Long-Term Partnerships: The Next Wave of Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing is paying off for brands. In fact, a Tomoson study found that for every dollar a brand spent on influencer marketing, it made $6.50. That’s no small chunk of change in an era when up to 24 percent of a company’s budget is allotted to marketing.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that influencer marketing is predicted to swell to a $10 billion industry within the next five years. With significant ROI and relevant, cost-effective marketing tactics, influencer marketing represents an appealing way to reach the masses. This dynamic environment is what makes every day at Two Pillar Management, our firm that helps match companies with influencers, an exciting and engaging one.

The problem is that it isn’t always so easy to reach the masses. A study by TapInfluence and Altimeter revealed that more than two-thirds of marketers struggle to find the right influencers. Influencers come equipped with their own interest areas, tone, and audience — selling points that can quickly become drawbacks if they don’t line up with the company’s own branding.

That’s why smart brands that have found their ideal influencers are trying to seal the deal indefinitely.

I recently attended a company meeting of VPX Sports, a manufacturer and distributor of sports drinks and supplements. Jack Owoc, the company’s CEO, gave an in-depth presentation on the company' social media efforts. The company employs more than a hundred influencers that it calls “Elites” on long-term contracts to promote its Bang brand of sports drinks. In doing so, it has created the comraderie of a team-like working environment amongst its influencers. Meg Liz Owoc, the companys CMO, noted that these longer term influencer-based programs have given the Bang brand its social media edge and growing market share over its more entrenched competitors Red Bull and Monster Energy.

What’s in It for Brands?

The most obvious benefit long-term partnerships offer brands is trust. As influencers devote more blog posts or more Instagram real estate to a specific company, their faith in the brand becomes more visible — and their followers are likely to develop a stronger affinity for it as well. That ongoing support appears much more genuine.

Likewise, transitioning an influencer into a brand ambassador can bring with it exclusivity and the opportunity to explore new angles. An influencer who’s producing multiple posts in conjunction with a company isn’t locked into covering just one aspect of the brand — she can use different posts to highlight different elements or ways to use the product or service. That means she has the potential to reach different people grappling with problems the brand can solve.

Sazan Hendrix, who is a respected beauty, lifestyle and fashion influencer, is focusing more and more on longer term brand ambassadorships vs. shorter term one-off posts for random brands. Most recently, she has entered into longer term agreements with Maybelline, Olay and CVS. Sazan commented that “it is far easier to create organic and honest integrations with brands over time as opposed to an individual post here and there for random companies”.

Long-term partnerships also provide both brands and influencers with the option to do testing they couldn’t do otherwise. With both brand elements remaining the same across multiple posts, companies and influencers can do A/B testing on different approaches, formats, images, and messaging. By isolating the piece that’s changed, they can test and tweak in a live environment and make immediate shifts.

Digiday noted that the trend toward long-term partnerships even includes more in-person appearances on brands’ behalf, as well as morality clauses to prevent damage to the brand hitching its wagon to the influencer. They’ve also afforded brands the ability to capitalize on the move to video more easily: “We’ve seen cost per view being the most important pricing model as video formats have overtaken static content,” explained John Kalis, vice president of U.S. business development at indaHash.

What’s in It for Influencers?

Influencers who seek to build careers on their influence get a big boost from long-term partnerships with brands: It’s guaranteed work with a brand that fits their message and audience. That affords them the flexibility to turn down one-off requests that feel like a stretch or would be viewed as off-brand by their followers.

Because these brands are familiar with influencers’ work, they’re given more creative freedom. This plays well with A/B testing, but it also lets influencers stretch their wings to try new filters, fresh phrasing, or distinctive approaches. Many influencers originally won attention through their unique style, and diluting that to meet the expectations of brands that don’t understand what they bring to the table can be demoralizing. Long-term partnerships counteract that by allowing influencers to maximize the trust they’ve earned.

More recently, brands are using marketing strategies such as influencer capsule collections and co-branded products with influencers to build longer term associations with influencers with mass appeal. Recently, influencer Jay Alvarrez designed a travel and luggage bag line for the Norwegian company Douchebags. The company is giving Alvarrez the flexibility to shoot his own iconic content and to promote the line in his own style over an entire season. Company CMO Vetle Brevik commented that the company was very pleasantly surprised when sales far exceeded expectations for the campaign launch. Brevik attributes this success to the natural passion Alvarrez exudes for the brand: something that is certainly linked to the brand being a collaborative effort between the influencer and the company.

It would be dangerous for brands to overlook the importance of influencer-follower connections. Influencers know their followers well and interact with them regularly. If they also happen to love a specific product or service, they’ll go to bat for the brand behind it, and they’ll find ways to communicate their appreciation to their followers. The longer an influencer engages with a brand, the more synonymous his or her name becomes with the company — and it’s a good thing when fans see brands and influencers in alignment.

As the FTC reminds influencers to clearly disclose their relationships with brands, long-term partnerships remove some of the anxiety and hassle that accompany these disclosures. More transparency can make influencers like they’re removing a barrier and allowing followers to see the real relationships they have with beloved brands, not just the parts they want them to see. It explains why an influencer like Joy Cho from Oh Joy! has put in years of work with Target to design bandages, benefiting both.

These long-term partnerships may make influencer marketing feel less risky to both influencers and brands while, ironically, allowing them to take more risks in their marketing. Brands that have found relevant influencers are locking them down, and companies that don’t want to fall behind will feel pressure to find their own long-term matches.


2018 Women of Influence (DFW Influencers)

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Cocktails - Dinner - Conversation  ... and MORE!

Celebrating women in the DFW that are doing major things within their own respective fields.

The 2018 "woMEN OF INFLUENCE" event will celebrate 18 LOCAL extraordinary women for one night. The event is produced by local strategic marketing firm, Amin & Co., and DFW Influencers, the largest database for local bloggers and social media enthusiasts.

They event will be held at Corrientes 348, the chicest NEW Argentinian Steakhouse downtown.

Please join us for dinner as well. 18 LUCKY women will get to sit down with these lovely women for an intimate private dinner.

Dinner includes a 5 course meal for $54.99/ this also includes pre-dinner networking and discounted cocktails.

First 25 attendees, also leave with a goody bag!

If you just want to come and network or have dinner, you are welcome to! RSVP below!

To RSVP for dinner, please contact: 972-835-5699 ask for Lorena.


