How Ciele is Building Community with the FRND Influencer Program

August 23, 2021

Key Takeaways

Ciele Athletics, a Canadian sportswear company, started by focusing on running caps and perfecting the ultimate fit for outdoor adventurists and runners. From March to July 2021, a total $3.6K was spent across Search, Social and Display ads in Canada and the USA suggesting that the majority of their marketing spends are going towards content creation and product seeding. Ciele built their influencer strategy by:

  • Influencer Strategy — Building a Branded Community: Ciele built an influencer program called FRND where sponsored athletes include “@cieleathletics FRND” in their Instagram bio and post content sharing branded hashtags which have amassed 124K posts over time.
  • Seeding Tactic — Keeping it Niche: Instead of targeting macro influencers, Ciele FRNDs have anywhere from 400 to 10K followers. There are currently about 20 FRNDs whose followings reach 72K people together.
  • Content Tactic — Developing an Omnichannel Strategy: Ciele ensures that their advocates are present throughout their own initiatives such as product development, IGTVs and blog posts. As of July 2021, Ciele instagram posts featuring FRNDs garner an engagement rate of 11% which is +57% more than posts without FRNDs (7%).

Ciele Athletics, a Canadian sportswear company, started by focusing on running caps and perfecting the ultimate fit for outdoor adventurists and runners, expanding to now include performance wear. Founded on community and collaboration, Ciele uses an influencer and advocate program for their social network called FRND.

Ciele Athletics

From August 2020 to July 2021, Ciele Athletics has generated an average of 80K site visits per month. The site saw a +221% increase in traffic from February to July 2021. 

Ciele Athletics - Web Traffic

From August 2020 to July 2021, 62% of all website visitors came from a mobile device. 9% of all website visitors came from organic social, the third largest generator of mobile traffic after organic search (55%) and direct (27%). 

Ciele Athletics - Desktop vs. Mobil Web Visitors

Ciele does not focus marketing spend on Google Search, Social or Display ads, seeing that a total of $1K was spent in July 2021 on digital advertising in the USA and Canada. This suggests that spend is focused generating high quality content and seeding to a niche and diverse group of FRNDs. 

Ciele Athletics - Total Ad Spend

Ciele Athletics has also seen growth on Instagram of +14% since August 2020 into July 2021 due to a strong social presence and community online. 

Ciele Athletics - Instagram Following
Scale starting at 40K to show following at start of year.

As of July 2021, Ciele has 20 FRNDs who are actively posting and highlighting their affiliation on Instagram. Here are their top ten creators with the highest engagement rate:

Currently, the average influencer engagement rate across all industries is 1.47%. Together, the 20 active Ciele FRNDs have amassed the following on their profiles:

Ciele - Influencer Engagement Rate

From August 2020 to July 2021, three influencers alone were able to generate 14.4K engagements on Instagram posts tagged with Ciele hashtags.

bdg123 , darchbud , dreizle

Ciele includes their FRNDs in a close-knit circle to help design new collections, host IGTVs and write feature stories for their blog. From April to July 2021, Ciele’s posts with FRNDs garnered 11% engagement, +57% more engagement than posts without FRNDs.

New Collection Designs

IGTV Lives

Blog Posts

The Journal, Ciele’s blog, brings the influencer strategy off Instagram and onto the website. Organic search accounted for 53% of web traffic in July 2021. The journal currently has about 40 ranking keywords that have developed over the past year. This gives Ciele’s FRNDs a chance to contribute beyond sharing imagery and products on social media but by being able to tell and share their own stories.

Click to view

By continuing to build a niche network of FRNDs, posting content and reaching direct audiences, Ciele has amassed over 124K posts under their branded hashtags.

Ciele - Niche Network of FRNDS

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