- You can get content out fast
- You are able to respond to consumers faster
- You know what your competition is doing on the same channels
- You can curate content
- You can see what themes are trending to create new content
- You can be involved within cultural phenomena
- You are able to create a dialogue
- You are able to see what content works right away
- You will know what content to put paid media behind
- Your brand can stand out
Since brands began their “invasion” (we all know consumers felt this way at times) of Instagram, digital marketers have been feeling the pain. There is no way to post seamlessly through the Instagram platform for multiple accounts. It’s led many down the path of testing third party apps, and many particularly into frustration. And typically both.
Now with the announcement of android multi-user beta testing in play, it could be a whole new playing field. What does this mean?
For brands and digital marketers:
- Ease of handling multiple accounts. This doesn’t just mean personal and professional (but it does for many of us). It also means for agency and multi-brand folks, the ability to jump from one product line to the next without having to log out.
- Assuming this allows for multi-login alerts at the same time, it would provide marketers with easier listening and in turn engagement with the target market.
- Saving hashtags, because when you logout, you lose the ability to auto-fill your most recently used hashtags.
- Less money spent on third party tools for something a native tool should allow for
- Faster response by brands for questions, contests, and engagement with UGC content
- Potential to be “seen” by a brand as a significant / loyal consumer sooner
- More content they want to see
The biggest thing to remember is that it isn’t just the number of followers a person has that characterizes them as an influencer. It’s typically that they are an expert in a subject matter in some capacity.
Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, it’s important to have some set parameters when working with influencers for a program. This helps to avoid issues when it comes to relevance and authenticity of content and ensuring the brand and influencer will work well together.
Here’s Your Checklist for Working with Influencers to Grow Your Fashion Brand
- Start with a lot of research: Check their background, check their current posts. What are they saying, how are they saying it? Do they engage with their following or do they delete comments they don’t like? Do they have an email signup on their website– then sign up. Are they on the platforms that you have seen the most traction for your brand? How often do they post? You cannot do too much research.
- Make sure they are on-brand: Do they have the same vibe as your brand? Is their tone complementary to yours? How do they communicate?
- They are still using their voice: While it’s important that their tone is complementary to yours, you also want to make sure that they still have their own voice. You want to make sure that don’t ever compromise their own brand in order to make money.
- Who are they working with already: Check to see that the influencer isn’t working with your direct competitors recently (at least in the last year).
- Are they too obvious: Meaning, often, once an influencer becomes more famous he/she may start saturating their content creation with sponsored stuff. When this happens, they often lose the respect of their following. So it’s good to check if they are still doing original content and sponsored posts are not their primary source of content.
- Give ideas: Some influencers (especially celebrities) may be great at what they do, but not so great at coming up with ideas for sponsored content. Don’t be afraid to give them a nudge towards what they could do, so when they create an Instagram post, it doesn’t seem like a blatant ad.
- Lay out the terms: Be sure you have stated everything that you want done in the collaboration upfront, including the number of social media posts per channel. How many blog posts you get, whether you’re included in any emails, etc. Also make sure that your brand can utilize their name and the content they create throughout owned, earned, and paid media. Don’t make any assumptions.
The last thing your brand wants is to be associated with sponsored content that isn’t original and valuable. So take the time and follow the list.
This post was originally written for startup fashion.
It’s important to remember that great social media content is the key to being successful on any platform. It sounds obvious but a lot of brands (especially those with minimal resources), post things on social, just to post. There’s not a thoughtful approach. Furthermore, social media is more than a channel. It’s not just Facebook and Twitter. It’s a behavior that people have daily. And in order to reach them, brands need content that truly connects with their target audience.
So how do we build a social strategy that will be successful for your brand? Let’s consider this formula:
First: Do the Research
- Identify your target based psychographics (what they value and care about)
- See where they spend time online (are they on Instagram 10 times a day or do they tweet every last thought that pops into their heads?)
- Compare how your competition fairs on these channels (what are brands that are similar to your doing?)
Second: Put Together Your Plan
- Identify your overall purpose or goal for each platform (think more creatively than “making more sales”- mailing list sign ups is a good one)
- Choose a few different kinds of content that you think will resonate with your audience (be specific- if you want to post inspirational quotes, what kind? About what topic? Around what sentiment?)
- Identify the platforms you’ll use and their purpose for your brand and reaching your customer (i.e. customers use Pinterest to dream/plan – let them dream about their upcoming Fall wardrobe made by your brand)
- Consider content formats and frequency per channel (i.e. Twitter will have a larger frequency than Facebook)
- Identify content sources for creation/curation/co-creation (how will you make these graphics? Where will you find these interesting articles? etc)
- Create success metrics to measure by (video views, website visits, social shares)
Third: Get Moving
- Create the content!
- Test your content
- Measure your content against the goals you created
- Review and assess, then make changes as you learn what’s working and what’s not
Tools You Need:
- An editorial calendar to keep track of your monthly content per channel, and allows you to plan ahead for upcoming cultural events
- A scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite
- A budget to boost and target posts that are successful and important for an upcoming campaign or product launch
- Create a crisis and response management plan for when things go wrong – because eventually something usually does
- Determine how you will mix in customer service or separate it from your posts within each channel
Your content is part of your brand’s identity and it should be created with similar thought and care as your collections.
This post was originally written for startup fashion.
Social media still seems new to some brands, but it’s not a new part of marketing. There are people hired for brands to run global social departments in order to stay competitive within the space and stay fresh and engaging with their customer base.