5-7pm: Outdoor patio networking + cocktails + light bites

6-7pm Seated Private Dinner

7-8pm After Party Networking


EXCLUSIVE Perfume Launch at Target

At Target, they know what guests love new, incredible beauty products …

From exclusive-to-Target brands to the latest trends, they're curating an assortment of beauty products that they believe guests will love to find during their Target runs. With last year’s launches including a K-beauty collection, a celebrity haircare line and a major natural skincare brand, 2018 has some big shoes to fill … so they're kicking off the new year with an exciting announcement: Target’s launching a new fragrance brand exclusively available at Target, Good Chemistry!

Created specifically with beauty guests in mind, the niche fragrance brand includes four collections inspired by different personalities: Confident and Charming, Good and Grounded, Vibrant and Playful and Cool and Collected. Each collection then includes four unique scents that come in perfume, body sprays and rollerballs, so there’s truly something for everyone.

“Beauty at Target is all about the joy of discovering products that work best for you, and we want to ensure this philosophy rings true in fragrances,” said Christina Hennington, senior vice president of Beauty and Essentials at Target. “That’s why we are reinvigorating our fragrance collection by introducing Good Chemistry, an exclusive brand that is all about inspiring our guests to find unique scents that they love.”

The vegan and paraben-free scents are made with essential oils and will be available in all Target stores starting Jan. 21. To help guests find their best scent, they can test out the different fragrances in store before selecting a favorite.

Also launching on Jan. 21 are eight new fragrances from Pacifica, a fan-favorite specialty beauty brand. 

Business: Overlooked Fundamentals

Amin & Co. - Dallas Marketing Firm

Running a business is complicated, which means there are some factors or tasks that tend to get overlooked. From basic concepts to more involved processes, members of our small business community have plenty of tips for dealing with those sometimes overlooked business tasks. See the full list of tips below.

Be Sure to Spend Enough Time on Marketing

So how much time should you be spending sharing content or connecting on social media or networking at industry related events? How long should you be spending on marketing in general? It depends. Answer the Small Business Trends poll and see how you stack up against others for amount of time spent marketing your business.

Learn the Difference Between User Experience and Customer Experience

The user experience and customer experience are important considerations for any business. But they’re not the same. And understanding what each is can make a big difference for your business. Caroline Sober-James explains more in this Acumium blog post.

Get Honest Feedback for Your Business Idea

Coming up with a great business idea is, of course, important. But you also need to gather some honest feedback about your ideas if you want them to succeed, as Cate Costa discusses here. Members of the BizSugar community also share thoughts on the post here.

Invest in LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn can be good for more than just keeping in touch with your professional connections. There are plenty of marketing opportunities that the platform presents, as Aaron Agius details in this Search Engine Journal post.

Determine Your Brand’s Social Media Persona

Lots of brands get on social media and just start posting without giving it much thought. But to really make an impact with your social media, you need to determine a persona. This post on the Inkhouse Inklings Blog by Sarah Mitus explains the importance of having a persona for your social media efforts.

Pitch Your Online Content for the Right Audience

Finding your target audience is absolutely essential to any business. And you need to constantly keep that audience in mind when creating and pitching your online content as well. This Two Feet Marketing post by David Lowbridge includes some thoughts on pitching content to your audience. And you can also see discussion about the post over on BizSugar.

Use These Tech Savvy Ways to Tell Your Brand Story

Every brand needs to tell a story. And you can actually use technology to help convey that story to customers and potential customers online. Here, Ivan Widjaya shares some tips about using technology to tell a brand story in this Noobpreneur post.

Improve Your Email Click-Through Rates

When it comes to email marketing, there’s a lot of emphasis put on gaining subscribers. But if you want your email marketing to have any impact, you also need to focus on improving your click-through rates.Here, Neil Patel shares some strategies for improving click-through rates on emails.

Build Customer Trust to Stand Out in a Crowd

There are tons of flashy strategies out there for making your business stand out. But few are as effectively as just building good old fashioned trust with your customers. Sherry Gray of ChamberOfCommerce.comdiscusses more here. And BizSugar members discuss the post here as well.

Use SEO to Get Local Customers to Cling to Your Content

When you think about the importance of SEO, you probably consider how essential it is to online businesses. But local businesses can use SEO and content marketing to reach customers as well. Here, Bhupinder Kaur Chhabra outlines how SEO and content can benefit local businesses in the Blurbpoint blog.


Marketing: Content Marketing Ideas for Health Tech Startups

Dallas Strategic Marketing - Beauty, Spa, Healthcare, Wellness

If you are in charge of the content marketing efforts for a healthcare technology startup, you have lots of challenges and opportunities facing you. Before you start your content marketing efforts, check out these strategies.

Add a Human Touch

One issue that vexes businesses in the healthcare industry is the perception that dollars and data matter more than people. The perfect medium for challenging this perception is content marketing. Create content such as employee bios and your company story. Let people know about your and your staff’s passion for your product and commitment to wellbeing. As you create your overall strategy, be sure your focus remains on showing that you care and providing wellness information rather than pushing sales.

Provide Answers Your Audience Can Understand

Information is important to your audience. Your ability to provide that information in a way that a lay person can understand it, is extremely important. Avoid medical jargon in your content marketing. You may think that using complex terms will increase the perception that you are an expert in your field, but the reality is you will just confuse people and drive them away.

Give a Gift

This strategy is not unique to healthtech. However, the gifts you choose to give should be. For example, if a consumer provides you with their email information to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, you could include access to a free trial of your product. If another customer submits information to receive a free quote, you could provide them access to a free eBook with wellness tips and healthy recipes. Giveaways are a great way to thank your customers when they complete micro conversions. Keeping the giveaways focused on healthcare related products helps to cement your branding.

Lebron Meng, founder at Check Pregnancy says this about using gifts in healthcare, content marketing:  

“People associate so many negative things with the healthcare industry. In fact, if you bring up words such as doctor’s appointments or medical treatment, and people associate that with bills and financial hardship. Even a lot of wellness outreach efforts are seen as guilt inducing. In the midst of all of this, a simple gift is really meaningful.”

Share Customer Stories Not Testimonial

For some industries, testimonials are a great thing. The basic formula of a testimonial is this. Description of problem + description of negative impact of problem + description of how product X solved problem + description of positive results due to solving problem = testimonial. That’s not enough for the healthtech industry. Instead, encourage customers to share their stories, just like you encourage your staff to share theirs. For example, a testimonial might look like this:

I’ve been struggling to make it to doctor’s appointments due to my work schedule. I’ve even had to skip over important well visits with my doctor. Thankfully, the 24-hour clinic that is now available at my local pharmacist can see me at any time. I can even download their app to access my health records 24/7. My health needs will never get put on the backburner again.

