In a crowded online fashion market, it can be difficult to distinguish your brand from the pack. We have found that one of the best ways to make your mark is with digital marketing. Not only can fashion digital marketing improve brand presence and sales, it can increase brand awareness, and is easily trackable so that you can get immediate feedback and determine if a campaign is working. We’ve also found there are long-lasting effects as well.
When done correctly, fashion digital marketing gets your product in front of your ideal audience so they become aware of your brand, purchase your products, and ultimately turn into brand ambassadors.
We’ve worked with numerous industries and brands and we have seen the tremendous impact that digital marketing can have on sales. When we partner with an ecommerce site, we connect every activity to leads and sales. We optimize a brand’s current efforts online to make sure they are getting the most bang for their marketing dollar.
So, let’s get to it. Here are twelve fashion digital marketing examples and ideas that will help you market your fashion brand:
1. Retarget your visitor with Facebook ads to increase conversion rates.
Most people are not ready to buy immediately upon seeing an ad or visiting your website. With retargeting you’re able to reach the same people that were thinking about buying your product with reminder ads.
If they don’t purchase—let’s say after a week—you can give them a slight discount in the ad to get them to act. Retargeting people who have abandoned their shopping cart is also a fantastic way to generate sales that otherwise would have been lost.
We recently took over a brand’s Facebook ad management, and on average they have received a 398% return on investment, with some Facebook retargeting campaigns going up to 660%! Download the case study to read more about how fashion digital marketing has helped an Italian sunglass brand skyrocket their sales.
2. Run a promotion during holidays to increase sales and capture attention when buyers are more aware.
Depending on the time of year, you could provide different incentives to buyers.
If it’s Christmas, have a series of emails go out to your email subscribers with a digital marketing strategy that focuses on compounding discounts. For example, you could promote 12 days of giving and offer a discount each day on a different product. Day one you discount shoes, day two dresses, etc. Give your subscribers a reason to share their email discounts with their friends and on social media.
Prior to Easter, you might promote an Easter Egg Hunt on your site. Place a fancy Easter egg with discount code on pastel dresses or tops that might be appropriate for the occasion to encourage purchase.
To ring in the New Year, you could cater to champagne tastes on a beer budget by featuring fancy party dresses under $50, or if you’re a luxury brand share how to ring in the new year with high-class style.
Promote some Summer Lovin’ with discounts on pairings—a bathing suit and cover-up or sandals and shorts. Or offer an bonus gift with sales over a certain amount. Sunglasses, flip-flops, hat, or sunscreen (with your brand and logo on it) are possible giveaway items with a purchase over $100. The customer is happy because they received something for free and every time they use that item they get reminded of your brand.
NOTE: Every seasonal incentive should also be shared on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as your blog.
3. Create style guides to show your visitors how to wear or incorporate your items into their everyday life.
If you own a fashion brand that sells a variety of clothing items, put together a style guide for your website so that visitors and subscribers can get ideas on how to wear your clothing, and even incorporate pieces into their existing wardrobe.
Don’t limit yourself to just one guide. Style guides can be done seasonally (spring, summer, fall, winter), for special occasions (wedding, party, picnic), holidays (4th of July, Christmas, New Year’s), and for more topical themes: travel, work, weekend, beach.
Guides can be listed as a special section on your website and incorporated into your blog, where you can provide more in-depth information on each item in the collection. Try telling a story with the style guide to interest your customer.
4. Run a giveaway on Instagram to increase both brand awareness and the size of your community.
If you have a very popular item in your store, run a giveaway strictly on Instagram. For the giveaway have your Instagram followers comment on why they want to win the item in the photo and then tag three of their friends that would want the gift as well. (Who will often comment and tag another three friends!) Instagram giveaways can become a regular feature for your brand, offering a new item at the beginning of each month.
Make sure you use beneficial and/or recognizable hashtags for the item giveaway. Create a special hashtag just for the giveaway program, that you will use each time.
Running an Instagram campaign will increase your followers and brand awareness among Instagram users.
5. Work with influencers in your category to provide you with access to a new audience, gain social proof, and receive unique content.
To get in front of your ideal audience, work with a popular fashion vlogger or blogger that already has a dedicated following of people who would like your brand. Those with large audiences have built a reputation and are well respected by their readers. They can have a huge impact if they choose to mention, review, or even wear your products.
You can work with them to create content around a specific campaign or just create gorgeous images with your product. Their influence and creative take on your product will garner great interaction and sales.
Working with bloggers gives you two huge things: you get in front of a new audience and, if you selected the correct influencer, then you’ll gain new customers and the blogger will create content for you. Depending on the collaboration, they will share custom content on their blog, social channels, and you (the brand) may also get the opportunity to use the content they produce.
When collaborating with a blogger, you can also run Facebook ads featuring the photos of the bloggers to send traffic their way, and in turn get your product(s) noticed. (Make sure you get a signed agreement before posting images of them and/or their logo.)
PRO TIP: When working with blogger, provide a brand guide so you give them more guidance and they create the content you’re looking for.
6. Have every new email subscriber follow you on Instagram.
Send new email subscribers a thank you for following and direct them to follow you on Instagram for style inspiration and tips.
Encourage them to not only follow you, but to share photos of themselves with your brand, using a special hashtag you provide. This way you can reshare your customers’ images easily, creating brand loyalty and bringing a personal touch to your brand.