With startups, a social media strategy is an important piece to the overall marketing strategy.Sometimes with little time and little resources, we jump on social channels and run with haste, rather than with quality and thought-through content. Let’s change that.
Social media is:
- Visual- Important for fashion brands to be able to show off their assets.
- Fast- You can get sneak peeks and new off the shelf products in front of them right away.
- A connective tissue- It allows you to connect to consumers in a way that no paper magazine ad could.
Great things for a startup who needs to make its presence known, and fast. But with the right strategy, there’s so much more you can do.
- Gain Customer knowledge- You’ll get to see what your customers like and don’t like, what types of content they prefer, and where they prefer to engage with you.
- Have faster customer service- It allows you to respond faster to their concerns and excitement.
- Be competitive- It allows you to stay on top of your most fierce competition by listening and keeping a close eye.
- Make it personal- It allows your startup and brand to connect to consumers on a personal level through responding in real time, answering questions, praising them for being awesome.
- Build Relationships- And in turn allows you to build an army of advocates who will speak on your behalf.
These are just some of the reasons why you need to think strategically about your social content and not just post and be on social media because you know you should be.
You need to think through your target market, where they play on social, and what content is right for them (and your brand). We’ll talk about that in detail in our next article.
This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.
The marketing swimming pool has many deep ends, a lot of which you can’t always see if there is a bottom to touch. With a new app or social channel coming out every day, week, and month, it’s hard to know when to leap and when to stay in the shallow end.
While it’s great to be an early adopter, sometimes it’s best to chill and observe; see how and if other brands are using the platform and then decide if it’s worth exploring.
Here are four times when you should indeed stay away from the deep end and let others cannonball first:
When the user interface is too much effort
For example, when Ello was first released, it was not user friendly. It was black and white and not appealing to use (like apps such as Instagram). It is fun to explore as a user, but as a brand it is still fairly uncharted territory outside of some journalistic brands like WSJ.
When the platform doesn’t seem to have captured your target audience
For example, your audience may not care to be on meerkat, but it may embrace Periscope due to so many others using it already. Mashable uses it constantly for its tech talks, while others use it for showing insider and live events. Try to do a little research to see if your target market is actually using the platform before you jump in and devote time to it.
When the resources to make it happen would be at the cost of marketing campaigns that are already working for your brand
Contrary to what some may think, every time you add a new platform to your social media mix, you’re draining more resources, both financial, creative, and time related. For example, creating video content takes time to plan, executive, edit, and distribute. It takes planning and content strategy upfront.
When it makes sense to learn from the ones who do it wrong/right first. And jump in later with a better strategy.
For example, when all the kids ran over to snapchat to see what the buzz was. The buzz was good.
Still unsure and curious?
Try using the platform on your personal handle/username first. Test it out to see how it works and why people would be curious about it. Put on your consumer hat and see if you would be interested in hearing from a brand through this new app or channel. If yes, give it a whirl (but not at the expense of things that are already working for you).
Lastly, keep your life raft nearby. Sometimes you just need to jump out after testing the waters.
This post was originally written for startup fashion.
Being a marketer for your brand, there is little time to waste. You are constantly thinking about the next thing on your to-do list. Content, posting, testing, measuring, and testing again…the process is really never ending.
But where do you find the time to learn and keep up with what’s “new” in marketing?
If you wait to find it, you’ll be waiting for a long time. You have to make the time.
This doesn’t mean spending hours reading through blog posts and getting sucked into the abyss of technology, social media, and the latest app. Although, we’re all guilty of it.
No, you can do it a lot more efficiently.
Use social media. Really.
Most social channels now have features that allow you to “save” and/or view things later. By using these features and putting time slots into your calendar to “learn and grow”, you’ll find that keeping up with what’s new, is not so difficult after all.
Here are five easy ways that your favorite social channels can help you be both productive and efficient while keeping up with the latest marketing trends and technology.
- Facebook “Save link”: This feature allows you save links for later. When you’re commuting to your office – whether it be your home office or a workspace, you don’t always have time to read the whole article, but know it could be useful tomorrow or next week. Bookmark it and go back when you have time fully devote.
- Favorite it: As with Facebook, same goes with Twitter. Favorite the tweet that you found useful. It’s not just for letting people know you found their tweet informative and interesting. It actually is useful.
- Pin it: Save articles on a board that are inspiring. Will it help with a new blog redesign? Will it help with your social strategy? Pin it and go back later to think through it in more detail.
- Create a folder in your email: So much email. Save the ones that matter in a folder so you don’t lose it later.
- Use and app. Pocket is a semi-new app that allows you to collect any articles, posts or seo videos you find and save them to go back to later. All in one place for your viewing pleasure. Evernote also works well.
In the end it’s about what works best for you. Sometimes it’s easier to have it all in one place, and other times it’s easier to save within the app experience you’re in at that moment. Choose your social poison.
This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.
Pinterest, having launched over 5 years ago, is still a marketer’s dreamland for reaching consumers. It is a visual storyboard for consumers who love to dream and plan. And when it comes to fashion, people are always dreaming…and planning.
With Fashion Week in full swing across the major cities of New York, London, Paris, and more… fashion enthusiasts are drooling over the latest upcoming trends and what they can potentially get their hands on. And with the holidays…(yes really) only a couple months away, people are planning what to buy their friends and family and also themselves.
It’s the perfect opportunity for your startup.
It’s the perfect time of year to be pinning pieces for your current and potential consumers to drool over and covet.