In contrast, here’s how a story will look:

Two months ago, I had an important appointment with my doctor. Then, my boss told me I had to work mandatory overtime. I couldn’t say no. So, I called to reschedule my appointment, and I was told it would be six months before I could be seen again. I was devastated. I’d been dealing with painful symptoms for months and had no answers. Now, I was put off for another six months. Why wasn’t there a healthcare option available for people like me, where access was a priority? Thankfully, a friend told me about a new health center that was open 24 hours per day. I can even use their app to access my records and submit questions to the nursing staff.

Put Your Spin on Healthcare News

Think of all of the healthcare stories that have hit the news over the past year. The Zika virus, Martin Shkreli, The Affordable Care Act, and the recent Aetna crisis are just three examples of major news breaking stories. When these stories break, people often don’t know what to think. This is why your input is so important. Keep track of trending healthcare news. Then, take the role of a thought leader and give your expert opinion and perspective.

Beauty: Organic Personal Care Market Expected To Reach $16 Billion by 2020

Global trends in the organic personal care market is growing, where the market is expected to reach $15.98 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Grand View Research. An increasing amount of consumers are opting for organic and natural hair care, skin care and cosmetic products, which is anticipated to grow throughout the projected time period.

Retailers all over the country are expanding their personal care items to include more organic and natural products to meet the growing demands of consumers. Consumer perceptions are changing to embrace environmentally sustainable and natural products that can deliver results without the use of chemicals or toxins. Along with the market expansion, more approvals for human health and safety regulatory bodies like the USDA and the FDA will also see a correlating rise in certified personal care products.

The projected increase in market worth comes as no surprise as natural and organic products provide consumers with anti-oxidation properties and improved skin immunity advantages compared to chemically-formulated products. On top of that, there's an increase in awareness of the harmful effects that are associated with chemical substances found in traditional personal care products, which is fueling the demand of natural and organic alternatives.

Roger Gore, founder and owner of G Natural Products, a national brand of natural personal care products, can attest to the benefits and changing dynamic of the growing organic market. First and foremost, chemically-formulated products are a recipe for allergic reactions and skin/scalp irritation. With the use of natural and organic products, the consumer gets peace of mind and a safer-to-use product. Second, chemically-treated products might give the individual a temporary result now, but it damages the health of the hair in the long run. On the other hand, natural products will not only give them the results they want, but it will also make the hair and skin much healthier.

"One of the biggest issues people have is adding moisture to their hair and the chemically-treated products just can't deliver the desired results today's consumers are looking for," said Gore. "Natural, organic products made from key ingredients like aloe vera extract, grapeseed oil, milk thistle extract and other naturally found oils can nourish the scalp, hair and skin to promote all-day moisture and shine."

To meet the needs of customers who are looking for natural hair care, Gore developed the L.O.C. moisture product system that's available nationwide in stores like CVS, Target, Wegmans and online. Since the global market for natural hair care products is booming, G Natural is expanding into the European and African markets within the next 12 to 24 months.

Key benefits of the L.O.C. moisture system:

  • L.O.C. represents (L) liquid, (O) oil and (C) crème which is a comprehensive system that focuses on adding moisture to hair to transition away from chemically-treated hair to 100% natural.
  • It includes Oh So Clean Shampoo, Conditioner, All Day Leave In Condition, Hair Grow Oil and more.
  • The L.O.C. moisture system is a part of the entire line of natural hair and skin products that G Natural offers and aims to give consumers an economical and healthy alternative to go natural.

Marketing: 'Magic' Beauty BUZZ Word

Beauty fans world over will agree that when it comes to our favourite products seeing is believing. We’re wowed by before and afters on Instagram, are clued up on clinical studies and will take recommendations from our most trusted girlfriends before parting with our hard-earned cash. The latest beauty trend, however, is turning all that on its head. ‘Magic’ has become beauty’s new buzzword and has little to do with statistics or even science. Instead, it’s something that chooses faith over facts by repackaging the cues of mysticism. Is it a much needed extension of the wellness trend that makes us feel special by transporting us away from an overbearing digital existence or, is all just a bunch of hocus pocus?

“Magic is fun and makes you smile,” explains Julie Bell, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing at Benefit Cosmetics. Their latest and largest brow collection launches this week and includes packaging that’s peppered with images of a magician’s assistant and playful taglines such as ‘the wave of a micro-wand’ and ‘fuller looking brows magically appear’. "For us brows transform your face more than any other feature” continues Bell. “When we were working on the positioning of our new brow collection we thought long and hard about what is the most transformative thing and the answer “magically” appeared. Magic! It’s the most transformative and powerful way to transform yourself and at Benefit we believe that laughter is the best cosmetic and what’s more fun than magic?"

Image Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Image Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Benefit aren’t alone in conjuring up links between their cosmetics and magic. Amanda Bell, Makeup Artist for Pixi Beauty, reveals its part of the brand’s DNA. "The founder of Pixi is from Sweden where there is much joy derived from passing down from generation to generation stories about fairies, trolls, pixies and of course magic." Elsewhere and makeup sorceress Charlotte Tilbury launched her beauty line with leading products such as the Magic Cream and Magic Foundation, recently followed up by her Magic Eye Cream and Magic Night RescueHonest Beauty's Magic Balm owned by Jessica Alba is a US best-seller while Korean Spa's Magic Peeling Mitt and Starskin’s Magic Hour Foot Masks have been hailed as the new cult classics in the UK.

Big brands are in the act on too. “L'Oreal Paris loves the word magic or ‘magique’ and has attached it to everything from Revitalift Magic Blur to the entire Nude Magique range” explains BeautyMart founder Anna-Marie Solowij. She also believes the presence and use of magic within beauty isn't a new thing, instead it was a comeback of an old favourite jumpstarted the trend. “The first was Egyptian Magic, a heavy duty moisturiser made of beeswax, olive oil, honey and propolis. This 20 year-old sleeper, mainly popular with makeup artists, came back on the radar a couple of years ago, having been rediscovered by a new generation of bloggers and the smart buying team at Liberty who put it back on the map”.

The popularity of magical products may also be linked to our age. “This generation's interest and excitement about magic grew up with Harry Potter and Manga. They love unicorns, believe in crystals, the supernatural, meditation and other esoteric stuff such as Tarot and astrology” continues Solowij’. On a deeper level, it also appears to be form of escapism. “We’re living during a time that is unnerving – the recent economic crisis, global warming, terrorism, the refugee crisis. To many, the world seems spinning out of their control. Millenials see the world moving in a direction that is frightening and the idea of magic provides an escape”, explains Beauty Psychologist Dr Vivian Diller. The sense of childlike wonder that the idea of magic conveys also takes beauty fans to a world that is less knowing and cynical. In an overwhelming digital world where we constantly reinforce everything with imagery, that is a very appealing idea.

However, there is caution to be had with beauty’s new fairytale. “Promises of magic can lead a consumer to desire a product, but only real results will make consumers feel good and special in the long run. Broken promises actually make women feel duped, so brands have to be careful about making ones they can’t keep,” warns Diller. You have to wonder, why brands aren't allowed to claim a cream will reduce their wrinkles without evidence yet there are no rules when it comes to magic. Soweji feels a more light-hearted approached is best. “Magic is a belief, rather than a claim and adds an element of imagination for the consumer”. Only time will tell whether we’ll get bored of beauty’s new tricks. As for right now, with all its promises of magic and mysticism, the beauty world has us completely spellbound.


Marketing: 3 Content Trends for Q2

Content marketing has evolved a lot in a very short time span. What was once a market dominated by whoever could produce the largest volume of marginal-quality content is now a market where success is based largely on your connections, diversity of content formats and your ability to connect with and engage an audience across multiple channels.

Content marketing is going through some serious changes right now, forcing marketers to analyze subjective situations and adapt to new technologies to stay relevant, because, more than ever, consumers are turning to the web for information and education.

According to DKNewMedia, 70 percent of U.S. consumers read or listen to opinions published in blogs, reviews and forums. If you want yours to be one of the few voices they are listening to, you need to prepare for these three emerging content marketing trends.

1. Better content promotion

You used to be able to publish content, like blog posts, on virtually any topic, and gain a fair amount of traction and traffic. That’s just not the case anymore. Content creation is at an all-time high as more marketers are publishing content -- and the quality of the content being published is through the roof. “You need to create ridiculously good content -- content that is useful, enjoyable and inspired,” writesAnn Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs.

But just because you’re publishing ridiculously good content doesn’t mean you’re succeeding. That’s just the first step.

The problem is, too many marketers fail to promote their content enough: In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not using modern tools and resources to help with promoting all the new content you’re creating. If anything, you’re publishing more content, and spending twice as much time on manual promotion to get fewer results.

Expect to see this change as the industry starts pushing for better content promotion with more effective tools. “Influencer marketing” is the buzz phrase right now, and marketers are using resources likeContentMarketer.io with its Connector tool (email outreach to influencers and contacts) and Notifier (outreach to the influencers and people mentioned within your content); both turn influencers' heads toward your content.

Similarly, it's important how you tag others on social media with a post -- which becomes visible to their entire network of followers.

2. Repurposed content

Repurposing is hardly a new topic, but it’s fast gaining popularity this year as marketers realize that repurposing content is a no-brainer. If you’ve got something that has already resonated well with your audience, you absolutely should try to create more content with that topic.

“Repurposed content adds more horsepower to your marketing machine,” writes Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics. “It takes your content further, faster than you could ever do on your own. It helps you build up a fan base that you may have never known existed; and it does this without a lot of effort on your part. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just add more wheels to the machine?”

That’s the beauty of repurposing content -- you’re simply pushing your existing content out into a new channel, in a new form, to be digested in another way.

A well-performing blog post can be broken down into key points and turned into:

  • an infographic

  • bullet points to be discussed on a podcast

  • a quick explainer video

  • a series of images with bite-size info pushed out via social channels

  • short videos posted and shared

  • quick-chat live video sessions using Periscope

3. New publishing options

Facebook kicked off the trend in new publishing options when it introduced Instant Articles. It’s not surprising that the social platform took this route. Up to this point, content being shared via Facebook (and other social platforms) has always been a redirect to an outside source. Instant Articles turns Facebook into a native publishing platform, providing more direct options for publishers to quickly get their content directly in front of their audience.

Now, Google has introduced its own version of instant, rapid content-sharing, with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and I expect to see different forms of native content publication spreading to other social and digital channels, as well.

What that means for the near future is that competition in content marketing is going to skyrocket. The market is already saturated, and algorithms, new formats and new tech are making it easier and cheaper for marketers and businesses to publish content.

The end result is that you’ll see further content floods coming with only the best kind of 10x content getting any meaningful visibility, unless it’s promoted properly. “People just jump right to, ‘We’re going to create this really cool thing and put it out there, and people are going to magically find it,’” says C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules. “You have to market your marketing.”

In 2016, the quality of content is extremely important, but the real difference is in how it’s promoted, where it’s promoted and whom it’s promoted to.

Marketing: Why you Can't Afford to Ignore Content Marketing

You’ve heard about it and probably seen it, but have you done anything about it? While content marketing is still a relatively new marketing term, it has become the focal point of best marketing practises for B2C and B2B brands alike. It’s even considered a good strategy for people starting their own business. Yet there are still businesses and marketing professionals who choose to ignore the importance of content in their marketing strategy, not understanding why this can sink their marketing efforts.

Coined by Joe Pulluzzi, the term “content marketing” refers to finding the sweet spot, or intersection between your knowledge and your passion (or customer pain point), whichever is more appropriate.

What does this mean for us in marketing? It means our goal is now to try to educate and delight our prospective clients before attempting the sell and, if you do try to sell, it should be when they are ready to buy. Contrary to outbound marketing techniques such as paid advertising, telesales or sales emails, this inbound marketing strategy demands a big time investment. So ask yourself this: does the majority of your content on your social media or blog sound like an extension of your sales pitch? Or does it actually add value to the lives of your customers? (Note: the aim is to add value, not extend the sales pitch!)

Although it does take time and is not a quick fix, a good content strategy will:

  • Support sales and improve the leads funnel
  • Increase brand awareness and build trust
  • Create brand advocates who add credibility to your business

In Hubspot’s Status of Inbound 2015 report, 45% of marketers were planning to invest more in their content marketing this year as it has brought success previously.

So, to avoid a sinking ship and without further ado, here are the 5 things you need to do to kick-start your content marketing strategy and start reaping the rewards.

Make sure your content solves a problem

With the growing amount of content created and shared every day, it’s simply impossible to keep track of everything on a daily basis. Turn the table around and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Generalisations, random takeaway tips and thrown-together advice is at best frowned upon, at worst not even read.

