Artem Kuzmichev and Richard Mabley joined the Shopify Masters team in-studio in Montreal to explain how they capitalized on their virality, and the steps they took behind the scenes after creating the most-watched product video in the history of Instagram.
Artem and Richard are two of the seven co-founders of Transformer Table, an innovative company designing multipurpose furniture, such as versatile tables that can expand and retract.
Ahead, discover Artem’s social media marketing strategies that earned them brand recognition and helped scale the company into a profitable business.
How to drive up sales after going viral
“This entire company basically started from a viral video that got five million views on Facebook in 2016 completely organically,” Artem says. After this surge in interest, the co-founders knew they had a great idea on their hands—and sales started pouring in. Here are five ways brands can capitalize on their own virality.
1. Create strategic and influential partnerships
After the first viral video, Artem began working with influencers as a way to spread awareness about the brand. He sent influencer Racha Abdel Reda a Transformer Table in exchange for creating a video to share on her account. That video started gathering millions and millions of views in a matter of seconds.
Rasha was the perfect representation of the type of customer the brand was hoping to obtain. “She was a luxury influencer, she had a family, and her audience wasn’t from the US or Canada, where we sold a lot,” Artem says.
Most of Rasha’s audience was from places where Transformer Table didn’t have a lot of business yet, and it helped it expand their market globally.
2. Be agile and ready to send product
When Transformer Table saw Rasha’s video take off, it immediately looked into the influencer’s insights and saw the majority of her interactions were coming from the Middle East.
“We didn’t wait one second,” Richard says. “We started sending containers [of product] to Dubai. We did the math, with 131 million views, let’s say 0.1% of those people buy … it’s great!” In order to stay prepared, Richard says it was important to have clear communication with the company’s factory and have the confidence to be able to work with sellers abroad.
3. Think creatively to capitalize on opportunities
The experience of working with influencers was so successful for the team they used it to drive customers into the doors of retail partner Costco.
“We thought, let’s try to adapt influencer with retail. We wanted to drive sales and drive customers, so we found all the people who reviewed products at Costco on Instagram [and hired them], and the increase in sales was [crazy],” Richard says.
Just one month after starting the new influencer program for Costco, sales reached more than $3 million through that channel alone.
💡 Tip: If influencer marketing is already increasing your sales, try using the same approach with your retail relationships and see how much your revenue grows!
4. Keep everything in house
A huge contributor to the ongoing success of Transformer Table was the choice to limit outsourcing. “We decided to bring everything in house because of the speed and the time it takes to do things, and it gives us much more control over all the decisions we have to make,” Artem says. “When you keep things in house, and in one building, this synergy exists where people can talk to each other all the time.”
A major reason Transformer Table has been able to create such high profits from its marketing campaigns is because of the interconnected relationship between employees. Public relations, social media, manufacturing, design, and marketing are all handled by one team, and they can act quickly and more effectively since they are all on the same page.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
Even the strongest marketing strategies have the possibility of failing, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to try new ideas.
Richard and Artem tried out the wild idea of driving a pickup truck to Manhattan with one of their mechanisms displayed to demonstrate the table opening and closing. Nobody understood the contraption, and the trip was a total flop. “We got zero sales, and a bunch of fines from the truck,” Artem says.
Even though the idea did not pan out the way the team had hoped, it is the same energy that led to the brand’s other successful marketing campaigns.
In order to succeed, it’s important to be open to exploring new concepts. For Transformer Table the best way to do this is through targeted influencer marketing campaigns and a deep interconnectedness between internal teams.
To hear Richard and Artem describe some of the most valuable lessons they’ve learned since launching Transformer Table, tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode.