New York Fashion Week has come and gone, and we wanted to take a moment to recap all the top trends – and we don’t mean those trends related to patterns and silhouettes.
For us, Fashion Week is not just about fabulous clothes, red carpets and the latest beauty trends; it’s also about the innovative digital trends. With more shows live streamed to online audiences than ever before, fashion brands are using technology to get closer to their customers and offer them a unique marketing experience so that they will become their biggest brand ambassadors.
Here are three digital content marketing trends that are “trending” in the world of retail fashion:
1. Real-time Content
Using “live” content is one of the top ways fashion brands engage their customers. Fashion brands like Tadashi Shoji and Kenneth Cole who live-stream their shows and post backstage content in real-time on their social channels are paving the way for authentic content. For Kenneth Cole, not only did they gain 8 times more followers, they also reached 430,000 live stream viewers after live-streaming their show.
Note: While you may not be ready for New York Fashion Week yet, you can use real-time content for your fashion eCommerce store by live streaming events like trade shows, fashion line previews, model fittings, runway shows, photo shoots and more.
2. Shoppable Images
A great way to create authentic content is through artistic, editorial style images. The key here is to make those images ‘shoppable’ without impacting their aesthetic value. While challenging, monetizing product images can be done using clever tagging, pop-ups and light boxes used on homepages, digital magazines, lookbooks and blogs.
A great example is online retailer Shopbop who uses real estate on their homepage to prompt a ‘shop this page’ window to appear, letting viewers select their size and color of the items featured and add them straight to their bag.
This type of content works because it makes products more appealing by taking them out of a distant online world and places them in real-world settings. By making the editorial images shoppable and providing links to the featured products, shoppers can quickly and easily purchase the featured items.
3. Engaging Social Media
Many online fashion brands (as well as brands in other industries) are taking advantage of new social media capabilities like engaging with new platforms and creating content that is shoppable.
Burberry, a front-runner in blending fashion, marketing, and technology, just announced that it will be unveiling its new Spring 2016 collection through Snapchat. While Snapchat has been on the social media scene for a while now, marketers have been slow to adopt it as a marketing channel. Burberry is embracing it as a way to reach a new generation of fashion-forward consumers.
Instagram is a great place for fashion brands with highly visual content to showcase their products. The challenge lies in linking to items that are featured in photos. Instagram doesn’t allow clickable URLs in photo captions, and the only way to add a buy button is to pay for Instagram Ads.
One workaround is to create a custom landing page with items that you recently featured in your Instagram photos and place the link in your profile bio. You can direct shoppers to the link in your bio if they are interested in checking out the product. We helped The Ole Bull Co create a landing page for their Instagram that lets users input their email to be reminded about the product later (so they don’t have to leave Instagram to view the product right away). And we think it’s pretty clever.
Just like the incredibly popular off-the-shoulder look that was everywhere on the runway last week, we expect to see the rise of content-led publishers as brands seek to differentiate themselves with personalized content that is dynamic, visual and creates an authentic brand experience.
Content is a vital contributor to the brand experience, especially in the crowded marketplace of fashion, and savvy marketers now realize that the lines between content and commerce are more blurred than ever. Whether in the form of blogs, videos, digital magazines or style guides, online stores are increasingly pushing out editorial-style content as a means of building communities and increasing brand interaction.
Styling tips, tutorials on how to wear your products, campaigns that focus on customer reviews and even interactive contests are great examples of the content you can create to build brand loyalty. Remember, the best way to humanize your brand (and get people to buy) is to be transparent and showcase content that provides a real-world perspective that people can use.