Ask yourself, what problems do your readers have? What challenges do they face? Then create content in a way that helps resolve these issues for them.

Do a content audit

(you never know what content gems you may have hidden away)

This might be one of the most important things you do. It’s crucial to look at what has worked or what hasn’t in the past (or if you’re starting from scratch, look at what content pieces you can re-package). Make sure to include your main business objectives in this audit to help with the evaluation. If you’re in the process of changing what you want to achieve as a business, it’s the perfect time to implement a new and comprehensive content strategy.

This is also a great way to source content ideas – maybe there were some subjects covered in the past that could now be refreshed and improved on? Start by listing what you have, then what you think you need (or what’s missing), and then understanding how you can bridge the gap given the resources you have at the moment.

Remember the various content types and channels

It is important to remember that while blogs are central to content marketing, there are over 100 types of content, but not all need to be included in your content strategy. If you are just starting with content, this is a great opportunity to find out where your audience is and what type of content they respond to best.

Remember not to spread yourself too thin though – there are many platforms to publish your content to and different things you can create, but it’s best to focus on one platform before you move on to others. Best of all, content can be reused, repackaged and reformatted to fit different types and channels.

Create a content plan and calendar

Seems simple enough, right? But this is the reason most content marketing strategies fail. If you are just starting out, then keep it simple – maybe use a management tool that has as a calendar built into it. We use Trello to manage our content projects and use the calendar view it offers to get an overview of our scheduling, and, of course, our own social media scheduling tool Sendible for social media management.

If you have a number of departments or contributors, you may want to keep all of your content accessible to key team members. Share ideas and drafts via Cloud-based software, then decide when to publish them or keep them for later.

Publish, monitor, review and optimise – it never stops!

Once your content is created and shared, remember to monitor how it is performing. Ask yourself what is popular and what works best. With time, you will be able to create more helpful content geared towards what your audience loves. There are analytics and reporting tools that can help you with this. We use Sendible of course, but there are many options for you to choose to suit your needs.

In-between this ongoing process, make sure to take extra time to engage with the industry, talk with influencers and curate (collect and share) other authors great content.


Recent changes in search engine algorithms and the way Google indexes your content means that original, high-quality content is preferred. Pages that get ranked the highest are usually the most trustworthy and valuable source for consumers. This is the time when small businesses or personas can grow bigger, boring B2B companies get a personality and most importantly, customers get the best kind of advice without having to look too hard for it.

So, what do you think? Have you already started investing in content marketing or are you not sure whether it would pay off in the end? Would love to hear your thoughts!



Marketing: Content Marketing Strategy

Dallas Content Marketing Strategy

Do I really need to create a content marketing strategy?

Yes! As we’ve learned through our annual research, not only do you need a strategy, you also need to document it.

Those with a documented content marketing strategy:

  • Are far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing
  • Feel significantly less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
  • Generally consider themselves more effective in their use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels
  • Were able to justify spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing

What should my content marketing strategy include? 

Think of a content marketing strategy as an outline of your key business and customer needs and a detailed plan for how you will use content to address them.

While there are no definitive “templates” for building a content marketing strategy — each one will be unique to the business that creates it — there are five components that they commonly include:

  • Your business case for innovating with content marketing: By communicating your reasons for creating content, the risks involved, and your vision of what success will look like, you are much more likely to gain executive support for your strategy — and to get permission to make a mistake here and there as you figure out what works best for your business.
  • Your business plan for content marketing: This covers the goals you have for your content program, the unique value you are looking to provide through your content, and details of your business model. It also should outline the obstacles and opportunities you may encounter as you execute your plan.
  • Your audience personas and content mapsThis is where you describe the specific audiences for whom you will create content, what their needs are, and what their content engagement cycle might look like. You may also want to map out content you can deliver throughout their buyer’s journey in order to move them closer to their goals.
  • Your channel plan: This should include the platforms you will use to tell your story; what your criteria, processes, and objectives are for each one; and how you will connect them so that they create a cohesive brand conversation.

How often should I update my content marketing strategy?

Some parts of your strategy should stay consistent even as your content marketing program grows and evolves — namely, your mission and business goals. In fact, these two things are so key that you may want to put them on a Post-it note so you can keep them in view whenever you are working on your content. 

However, other aspects of your content marketing strategy will likely benefit from being reviewed and updated periodically. To ensure that your content marketing program remains on target, consider revisiting your channel strategy, core topics, and team processes on an annual basis — or more often if you are just getting started.


Marketing: Damn, Daniel!

If you haven’t heard someone say, ‘Damn, Daniel,’ in the last 24 hours then you’ve been living under a rock because Daniel Lara and his white Vans have pretty much taken over the internet. 

Want to know why everyone’s talking about Daniel Lara? Well, Daniel made his debut in a 30-second video, which has now gone viral, posted on Twitter Feb. 15 by his friend Joshua Holz. In it, Josh films Daniel walking around, looking cool, and showing off his many outfits. Each time Daniel debuts a new outfit, Josh exclaims, “Damn, Daniel!” Josh also pays special attention to a certain accessory: “back at it again with the white Vans!”

Now that the video has gone viral — watch it above — online users can’t stop using the two phrases to compliment their friends, whether they’re purposely trying to be annoying or not. 

iral video is every marketer’s dream. It’s the surest way to cut through the noise of the internet. And studies show that social viewers—people who watch shared content rather than videos they’ve found by browsing—are far more likely to buy a product and recommend it to others.

Why do some videos catch fire and others just fizzle out?

The two most powerful drivers of viral success: psychological response (how the content makes you feel) and social motivation (why you want to share it).

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Marketing: How Marketing is Changing for Small BIZ

The frequent changes in technology have introduced new and revolutionary changes in marketing, especially for small business setups. Let us compare the old ways of marketing with the new ways and evaluate the impacts thereupon:

Today, the customer service has turned into the client engagement in a sense that earlier, the small businesses had to plan how much time they can give to the queries of customers in a day. At present, they are available 24 hours a day on the social media and generally can handle all the clients anytime. Their response has a direct impact on the mind of customers and it is very useful in making a good reputation. This is because everyone is in a hurry and wants an immediate response.

This is a great change that monologue messages have converted to dialogue nowadays. In older times, businesses would put advertisements on television, print media and billboards. Today, even small setups can have a dialogue with the customers directly and the credit goes to the social media sites. It does not seem that the company is marketing its business, but facilitating the customers and fixing their problems. This way, they learn a lot and follow the marketing strategy accordingly.

