No matter where your retail company is in their business journey, the end goal is typically the same...more sales! How can your fashion business achieve this goal? I’ll give you a hint. It starts online.
Whether your fashion business is just starting out or has been around for a few years, you’ll want to continue to grow an online audience. The bigger the audience, the higher the revenue. So, check out these four helpful tips to build an online audience.
1. Know Your Ideal Buyer Audience
When creating content for your fashion brand, it’s extremely important to do your research and figure out who your ideal customers and audience are first. Do this by creating what’s called a “buyer persona”. According to Hubspot, buyer personas are “fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers”.
Think about who your ideal consumers are and who you want to target when marketing your fashion business. Consider the following questions below when creating your buyer personas:
- What is their occupation/role?
- What are their goals?
- What are their challenges?
- How old are they?
- What’s their income range?
- What’s their education?
- What social media channels are they using?
Once you’ve answered these questions, give your buyer persona a name and story. This will give you a clear picture of who you’re speaking to when creating content. When it comes to marketing your fashion brand, you’ll want to create content that appeals to your audience, so identifying your buyer personas is key to building your online audience! Speak their language to create content your audience wants to hear and will find helpful.
2. Collaborate with Influencers with a Relevant Audience
Influencer marketing is an extremely effective way for fashion brands to build an online audience. So, what exactly is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing consists of brands building relationships with key individuals to promote their products and/or services. These key individuals have developed a large online presence and are capable of swaying the opinions and actions of their audience.
Collaborating with influencers is a powerful strategy for fashion brands to include in their marketing strategy, as this puts your brand in front of a large, new audience. Be sure to do your research before collaborating with a fashion influencer, to ensure the influencer’s audience matches your ideal customer audience. That way, you’re targeting the exact people you want following your brand and becoming your new customers.
Using a fashion influencer to promote your clothing line is an amazing way to discover new potential customers and build your online audience. Successful fashion influencers have already developed a large online audience of users who trust them and their opinions, so collaborating with these influencers will help drive their followers to your fashion brand. The more exposure you have to the right audience, the better!
3. Create Quality Content
Another effective way to build an on online audience is by creating quality content. An amazing foundation for how your content should be built is to follow Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. In 2009, during a TED Talk titled, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Simon Sinek stresses the importance of brands knowing their “why”. Your “why” represents your beliefs and the reason why what you do matters. When developing content for your fashion brand, it’s a great idea to begin with your “why”. This is where you connect with your audience, build the reader’s trust and give them a reason to continue reading.
After developing your “why,” your content should dive into the “how”. In this section, list out the steps and strategies needed in order to reach your goal. Whether you’re writing content for a blog, website, social media, or ebook, this section should be solution-based and touch on ways the topic of your content can benefit those reading it.
Once you’ve addressed the “why” and the “how,” it’s time to close with your “what”. By this point, you should have gained the reader’s trust and interest. The “what” is where you discuss what it is you’re trying to sell or get across. Make it simple, honest and authentic. You want your reader to understand exactly what it is you’re offering, so be concise and comprehensive when pitching your “what”. This is the last thing the reader will see, so make it count!
Using the Golden Circle to map out content for your fashion brand is a great start, as this allows you to tell a story in a way that is structured and makes sense to consumers and the way they think. When it comes to filling in the “why,” “how,” and “what,” it’s important to create content that’s valuable to the audience receiving the message.
Here are some creative ways to fill in the “why,” “how,” and “what’s”:
According to BrainRules, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. Pairing text with a visually appealing graphic or video clearly has a huge impact on the audience receiving the message, making it significantly more memorable. So, take advantage of this! Use images that are bright, high-resolution and attention grabbing.
Video, Video, Video!
If you aren’t using video to market your fashion brand, start! Video marketing is an incredible tool that gives you the opportunity to creatively showcase your brand identity in a way that’s human. It can be used in so many ways to market your fashion brand, whether it’s a demonstration video, behind the scenes video, Facebook cover photo video...you name it! Utilizing this tool in your marketing strategy is also a great way to build trust. Did you know more than 180 million internet users watch online video content every month? That’s a huge amount of users who could be receiving your message!
Ephemeral Content is any piece of content that is temporary, like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories. As video marketing emerges, ephemeral content has also become a popular way for fashion brands to implement videos in a fun, casual manner. Utilizing social stories in your marketing strategy is a highly effective way to engage with your audience, give users FOMO and showcase real-time experiences.
Use Humor and Emotion
Oftentimes, companies make the mistake of over-promoting their brand. When creating content for your fashion brand, the key is to appear as human as possible. Avoid using salesy language and try implementing humor and emotion into your content. You want your audience to engage and relate to your message. Users are more likely to unfollow and unsubscribe to your brand if you give off a SPAMMY vibes. Post content that will make your audience laugh and smile because that’s the type of content users like to engage with and share. And the more users share, the more exposure your fashion brand will receive.
4. Engage with Your Audience
One of the worst things you can do as a fashion brand, or ANY brand for that matter, is to remain silent. It’s called social media for a reason, and users are less likely to interact with your content if they aren’t going to receive a response. Make an effort to respond to as many comments as you can to show users that you’re listening and care about what they have to say. Your response should be authentic, appropriate, genuine and reflective of your brand voice.
One great way to engage with your audience is through the use of user generated content. User generated content (UGC) is any type of content that has been distributed by unpaid users (usually fans) who are promoting your products or services. This could be used in any form, whether a fan voluntarily tweets about your brand, posts a photo using your product, or writes a testimonial.
Take time to search for tags that point back to your fashion brand or customer posts, photos, videos, blogs, etc. that include your product. If a user tags your fashion brand in a photo of them wearing a dress from your shop. This is a great opportunity for you to comment on their post and share the photo on your page. Sharing a customer’s post is an amazing way to build brand trust and increase your online audience.
I’m a part-time freelance artist and recently, a popular art account shared a timelapse video I had posted of myself painting on their Instagram account. I was extremely flattered and excited and told several friends and family members about it, which drove more traffic to their page. Oftentimes, this is the same result other users experience when their content is shared. And, boom! This essentially works the same as the word-of-mouth effect.
In addition, BazaarVoice found that 65% of millennials find that user generated content (UGC) is more honest and genuine than other information they find online, and 86% feel that UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand, service or products. That’s huge! The more people trust your product and brand, the more likely they are to purchase and become loyal customers.
Doubling your online audience doesn’t happen overnight. Take your time, create a well thought-out marketing strategy and go for it! You have to build brand trust before your audience can start to noticeably grow, so consider these tips when getting started and your fashion brand will be on the road to success!