Prioritizing your brand’s digital needs is one of the most important aspects of marketing for your fashion brand in 2015. As fashion entrepreneurs, we often pay quite a bit of attention to certain functions of business at the expense of others. While no singular business function is more important than any other, maybe with the exception of sales; far too these often come at the expense a brand’s digital presence. When it comes to digital, some brands will take the approach of no compromise, but here are 6 important elements fashion entrepreneurs need to be aware of.
- Consumers Shop Everywhere. With the rise of mobile commerce, the advent of selling tools for Facebook and now Instagram and Pinterest, consumers are more likely to purchase your goods, even if they are not on your site or trusted platforms like eBay and Amazon. Brands are using tools like Soldsie and Like2Buy to make “conversion rate optimization” a new category for social networks.
- The Mobile Hype is Over. Typically trends in digital take about three years to go from hype to mainstream. Mobile was the buzz term of 2011-2012 e-commerce, the word of the year for 2013 and basically expected in 2014. In 2015, even the smallest businesses will be expected to have a strong mobile presence or at least able to handle mobile orders. Ignoring mobile in the coming months will be a huge mistake, especially as competitors invest into making their mobile experience the way to capture your customers.
- Content Marketing is Not Optional. Everyone has a blog, press room or public forum of some sort. Most brands have not only two or three, but multiple social media accounts on various networks. In addition, events and other real world interactions and the publicity they generate are part of the entire picture. Content is everywhere all day; so if your brand isn’t part of the conversation, it likely is not being talked about. Develop a plan of action to produce engaging content relevant to your audience on platforms they frequent.
- It Isn’t Only Social Media. The permeation and ubiquity of social media marketing, as well as its overlap with other areas of digital marketing, has fooled many an entrepreneur in downplaying the relevance of digital marketing. “Traditional” forms of digital marketing are still alive and well and an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. This is especially true as the skills and tools used to handle these strategies become more mainstream and simultaneously complex. Digital Marketing includes terms such as display advertising, e-mail marketing and search marketing in its toolbox, but there are those who believe social media is all there is to know. Ombre Digital can help ensure you are not one of them.
- Niche Social Networks. Building off of the knowledge that consumers purchase everywhere, getting to know the more niche or specialized social networks in the digital fashion world is not a bad idea. Everyone looks at Instagram as the new world of social fashion, but communities such as Polyvore, Lookbook, Chictopia and even Poshmark are growing and their impact on the fashion world just as much so. Look at niche social networks that you can interact with to increase your social audience, create a stronger profile on existing customers and build relationships with new ones.
- Influencers Are the New Norm. Influencers or Influencer Marketing was definitely a buzzword for much of 2014, but are key to the fashion industry and here to stay. The term is usually associated with fashion or style bloggers and beauty bloggers with a large social following on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or elsewhere. However, two important considerations are emerging in influencer marketing. First, the idea that you need to work with the largest influencers to have a successful marketing initiative is bogus. It’s better to work with influencers that are actively engaging with your target audience and get a create deal of interaction with that community. Secondly, not all influencers are ludicrously expensive and concerned only with the color green. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, so some may be willing to trade for a complimentary dress from your latest collection or a small stipend to do a review of your site.
Before the year ends, take a minute to review your digital marketing initiatives or consult with the team at Ombre Digital to review your brand’s presence online. The key takeaway is to invest equally into different parts of your business for the fastest growth opportunities and allocate resources carefully to accelerate areas of potential growth or patch deficiencies. If you are better at merchandising and logistics, outsource your digital needs to a team that cares or hire a Digital Marketing Manager to oversee that aspect of your brand. Of course, it never hurts to have an entire team of eyes and ears building your brand.
Image Credit: Evandorlot