How can you take advantage of Pinterest right now?
Get inside the mind of your customer. Think through their lens. They’re still thinking of fashion week and they’re also looking ahead. Consider the following to get your Pinterest boards ready for both inspiring, planning, and purchasing.
- Fashion Week lookalikes from your line
- Influencer curation from the runway and street style
- Sneak peeks of your holiday line
- Fall and Winter inspiration
- Planning for winter getaways
In addition to creating those boards, your brand can:
- ask people to contribute pins to your boards. Ask followers to share their favorites from the runway.
- get in touch with some influencers who were there.
- share lifestyle content related to the runway cities, holidays, and what your brand stands for (eco-friendly, luxe looks, animal welfare, etc).
- feature followers who embody what your brand represents through re-pinning their content
Let your community see that their inspirations and planning boards can be a reality with your brand. Give them a chance to attain it.
This post was originally published on Startup Fashion.
We’ve all been there. You’re on your smartphone swiping through Facebook and you come across an ad. You decide to click through and it leads you to a page or site that isn’t what you wanted. You click out, immediately. Or perhaps you’re debating a purchase through a retail site and when you go to their app you are lead back to their site to check out. Unfortunately there are so many steps and not all are mobile. You get frustrated and click out.
Consumers want instant access to what they want whether it’s content, a purchase, or just discovery. They want it all to be easily available through mobile. They want quick steps, not a drawn out process.
They want it to be easy.
As a brand, you need to provide that experience. You want your customers to be excited and dig in for more. However, if you provide the experience on one channel such as Facebook, and then have your consumer click over to another and it’s not continuing the same experience, the drop off will be fast and brutal.
The brand experience must be seamless.
Here are a few small but important ways your brand can begin to focus on being seamless with your content:
- Ensure all landing pages or site experiences are mobile. Once your consumer has a hard time reading or viewing your content, they’ll “x” out, and are less likely to come back.
- Avoid bait and switch. Be clear on what your visitor is clicking on in Facebook or Twitter and where it’s leading. If it says “purchase this sweater,” be sure it leads directly to the sweater. When they have to search all over again, a drop off will occur.
- If you’re allowing an opportunity to purchase, make sure the steps are minimal and simple through mobile. When visitors are on the go, they want to be able to do everything fast. A few options can help with this including enter credit card, use paypal or similar connected payment option, and/or save for later. If the they choose “save for later”, be sure they can logon to their computer or tablet and continue from there without losing what they wanted to purchase.
- Ensure your brand look and feel is consistent from social channels to landing pages. For example, your logos, backgrounds, and font types should be similar. That way the consumer recognizes your brand and doesn’t feel like they are being led elsewhere. If you need logo guidance visit this official site.
- If you have an app or are considering one in the future, ensure the navigation is easy. If your brand sells products, consider allowing purchase within the app experience (i.e. Nordstrom and Banana Republic are great with this as it emulates the web experience but it’s easier to view the items you are browsing).
Whenever you’re in doubt, put yourself in the shoes of your visitor and decide if you’d enjoy the brand experience and come back for more.
Read the full original post on StartupFashion.
- View the trailer
- See movie times nearby
- Purchase tickets
- mobile savvy
- want instant consumption
- to meet and discover new people and experiences
Still have questions or not sure if your brand is the right fit? Ask us more in the comments below.
See this original full post on Socialnomics.
Instagram has been working on making their search functionality better for quite some time. The latest updates allow consumers to discover more and to follow and engage with fresh new content. Instagram is similar to twitter or tumblr in some ways where you can see what’s trending and decide to check out the conversation and/or follow the user.
Why does this matter? Three reasons.
When a brand sees what is trending, it can use this as an opportunity to see how it relates to the brand. Is the topic an opportunity to create content that is relevant to the conversation? Is it on brand to do so? Is it an opportunity to stand out within the conversation or with content that the brand already has, but can tweak for that day?
A brand can see which influencers are prominent within search categories, allowing digital marketers to see which ones could be opportunistic to work with for sponsored or co-created content within the space. For example, if your brand is a travel brand and you want to work with a food blogger who travels around the world, you can see which ones are prominent on Instagram through the search and discovery functions vs. randomly using Google or sifting through pages on Instagram.
When your brand sees what types of topics are bubbling to the top, it allows an opportunity to plan out what will trend around certain times and cultural events. In addition, there is a local overlap element allowing your brand to see what locations are stirring more conversation. Plan how your brand can be apart of that conversation when consumers search and discover too.
In short, it’s for real time and planning. Because in reality, we all know that real time marketing takes some planning and preparation. For those who can write, design, and gram a photo in 90 seconds or less , I salute you.
For the rest…plan, but plan efficiently. Be nimble and be ready or someone else will be.
Instagram is a hot platform for the fashion industry. It allows fashion designers, fashion brands, and fashion enthusiasts to create and share their favorite looks, styles, and upcoming product lines within seconds. We know this. Instagram is awesome.
But what else does Instagram allow for brands?
The key is creativity. And planning.
Use an artistic lens: Some Instagram bloggers take everyday objects and make them into an artistic photo. For example, one shot I saw used kitkat candy pieces as the black keys on a piano. It was crafty and fun. While this has nothing to do with fashion, a similar play could be done with a hanger, a sewing needle, or a sketchpad. Doing stuff like this demonstrates the creative side of a brand.
