display of designer bags
display of designer bags
#Fashion #MarketingStrategy

The Guide to Marketing for Fashion Brands

Devon Butler

Fashion is a highly competitive industry and today’s consumers are smart. In order to see increased reach and sustained growth, you need to stand out from the crowd. That’s where a strategic fashion marketing plan comes in. 

A unique, compelling brand identity is integral for almost every business regardless of industry. As a fashion brand or designer however, your emails, your branding, your ads, need to be as moving as your creations. Fashion is all about emotion, aesthetics, and personalization and the same needs to be true for how you market yourself. 

Now, we completely understand the struggles that arise from trying to balance running your company with studying the latest marketing tools, software, and trends. From creating social assets to formulating a SEO strategy, marketing your fashion brand can quickly become overwhelming. 

But understanding how to market your fashion brand doesn’t need to be a checkbook-breaking, laborious ordeal. Once you familiarize yourself with a few key elements of fashion marketing and work with the right partner, you’ll be amazed at the kind of growth you’ll see. 

Effective marketing requires a multi-prong approach. Instead of spending all your time in one area, like social media or SEO for example, it’s important to maintain several different avenues. Ready to discover how to market your fashion company the right way?

Your success starts with a playbook, understanding the fundamentals of marketing execution and maintaining key objectives. Your playbook begins here, here in this article we’ll cover:

  • What Is Fashion Marketing?
  • Fashion Marketing Funnel
  • Fashion Content Marketing
  • SEO Marketing For Fashion Brands
  • Paid Advertising For Fashion
  • Fashion Social Media Marketing
  • Fashion Email Marketing
  • Fashion Marketing Agency

Let’s get to it!

Building A Fashion Marketing Plan

Fashion is a highly competitive industry and today’s consumers are smart. In order to see increased reach and sustained growth, you need to stand out from the crowd. That’s where a strategic fashion marketing plan comes in. 

When it comes to creating a robust digital marketing strategy, the first step is identifying who you are trying to reach with your marketing efforts. Next, you need to outline what your major goals are. 

Are you marketing your company to build your brand’s reputation and online presence? 

Are you hoping for high conversion rates? 

Are you simply trying to drum up business?

Breaking down your ultimate goals helps make your marketing path clearer. Essentially it’s better to focus on a few primary channels and produce high quality content for that specific channel rather than to spread yourself thin and ultimately do a subpar job across the board. 

Ideally, the platforms you choose to focus on is where your target audience spends most of their time online. If you find informative blogs and email newsletters produce the best ROI, focus your efforts on utilizing SEO and paid advertising to boost this content further.

Understanding where your target audience spends their time and current platform demographics will help you avoid ineffective marketing campaigns. 

Luxury fashion brands for example, might not see much return from creating TikTok videos whereas paid ads might better suit their target demographic. After you’ve implemented your marketing strategy, be sure to evaluate the results. Determine what worked, what didn’t have great reach, and why that was. 

However, keep in mind that not all marketing strategies are meant to turn around quick sales and can take time to gain momentum, especially in a saturated market. Ready to dig in further? Let's take a look at some of the most effective methods for marketing your company. 

marketing plan icons

Fashion Marketing Funnel

A user will go through a sequence of actions, events, or stages while choosing to purchase a product or service. In a nutshell, that’s a sales funnel. This allows you, the marketer, to record and chart, track and optimize the process to achieve better results.

A fashion sales funnel is imperative; unfortunately, it’s not easy. It’s not easy because in sales and marketing, there is no one size fits all template that will magically get you to a better place. Time, patience, and good communication with your team will make for a successful sales funnel.

In brief, your basic sales funnel will have three levels, top, middle, and bottom. Let’s take a look at these and what their essential functions are.

Top of Funnel: This is the awareness stage; the user is in research mode, gathering information to make an informed decision. They are not buying; they are investigating. They have a problem or an interest and are seeking solutions.

For this stage, you’ll want your website and social media to have content that addresses the problem and sets you up as an expert with the answers. Good content for stage one would be:

  • Style guides
  • Explainer videos
  • Inspirational blog posts
  • Lead Magnet (item or service given away for free to gather contact details)

Middle of Funnel: Now the user is looking at specifics. They have gathered information, and they’re focusing on the specific solutions for their problem. Here your content will shift. As the user gets more specific, so will your content. Here you will do well with:

  • Presentations
  • Demonstrations
  • Case Studies

The user is now forming a list of potential suppliers, from which they will then cull. Still, this is not the time for the sales pitch; the user is still in the information-gathering stage of their journey.

Bottom of Funnel: The user has reached the bottom of the funnel, which usually means they hit upon one particular solution or company. If they are with you, moving forward with you, this is because of the work in the first two funnel phases and because you’ve given them the impression that you’re a thought leader that knows how to deal with their particular issue or desire. Again your content will shift. Now you’re looking at content such as:

  • Pricing
  • Comparison tables
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews

At this point, the user is now ready to engage with sales.

man standing in times square

Fashion Content Marketing

Content marketing, at its most fundamental level, is the practice of telling a story that inspires an audience. That story can be told through videos, animations, blogs, social media posts, or ads. Think about it like this: prior to the internet, most brands relied on portfolios, billboards, or newspaper ads to communicate their work and vision. Content marketing in the current landscape is merely an extension of this practice but with the potential to reach a much wider and more detailed audience.<br />When using content the right way, this method opens up the opportunities for connecting with current and potential clients on a more personal level. However, it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to create content in every different medium on every platform available. 