Today, the paper marketing has taken a turn of digital marketing. In the presence of SEO email marketing, eBook, content marketing and rest of digital ways, businesses do not require newspaper ads, pamphlets or magazine advertisements. Earlier, giving ad on television or radio was only affordable for big businesses, but now small business entities can also avail themselves of cost effective marketing campaigns.

Today, there is no need to create clever ads to hit the minds of the audience and generate high sales; rather it is more fruitful to provide the accurate relevant information to the customers. If they find what they were searching for, they remain in touch with the website. The main thing is to target their keyword search and then in view of that, provide the solution to their problem.


Marketing: Why Content Marketing Is the 'Only Marketing Left'

Dallas Content Marketing Expert

The great Seth Godin once said that "content marketing is the only marketing left.” What Seth meant, however, is that marketers should be creating content that their audience cares about -- not just re-purposed advertisements. 

For business owners though, they still may not understand the value that quality content could bring to the table. In fact, content marketing is an essential part of today’s marketing strategies for each and every business. And that beings by regularly updating your business’s blog or websites.

If you haven’t given blogging a chance yet, there are several reasons why you need to implement this process as soon as possible.

1. Benefits of blogging

  • Adds fresh content: If you want people to keep coming back to your site, then you have to give them a reason. If you haven’t added any fresh content in months, then why would a potential customer come back and visit your site?
  • Helps your site gain visibility: If done correctly, and depending on how competitive your industry is, content could help improve your site’s search ranking and bring in some inbound traffic. Content also gives your brand a voice of its own so that you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Establishes authority: Content that can help your audience is one of the best ways to showcase your knowledge and skill set. When this is accomplished, you can become an authority figure in your industry.
  • Helps communication with your audience: Blog content can be shared on your social media channels which then can be used to have discussions with your target audience.

2. Benefits of blogging often

There’s no denying that blogging frequently can be a major assist for your business. But, how often should you update your blog? Some would daily. Others would argue that blogging daily is foolish. According to HubSpot, “Companies that published 16-plus blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published between zero and four monthly posts.”

HubSpot also found that size of a company also plays a factor. For smaller companies with one to 10 employees, traffic was higher if they published more than 11 blog posts per month. When compared to companies that published under one post per month, they saw three times the amount of traffic. Small companies also had “the highest return on leads when they blogged more than 10 times per month.” Even more interesting, companies that published more than 11 monthly posts had twice the amount of leads than companies who published six to 10 monthly posts.

Clearly, small businesses can benefit from updating their blog or website frequently. While blogging daily does have it’s perks, it’s probably not the option since it could result in burnout for both you and your audience. Instead, you may be better off posting one, two or three posts per week.

As noted by Ali Luke on ProBlogger, there is “no ‘one size fits all’ approach to blogging. What’s important is that you find a routine that you can stick to over the long term -- not one that leaves you burnt out after a few weeks.” When determining your routine, consider what works best for you and your audience. Maybe you only have the time or energy to post weekly. Perhaps your audience is only looking for two posts every week. It may take some trial and error, but ultimately you will settle on a schedule that best suits you, your brand -- and your customers.

3. Curated content

Even after you’ve determined your ideal blogging routine, you’re bound to have those days when you encounter the dreaded writer’s block. If that’s the case, then try one of these methods to develop some killer content ideas.

  •  Revisit your archives: If you’ve been blogging for sometime, you probably have a nice little archive. Go back and revisit one of your most popular articles that is still relevant and update it. Well-known bloggers like Darren Rowse do this activity and have found that it can increase search rankings and attract new readers.
  • Topic generators: There are several tools that you can use to come up with blog topics. For example, there’s Content Ideator. With this simple tool, you just type in your keyword, and the tool will generate hundreds of topics ideas. Let’s say that you’re a dentist. Content Ideator suggests topics like “When is the worst time to visit a dentist” and “How to find a dentist you can trust.”

Other useful topic generator tools would be HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Portent’s Content Idea Generator, and Blog Title Idea Generator. You can also discover content through content engines like Scoop.it and Storify, RSS feeds like Feedly, news aggratotors like Flipboard or even the social media accounts from other well-known personalities in your industry.

If you go this route, make sure that you take the topic that you like and make it your own by adding your thoughts and voice.

  • Google Alerts: Select a relevant keyword or phrase and set up a Google Alert. Google will then search for articles related to the keyword or phrase and send you an email notification. Another helpful Google tool is Trends. This simply shows you the most popular stories that people are searching for.
  • Ask influencers or your audience: Reaching out and connecting with leading figures in your industry is a big part of Content Marketing 101, since they can introduce you to their audience -- which could very well be larger than what you currently possess. If you have a solid rapport with an influencer, you could ask them to write a guest blog or even ask a number of them to be a part of an advice post.

Besides influencers, you could ask your audience for topic ideas, check if there are any ideas in the comment section or even ask them to create content for you -- like posting images of your customers enjoying your product.


Marketing: Holiday Shopping

Luxury Brand Marketing - Travel - Beauty - Wellness - Amin and Co - Luxury  Holiday Shopping Marketing

Earlier shopping, ecommerce sales growth, improved email marketing, and mobile commerce will be among the most important ecommerce trends during the 2015 Christmas shopping season, which lasts from the end of October through December 24.

Holiday ecommerce sales are important for many online retailers. In some cases, small business owners might see a significant portion of total annual sales in just a couple of months. Understanding what to expect in terms of growth or trends may help with planning your holiday season.

What follows are four 2015 holiday shopping predictions for ecommerce.

1. Many Shoppers Will Purchase before Halloween

The holiday shopping season will start long before Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In fact, at least 25 percent of holiday shoppers in the United States will purchase a Christmas gift before Halloween.

Often these before-November sales are not even tracked with holiday spending. But they will, nonetheless, happen.

This prediction is not earth shattering. Rather it is a continuation of a trend, since Google reported that one in four American shoppers bought a Christmas gift before Halloween last year. And some 48 percent of shoppers had done the majority of Christmas shopping before Cyber Monday.

2. Online Retail Sales Will Grow 13.9 Percent

Year after year, online retail sales outpace retail sales overall, and 2015 will be no exception. But regardless of where a product is sold, it will be a good year for retail.

Research firm eMarketer suggested that overall U.S. retail sales in November and December could grow 5.7 percent compared to last year, reaching, perhaps, $885 billion. If that happened, 2015 would mark one of the best increases in total U.S. retail sales in several years.

eMarketer predicts total retail sales will grow 5.6 percent, with online retail growing 13.9 percent.