Add locations: Now that locations are becoming a part of discovery and trending posts, it is more appealing to add a location in order to join conversations. Similarly, this is an opportunity to look into what’s trending and what locations already are, in order to plan out real time (or near time) content.
Create a full look book layout: Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more brands utilizing each photo as a piece of a larger photo (or look book). It’s interesting to see one by one, but when you go to a brand’s page and look at the images together, it’s beautiful. The pieces of the larger image are an incentive to take a closer look. And it’s definitely an opportunity to stand out for a new line, special offer, or event coming up.
Lastly, look to see what your fans are creating and sharing. It could be an opportunity to emulate or demonstrate how much you appreciate their creativity and style too. For example, regram theirs, or use their photo as inspiration for your own and credit them.
It’s a great way to go beyond the typical Instagram shot and stand out among the many other Instagram bloggers and brands out there.
See original full post on Startup Fashion.
Have you played around with Podcasts yet? I know, it’s not all that appealing because there are no visuals but they’re actually cool again. It’s not all about visual content when you’re trying to attract new audiences.
Podcasts are no longer un-cool content. They’re inspiring, engaging, and great for on-the-go consumption.
Just think about SERIAL and how it gained momentum. If it sounds vaguely familiar but you’re not quite sure what it’s all about, here’s the deal: It was a weekly podcast that was so suspenseful and well done that people got completely hooked on the story and could not wait until the release of the next chapter. Yes, it was a suspense filled podcast, but just because you’re not sharing a suspenseful story, doesn’t mean you can’t share something that will keep people coming back for more.
If you’re interested, you can check out this list created by Who What Wear fashion podcasts, of the most awesome fashion podcasts for your listening pleasure.
The key with using podcasts to build community around your brand, figuring out a way to tell a “story” that makes listeners want to come back for more.
Podcasts allow brands to reach new audiences and build community by:
- Marketing themselves to an audience who wants to learn more about a certain category
- Telling a story through chapters
- Allowing a brand advocate to voice their brand love
- Giving an influencer the keys to speak on the brand’s behalf
- Creating referral traffic back to a site experience to learn more
- Allowing the audience to see a different side of the brand
For most brands, visual content has been key – especially with Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, Snapchat, so on and so forth. However, it doesn’t mean that ‘on the go’ and ‘easily consumable’ content has to be visual in order to be engaging. There are multiple ways to tell your brands story, and podcasts are another tool for the toolbox.
To check out the full original post, go to Startup Fashion.
One word: patience.
Great social content takes effort, a great social community takes times to grow. The ROI, such as an increase in web traffic, also takes time.
I sometimes like to equate social media to exercising and being fit. If you want a body that is strong, healthy, and long lasting, you have to put in effort for the long haul. Not just for the day or week or month.
Here are a few tips to get your brand on the right track for that healthy social living:
- The small tactics: the best practices and simple tactics like ensuring your site URL is associated with all your social accounts is crucial. Make sure it’s in your bio, clickable, and above the fold.
- Schedule your content: It’s OK to publish content more than once, actually it will help. For example, on Twitter since the life of a tweet is so short, it behooves a brand to publish at least twice (at minimum). Of course, it’s good to spread out your content and publish on multiple days rather than the same day.
- Link back through posts: When posting on social, ensure that a % of your content links back to your site. Although it’s important to have a good content mix, if a major goal is to drive traffic back to your site, that should take the larger chunk of your posting.
For more questions on how to best increase website traffic through social media, reach out in the comments.
Spring, or second quarter, is a great time to take a look at all the new year initiatives you put into play and see what’s working and what’s not. Time to shed some weight, and not waste money on budget items that aren’t giving back enough on your investment.
But how do you decide what to ditch and what to hold on to? That’s always the tough part.
Here are a few things to consider this spring and your “ditch pile”:
- What’s sucking your budget: There are a lot of overhead and unexpected costs that go into a yearly marketing budget. This may include (but isn’t limited to): website hosting, graphic designers, and PR agencies. Take a look at where your money is going and whether or not these costs can be lowered. Do you pay a graphic designer to make new new several times a month? What about seeing if they can create a template for you instead. That way, you can make the updates for new contests or announcements yourself.
- What’s just not working: Sometimes we invest in tools that end up being more of a hassle than anything. For example, some tools may have seemed cool and great for CRM or social media management, and instead waste too much of our time and give us little data and information. If it’s not saving time, it’s just costing money. Ditch it. Change it. Move on.
2015. It’s here, folks. It’s the first week back after the holiday season; it’s a week that has a lot of potential for productivity because we’re all in this “fresh start/get serious” mindset.
In finishing up last year, we shared information on prepping your marketing for upcoming year. TheFashion Business Financial Checklist and the Fashion Business Marketing Checklist have been hits with making that happen.
So if you’ve been following along, you’ve probably done your 2015 planning and your budget analysis for how you’re going to make this year even better than last year in the eyes of the brand and the consumer. But there’s one more thing to consider…do you have the team to pull it off?
The people who make your brand; the people who surround you each day; the people who help achieve the 2015 goals…they need to be awesome. There is no good reason to settle for “she’s sort of awesome”…you want “she IS awesome,I need her!” Because when you have an incredible team, it shows. Your customers will feel it and see it through the quality of the work you put forward.
So if you’re in the growth stage of your fashion business, let’s make the team a priority in 2015. If you are a brand in today’s fast moving technologically savvy world, there are 5 types of people you want on your team to help you build your brand:
The Analyst: The person who gets nitty gritty. He or she is in the weeds and making sure the numbers follow suit. Are we really where we’re supposed to be? Is that campaign really a success? This person will help us be realistic about our goals and endeavors.
