In part one of Customer Engagement for Fashion Retailers, it was discussed how the power-structure of the fashion industry has gone belly-up as a result of new technologies allowing ordinary people to establish a global voice in fashion, which in turn brought about the rise of the fashion blogger.
The blogger has become a significantly important opinion leader in fashion worldwide, often overpowering the voice of designers and industry professionals due to the engaging and personal approach taken with everyday consumers.
Not only are front row seats at Fashion Weeks being reserved for influential bloggers at the expense of A-List celebs, but hundreds of bloggers are being assigned ad spots, design collaborations and many other significant roles with big brands in an attempt to increase customer engagement and re-claim customer loyalty.
As today’s dominant trend-setters, every retailer needs a little blogger collaboration to maximize customer engagement and brand awareness.
Bloggers not only represent everyday consumers shopping in stores, they have huge audiences that aspire to mimic their style meaning they’re invaluable marketing assets.
If you’re not one of the well-recognized retailers that bloggers promote on a daily basis, you can still get your brand out there by taking the following measures…
Get in touch with recognized bloggers directly either by e-mail, phone, Facebook/Twitter mail, become a full-blown stalker, whatever it takes.
Pitch them looks you think would grab their attention – based on their personal style, current trends, new season lines etc.
A little incentive can go a long way.
If a blogger doesn’t like your line, he/she probably won’t promote it out of loyalty to their followers. If they’re on the fence, however, this is where incentives and your persuasion skills can come in handy. Try offering them a lifetime discount or send them samples from your newest collection in exchange for their public opinion. You never know, it could mean the difference between a yes and a no!
There are plenty of sites ranking and categorizing the top UK and Irish bloggers, so finding someone suited to your brand is easy. Maybe you’ll be deemed the newest “boutique to watch” by a fashionista with over half a million followers. Can’t be bad for business, eh?
Last year, top UK fashion blogger/vlogger, Zoella, put together a YouTube video of a massive Primark/Pennys haul showcasing bags full of clothing, shoes and accessories she purchased from their 2013 Winter collection. The video progressed to reap over 1.3 million views – imagine what a video like that could do for your business!
2. Start your own blog
Have you (or a talented staff member) got a keen eye for fashion and are in some way talented with a pen? Why not start your own blog page or even a blog corner on your website or social media page. I’m sure no one can praise your products quite like yourself.
It also builds customer loyalty by adding that all-important personal touch; customers are highly engaged by being able to like, share and comment on all your wonderful content.
Some tips for creating your own fashion blog:
Name – Your Claim to Fame
When choosing the name for your blog, make sure it’s memorable. Steer clear of tongue twisters and names more than 3 or 4 words long, keep it short, catchy and if you prefer, you can include your personal name or a ‘persona` name to keep it personable.
Some blog name inspo from top Irish and UK bloggers:
So Sue Me
Bangs and a Bun
Go Fug Yourself
Now that you’ve named your blog, it’s time to put a face to a name. Followers want to know where all this great fashion advice is coming from, so upload the best, most fashion-forward picture of yourself before you put your blog out there. You’re a huge part of your blog after all, don’t be afraid to take the limelight.
Link all your social media accounts to your blog and vice versa. Potential followers aren’t going to stumble across your blog on Google search, social media increases your blog’s visibility and the overall potential of your online fan base.
Have all social media accounts in line; if you’re using hashtags, make sure you use the same hashtag for your blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. Embedding social media links to your blog page allows followers to like and share to their heart’s content, guaranteeing your blog maximum exposure at minimal effort. If potential followers can’t easily find the link to your pages, you’ll probably have lost them for good!
Use a program that sends updates to all your sites each time you add a new post to your blog. The Buffer app, for example, will allow you to post or schedule updates to all your social media accounts at once.
Make friends, and lots of them.
The most successful bloggers have said that networking is a major contributor to their success. Connecting with other people in the industry allows you to get your name recognised, monitor trending topics, get support and advice from people in the business, see different writing styles (spy on other bloggers), and even get invites to blogging and digital media events which couldn’t be better for promoting the brand.
Brand partnerships builds credibility. Teaming up with other renowned Instagrammers, other fashion brands and other retailers on social media establishes your credibility as a serious blogger. There are multitudes fashion blogs out there with thousands of followers and no more fashion sense than a parakeet, don’t get lost in all that noise.
At the end of a day it’s a fashion blog, so followers want to see pics, pics and more pics. If you’re using pictures of your own clothing line make sure they’re of high quality and not taken with a 2 megapixel camera in atrocious lighting.
Investing in high-quality photography can make all the difference; you want your images to be captivating and sway customers into buying your clothing. If you have the budget to hire models to showcase your line, even better!
Another good move for visual purposes would be to incorporate a consistent design scheme to all your online pages as you want your brand to be easily identifiable. If you’re willing to go the full mile, creating your own logo is a bold step towards establishing yourself as a fashion blogger. A great online presence heightens the possibility of your brand succeeding on a global scale.
Retailers, put yourself out there. Never underestimate the power of a good fashion blog!
Keep an eye out for part 3 of Customer Engagement for Fashion Retailers – Choosing the Right Loyalty Program
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