Did you like ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? When it comes to promotion of fashion brand, you may need to be just as vicious as Meryl Streep’s Oscar-nominated performance.
Whether you’re selling screen-printed shirts or intricate evening gowns, a measurable and effective promotional campaign is essential.
This goes a little far beyond the occasional share, retweet or like.
Bonus material: Have your Etsy sales dropped off? Download the Etsy Encyclopedia and start bringing in the sales!
Up your game get your product to the world in the most efficient way possible. Our goal today is to inspire you.
You must have a brand website.
It sounds like a no-brainer, right?
A central website where you can base all your activities around. Time and time again, we find fashion brands that are only present on social media or a marketplace.
While that may work for Kanye, chances are it won’t for you.
It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket (we’re looking at you, Etsy sellers).
If you’re already selling on a marketplace, a lot of the hard work is already done. You’ve already got traffic, you’re building a following and are probably already moving some product.
Using Shoplo Multichannel you can manage your Inventory over multiple marketplaces. Your inventory, customer and orders are synced over Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce and DaWanda.
An ideal eCommerce platform for a fashion brand is one that can handle a wide range of variants. The same product in different sizes and colours, for example.
Bonus points go to a platform with versatility. A platform that lets the user update the homepage to show off new arrivals and collections is going to make your life easy.
Of course, Shoplo ticks all these boxes. Our client base is built on fashion brands. We’re constantly finding new ways to accommodate and educate fashionistas of all kinds.
Simplicity and elegance combine on the MOIESS homepage by Shoplo
Be active on social media.
Let me get this out of the way early in the piece.
Don’t abuse social media by only promoting yourself.
No one is going to follow your brand if all you do is use social media to sell yourself.
Remember the social side of social media.
Yeah Bunny entertain their fans with clever videos
When you find a nice balance between self-promotion and entertaining your followers, you can turn nearly any social media platform into a sales funnel.
Our super mega simple sales funnel. Social media sits at the top.
Social media sits at multiple places during a customer’s buying cycle, but it’s most effective when used at the top. That is to say, social media is good for getting your brand seen by more people.
When you’re seen by more people, you grow your following.
When that following sees interesting content, they trust.
When they trust, they visit your site.
When they like what they see on your site, they buy.
Buffer goes deep in explaining a social media sales funnel here.
When your funnel is set up, you can start using social media to grow. Ryan from One Tribe Apparel found that giveaways were a great way to grow their social media following.
But not just any kind of giveaway.
‘’We started doing co-brand giveaways where we would team up with other brands in our niche and do a giveaway through our social channels. We’d promote it and help each other grow our followings.’’
This kind of cross-promotion is a double edge sword. Not only do your followers increase, but you know they’re high-quality engaged followers.
Engaged followers mean that they’re interested in your brand and that it’s not just a generic throwaway account that’s followed you. Once you’re growing your following this way, it’s important that you’re posting interesting, relevant and engaging content.
If you’re boring, you’ll lose those followers as quickly as you got them.
Pro Tip: Use paid promotion to get your Facebook followers onto your website. After they’ve visited your website, use Facebook Retargeted Ads to convert visitors into a sale.
When starting out, your energy and enthusiasm are the most important traits to have. But be sure not to bite off more than you can chew.
Aiming too high is a great way to lead yourself to disappointment and frustration.
“Most people have an idea that if they can just get one mention in a big name like Vogue that it will skyrocket their brand to the top”, says Elijah of Powerful Outreach PR. The best way to prove this to the big fish is by feeding all the small ones first.”
Elijah says that once you’ve achieved a few small successes, you naturally start to grow and evolve.
“By starting small, you will have much more success, sooner. You will slowly seep into the scene until the point where some of the bigger writers will start to think – “Where have I seen these guys before?”
Give your brand personality.
You have less than 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention when they first land on your web store. Therefore, the more you treat your customers like goldfish, the more you will sell. Maybe.
As the marketer and designer for your brand (yes, you’re in marketing and design now), your mission is to make your brand memorable. Explain everything in less than 10 seconds.