The Project Manager: The person who keeps us all in line and on schedule. We all need one of these to make sure we’re delivering on time.
The Go-Getter: The person who doesn’t just do what we ask, but brings awesome ideas to the team. She’s the one who comes to meetings with things we haven’t even thought of doing yet–but love that she has!
The Innovator: The person who won’t settle for where we are today. Because why should we? This person will help us think into 2016 and 2017 today. They’ll help get us there through future thinking so we don’t get left behind.
The Fearless: The person who wants to challenge the brand. This person isn’t afraid of being told “no, you’re wrong.” If they are wrong, that’s ok. They’ll try another idea next week or month and see if that works.
To read the final one, and more tips on how to create your team, check out the full post on Startup Fashion.
Gone are the days of waiting for a catalog and thumbing through it casually. Today and tomorrow are the days of instant consumption. From brands like Instacart who allow purchases to be delivered within hours; to Snapchat which allows for people to share messages and then they “disappear” instantly.
It’s become a consumer world where things are not just desired instantly, but expected instantly. It’s a user behavior that impacts brand marketing from content strategy to content distribution to purchase behavior. Let’s break down what that means and how fashion brands can be on top of your game.
Content Strategy: consumers want their content in easy, consumable formats.
- Short, visually-aesthetic content. The quality of the picture can grab a user’s attention more than any title will.
- Think buzzfeed type lists, 10 – 30 second videos, and photo slideshows. Content that can be consumed within minutes is more likely to have less bounce rates.
- Blogs posts with headlines that demonstrate the main points with a couple glances. When people are in a rush, give them the gist. They’ll dig in if they are interested in reading more.
Content Distribution: consumers want their content on the go, and within seconds.
- Content should be formatted for any device – computer, tablet, mobile, and nowadays even a smart TV.
- It should be within the channels they prefer to frequent (not only where the brand wants to be). For example, if your consumer is planning their wedding – they are searching on Pinterest. While someone who is in a discovery mode, may be perusing tumblr as they stroll.
- Ensure load time is quick. Your website needs to be able to load before they get distracted by the next puppy walking down the street.
Purchase Behavior: consumers want to be able to purchase from anywhere, at anytime.
- It goes without saying that your site should be developed to be device-agnostic. It’s not just mobile first – it’s however the consumer will see it, it needs to be a good experience.
- Some brands have gone beyond the mobile website and developed apps for purchases. Take Nordstrom for example – consumers can go on their site, but their app allows for easier viewing and filtering of products due to its formatting. This is not to say every brand needs an app; the main point is your customers want an easy experience to purchase at their fingertips.
- Determine your largest sites for referral traffic. As a consumer brand it may likely be Pinterest or Instagram. If so, use those social channels to allow for purchasing too. Leave the purchase link in the bio for Instagram. For Pinterest, ensure that the referral link goes directly to the purchase link. Quick easy ways to allow consumers to purchase without having to pay for sponsored opportunities within those social channels.
And in the end, remember to ask yourself one thing. As a consumer, is your brand’s experience what you would hope for?
Marketing your business in the new year is most likely something you’ve been thinking a lot about. So let’s take a look at what to include in 2015 that’s different than 2014.
Let’s break it down into an actionable checklist. You can refer back often to make sure you’re hitting your goals each quarter or mid-year and make adjustments as needed.
Your 2015 Fashion Business Marketing Plan Checklist
- Where did your website referral traffic come from?
- Which pages were the most trafficked?
- Which pages had the largest bounce rates?
- Did people sign up for your newsletter? From where?
- Do people share your blog posts?
- Which channels lead consumers to purchase most?
- Is your social community growing?
- What content is your social community engaging with most? least?
- Do you have a good social content mix?
Improve on the Basics
- Review your marketing budget and decide how much money you can dedicate to digital marketing and where you’d like to focus based on your 2014 marketing review
- Make more use of the keywords that people use to search for your website content, products, and landing pages
- Make sure to use those same keywords in your social copy – especially on channels like Pinterest where those words are used to help discover pins
- Focus more on the channels that provide referral traffic and/or purchases
- Cross promote your content and let followers know about the existence of your other channels
- Invest in channels where you don’t have to spend as much money to get content out to your audience (ex. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr)
Test Something New
- Instead of just posting photos on Instagram, try some of the video features such as Hyperlapse. Some tips here!
- Work with influencers who are willing to trade goods for content (or a small stipend). Not all influencers need lots of money to create great social content for your brand.
- Invest in a tool that will help you schedule and plan your social content. Hootsuite has affordable options with simple scheduling for small brands and startups. It allows more time for the important things like strategy, blogging, and experimentation.
Be excited for the new year — embrace growth and allow your brand to kick some marketing butt!
This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.
It’s been a buzz recently over the latest and greatest launch by Snapchat – Snapcash. A way for Snapchat users to send money to friends with a couple clicks of their mobile keyboard. A new competitor to the mobile payment world, specifically for the millennial and generation Z audiences. But will it work?
There have been many talks about whether it’s safe to use and if the privacy concerns that Snapchat has had are truly over. If you can’t protect the users’ images, how can you protect their cash? Apparently, accordingly to Snapchat, Square is their way to ensure the safety of people’s money and their privacy settings have changed as well.