It’s important to first set your target audience and understand where they spend their time. An upscale men’s fashion line for instance, might not see tons of return on creating TikTok videos whereas Instagram posts or guest blog posts might better suit your target demographic.

General marketing strategies often utilize several effective methods like SEO, social media, paid ads, or email marketing to attract a large audience. When it comes to fashion content marketing, the trick is to find a way to employ these marketing principles while simultaneously crafting an elevated story and telling it in new and unique ways.

Want more? Go further into the world of Fashion Content Marketing

SEO Marketing For Fashion Brands

When it comes to understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO), many people mistakenly think it means simply tossing a few Google-friendly keywords onto a page. Even worse, throwing out numerous keywords (also known as keyword stuffing) at the bottom of each webpage. These types of practices are more likely to penalize your website. Truly effective SEO is much more nuanced. Since algorithms are always changing, SEO is an ever-evolving practice. 

While SEO content should be flexible, it’s important that you add search engine friendly copy on your site’s cornerstone pages and blog posts in order to improve your organic search rankings. Finding the right keywords is where things can get tricky. With keyword research, we can identify which search terms people are using to find products/services related to your company, how often they are using those search terms, and how difficult it will be to rank for those terms.

However, in order to see genuine reach you need to have a defined target audience and niche. For example, rather than using a keyword like “cotton sweatpants” it will be much more effective to use a keyword like “eco-friendly cotton sweatpants online.” 

When it comes to marketing fashion brands, it’s important to utilize SEO by understanding exactly who your audience is. The best way to do this is to create customer personas. Identifying personas is a way to get a detailed description of your ideal customer. It includes their age, job, income, demographics, online habits, hobbies, interests, and more. 

Essentially, creating a detailed buyer persona will help you understand where and who your customers are which enables you to craft a more effective marketing plan that specifically targets these people. For example one of your main buyers might be an older asian woman who earns over $200,000 a year, cares about status, loves to travel, has a graduate degree, spends 47% of her shopping time via desktop, and explores clothing primarily through search engines and ads. 

Once you identify these types of primary personas you can better craft a marketing strategy to target this audience in the best way, using the best SEO strategy for them.

As a fashion brand, your emails, your branding, your ads, need to be as moving as your creations.
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Paid Advertising For Fashion

Unlike SEO which focuses on organic traffic and search engine rankings, paid advertising is a method of paying for ad space to reach a larger audience and increase traffic. Although paid advertising for fashion brands costs more than SEO, paid ads are an effective way to get your company’s name out there. Paid ads are typically displayed to users on other web pages to increase traffic.

The different categories of paid ads, like PPC for example, also have the benefit of allowing customizations to ongoing campaigns. Social media is also a great way to target potential clients by running ads on Facebook or Instagram.

Ranking for fashion terms can be competitive. Unless you're ranking in the top three positions for all relevant queries, it makes sense to pay for certain search terms. For example, if you are ranking #1 for "modern sustainable fashion brands in [location]", but you are on page two for "designer in [location]" ; you may want to purchase the latter until your position improves with your SEO strategy.

As a fashion brand, your business is highly visual. You should be engaging in prospecting and remarketing ads with video ads on youtube and display ads on Google. This can help you attract new consumers and stay top of mind with leads throughout the conversion funnel.

woman holding up shoes in front of camera

Fashion Social Media Marketing

Highly visual mediums, like social media platforms, are the perfect avenue to convey your aesthetic and inspire potential customers by marketing your brand. This doesn’t just mean posting a photo to instagram, anyone can do that. Instead, fashion content marketing via social media should be visually appealing, informative, and valuable. 

The first thing to nail down is the purpose of your social media presence, do you want to use it as a portfolio for your luxury designs? Educate them on your product lines? Once you understand the ‘why’ behind it, you can better implement a social media strategy which will in turn, impact the kind of content you create.

Check out How To Create Quality Content For Instagram to gain more insight.

Fashion Email Marketing

Email marketing is often an underutilized, underestimated marketing channel. People tend to think that because so many people get a million emails a day and often don’t open many of them that it's an ineffective tool.

The truth is that email marketing reaches a highly qualified audience, and a captive audience that has already expressed interest in a particular company. Sending out a monthly email with inspiring designs, company updates, or new trends, can be a great way to stay top of mind with your audience.

It’s also worthwhile to consider adding a value-add in email marketing pieces every once in a while, such as a free style consultation or special discount codes.

Fashion Marketing Agency: ThoughtLab

Each of these different marketing strategies require a combination of expert know-how and a little bit of wizardry. Depending on your brand, not all these avenues may be the right fit and many will need to be tailored to your specific audience, product, and location. That’s why it’s helpful to find a knowledgeable partner to take marketing your luxury brand off your to-do list.

Hiring a professional content marketing agency is a smart way to create a plan of action that suits your goals, desires, and most importantly, your budget. Plus, their expert know-how and software will likely produce ideas you never even thought of.

Ready for someone to tackle all your fashion content marketing needs? We’re happy to take it from here. Contact ThoughtLab today for a free consultation and let’s tell your story the right way, together.