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For fashion brands, maintaining a bulletproof social media marketing strategy is key to achieving mass success. In fact, social media experts have even stated that social media is the natural environment for fashion brands. Highly visual platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, have proved to be fantastic tools for fashion brands to reinforce their brand messaging while expanding the reach of their social posts, increasing brand awareness, and targeting potential customers to boost their sales. Social media and digital marketing not only have a tremendous impact on sales but can ultimately help distinguish a brand from the pack in a crowded online fashion market. To make your mark in the fashion industry and track your progress, digital marketing is crucial and can result in long-lasting positive effects.
How Social Media Benefits the Fashion Industry
Photo or video-driven social media platforms like Instagram are powerful tools to attract more followers and discover fashion enthusiasts. For designers or fashion companies, visual and social platforms can greatly benefit the industry and it is strongly encouraged for them to engage creatively online to boost their popularity and promote their brands. Specifically, there are a ton of ways that the industry benefits from social media usage, including the following:
1. Sharing High-Quality Product Photos/Videos
For an industry that relies on visual appeal as fashion does, social media content allows brands to share powerful images that can attract and keep their followers engaged. Posting creative images showcasing their pieces gives brands the opportunity to draw in potential new customers while highlighting the brand’s originality and brand image/message. Similarly, presenting products through video content on YouTube or TikTok can be highly impressive.
2. User-Generated Content
For many brands, user-generated content (any form of media that a customer posts to signify a relationship with a brand) can act as a positive customer testimonial. Current market data reveals that this type of content can come up with 4.5% conversion rates, but the rates are even higher for fashion brands. Any photo or video posted by a customer online can be used to a brand’s advantage, and because of social media, it just got a lot easier for them to do so.
3. Forming Relationships with Customers and Influencers
Partnering with influencers, such as fashion bloggers, can boost brand awareness and exposure for brands. Also, in the age of social media and digital marketing, a study from MuseFind found that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. Thus, as traditional paid media methods are steadily declining, having a successful influencer recommend your brand will only boost value and credibility.
4. Promotions and Giveaways
Attracting new followers, especially for smaller to mid-size fashion brands, is a huge step in making a name for yourself on social media. To do so, many fashion brands like NastyGal have turned to promotions and giveaways as incentives for both current and new followers.
5. Tools, Instant Feedback, and Analytics
With a social media account, like an Instagram Business Account, brands gain access to exclusive tools and features to receive helpful feedback, insights, and analytics. For example, with an Instagram Story Swipe-Up feature, brands can directly link followers to new products or popular sales on their website. In the same vein, fashion brands can also turn their feed into clickable shopping links where followers can instantly purchase a product they see on a brand’s Instagram.
It’s reported that up to 72% of Instagram users completed a purchase after seeing a fashion brand ad on Instagram. Going even further, receiving instant feedback through social media engagement and insightful post/account analytics are also essential tools for allowing fashion brands to predict trends, receive constructive criticism, judge customer satisfaction, and come up with artistic directions for future collections.
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Fashion and Influencer Marketing
As the relationship consumers have with social media grows and it becomes more integrated into their everyday lives, they will continue to become influenced by what they see online more than ever before – especially when it comes to fashion. In the past, fashion was presented to consumers only through magazines or fashion shows, but now, fashion has become less exclusive and controlled in order to appeal online to billions of users. While magazines and fashion shows are still integral to the industry, fashion has become more interactive than ever before to change the way fashion brands connect with their audiences.
No longer do fashion enthusiasts rely on traditional forms of media to tell them what’s on-trend – they look to their favorite bloggers and influencers on their feeds. Now that influencer recommendations are more valuable and accessible, 200 million Instagram users report following at least one fashion account and say they follow these accounts to gain inspiration for looks they can buy or recreate themselves.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise why so many fashion brands are centering the majority of their marketing strategy around Instagram and other digital avenues. Even luxury brands who once shunned social media are jumping on board and reached a total digital ad spend of $100 billion in 2016. With the role of the influencer becoming greater, some have even turned to create their own fashion brands based on their success from fashion blogging and gone on to create impactful campaigns on their own, such as:
NeoReach’s Work with Fashion Brands
With NeoReach’s focus on full-service influencer marketing, we’ve applied our data-backed strategies, influencer sourcing, and performance reporting methods to various top-tier brand campaigns. More recently, we’ve worked with top clothing brands, such as MeUndies, Skarlett Blue, and Zappos to provide them with instant access to top-performing niche influencers that we hand chose for their campaigns.
By launching strategies derived from data, including competitor audits, audience demographics matching, and platform-specific insights, NeoReach matches fashion and clothing brands with the perfect influencers for their campaigns. Then, with the right influencers selected, our team manages the entire process including introduction, contract negotiation, deployment, shipping, and payments. To judge the success of the influencer-pushed campaign, NeoReach also analyzes influencer performance, social channels, types of content, and the audiences who performed the best.
Fashion Campaign Findings: Marketing on Social Media
Not only do apparel brands have some of the largest audiences on social media, but fashion marketers are some of the best when it comes to engaging audiences. However, just like any other industry, some brands make mistakes when they make efforts online to push their brand in front of consumers. Due to these mistakes, fashion brands can set examples for other brands on what works and what doesn’t:
Sunny Co. Clothing
If you can remember a red one-piece bathing suit on your Instagram feed that went viral, you’ve probably already been introduced to Sunny Co. Clothing. This swimwear brand aimed to promote their new Baywatch-themed swimsuit by running a unique campaign that promised a free bathing suit to anyone who reposted and tagged their promotional picture within 24 hours. The swimsuit, which retailed for $65, quickly caught the attention of thousands of users and – to Sunny Co. Clothing’s surprise – went viral on the platform.
With over 3,000 users reposting the image within a few hours, the brand quickly realized they couldn’t keep up with demand and thus angered thousands of potential customers who then made a mockery of the swimsuit. The takeaway for fashion brands? While giveaways and promotions are great marketing tools, they can easily go wrong. It’s essential to never make promises you can’t keep – especially when you don’t anticipate a viral post that could lead you into giving away millions of dollars worth of free product.
House of Sunny
With a fairly new platform like TikTok, it can be hard for brands to figure out a new algorithm, but one brand that’s been mastering the short-form video game is House of Sunny. With a following on Instagram of 308K, one can already see how the brand takes advantage of social media. They’ve turned their IG into a shoppable feed but also post incredible product videos to show off their new pieces. House of Sunny are masters of user-generated content, reposting photos and videos from their customers when they’re not working with top fashion influencers.
On TikTok especially, the brand gains thousands of views on their videos, marketing to a niche crowd of fashion enthusiasts, but occasionally earning a mass amount of viral views on product videos with the help of the For You Page. With a total of 758K likes on their TikTok account, it’s clear that House of Sunny can be a fantastic example for other brands to take advantage of video production, user-generated content, and influencer marketing.
With the influencer marketing industry positioned to become a $10 billion industry in 2020 and the fashion industry becoming a $2.4 trillion industry, both will continue to intertwine for years to come when it comes to marketing strategies. As fashion brands aim to strategize and avoid the common mistakes made with digital marketing, more will follow the trends of social media and utilize its popularity to capture the attention of their target market, make a sale, spread brand awareness, and optimize the impactful power of influencers.