You can do that by:
- Unique Buttons – Rather than just HOME, PRODUCTS, BLOG and SEE MORE buttons, Dollar beard club make everything their own.
- About Us – Having a page that tells your story is nothing new. But most pages are quite boring. Liven it up a bit. Have one page dedicated to your story, your goals and mission and another page dedicated to your team. LiveChatInc has hit the ball out of the park with this one.
- Witty Copywriting – Words and imagery are everything to your online store. You don’t shouldn’t cut corners on imagery, so don’t do it with words. Good copywriting does a lot of things to help define your image and make your brand memorable.
AppSumo make their tone of voice well known as soon as you arrive
- 404-page errors – Firstly, it’s not good to send traffic to a page that doesn’t exist. But if people are accidentally going to get there, you may as well make the experience memorable for them, like Mailchimp do.
You’re reading a Shoplo blog right now.
By providing an educational and informative blog, we’re building trust with you. We discuss things that are happening in your industry and how they affect you. You’re starting to build even more trust with us.
This is the exact point of this blog. The overall goal of our blog (and most others) is to educate and inform to the point where readers trust the brand enough to make a purchase. By the way – go sign up for your free 15-day web store trial.
So that’s great for a Software company like us, but what about a fashion brand?
When One Tribe Apparel started they were bootstrapping and had a very small marketing budget. After some hefty research, they discovered that the best way for them to grow was collaborating with bloggers and Instagrammers with a decent (and relevant) following. But the key is persistence.
‘We found for every 1 collaboration to take place you needed to send 4 outreach messages which is roughly a 25% conversion rate. Some influencers have a rate to post and others will do it just because they like the brand. We tried to find a balanced mix for this and were fortunate to have a lot of people on Instagram love our clothes and help us build our following up because they connected with our mission’’.
Kiran from Sydney-based streetwear label Inverse Culture explains that blogging can go beyond building that emotional rapport and help the technical side of things.
‘Blogs provide visibility for any website by being easier to find on Google. The more high-quality blog posts you drop, the better your organic SEO will be. Once you add keyword research in to find hot topics – you can really supercharge your traffic for the exact type of people you want.
The Inverse Culture team don’t stop there when it comes to delivering content for their followers. A link in the main nav bar will take you to a ‘Curated Playlists’ section where potential buyers will find – exactly that. A collection of Spotify playlists.
‘We have a deep passion for hip-hop, so it allowed us to creatively build amazing playlists between all our other business duties.’ Explains Kiran.
‘It also enabled us to take our fans on a journey – the type of journey we would experience when hearing our now favorite DJ-sets – you hear familiar songs, classic songs you forgot about & music you’ve never heard before but you need it in your life.’
The Inverse Culture team have, in one foul swoop, found another way to build a rapport and trust with their customers. Leveraging mutual passions.
‘People don’t forget people who recommend them awesome music – if you find something in one of our playlists that you LOVE, we know we have the foundations of a brand advocate right there, it’s that mutual love.’
Check out the favourite tunes of the Inverse Culture guys here.
Sell a look & be a stylist of your fashion brand.
Simple, clear and concise product photography has its place – on your product page. But lookbooks are what actually sells your gear.
Lookbooks are an age-old feature with the overall goal being to sell a look and inspire shoppers. They show off your outfit in a natural and organic environment.
Reykjavik District shows off their products out in action.
Lookbooks invoke an emotional response from buyers. They convey a ‘feel’ or a ‘vibe’ by putting the products in an environment where they take centre stage. A well-designed lookbook excites a viewer and can gently usher them toward the checkout.
Max from A Hume Country Clothing says they get extra value out of their own imagery.
“By allowing blogs and news publications to use our imagery on their own websites, we can acquire links from a variety of authoritative websites, which improves our overall organic visibility.”
Email marketing has long gone hand in hand with eCommerce. It is a direct path into the face of people who have expressed an interest in your brand.
‘’A change in consumer habits clearly proves that online shoppers are immune to in your face advertising.’’ says Maria Wachal from Freshmail.
