Beyond PR

Jul 29, 2016

Content We Love: Nordstrom’s Social and Influencer Marketing Boosts #NSALE Visibility

Content We Love Nordstrom Anniversary sale

We can all agree a little shopping never hurts anyone, especially when your favorite store rolls out a can’t-miss sale.

Seasonal events have long been used by retail marketers to create buzz and reach new customers. Longtime shoppers even anticipate annual and semi-annual sales in an effort to shop more and pay less.

To host a successful sale, today’s retailers must look beyond the walls of their store (or ecommerce site) to attract customers.

Nordstrom did just that with an eye-catching and engaging marketing campaign promoting their annual Anniversary Sale. The leading fashion specialty retailer used three key tactics to boost engagement around their biggest event of the year.

Influencer Marketing

Advocacy and influencer marketing can take your brand to the next level. Engaging with a subject matter expert, celebrity or other person your audience considers important helps boost visibility and adds credibility to your story.

For the first time, Nordstrom has partnered with a group of artists, designers and trendsetters to help market their Anniversary Sale. These ambassadors speak to their following as cheerleaders and champions for the Nordstrom brand.

The influencers Nordstrom tapped for this campaign cover a range of areas and connect with different customers’ interests, like actress and designer Melissa McCarthy; Dallas Wings point guard, All-Star player and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Skylar Diggins; actor, artist and activist Rhi Blossom; and YouTube star Joey Graceffa, just to name a few.

Nordstrom also invited Jessica Alba of The Honest Company, Caroline Issa of Nordstrom Signature and Caroline Issa and Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere to curate their “favorite picks” in a special section of the Anniversary Catalog and online.


With Nordstrom’s Anniversary Ambassadors sharing their favorite products and participating in Snapchat takeovers, we can see how influencers do much more than amplify a message.

As Cision’s James Rubec writes in Defining Influencer Marketing with Heidi Sullivan, “Being an influencer means you aren’t just informing people but mobilizing them towards something, be that a product, an idea or an action.”

Social Media Marketing

Thanks to social media’s ability to connect people around the world, your customers are influencers in their own right. Regardless of your company size – big or small – creating conversations on social media increases your reach to potential audiences.

Nordstrom bridged the gap between their sale, their store and their social media content with daily #OOTD (outfit of the day) promotions.

Each #OOTD is published to Nordstrom’s corporate Instagram account, Nordstrom email and on And in stores, special hang tags call out featured #OOTD merchandise so customers can easily find the items they see on Instagram.

Moreover, Nordstrom and their customers can engage in social conversations on Instagram with the hashtag #NSALE, as well as Snapchat Geofilters.

Social media opens many opportunities when it comes to a major brand event. “Your event promotions have the potential to reach an almost limitless audience,” writes Ryan Hansen in 5 Ways Social Media Shapes Your Multichannel Marketing. “People who cannot physically attend an event are able to follow along via Twitter and other channels using event hashtags.”

One thing to remember, though, is that your communications must be done in a way that’s not overly promotional, but instead helpful and fun for your audience. Both of which, Nordstrom achieves.


Multimedia News Release

While influencer and social media marketing are important tools in a marketer’s toolbox, their reach can be amplified even further with the right content distribution.

Nordstrom celebrated their biggest event of the year by distributing a multimedia news release that incorporated informative visuals, entertaining videos, clear calls-to-action and other best-in-class press release techniques.

Uniting many of the campaign elements in one branded landing page was a smart move that strategically exposes Nordstrom’s story to new audiences, including the media. The visuals also add excitement while a prominently placed ‘shop now’ button helps drive customer traffic back to Nordstrom’s website.

When developing your marketing strategy, it’s important to identify the best mix of channels and tactics to reach your audience. Download our guide Maximize the Reach of Your Message with a Strategic, Multichannel Plan and get more tips for promoting new products, customer contests, content marketing, and other brand communications.

Author Elisha Levingston is a customer success representative for channel and advocacy marketing at PR Newswire.

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