HIGHLY COMMENDED 2017
LIFESTYLE & LUXURY
THE IDLE MAN
THE IDLE MAN
Oliver and I I started The Idle Man in April 2014 as we both intrinsically felt that menswear was overlooked and in need of something new. Traditionally you would have to take the lift up to the 5th floor or descend into the basement of a highstreet store, menswear always seemed such an afterthought. Even online, brands took a female approach to selling to men. Hence TheIdleMan.com was born, a retailer designed and built for men by men The brand blends 3 core principles: a simplified edit, a personal styling section and an insightful blog to answer those nagging fashion questions. In a nutshell #StyleMadeEasy.
As a new entrant to the market we had the very difficult task of driving awareness and ultimately sales but in a cost effect way. Traditional routes of social media, email and print were simply too expensive but one area that showed real promise was organic traffic. The trouble was we had a fresh domain with little to no trust in google’s eyes so trying to rank for
things like ‘skinny jeans’ proved impossible.
After conducting multiple face to face interviews with both existing and potential customers it became apparent that men simply didn’t know where to go for fashion advice so we set about creating our own fashion blog “The Manual”. We hired an editor and away we went but unfortunately with no real strategy the plan failed miserably.
In 2016 we made the decision to really go for organic traffic and made the blog our key focus. We had seen some interesting spikes in traffic in 2015 which suggested there was something to be gained out of what we were doing.
The main objective was to build a global menswear publication that would drive awareness of the brand, build emotional capital and ultimately increases
revenues. Sub goals Create content that people would like and link to
– Increase the domain authority of the store by building internal links
– Make The Idle Man own brand a credible brand in its own right
As mentioned above we conducted countless customer interviews that all showed that men although interested in fashion didn’t regularly discuss it with
their friends. Further to this the number of print publications and their circulations around the topic were all in decline and no one had stepped into the opportunity being created online. This presented both a problem and an opportunity, the problem was that simply weren’t many relevant media outlets to laser in on men’s fashion. On the flip side is showed that we should back our research and double down on content marketing. Combine this with the
power of search which enables a customer to solve a problem no matter where they live in the world and our own data that showed the customer lifetime
value of an organic visitor was nearly double any other channel and it was a no brainer.
Breaks down as follows
We wrote three key personas of who & what our customers looked like and their interests. This then allowed us to brainstorm content ideas
Next we analysed all our competitors and conducted significant keyword research and asked our customers what they wanted to read about. Including
looking at the different trends across multiple territories. The final task was to set a huge target of hitting 1m visitors by Dec 2016 and worked backwards
to see how many stories we would need to write. This lead to us throwing out 50% of the content plan and focused relentlessly on our customer.
We tracked everything from; bounce rate, scroll depth, time on site, serp rankings, revenue and focus relentlessly on giving our visitors the best experience possible. This lead to articles being re-written, content strategy being updated and a greater focus on higher superior content. We also broadened our content creation process to make sure we maximised our appeal in key markets such as the US and Australia where topics like grooming had a much higher interest than the UK.
We have literally done everything in the content marketing manual and some of the highlights are listed below
Linkable / Share worthy content
We created “The History Of Sneakers” http://theidleman.com/history-of-sneakers – Targeted specifically at the US market.
Results: 30,000+ visits since it launched in Sep, Rank number one for the term “history of sneakers”, Secured key exposure and links from
influential sites such as https://hypebeast.com/2016/8/idle-man-history-ofsneakers
Crowd sourced content from Influencers
We knew our customers wherever they were based in the world loved, fitness, grooming and most importantly travel so we created 5 ebooks around these topics. https://theidleman.com/manual/fitness-e-book-download/ & https://theidleman.com/manual/city-break-guide/ to name a few that were all written by influencers based across the globe. They were also encouraged to share their work which helped drive further awareness in their local market of our brand. Results: 10,000+ emails captured, 100’s of links from influencers and social media, We rank on the first page for things like “free fitness ebook” “free city ebook”.
Long form content
We created super in-depth articles to help educate our customers such as https://theidleman.com/manual/advice/savile-row-suits-tailors/
https://theidleman.com/manual/advice/definitive-guide-mens-suits/ ID: 73 | Page 2 of 4 https://theidleman.com/manual/advice/wear-leatherjacket/.
Results: 100,000+ visits and counting, Rank on the first page for 50+ strategic keywords for our niche
Brand building content
We have made music a core offering of our brand and have interviewed everyone from The Chemical Brothers to Craig David and regularly
produce music podcasts – http://theidleman.com/mix-series/. Results: 20,000 streams across Soundcloud / Apple / Spotify.
Crowd sourced content from general people
We created a street style section to help inspire our customers – http://theidleman.com/mens-street-style/
Results: We rank in position three for “men’s street style”, It’s one of the top 10 landing pages on the site, Content has generated £10,000’s in
revenue, One of the biggest men’s street style blogs in the world
To our delight our visitors kept going up by around 20% months on month until we hit 1,000,000+ visits a month by Dec 2016. If you compare Jan 2016 to Dec 2016 we grew grew visitors by 842.89% and revenue a massive 408%.The result was that 90% of all traffic now comes from an
organic source and only 22% of sales come from a paid channel. We have also achieved our goal of shipping to over 60 countries. In summary
Organic visits up 1,312.11% (comparing 2015 to 2016)
Blog revenue up 367% (comparing 2015 to 2016)
20%+ MoM compound growth which meant we hit 1,061,910 visits to the blog in Dec 2016
Our customers love us, 19% repeat rate and a trustpilot score of 7.6
Only 22% of revenue coming from paid marketing
One of the biggest men’s Fashion Blog in the UK / Australia / New Zealand and India behind GQ, Fashionbeans, Esquire and then us
We achieved all this in house with a small inexperienced team in less than 12 months with only a tiny budget.