7. Create gift guides year-round for your ideal buyer’s life events to inspire them to buy.
Depending on the type of ecommerce store you own and your ideal buyer, create gift guides for life occasions. People buy gifts year round, not just Christmas, so promote your products by creating gift guides for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, graduation season, Valentine’s Day, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, etc.
Gift guides should be available on your website and can be sent in target emails to customers. You can also promote gift guides on all social media (with images, of course).
These gifts guides are a collection of items that you sell on your shop that would fit a certain category for gifting. For example; for Mother’s Day if your brand sells women’s items, you could create a collection of perfect gifts for mom. Create a special landing page on your website with the list of shoppable items. You could also create a digital ebook with a magazine style gift guide. With ebooks make sure you include links to your ecommerce store so they are easy to purchase.
8. Get your audience involved to create a community around your brand.
Encourage your audience to share content based on your brand values to foster engagement and reinforce those values.
For example, you could run a contest on Facebook and Instagram where you ask your community to share a photo of something that your brand believes in. Under Armour recently ran a campaign with Gisele Bündchen (and other women) where they used the hashtag #IWILLWHATIWANT to share something that the brand believes in and their online community was able to get involved as well by using the same hashtag.
When your community creates content for your brand you might also incorporate shared photos into blog posts on your website or even your homepage like LOFT does. Who wouldn’t want to be mentioned by a fashion brand they love? By sharing the photos on your website, along with descriptions and links to buy the items, you have a customer that will share that link with all her friends.
9. Remember (and learn) customers’ birthdays to build brand loyalty.
Send your customers a happy birthday card via snail mail with a coupon code (#happybirthday). “Happy Birthday Sara, Here’s our birthday gift! Enjoy!”
Speaking of snail mail, you might periodically do a snail mail blast to your customers with an upcoming sale or to debut a new clothing line. People love getting things in the mail and it means you’re going the extra step outside the digital world. This will reinforce brand awareness and build loyalty. But you should always tie your non-digital activity like snail mail offers to digital so you know if your efforts are working. For example, include a code that is only available to the customers who received the letter. That way you’re able to track offline activities.
Make sure your campaign messages resonate with your audience by reaching them everywhere—marry up offline and online channels for a truly integrated campaign.
10. Launch a blog or, if you already have one, keep up with it.
Provide constant valuable information to your audience via a blog.
Blog posts should be regularly released (same day[s] of the week, same time of day) so your readers know when to visit, they should also be visually interesting and generally less than 500 words. Short, sweet, and to the point—which is what most readers are looking for these days. There will be times that your online digital marketing strategy will require a longer (1500-2000 word) post with numerous photos and maybe even a video.
Longer blog posts are great for guides and resources. Let’s say you own an ecommerce store that specializes in camping. You could create a blog post that details the best places to camp in the United States with tips, hikes, activities, and best time of the year to visit. It’s a resource that you know your customers will like and it’s related to the products you sell.
Blogs are used as a way to promote products, let consumers know who you are, and provide them with advice. You can personalize your blog by writing about an employee, how your items are created from drawing to production (like ONA bags shared on their blog), or how you choose your pieces in your collections. Discuss current trends and feature items in your brand that fit those trends. For your more popular pieces, pair them in a style feature with a more obscure item to garner interest and show how to pair up different pieces from your store.
A good example comes from the Tory Burch brand. They wanted to tell their brand story in a more editorial way, which led to hiring Honor Brodie from InStyle, who is now their creative director. She built a team that focuses on the Tory blog, which is an expression of all the things that inspire and entertain Tory, whether it’s an artist or author or even another designer. The blog doesn’t talk much about Tory, but about other things that surround the brand, and that’s what’s unique about it. Honor and Tory have worked together to integrate the blog and commerce. They’ve brought in all the content into the shopping experience so that their customer can explore and connect with the brand while they’re browsing products.
11. Nurture people that are not ready to buy to turn them into a customer later.
When someone first comes to your shop they are not always ready to buy. Make sure to capture their email address and have an automated email series that slowly feeds them new content and you’ll also learn their buying preferences, like how many emails it took for the person to turn into a customer. You’ll learn what type of products they prefer by what they click on in the emails and day and time they open their emails.
PRO TIP: If you’re using HubSpot, connect it with your ecommerce website and send them emails based on pages they have seen on your site or things they wanted but didn’t buy.
12. Email a reminder to people who left items in their shopping cart to increase conversion rates.
People add items to their shopping cart and then forget all about them. Send a reminder email to those who added items to their shopping cart but didn’t buy. Send them in intervals: the next day, the next week, and then maybe the next month, along with a discount code to encourage purchase.
In order to send reminder emails, your website visitors will need to have an account, so make sure you make it very easy for visitors to create accounts on your website.
Digital marketing can be a fairly easy and fun way to increase your brand awareness and sales. While it’s not necessary for you to employ all twelve tactics we’ve outlined here, you will probably find that each one individually will increase sales, brand awareness, or your community. So the more you utilize, the stronger your brand presence will be.
We work with fashion brands that are serious about their fashion digital marketing. Our digital marketing agency not only makes an impact on your online sales but we work with you to develop effective ongoing campaigns that bring together your website, email, blog, and social media efforts. Read more about our Business Advantage program.
Akin is the author of the book "THE INTERNET: a town square for the global village.
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