I was curious to see how the typical Snapchat user (college kid, uses snapchat multiple times daily, and uses it to communicate more often than text at times) thought about the new Snapcash offering. The results:
Me: Do you trust Snapchat with sending money?
SC User: No.
Me: Why’s that?
SC User: After the recent issues with photos not being safe, the last thing I want is to connect Snapchat with my bank account.
Me: If it was safe, would you consider it?
SC User; No, I use Venmo.
Me: Would you consider switching?
SC User: Not really. Everyone at school uses Venmo. Why would we switch to something we aren’t sure about? Especially when we have something that works?
Although this user was hesitant, I do believe that some Snapchat users will consider taking the plunge and checking it out. More so in cases where it’s easier for them and they already use it so often. For those who use Venmo, and others – it may take more convincing before they change their current user/consumer habits.
But what does this mean for brands? A new opportunity.
Snapchat has been a place where brands could win with exclusive content, contests, product launches, events, and opportunities. Now it’s a potential opportunity to allow that audience to purchase exclusive products, event access, and more – with the click of a button.
If your customer is Millenial or Generation Z, this may be something you’d like to further investigate. Here’s some further reading for you:
This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.
The usual suspects of a social media marketing approach involve a social editorial calendar where you schedule your tweets, posts, and what cultural events you may try to align with. Perhaps your brand will take it a step further and do some real time reacting and planning ahead for real time events. These are all great things for your social arsenal.
But how can your brand stand out on social media in a sea of competition? How can you make a little more of a splash in that social puddle?
Sounds simple, right? Not so, for most.
As designers, you’re very focused on the design. Naturally. And social media can feel a bit like extra work that you simply don’t have time for. But, as we all know, it’s important for the growth of your business. So designers tend to take pics of their new pieces, sometimes tweet about a holiday sale, or post about an upcoming event. That’s cool. But everybody is doing that. You need to do more.
Rather than doing the same old stuff, why not think about ways to really be different. Like, why just tweet on Twitter, when you can publish a whole story through tweets? Sound silly? Perhaps. But it is definitely creative and attention grabbing.
Here are a few examples of interesting approaches to social media:
R.L. Stine - An author known for scary stories wrote a story in 15 consecutive tweets for Halloween. He capitalized on the spooky holiday and used it to garner some engagement with a fun and creative way for his audience to get some exclusive content on Twitter. Smart.
AMC – Back in May, AMC took a leap and released the series pilot of Halt and Catch Fire exclusively on tumblr. Something tumblr had never done before, nor had a series. It was eye-catching because it allowed a whole new audience who may not have heard about the show dive in and get an engaging experience.
Taco Bell – In late October, Taco Bell did a pretty courageous social act. The brand blacked out its social channels (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr and its site) all for its new mobile app launch. All attention was put on their audience to download the app and check it out right then. Bold? Yes. Cool? Definitely.
So now it’s your turn. Take a minute and step back to think how your brand can stand out and make a little splash too.
This post was originally written for startup fashion.
We’ve probably all heard of it by now, but Serial – the podcast – is a great example of this non-visual content trend. An old medium, but great engaging content. Why did it work? A few reasons:
- Great content – It didn’t have to be visual to be great content. The key was the story. The story was engaging, suspenseful, and it got people talking.
- Word of mouth – It got people talking to their colleagues, their family members, and their friends – in person and on social.
- Suspense – It was told in a manner that left the listener excited for the next episode release.
- Short – It was long enough to feel like something you’re investing in, but short enough that you could listen to an episode on a train ride, a gym workout, or while you’re cooking dinner.
- It was real – The people and the content were real. The history and storyline were true. It made you invest in what was going on because you wanted to know more.
Avoid Conversations Where You Have No Right
Don’t Be Stale
Don’t put quantity over quality
Avoid trying too much at once
And last but not least, don’t be lame. Have some fun with your content!
This post was originally written for: https://marketingontherocks.com
A few simple contest methods that work:
Make it cooler by:
One contest that consumers could do without:
Cool vendor to consider:
So as I was saying…Cats.
The collab was a pivotal step.
Can you say that?
Note: This post was originally written for iMedia Connection.
In many ways, influencer marketing is still a shiny object for brands and marketers. It can mean more eyeballs on your content, more engagement with your brand, and ideally, the conversion of viewers/readers into advocates and loyal customers. But that’s only if it’s done right.
You could score the best brand fit out there, and the most renowned name for your particular campaign. You could check off every box on your targeting and distribution strategy. But there’s one crucial, mistaken assumption that much of our industry is still making: your influencer may be great at his or her day job — but do they know how to tell a story with your brand’s product or service?
Not necessarily. For all the planning that brands and agencies do, the true checklist involves one main asset: relevant stories.
Influencers should be contextual marketers
Let’s say that your influencer of choice is an actress. She has a large audience who follows her from every step on the street to each post on Instagram. Her fans are excited to see and live through her experiences. They’re enchanted by her vacations, the outfits she wears — how she is the way she is. Then one Tuesday, the audiences check their Instagram feeds to find a random product snapshot of some everyday item. It has no context, no rhyme or reason to be in her feed. And it’s a blatant advertisement rather than being relevant to her regular content, persona, and audience.