As a subset, online retail should grow 13.9 percent to more than $79 billion or about 9 percent of all holiday retail sales. While this is a slightly lower growth rate than ecommerce enjoyed in 2014, it is growth from a larger base, and is still very positive for the industry.

3. Email Marketing the Best Promotional Tool

While this one will be a bit hard to measure, expect email, which is already the dominant holiday marketing vehicle, to become even more important in the 2015 Christmas shopping season.

Consider that a MailChimp survey from last year found that 100 percent — that is, every single one — of marketers surveyed planned to use email as part of their holiday promotions. Even companies that did not regularly send promotional emails planned to use the tool.

Two things will make email even better this holiday season.

First, expect to see more companies automate email messages, so that when shoppers make a holiday purchase they will see follow up messages that are designed to make additional sales and retain those holiday customers all year long.

Second, email marketers are getting better at segmentation and personalization, which, in turn, should make an already effective marketing vehicle even better.

4. Mobile Commerce Will Reach 25 Percent of Total

During key 2014 holiday shopping days — like Black Friday — mobile commerce accounted for nearly 28 percent of ecommerce sales. For the 2014 holiday season overall, almost one-in-four ecommerce transactions took place on a mobile device.

Three factors will continue to push growth for mobile ecommerce.

First, even more sites are responsive and mobile optimized. Having a responsive website is not a competitive advantage in 2015; it is a competitive requirement.

Second, as smartphone screens get larger, mobile ecommerce becomes easier. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is 5.65 inches tall and 2.78 inches wide. The iPhone 6 Plus is 6.22 inches tall and 3.06 inches wide with a 5.5 inch HD display. On devices like these, it is simply easier to shop.

Third, mobile payment options are improving, again making it easier to shop from a smartphone.



Marketing: Amplify Your Content

Content marketing is an important component of every digital-marketing strategy. It serves several purposes, such as:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Assisting in lead generation
  • Providing answers to common questions, giving the prospect the information he or she needs to make a purchase decision
  • Pushing “on the fence” prospects to convert
  • Attracting inbound links for search-engine optimization purposes
  • Expanding your reach via social sharing

While most businesses know they need to do content marketing, many don't gain much traction. In an effort to help you improve your content-marketing efforts, here are some tips that will greatly improve your results.

1. Map out your entire strategy. Be as detailed as possible.

You need a very detailed plan if you want to experience success with your content marketing. Many businesses just throw up blog posts without a plan. There is no research behind them and there aren’t any benchmarks or goals established. The purpose of content marketing is to generate revenue. Yes, there are short-term goals in between, but when it comes down to it your content needs to produce a return.

You need to brainstorm topics based on campaign goals: do you want to generate leads, push prospects directly to a purchase offer or accomplish another conversion goal such as a phone call or location visit? You then need to optimize your content properly, plan a promotion push and set conversion goals. Map out your content-marketing strategy so you can easily answer this question: “Is this working?” 

2. Determine what content assets are currently producing results.

If you have been posting fresh content to your blog for some time, use Google Analytics to see what content your visitors have engaged with the most. What posts have received the most visits? What blog posts kept your visitors on your website the longest? What content did your visitors engage with before they converted? Also take a look at the social shares and comments each post has received.

This gives you a good idea of the topics and content styles that your audience responds the best to. Use this information to plan future topics and continue to monitor your results. Don’t be afraid to test different topics and styles -- just analyze your data and you will take your content marketing in the right direction. 

3. Focus on quality over quantity.

Content assets that truly deliver results aren’t cheap to produce. Not every business can afford a full-time in-house content writer or a freelancer. This isn’t an excuse to sacrifice quality. If you can only afford to publish one high-quality blog post per month in the beginning, do that. 

Some of the most popular forms of content include ebooks, webinars, videos, blog posts, case studies and infographics -- these all cost money to produce. Don’t opt for several lower quality pieces. If your content assets are limited, focus your energy on promotion and increase your publishing schedule as your revenue increases.

4. Use paid outlets to expand your content reach.

You could create the most amazing piece of content, but it’s not going to be effective unless your target audience engages with it. If your website doesn’t receive a lot of organic traffic, then you are going to need to seek additional traffic sources to get eyes on your content. Sending your new blog posts to your email list and sharing them on your social-media profiles are great ways to attract some traffic for free, but if you really want to get the most out of your content you need to utilize some paid channels.

  • Paid social-media promotion: Organic social reach is limited, especially on Facebook, so if you want to attract traffic, boost your Facebook posts, promote your tweets on Twitter and run sponsored updates on LinkedIn. Start small, even just $10 a day, and scale up your social promotion as your revenue increases. 
  • Content distribution networks: There are two main players, Outbrain and Taboola, that help place your content on major websites in front of an audience that their algorithms determine might be interested in reading your content. You only pay when someone clicks and is brought to your website. Both companies operate on a cost-per-click bidding model. To see an example, scroll to the bottom of this ESPN article and look at the “Sponsored Headlines” -- those are from the Outbrain network.


If you have any additional content-marketing tips to add, please share them in the comments section below.

Marketing: Influencer Marketing

Amin & Co. - Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing: do it or die, writes Detch Singh.

It’s well known that word of mouth marketing has become explosive as a result of social media. With 92% of consumers now believing peer recommendations over all forms of advertising, influencer marketing has become a critical element of the marketing strategy for many brands.

However, whilst many marketers realise the importance of influencer marketing, some don’t prioritise it to the extent they should.

There are three key reasons as to why influencer marketing needs to be at the core of your brand’s marketing strategy:

1. Conversation is key on social media… but brands no longer drive it

So much of social media is about conversation, but consumers have become much more discerning of push advertising. They only want to engage with the content that they subscribe to, not ads that they are forced to view.

Your customers subscribe to, and interact with so many powerful digital influencers when making purchasing decisions (even before they realise they are making them!). These influencers are already talking about the products and services you provide (or worse, what your competitors provide). They are the ones driving authentic conversations around trends, brands and purchasing decisions. To remain relevant and be front of mind for consumers, it’s necessary for your brand to play a core, positive role in these conversations.

2. Access your demographic more effectively

Think about the billions of dollars spent on traditional media for advertising you couldn’t be sure was actually reaching potential customers.

On social media (particularly channels like YouTube and Instagram), you can reach core audiences because so many influencers are focused on specific verticals. Speaking simplistically, beauty vloggers reach people who are interested in beauty advice, products and services. Instagrammers focused on women’s fashion reach an audience of women who are interested in their taste in fashion. That’s powerful targeting and results in an ROI which is significantly better than advertising on social media channels or traditional media.

