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Expert Q & A

How Bearaby Markets Its Cozy Weighted Blankets Year-Round

June 18, 2021
Mae Rice

Bearaby's weighted blankets are most popular in winter — when paid ad prices are at their highest. That's a challenge the company's marketing team tackles with SEO, earned media, CRO, and... hedgehogs?!

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People don’t buy a lot of weighted blankets in the summer. 

We knew it in our hearts, and Bearaby CGO Joaquin Arce confirmed it. 

Weighted blanket sales are “pretty seasonal,” he said. Bearaby sees more sales in Q4 and Q1, and less in the others. 

It’s tough to market a product that’s mainly in season during the holidays, when paid digital CPMs are sky-high. 

Luckily, Arce and the Bearaby team have some tricks up their sleeves. 

The off-season playbook

Innovate.

Bearaby customers “love to see new things,” Arce said. “It makes the brand feel new.” In that spirit, the marketing team:

Focus on conversion rate optimization (CRO). 

Prospecting doesn’t pay during this season, so Bearaby’s growth team focuses on CRO for its lower-funnel ad campaigns and product pages.

Hire hedgehog influencers.

For April Fool’s Day this year, Bearaby launched its extra-large “Hugger” blanket alongside a “Hogger” blanket, billed as “the world’s smallest weighted blanket” — just for hedgehogs.  

The Hogger got its own landing page and support from (verified!) hedgehog influencers: @lionelthehog and @wat.ki.

Its Instagram announcement — starring Lionel — was “one of our highest engagement posts,” Arce said. (It landed some earned media, too.) 

The peak season playbook

Get in a gift guide, stat! 

Bearaby has earned some high-profile shopping guide mentions, in... 

This affiliate marketing strategy has been working — especially the gift guide one. Arce said it led to roughly 10X more sales (!) than the other placement. 

Invest in SEO.

This is really a year-round push, but it pays off in winter, when Bearaby can spend less on paid search because they organically rank for… 

  • Weighted blanket
  • Knit weighted blanket
  • Weighted blanket benefits

Use paid digital — in moderation.

In peak season, despite high CPMs, Bearaby spends some on paid digital prospecting — AKA reaching customers who’ve never heard of them.

However, the team still primarily spends on retargeting users who’ve shown some kind of intent, whether that’s through sleep health-oriented searches or a visit to Bearaby’s homepage.

Our takeaway? 

If you’re scrambling to diversify your marketing mix in light of iOS 14.5, look to companies like Bearaby, with wintry products. 

They can’t over-rely on paid digital, and they were investing in slower-burn channels where you don’t pay per view or click — like SEO and affiliate marketing — before it was cool.

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is senior editor at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she enjoys interviewing marketing experts and learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture. She also loves any ad that makes her say "Huh?!" — especially Tim and Eric's ad for Totino's pizza rolls, which she watches way more often than you would think.

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