Our job as marketers is to ensure that the talent that we work with understands how to be contextual marketers. The products that they promote should become a part of their experiences — not just a snapshot of soap or orange juice on a counter. Ultimately, no matter how popular your influencer is otherwise, when fans feel like they’re just being fed ads in their feeds, they lash out — both against the talent and the brand. Both sides risk alienating fans and losing credibility. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Instead, brands should work with these partners to dig deeper; to help create a relevant storyline around their products and services. One of my favorite examples is when Aimee Song, also known as Song of Style to the fashion obsessed, partnered with 7 for All Mankind. The brand sent her on a trip to Catalina Island, where she blogged about styling the brand’s denim through her adventures, and shared pictures across her social channels. It was authentic because she showed why she paired certain outfits together, and during what occasions. The product(s) were a part of her experiences, not just a random post, or promotional tweet.
This partnership also felt natural because there seemed to be a clear understanding of Aimee’s audience. Marketers can’t help influencers create truly relevant stories unless they understand their community. Does their audience engage more with experience storylines? Would they be responsive to instructional content (i.e., showing them how to use a specific product or service, and the benefits of it)? And hopefully you’ll have done your homework on this question before signing any contracts, but will exposure to their audience benefit your brand? If it’s a community that’s not in your target market and won’t help any of your marketing goals, find someone else who will.
Ultimately, when done well, influencer marketing has the power to yield timely, compelling content to a fandom that’s eager to engage. Take the time and do the work upfront with your talent to ensure a great experience for them, your brand, and the audience. With the exception of some seasoned pros, simply asking them to tweet or post about your product will get you nowhere — and even with the former, you still need to make sure that you’re in alignment. If done correctly, not only will the audience respond, but you may just turn said influencer into a long-term brand champion.
Image source: Instagram
We all go through writers block. Sometimes we’re sitting tapping the keys on our keyboard but nothing is coming to mind. The well is running low and you’ve “run out of things to blog about”.. but is that really true? Maybe you’re just not looking in the right places.
There are some ways to prepare yourself in advance so the well doesn’t run dry. And there are things we can do to keep ourselves motivated for those times we are feeling a little less in the mood to blog for your fashion business.
- Monthly brainstorms - This may seem abhorrent and like a huge task, but it’s super helpful in the long run. Take a couple hours before the beginning of each month and think about what’s going on culturally for that particular time. What is going through consumer’s mindset. For example in October your consumer may be planning a Halloween party, thinking about Fall shopping, boot season, fall fashion layers, the upcoming holidays, and nostalgia for everything autumn. Then chart out when it would be best to publish each piece so you know what you’re writing about each week. Best part – when the next year comes around, you’ll have a shell to begin from and tweak.
- Ask your audience - Seems like a no-brainer but sometimes we forget our largest resource. Our audience! It is who we are writing the blog posts for, after all. Why not put out a poll or question to your audience via your preferred social channels to ask what they want more of, or less of.
- Read other blogs – Really. Subscribe to as many as possible, whether it’s via email, Twitter, or a reader app like Pulse or Flipboard. It helps to have resources at your fingertips. Read them, and read them daily. They’ll help you feel on top of your game, and give you new ideas on a more frequent basis.
- Write about what you are passionate about – May seem silly, but when you’re passionate about your topic, it will shine through. Your voice will carry further, and your audience will engage more. No one wants to read a blog post that is lame and boring, written by someone who just pumps out blog posts like a chore. They want their writer to be excited to write to them. So, write about the topics that you care about. You’ll be happier, and so will your audience.
To read about my 3 other tips including formats and curation, check out my full post on Startup Fashion!
Some quick tips for each channel:
- Facebook: A tough place to navigate without a budget these days. Ensure your facebook ads and sponsored posts have bold visual photos and videos. Within the feed a status update with just text will easily be skipped over. But a visual that can capture someone’s eye may allow a second glance, and hopefully a click for your CTA.
- Twitter: Promoted Accounts and Tweets are the easy way in for awareness. Note, you only need promoted account tweet copy for the mobile ads, not desktop.
- Instagram: Thankfully the budget has come down for brands, but the price tag isn’t cheap. If you want the extra boost go for it. But if you can manage to gain your audience through organic tactics such as cross promotion, hashtags, and influencers – stick to that.
- Pinterest: Same as with Instagram. There are some great opportunities with Pinterest, but with the latest guided search opportunities, there are great ways to be found without needing paid promotion.
- tumblr: The cool part about tumblr is that you rarely realize you’re looking at a sponsored post. The brands who have done it well, are sticking to the tumblr community ways of big images that captivate, and intriguing stories to keep you intrigued and hopefully follow the account for more. The cool paid opportunities include but are not limited to in stream sponsored posts for desktop and mobile. But one of the best places to really get your audience is through the spotlight ad. It allows full access to new members, as as tumblr continues to grow, so do the brand opportunities.
- LinkedIn: I can’t say more about the targeting capabilities. You can reach your audience down to their job title. Need I say more?
- YouTube: There are many ways to get your videos out there to your audience, but the preferred way is through Trueview in stream, in search and/or in display. The key with these ads (especially in stream) is to have the most enticing part in the first 5 seconds. Otherwise your audience normally has the opportunity to skip after that time period.
Remember, the key for social media ads is not to just spend away all of your social media budget. But to test what posts are doing well and how you can gain more traction on those channels. For example, if you have a tweet that is doing well organically, boost it. Make it a promoted tweet to gain even more. Once you and your team learns which posts do better on particular channels, you can plan to boost certain ones ahead of time. For instance, if you are planning a Halloween promotion, you may want to ensure you have your spend ready for that week and have some posts to a/b test for the best copy, image/video, and link. And it doesn’t hurt to see what your competition is doing too.
