slightly more than one dollar. In fact, the high cost charged for the commodity is used to cover the additional cost incurred like the advertising cost and the waste product after the consumption trend has declined.
In the scenario of Sunny Co Clothing, the consumers were charged a shipping fee of $13; this was after the application of their promo code which led to the reduction of $70 bathing suit down to $0. The marketing strategy employs psychology to trick the consumer; the customer feels that the offer displayed is lucrative, and the nominal fee charged is normal and worth to purchase it.
Using the above figures, deduct the $5, which is the manufacturing cost, $6 is the shipping cost and $1 donated to Alzheimer. Adding the total cost incurred, that sums up to $12, leaving the company with a $1 net profit for every swimsuit given away. So what did Sunny Co Clothing sell after their offer was complete?
Let’s Consider the Actual Conversion Rates
Sunny Co Company has not released the actual numbers, however, you should consider that even though the photo had a hundred of repost, only a few social media users took their time to visit their site and add swimsuit to their cart after that using the promo code that will make the prices reduce.
Additionally, not everyone could afford to use the $13 shipping cost. Therefore they had to abandon the deal. Furthermore, teenagers who had no access to credit/debit card could not make purchases since it was the only way one could pay for the shipment cost.
After the elimination of those who could not afford to pay for the shipping cost and those who had no access to the debit/credit card, you will be left with a small pool of consumers who actually paid for the $13 fee to get the free swimsuit.
With nearly 10,000 orders requested for delivery, it could be a logistical horror if the company didn’t have a proper logistics for the production of enough swimsuits to award everyone eligible for the delivery. Luckily, the project was feasible, and they actually had proper logistic and quality control in place.
The Internet was the Perfect Platform for their Advertisement
Just with the promise of giveaway swimsuits, Sunny Co Clothing became a common name in the social media. Both the paid influencers and other social media users did the marketing for the company.
This helped them grow their brand as well as their social media platform. The fact that they had a 1000% growth in their Instagram account shows how big the company becomes popular. Additionally, the memes posted about Sunny Co Clothing made other social media users aware of the company.
After the success of Sunny Co Clothing, their story was covered in the news. Comments were also written about the giveaway. The publicity of the company had risen, and this made them earn the eye of the consumer and other big brands.
However, in terms of the potential attention by the FTC, Sunny Co Clothing did a poor job in the delivery of the terms and conditions of their offer. Actually, some screenshots produced suggested that Sunny Co Clothing had changed some of their terms during the giveaway process.
Some of the terms were not stated clearly at the beginning of the giveaway promotion, and this raised some questions about their conduct. In fact, the FTC announced that it would crack down on the unethical use of social media as a platform of advertisements.
Targeted Demographic Data and Followers Will be Invaluable
Besides the fines, it is evident that Sunny Co Clothing was the real winner. In fact, the money they made after the promotion was quite good. Additionally, their niche was targeting women who have an interest in purchasing clothes from online stores, especially the swimsuits.
During the period when Sunny Co Clothing did their giveaway promotion, the going rate for targeted email list was between $200-400 CPM (cost per mile). With over 50,000 email address is collected, the asking price for the bunch of email addresses will be 10,000. For starting businesses, this figure is too high. However, big companies can pay for these services with ease.
Having Instagram followers is becoming a popular thing; the business organization is willing to invest in the services of the influencers in a bid to grow their account and improve their marketing skills in social media. With this opportunity, the influencers have been making income for managing social media accounts.
The influencers normally charge a fee of about $1 per 1,000 followers when promoting a post. Sunny Co Clothing can collect about $700 for every post that they have promoted and this fee can be about $250,000 after the end of the year should they make one post per day.
Suppose Sunny Co Clothing goes down after failing to keep their promise about the giveaway. They can sell their Instagram account in the black market (it is illegal against the terms of Instagram) and make a lot of money. Having a large follower base who are most active, they can easily earn over 30 grand from selling their account.
We, therefore, take a look at how Sunny Co Clothing gained 750,000 Instagram followers in just a day.
Strategies Sunny Co Clothing Used that You can Use to Go Viral On Instagram
i) Proven Creativity
Statistics show that more than 95m videos and pictures are shared every day on Instagram. The posts are saturated with fitness starts, fashion bloggers, and marketers among many others who are trying their level best to stretch to a number of people.
All these people who contribute in the 95 million posts in a single day are your competitors, whether general or even specifically in your niche. This, therefore, means that to be among the posts being made in a single day, in such a way that gets your post near an Instagram user’s attention, you need quite some high level of creativity. You need to know what works and what doesn’t.
