This blog post is an assignment from my New Media Driver's License course from my time as an undergraduate at Michigan State University. As a class, we were assigned a brand from the start of the semester to analyze. Below is my response to a cumulative examination of Urban Outfitter's digital marketing strategy.
Dear Urban Outfitters,
As a student who has been analyzing all aspects of your digital marketing strategy, I am drawn to the shop's overall aesthetic and the culture you promote.
From a marketing perspective, I find UO's incorporation of hashtags in their Instagram post's brilliant. By encouraging customers to sport UO hashtags in their pictures (#UOonYou, #UOHome, etc.), those posts are then filtered and live-streamed on the Urban Outfitters Community page on their website.
This is brilliant in one of two ways: first, you are offering customers an outlet to feel heard.
Second, your website is updated continuously at the rate your media is consumed.
However, I have one suggestion that I believe will take your brand to the next level:
Improve your website. Websites serve as the "hub" for a brand's digital communication and are still one of the most critical digital assets a company can have. By taking the time to edit your website for fluidity, you could significantly increase brand loyalty.
Firstly, your social media breadcrumbs and blog page are placed at the bottom of the web page. And let's be honest, people don't want to search for things. Additionally, there is no "About" page anywhere on the website.
There's only a short blurb, which, once again, is located at the bottom of the homepage.
Hubspot claims there are 4 essential pages on a website that increase user optimization, one of which is the About page. Hubspot columnist Neil Patel recommends integrating a CTA (call-to-action) on About pages.
"Remember, most people aren't just looking for more information; they're seeking a deeper level of engagement," explains Patel. "A potential marketable call-to-action could be emphasizing Urban Outfitters' mission as, "a hub for creative, like-minded college-age individuals."
Teenagers to midtwenty somethings want to feel understood, and your organization was founded as an experiential retail environment with a creative and cultural understanding. To quote,
"We share our customers' interests and values, representing community at all times by offering inclusion in social media, events, community involvement, and entrepreneurial opportunities."
Expressing this commonality on the actual Urban Outfitters website could make your consumers feel more connected to the organization.
Secondly, not embedding any links to your sibling organizations, such as anthropologie, freepeople, or Vetri Family for on-site optimization is a crucial mistake. By only providing a link to URBN, the parent site, with no explanation as to how Urban Outfitters relates, is counterintuitive and misses the opportunity to optimize your SEO.
According to Entrepreneur, when reputable sites in your industry link to your page, it increases your site's authority. Ultimately, Google interprets backlinks as a trend signal.
Thirdly, I think your Blog page could be revamped. Currently, you only have two columns on your blog.
Overall, I think your website is excellent. It's filled with aesthetic images and products. But as a customer, I believe that you should strategize what could elevate each consumer's experience. Whether it's my suggestions listed not, there are always ways for a company to improve its digital strategy.
Do you need help devising an inbound marketing strategy? I would love to talk.