Bonus tip – don’t skimp on the visuals. They work on every channel. Make sure they’re quality photos or videos and not just simple stock photography.
Image Sources: Instagram – lexus, michael kors
This post was originally written for Socialnomics.
Working in digital marketing on a day-to-day basis, it makes me stoked to see when brands and consumers truly connect. When a brand takes a beat and steps back to reflect and understand what their consumers really want. Even cooler, when a brand reinvents part of itself to be with the times. One such brand is Banana Republic. Perhaps I’m biased, because they now sell so many leather oriented clothing, but so what? Here’s what we can learn from BR as of late:
1. They Hired a Kickass Creative Director – one to help reinvent BR and shape it into a new, cooler, fresher brand. Marissa Webb. I salute you. You took BR from being a stuffy, conservative office brand to one that women are excited to wear. The brand now exudes confidence, sex appeal, and best of all, amazing clothes that fit just right.
2. The advertising fits the new brand – The new ads are edgy and they standout. Best part, Marissa herself touts the clothes, makes personal ads through her instagram (without being an ad), and allows people to connect with the brand in a way people never could before. In a way, (sorry Tory), she’s the new Tory Burch. She is a visionary for the brand. Is that a bold statement? Perhaps.
3. They are human – By far my favorite characteristic. The brands replies, comments, and favorites posts by its fans. They thank people for purchasing their clothes. Reward them with fun loyalty gifts. And best of all, are just kind and nice. Not to mention, Marissa herself “favorited” my last tweet about the brand. That is huge in my book!
What brands stand out to you? Which brands make you say – yes, I love this brand?
Note: This post was originally written for Marketing on the Rocks.
I’ve been asked a multitude of times…”How do you find time to blog?” It took me a while to realize how I did find time. And then I realized the answer was quite simple: “I find time.” Blogging, like other marketing objectives, just needs to become a priority that you make time for. Whether it’s your personal blog, a brand you are starting, or a well-established brand that is trying to demonstrate it’s expertise in a particular vertical. We all know the general benefits of blogging – SEO, thought leadership, partnered content, awareness, engagement, etc. And the value to the blogger? Promotion of their personal brand, subject matter expert, social promotion, so on and so forth.
But again…when? how? Let’s lay out some quick wins for tackling your blogging woes:
Your Calendar is your friend
We all know that each week is different and new commitments come up all the time. But that’s no excuse. My way around that is planning ahead. I plan out the posts I need to do a month in advance. That allows me to see what is going on each week and each weekend and when is best to tackle the posts I have in my pipeline. Typically I have on average 8 posts a month. Sounds like a lot, and it can be if you aren’t managing your time. I usually block off one day a week where I can polish off 2 – 3 posts in a morning. Now I will admit, that I have it down to a science and usually have prepared what I’m going to write in advance (see divide and conquer below). And for when life gets in the way? Find a new day that works, but don’t push it to the next week unless absolutely necessary.
Divide and conquer
Yes it’s nice if you have a team to divide and conquer your posts, but even when you have a team, you still need to find time for yours. Rather than leaving the ideation, research, creation, and review all in one sitting – split it up! For example when I look at my week ahead on Sunday evening, I usually look to see what blog posts I have to tackle that week. Sometime between Mon – Thurs I tackle a quick topic ideation by surveying what’s popping in culture, any new social media trends that have risen to the top, and/or pain points that people are discussing. Then I find some quick sources that support my thinking and leave it be. I let that stew a little and when I get to the day I plan to write (normally Saturday or Sunday morning before/after the gym) I am primed to just hit the keyboard. Additionally, it helps if you’re not the only editor reviewing your post. And if you don’t have an editor ask a darling friend to take a glance over for any glaring issues that you may have missed.
This is probably the most important. The reason I am less stressed about writing posts each week or month, is because I’m typically passionate about it. Yes not every post is riveting, and I may procrastinate at times, or pour a glass of wine as I debate it. But at least 85% of the time I am excited to write (or will be when I finish) because it’s about something I’m proud to be writing about. I am proud to spread more knowledge into the digital marketing space as well as provide my inspirational rantings around style and confidence (my other blogging adventures). So, please, before you pick up that “pen” think if you’re actually excited about your blogging.
And speaking of that glass of wine…sometimes that helps write a little more creatively too!
Image source: Kikolani
This post was originally written for Marketing on the Rocks.
The Instagram Hyperlapse app is a pretty fun new tool for your short video content arsenal. You’ve probably seen a few awesome examples as you’ve scrolled your way through your feed.
So what’s it all about? In short it allows you to:
- make a long story into a short story by speeding up your video up to 12 times!
- auto-adjust the videos’s brightness; tap the screen to adjust the exposure while filming the video
- make the video smoother by cropping it into what you want
Sounds simple? Sure, it can be. But before you jump right on in, here are a few tips and tricks to being more efficient and creative with your new shiny toy:
- Instagram only allows for 3 to 15 seconds of video to be shared on its app. So think about how long you are shooting for before you start. For example: 3 minutes of video footage sped up 12x will represent 15 seconds in the final video.
- Stick to only a couple angles or directions to turn the camera so it doesn’t get too discombobulated in the final video (aka making people a tad dizzy).
- Since the app crops the video, it’s best to keep your phone centered on the key items in the shot.
Brands are already embracing hyperlapse; some without realizing how to properly use it. Others have definitely created some fun visual content they’ve shared across Instagram and other channels.
To check out my fave brand examples (so far), see my full post on Startup Fashion!