Fashion is about beauty, style and innovation, so it would seem like a natural fit for online marketing. But, fashion brands know driving a customer base is about more than just putting up pretty pictures.
Meaningful engagement arises from your brand's unique lifestyle proposition, interactivity, and reach. Consumers seek out content with engaging text and stunning visuals, which are the stock in trade of clothing companies. Don't worry - an effective content strategy can help you with all three
Remember It's About Lifestyle
Fashion companies do their best marketing when they sell a lifestyle, not just an outfit or style statement. This gives customers an excuse to engage with their online marketing even when they are not shopping for clothes. Brands like Anthropologie and Forever 21
are two examples visual-focused blogs that provide non-clothing related content.For Anthropologie, that includes recipes and articles on aspects of fashion and design. Meanwhile, Forever 21 speaks to its millennial base with the use of hashtags and blog posts that provide additional information about how to use its fashion products, like tips for working out while wearing the brand's activewear.Content tip:
Go beyond standard marketing, and have an active blog and social media presence focused on your the lifestyle your brand sells. Be a hub of information for the style, music, art and food interests of your target consumer. Understanding her lifestyle will gain her trust and convert her into a customer.
Open the Doors for Interaction
Fashion is about staging and image, but fans love to see what goes on behind the scenes. Companies like J. Crew and Victoria Secret add clips of photo shoots to their Instagram pages and offer insight into the hard work behind those beautiful pictures. To get your target customer to stop and engage, don't be afraid to offer an offbeat look at your brand's creation.To get a sense of how you can draw in the community-minded among your social media followers, take a look at Rent the Runway
, which incorporates user-generated content into its blog. Similarly, your brand should strive to develop new original content, such as interviews with designers and tips on how to mix and match fashions, other hallmarks of the company's marketing.Content tip:
Develop greater customer loyalty by providing unique and interesting content around your brand. Exclusive interviews and fashion tips will drive buyers to go to your online properties, even when their fashion budget is maxed out.
Maximize Your Social Media Reach
Everyone is on social media, but not all businesses use the various platforms effectively. Digiday
recently reported on a pending change to Instagram, currently, the platform used most by fashion companies. Instagram is an extremely useful channel among today's fashion marketers as it outranks Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest by 13 to 1 when measured by interaction rate.But soon, Instagram feeds will be sorted according to an algorithm, which means you may have to switch up your posting strategy to stay in front of your customers. As it now stands, fashion brands who post more have more audience engagement. But when Facebook introduced an algorithm, sites that posted more received less news feed time. In essence, quality was preferred over quantity.See also: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Updates
So how will the new Instagram algorithm measure quality? It's yet to be seen, but Digiday assumes influencers and comments will hold more weight than mere "likes." That means that instead of maximizing the number of posts you put up into the Instagram universe, you should focus on those photos that will pique the interests of your followers enough that they will leave a comment or share it with their friends.Content tip:
Create a social media strategy that focuses on quality content and high audience engagement. Extend your relationships with fashion influencers so they will assist in the promotion of your brand.
Structure Pictures and Text to Work Together
Images are the basis of content marketing for fashion brands. Pictures show consumers what they are buying. Text tells them why they should buy it. Text is not only necessary for search engine optimization purposes - getting Google to find your company's website - or for fans to find you on social media; it points out the small details that sell the outfit.See Also: Content Marketing Lessons from These Savvy Fashion BrandsFashion retailer Nasty Gal
takes the time to develop creative and engaging product descriptions. This turns each item from a mere show piece on a virtual shelf to a must-have. Nasty Gal creates themes around each collection, providing a lifestyle to which customers can subscribe. For people who love fashion, reading the Nasty Gal site can be as much fun as clicking "buy."Content tip:
Highlight the allure of a particular piece or collection with an engaging product description. Tie it into other lifestyle aspects of your brand, such as casual summer parties with friends, nights on the town in high-end restaurants, or trendy travel spots.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Effective content marketing must be more than a collection of elements. You may have an engaging blog, cool photos and interesting behind-the-scenes intel, but all should gel as part of a coherent content marketing strategy. Start by sitting down with your colleagues and defining your target market. Then ask yourself about your customer. Initial questions that will help you define your strategy include:
- Age and gender
- Family status
- Income level
- Interests and activities
- Sources of influence (blogs, celebrities, or other influencers)
Once you have a grasp on your customers, you'll know how to speak their language and put this relevant material in a place your audience will engage with it. Whether it's through images, lifestyle options or compelling text, there are many ways you can align your brand with their interests. With these tips, you should have all you need to create content that's designed not only to attract, but convert customers into lifetime brand advocates.This is the first of our series on content marketing strategies for various industries. Be on the lookout for more to come this month.Looking for help creating unique content for your brand?