3. Generate authentic recommendations and drive real advocacy

Social media influencers are extremely conscious of their own brand because their posting decisions can have a huge impact on the reaction of their subscriber base.

This is the most important point. It means that usually when an influencer posts positively about a brand, they actually like it. This subsequently drives genuine recommendations for the brand and specific products or services they provide. Better still, if an influencer continues to post about your brand, it truly demonstrates advocacy which will be repeatedly seen by the same, relevant audience.

Detch Singh is co-founder at Hypetap.

LUXE Marketing: Digital Beauty Opens Shop

Cosmetics brands and ecommerce generalists that launched as pure play digital ventures are shifting to omni-channel commerce, and a new report from global market research firm Kline looks into the phenomenon.  

Read More - http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/Retail-Trend-Digital-beauty-brands-opening-storefront-shops

Business: Marketing BUZZwords

As more companies look to inbound marketing to build website traffic, generate leads, and convert customers, the number of articles written about this topic has exploded. And with an explosion of content comes buzzwords and fancy vocabulary terms that can confuse anyone not specializing in digital marketing.

Are you confused with all the buzzwords?

If you’ve been busier running your business than reading articles, here are ten popular content marketing buzzwords de-buzzed:

  1. Internet Marketing, Content Marketing, and Inbound Marketing. There’s been some discussion about the differences (and similarities) between these three terms. To begin with, Internet Marketing refers to any kind of marketing that takes place on the Internet, to include paid forms of advertising, as well as inbound marketing and content marketing themselves. As for the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing, we recommend you defer to HubSpot’s definition: inbound marketing is the overall process of generating leads and customers using your website. Content marketing is a specific subset within inbound marketing that refers to the content you produce.
  2. Responsive Design. Responsive Design is a buzzword that describes the process of designing websites that “respond” to different devices and screen sizes, such as mobile, tablet, and desktop. For example, if you visit our website on a mobile phone or tablet, it will provide a visually pleasing and easy-to-navigate experience. Older websites sometimes use a different framework for the experience that can lead to a bad experience and be difficult to read. In the recent news, this has become even more important because of the next buzzword on this list…
  3. “Mobilegeddon.” Google just made another of its notorious search engine updates, this time focusing on mobile-responsive websites, or “mobile-friendly” websites. If you get a significant amount of your website visits from people using phones or tablets, you need to make sure your website is mobile responsive. If you don’t, your site may be penalized and pushed down the list of search results for users searching on phones and tablets.
  4. Call to Action. Inbound marketing websites use Calls to Action to encourage website visitors to take specific actions when they visit the site. Calls to Action are the action-oriented phrases that appear on buttons and links all over the website, often related to the particular topic or piece of content being viewed. When clicked, these phrases lead to a landing page.
  5. Landing Page. A landing page is a full web page dedicated to one offer in your inbound marketing arsenal. This page consists of a few paragraphs and a form that has to be filled out in order to download something, get a free demo, get a free trial, or some other action. The landing page provides an opportunity for the customer to submit their information and move further through your marketing funnel as a contact, and the layout, language, and images used on the landing page are very important.
  6. Premium Content Offer. A premium content offer is the “carrot” that you offer to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. More often than not, this is a white paper or short eBook that provides information of interest to your prospective customer. It might provide your insight on a certain problem, or simply overview how to do something that your customer is interested in.
  7. Social Reach. It’s easy to see stats for the individual platforms that you manage. Social Reach takes these stats to another level by gathering the total number of people you have access to within your social media network. This gives you a comprehensive impression of your total reach and potential for engagement.


Interview: Insider Look at Coco De Mer

LUXE Brand: Coco De Mer on The LUXE Passport by Lulu Amin goo.gl/oK1Pta

Being the global month of love, and with the recent ground-breaking premier of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, I thought I would reach out to a luxury brand that encapsulates "All things sexy".

I caught up with Ms. Lucy Litwack,  Managing Director of Coco De Mer, to learn a little more about this global luxury brand.

Read below for the exclusive Q&A...

LUXE Brand: Coco De Mer on The LUXE Passport by Lulu Amin goo.gl/oK1Pta

Tell me a little about Coco De Mer.

Founded in 2001 Coco de Mer is London’s legendary luxury erotic emporium. For the past decade we have inspired lovers, celebrated sexual liberation, and educated multitudes in a mission to create a space where decadence and excess is allowed to flourish.

Both our online and Covent Garden boutiques carry a selection of pieces hand picked to dazzle and delight. Whether you're interested in the finest lingerie selected from fashion forward designers across the globe, or beautifully crafted toys to indulge your sensual side we aim to satisfy your desires.

The Coco de Mer name was inspired by a rare plant found in the Seychelles, whose seeds suggestively resemble a woman's form. When first discovered it was prized as a valuable oddity, and they were frequently encrusted in gems and displayed in noblemen's homes as titillating oddities. We loved the idea of this playful yet precious seed and felt it encapsulated our store's philosophy perfectly.

LUXE Brand: Coco De Mer on The LUXE Passport by Lulu Amin goo.gl/oK1Pta

How did you become to be the Managing Director of CDM?

I have spent more than 15 years in the lingerie industry working with brands such as La Perla, Myla and Victoria's Secret.

Joining Coco de Mer last year has been an enlightening experience. The brand has an incredible history at the cutting edge of luxury erotica. As collectors and creators of only the finest erotica, we create a special and luxurious world for people to join us in our passion for beauty,design and sex. Everyone can benefit from inviting Coco de Mer into their lives and I look forward to encouraging more people to indulge in their enjoyment of each other.

Any products available right now that you're excited about? 

What are some 2015 Lingerie Trends you're excited about?

Luxurious minimalism, vintage romance, lots of metallics and erotic accessories influenced by Fifty Shades of Grey.

Quick, sexiest hotel in the world? Go!

Two words: Hôtel Costes.

LUXE Brand: Coco De Mer on The LUXE Passport by Lulu Amin goo.gl/oK1Pta  - Hotel Costes

 What are some of your brand goals for 2015?

We have a lot of exciting launches in the pipeline for this year. These include growing our own label assortment combined with a website redesign to bring the soul of Coco so beautifully encapsulated in our boutique to a broader customer base.

LUXE travel essentials?

A large cashmere blanket from Loro Piana, a fig candle from True Grace and an Erotic Toile eyemask and lingerie bag from Coco de Mer.