‘Email marketing gives fashion brands a tremendous opportunity to create personalised customer experiences focused on the needs of individual customers. The email format facilitates fostering relationships with subscribers that drives conversion and sales. As proven by Custora Q1 report, email marketing accounted for over 18% of purchases in eCommerce.”
Building an email list is no easy task, though. Boxes on your web page with text along the lines of ‘Subscribe to our newsletter and stay on top of all our latest news’ really isn’t too convincing. Would you sign up to that?
Instead, look at other ways to obtain an email address. ‘Enter your email address to get 10% off your first purchase’ for example. This way, you get the email address you want and increase your chances of getting a sale.
A discount in exchange for an email address is called a lead magnet, and they come in many forms.
Maria from FreshMail also explains how fashion brands have pioneered the email marketing landscape.
‘Welcome emails, transactional emails, abandoned cart emails, birthday emails and regular newsletters enable brands to tell their unique story and form a community around their brand. As well leveraging the right moments to engage customers, ask for feedback and boost sales.”
Follow your data.
Numbers can be scary. Scarier than words sometimes. But data and statistics play a huge part in your growth and development. These numbers give you an insight into what’s working and what’s not.
“Using data in the running of your business means you’re no longer relying on instinct to make decisions about your business, and it can reveal insights about your business that you might never have considered before.” says Sarah from Neatly.io.
“Data from Google Analytics and Facebook’s Audiences can tell you what your visitors are interested in beyond the products they’re looking at, so you can create a marketing message that really resonates with them and is more likely to convert them.”
Data is a rollercoaster ride you need to be on.
Being ‘data driven’ like this is a fantastic trait to have when it comes to planning for your brand. It can show where you’re growing fastest and gives you a yes or no answer about meeting your KPI’s.
Here are some things we pay attention to when looking at our traffic in Google Analytics:
Content: Which blogs or pages have had the most traffic.
Source: Did that traffic come from social media, and an external blog post or organically from Google?
Medium: If from social media, was it a scheduled tweet, a direct message or an influencers post? If it was from Google, what was the search term?
Country: Being a European company, a lot of traffic comes to us from non-English countries. Do we need to translate our products or content into other languages?
These are some simple ways that data and traffic influence the way our brand develops.
You may feel like your Instagram following engages with your promotions more, but if the data points to Facebook being your main driver of traffic, you clearly know where to invest your energy.
That being said, following your gut instincts has some benefits, too. History often repeats itself. You may know that you have more followers on Instagram, but everyone that followers you on Facebook it more engaged with what you post. Data doesn’t necessarily show the behaviour of lurkers!
It’s not hard to strike a balance between going with your gut instincts and letting your numbers guide you. This is a great guide on letting the numbers and your gut influence you on equal levels.
Press and PR
Good media coverage starts by figuring out where your ideal customers spend their time online. What blogs and magazines they read, which social media networks they frequent and who influences their decision making.
Another big step is figuring out your Unique Selling Point, or USP. This is essentially the reason that someone should buy something from your brand, rather than your competitors.
One all these things have been established, Kristin from Creative Development Agency says it’s time to reach out to outlets with a well-crafted pitch.
“Once you know who your core customer is and what makes your brand newsworthy, then you’ll be able to draft a pitch that resonates with a specific magazine or blog’s readership. Keep your pitch limited to fewer than 400 words, including five to seven benefit-based bullet points, a short bio, and a link to a lookbook. Never send attachments.”
Kristen has gone so far as creating a free course on how designers can get media coverage for free. The Squash the Competition with PR. The FemFounder.co Chief Blogger put this together to see smaller brands take advantage of opportunities that usually go unseen.
“Good PR can help produce more leads, website traffic, email subscribers, and sales. Additionally, it can help position someone as an expert to help book speaking engagements, land larger media opportunities, and more.”
Armed with this new information, we encourage you to do out and see what works for you. Let us know what works for you, or any other tips you can add!
Was Anne Hathaway better in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ or ‘Bride Wars’?