To give examples: Menslaw is a fashion brand not so popularly known but has grown a great deal thanks to their creativity. They sell men’s wear and their latest post shows exactly how their Instagram campaign is unique in terms of creativity.
The picture simply shows a newly wedded man and woman with their family of 3 kids: All the 3 kids dressed in very nice double-breasted suits. The picture, may not be as authentic, but the content is quite exciting in relation to what their brand does. Happy couple, nicely dressed family, handsome kids, wedding, among others are keywords that can be used to describe the picture.
Menslaws man focus on this picture is the double-breasted suits/coats as they are a men fashion brand, but if any user who might not be interested in menswear came across this picture on Instagram, they could still like it as it is more powerful and looks creative.
Furthermore, the hashtags used for the same post are very appropriate, something big brands and marketers fail massively.
Another example is the MailChimp email marketing company. Their creativity differs though but it still clearly shows how fast you can grow your Instagram through creativity. They use storytelling to highlight people both inside and outside the company including their customers. Check out below.
That is exactly something unique. This has made their brand grow on word of mouth just for this kind of creativity.
For our case study, Sunny Co Clothing below is the image that ran around the Instagram world.
The image looks absolutely authentic, emphasizes some sort of relaxation or enjoyment. Just like Menswear, there are a number of keywords that can describe the picture, from holiday, vacation, swimming, fun, luxury, to relaxing among others. All these keywords are redirected to swimsuits that Sunny Co Clothing sell.
From then on a number of similar pictures have been taken including the current background picture of their website showing different swimsuits that they sell.
ii) Seeded Campaigns to Kick off the Startup
With their uniqueness and creativity, Sunny Co and Clothing kicked off their campaign through advertising. Most brands and companies from small to big fear of advertising. They would argue that the cost of advertising is that high which is right, but if you do your advertising right, you are in for quite a huge turnover.
A proper will hit a critical mass or a certain threshold before word of mouth takes over. in fact, things with little or no prompting rarely go viral on their own contrary to what many people believe.
You will be looking to invest in excess of $50,000 if you want your video to go viral. That is quite a huge amount for small to medium startups obviously, but eating the cost for the product you are selling is an idea you do not want to skip. Just as we had discussed initially:
Let’s assume the suit is worth $80 but costs as low as $3 on the wholesale websites.
Customers were charged $12.99 shipping fees. According to experts, the shipping fee for that kind of size is normally $2.77.
This means that Sunny Co and Clothing will end up with $6 per free suit as profit anyone interested in swimming suit, and is willing to pay the delivery fee.
In conclusion, they have not made any losses on this deal. In fact, the worst case scenario of this campaign could be to break even. But then again, the company still came out way ahead.
First, they got thousands of thousands of new followers on Instagram
Secondly, addresses from every user who tried redeeming the offer. the emails are important because you can try to upsell later on.
Thirdly and most importantly, they got quite an outstanding new brand awareness that could have been very costly in PR and advertising costs.
iii) Rewarding Followers of Followers
After kicking off their campaign, there is something special Sunny Clothing and Co did that made them go completely viral. Rewarding their followers of followers.
Seeding had given their video a fighting chance but they needed something more that could entice people to pick up their campaign but and run with it to their friends. To redeem the offer, you were required to do a repost and then tag the company. That completely leveraged the Instagram network that brought in followers of their followers.
Was the Giveaway a Gain for Sunny Co Clothing?
Despite the accusations and ridicule from some influencers, the company was winners in the end. They gained profits even though they gave the products for free and they had a massive following within one day. In fact, even if the FTC could have fined them and force them to stop their operations, they could sell their account and make profits due to the mass followers.
The main lesson learned from Sunny Co Clothing is that viral marketing and growth hack in social media is still active. For one to be a success, a good strategy is a need and perhaps, maybe some luck. Although tools helping one grow their Instagram accounts were closed, with a good strategy, one can still grow their accounts.
With success in the strategy, copy cuts will definitely follow and copy the strategy giving out products with hidden terms for the promotion.
The marketing strategy has been done before, and this is a great opportunity for companies with cheaply produced commodities to emulate the same as they target new customers. Despite the application of psychology to trick consumers, it can be hard to price some products expensively since the customers have perfect knowledge of the product they demand.
Wrapping It Up
It may be hard to predict the success of viral marketing.Nothing is guaranteed with viral marketing; it can fail to yield expected results. If you are lucky, you can reap results with viral marketing.
The idea does not necessarily need to be original for your marketing to go viral. The execution is the most important part as it helps a brand grow and become a success.
Sunny Co Clothing viral marketing was a success because they had proper logistics.
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