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As of January 2021, 59% of the global population (4.66 billion people) have been classified as active internet users, 92.6% (4.32 billion people) of which access the internet via mobile devices.
Being part of the fashion industry today requires proper digital marketing strategies in order to induce a consistent stream of potential (and the resulting regular) customers. In the age of the internet, digital marketing is becoming increasingly essential for increasing sales, improving brand presence, and making your fashion business more profitable. Not unlike clothing design, brands must constantly adapt themselves to trends, grabbing consumer attention and converting that exposure into sales.
However, digital marketing can be a very costly part of running your business, and can very easily dwarf your profit if you’re not careful. Having a deep understanding of how it works can greatly reduce the costs of digital marketing while maximising effectiveness.
How’s, What and Why’s of digital marketing’s essential role in successful fashion businesses are explained below, along with a guide for utilising online tools to your advantage.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to the connection from brands to potential consumers through various online channels. Examples include but are not limited to: carrying out advertising campaigns on social media platforms, utilising data to measure consumer interest, as well as enhancing brand exposure through the use of tools and strategies such as SEM and SEO, among others. Digital marketing allows the sharing of content and experiences, strengthening the bond between businesses and customers.
Why Businesses Need Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is nothing less than intimidating to newcomers, due to the sheer number of platforms and steep learning curve when it comes to analysing and making sense of data. In spite of its challenging nature, most businesses today will find themselves unable to do without a cost-effective digital strategy. Hence, digital marketing firms have now also carved an essential corner for themselves on the market, providing much-needed understanding of online assets and tools to handle the planning, creation and execution of online marketing campaigns, in addition to the unique data analytical skills needed to glean the necessary insights from campaign results.
Fashion brands, in particular, have their business centred around keeping up with – or starting – trends that ebb in and out every season, making it essential for them to acquaint themselves with their consumers digitally.
Low Cost Digital Marketing
Instagram, Facebook and the latest, hottest Tiktok are just a few of the many different social media platforms used by people of all ages, genders, and cultures to digitally connect with others across the world.
Possessing a deep understanding of these different platforms, and their corresponding branding, user demographics and unique platform strengths/weaknesses is essential to improving the online presence of your own fashion brand, as they can be the key to attracting – and retaining – a loyal customer base and a solid foundation for establishing your brand positioning.
While hiring influencers and celebrities to endorse your brand may seem like ‘the industry thing’ to do, done incorrectly, influencer marketing can be costly and risky, as it requires a great depth of research and understanding for effective results.
Many up-and-coming brands learn to adopt more cost-effective methods of social media marketing, by adapting different content according to the platforms and their user base/behaviour. For example, brands at the top of their game have learnt to curate specific colours and themes for their Instagram feed, making the most use out of the visual-based layout for maximum aesthetic impact that reinforces their brand positioning.
The bona fide online ‘home’ of every business, each website is just as impactful on consumer’s perception of the brand as any physical brick and mortar store, and is just as functional.
As the world still struggles with Covid, online purchases are more popular than ever, and enhancing customer experience goes much further than just having a functioning catalogue. From page colours to font design, general site layout and various widgets, all of these factor into how enjoyable and easy it is for consumers to make a purchase, and if they will be converted into loyal customers in the long run.
And unlike a physical store, it costs virtually nothing to revamp and constantly improve the layout of your website as needed. Even classes on web design are available for free on YouTube, leaving no excuse to have a poorly designed website.
Many businesses now rely on the creation and publication of soft content to enhance their branding. For example, fashion businesses may regularly post mix-and-match guides, or a seasonal summary of the latest trends. The blog posts not only act as an extra channel for attracting traffic, but also bolster your brand positioning as a bona fide fashion guide and expert for relevant topics. They cost little-to-nothing to produce, apart from time, experience and expertise, along with a sprinkling of creativity for quirky, eye-catching titles..
Through the use of backlinks via SEO, you can also redirect blog post traffic back to your product catalogue, facilitating the translation of traffic to actual customers.
Cost-Effective Digital Advertising
Digital advertising can prove to be costly, but focused and monitored campaigns can give you the best bang for your buck, providing you with returns several more times than what they cost. Retargeting ads, social selling, tracking success, Return on Investment (ROI), pay-per-click, and high-quality content are just some of the many tools and metrics at your disposal to maximise cost effectiveness.
97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without buying anything.
Retargeting campaigns remind your site visitors of your products and services after they leave your website by showing them relevant visual or text ads when they move on to other websites.
For fashion brands, this is exceptionally important to establishing brand presence among consumers, as retargeting parameters (behaviours, interests, and demographic) allow you to pinpoint your specific target audience and effectively advertise your products.
Probably the most cost-efficient method of establishing leads, social selling refers to the cultivation of a relationship between brand and client, resulting in increased brand visibility, shortened sales cycles, and a loyal consumer base. Hence, a strong social media strategy helps take your brand to the next level.
The metric for measuring conversion rates (of leads into customers), trackers such as investment returns, increment sales and number of returning visitors are used to evaluate sales and cost-efficiency, with the corresponding date used to help fashion brands formulate new marketing strategies and improve sales numbers.
Check out the 15 Google Analytics 4 Benefits here.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment is an important statistic used to evaluate profitability. It can be managed easily by dividing investments by sales, and the amount invested can be controlled. Just like trackers, ROI data helps re-work strategies and puts proper resources towards the right projects.
For accurate numbers, businesses must have key performance indicators, consisting of traffic, leads, research, and more.
Pay-per-click advertising is a digital marketing strategy that maximises every dollar used, with each ad containing a value proposition that attracts your target audience.
While paying every time a person on the internet clicks to enter your website sounds extravagant, the metric to look for would be your return on investment (ROI). This means that brands should look out for how much revenue they are able to generate for every dollar they invest.
Digital marketing is important for all businesses today, but it has become especially important for fashion brands, due to their core need to keep up with the trends of the present. Good digital marketing not only enhances brand visibility and profitable conversion rates, but also solidifies their image of possessing a well-versed understanding of what it means to build strong rapport with consumers.
Being cost-efficient has a pre-requisite of having an in-depth understanding of digital marketing concepts, so why not start with learning how to create quality written content for your site, or the in-and-outs of SEO and SEM?
Ready to take your brand to the next level? Reach out to us here!