Online Fashion Marketing for Fashion Designers and Stores
Online marketing strategy for fashion designers and stores consists of three pieces. The pieces are Search, Social, and Advertising.
Search engine marketing focuses on getting the fashion designer's website "found" by their target markets when they search on Google, Bing and other search engine websites. That's the beauty of search engine marketing as opposed to traditional marketing.
The purpose of search marketing is to be discovered by customers who are interested in your apparel categories, but have no idea that you exist.
There are two key building blocks to effective search engine marketing: writing the correct text content on your site and inspiring other websites (bloggers, online magazine, online stores) to write about you. Both building blocks require a disciplined focus on your Brand Identity and target markets. If these are aligned, then we can determine the best "key words" to write on your site and effective promotional pitches to external websites.
Social media marketing of fashion brands is mostly the opposite approach of search marketing. While the technology is new, the method is one of traditional marketing: the brand must "push" their message and product to the target markets.
Yes, hashtags are a way for people to search on social sites, but reality is that most people go onto social sites to promote themselves to their friends and acquaintances and see updates from them. They do not really "search" on these sites to find products or services.
The two building blocks of a social site for fashion designers and stores are great images and real outreach to tens of thousands of profiles in your target markets. You must comment, like, and follow your market in the hopes that they will notice you, like your product, and then follow your brand. There are no shortcuts to building an authentic social media following.
Advertising for online fashion stores takes two tacts, one for search ads and another for social media. Search advertising typically uses a "pay per click" model in which the business pays only when a potential customer clicks on the ad that leads to the online fashion store. Search advertising leverages the work performed in search engine marketing by cleverly selecting key word phrases that have a mix of search volume, affordability, and utility. The idea is to pay for affordable phrases that would be used by a customer in the "buying" mode. Of course you can use search advertising to focus on attracting visitors to your website, in which case the fashion brand can use a wider array of key words.
Social media advertising takes the more traditional form of "pushing" your message to the audience. The three main social media advertising channels for fashion brands are Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. All three require the business to set up a profile on the channel, but the goal is to use the ads for clicks to your online store. Instagram is great for targeting people under 30, Facebook for people over 30, and Pinterest for women of all ages. The drawback to social media advertising is the "feed" view. Your ad will appear in the middle of a continuous stream of other posts in the feed. This means the ad imagery must be super catchy to draw attention.
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