Top 10 marketing strategies for apparel businesses
Shoes, leggings, t-shirts, hats…. There are so many products available in the fashion industry, but also so much competition. How can you attract clients, and how can you keep them to grow your fashion business? Here are our top 10 marketing strategies that you should consider for your apparel business.
1. Have a solid content generation strategy
Content is essential to the success of an apparel business. Through the years, we have seen so many businesses with great products that, unfortunately, didn’t succeed because of their content strategy.
Blog posts, photos and videos are just a few examples of the content you need to have on a regular basis for your brand. Generating fashion content on a regular basis can be challenging, especially for a small business with limited resources, that is why you need to consider user generated content. Different approaches are possible:
- Influencers marketing: Define who is popular among your potential clients, consider fashion bloggers, instagrammers and YouTubers that could talk about your brand. The idea is to reach out to the influencers that have similar values to what your brand is about and those who have a high engagement rate (the number of followers being secondary). Lots of influencers are already working with fashion brands and are generating great articles, photos and videos. Depending on influencers, the budget can vary, if you can’t spend too much on influencer marketing, prioritize influencers with less than 10,000 followers.
- Organize contests: To engage your current fans or clients, raise awareness and create content; organize a contest. This can be done on any of your social media platforms or even on your website. This can be setup pretty easily and generate lots of value for your business.
- Hire a content marketing consultant! If you don’t have the time, or struggle with well-written content, you can hire on contracted writers who will deliver what you want to put out to your readers.
You should also organize regular photoshoots. Do you have 2 collections every year? Organize at least 2 photoshoots that would allow you to get content for social media, your website, and other marketing material you could produce. Make sure to have both lifestyle and product shots for each of your products.
Be as descriptive as possible: Are you selling your products online? Lots of people are still reluctant to buy clothes online, because they are afraid it might not fit. Providing as much information as possible on your products, their size, materials… will increase your conversions.
Apparel marketing tip: Are you already doing all the above but are struggling with conversions? Partnering with complementary businesses can also help retain your website visitors. For example, if you are selling organic baby clothes, why not partnering with an organic cosmetic brand to raise awareness among people that are already interested in organic products?
2. Think SEO
Whether they are looking for a top or shoes, lots of people are using a search engine like Google when shopping. Make sure that your potential clients find your brand instead of your competition. How you may ask? By optimizing your website for SEO! Without going into too technical of terms, here are some current SEO best practices:
- Have a website optimized, focus on how it works as a mobile site and the overall speed.
- Create internal links between pages
- Create external links to your pages
- Use SEO keywords on your website navigation and content
- Have an optimized Google My Business profile
Apparel marketing tip: Google Image is a key element in the SEO strategy of an apparel brand. Make sure to have your pictures optimized as well.
3. Instagram and Pinterest are your friends
What would be a fashion website without inspiring photos and videos? The best social media for an apparel brand are Instagram and Pinterest. Your fashion business needs to be on both. What should your action plan look like? As social media marketing consultants, we advise you to:
- Posts on the platform regularly.
- Create nice visual content.
- Curate content from other accounts (if you have their permission!).
- Contact influencers and see if there is any collaboration possible.
- Use the right hashtags that will allow your account to be more visible to your potential target.
- Engage with the community.
- Allow users to buy from your social media accounts
- Implement Pin It on your website, allowing users to Pin on their Pinterest account your content
- Add your Instagram feed on your website (home page for example)
The platforms you will put your efforts into, and the content you will publish will really depend on what your brand is about and what your niche is, but keep in mind that people want to be inspired.
Apparel marketing tip: When posting, try to keep the ⅓-⅔ rule in mind: ⅓ of the content should be about your brand or products, ⅔ should be more inspirational (something that is linked to your brand positioning and that your audience should like).
4. Get positive reviews
Whether you are selling shoes, clothes or fashion accessories, your target is probably browsing the internet to have more information about you and your competition before making the final decision to buy. What could make a key difference on your conversion rate is reviews. Different platforms exist where your clients can leave reviews, but we strongly advise you to implement a Review widget on your product pages if you have a website. Lots of widgets are compatible with Woo Commerce and Shopify. If you have a shop, make sure to have reviews on your Google My Business profile. It will help you for conversions but Google ranking as well.
Make sure to provide a great customer service to your clients and ask them to leave reviews. You can do that the old traditional way (just ask them face to face), through a follow up email or through print. The solution you will adopt depends on what you are selling.
Apparel marketing tip: Not only do you need positive reviews, but you need to have recent reviews. Also don’t forget to reply to negative reviews.
5. Run PPC campaigns
Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Shopping, display campaigns… Different platforms exist where you can run campaigns to raise awareness around your business. While Google Shopping, through Google Search, will allow you to target specific keywords that your target is looking for on Google, platforms like Facebook for example will run campaigns to a specific target that you will set up.
Don’t underestimate the power of remarketing. Customer’s journey can include dozens of searches and visits to hundreds of web pages, especially in the fashion industry. Remarketing ensure that one interaction someone has with your brand isn’t the only interaction. People who know your brand will be more receptive to your future messaging.
Apparel marketing tip: Have a clear idea of who your target is. This will help you define the targeting of your PPC campaigns and optimize your ad spent. A PPC marketing consultant can be of great help to audit and optimize your PPC campaigns.
6. Meet your target at events
A great way to raise awareness of your business among your target audience is to attend events and even organize some. Major conference, fairs, street festival, workshops, talks… See where you could go and talk with potential clients.
Apparel marketing tip: Events can also be a great opportunity for you to meet and collaborate with potential partners targeting the same audience. Bring your business cards and product samples!
7. Define a clear target and unique positioning
The demographics of the customers you are trying to reach must be top of your mind. Who are they? Where are they? What do they do? What do they like? Are your final customers the one that is looking for your services/products or not? Make sure to target the decision maker in your marketing tactics and not necessary the final customer.
You should also know how unique and better your products are. Are you the only one in town selling vegan shoes? Let your audience know! This is a key differentiation point that will definitely make the difference between an empty cart and a full one!
Apparel marketing tip: Writing buyer personas will help you create successful campaigns that will speak to your target and get them to click and convert.
8. Optimize your sales funnel
Whether you own a physical or online store, make sure that your customer journey is well thought. From the home page or store entrance, to checkout or delivery, everything needs to be optimized to create a great general experience for your potential clients and increase sales opportunities. On a website, for example, suggest on the product page or checkout page similar products that could be interesting to buy.
Don’t forget to reach out to past clients as well. Return on investment in much higher for returning customers that it is for new ones. An easy way to do that is by implementing an email strategy using MailChimp or Hubspot for example.
Apparel marketing tip: Look closely at your analytics platforms. Google Analytics and your email platforms will help you understand where you could improve your sales funnel, which strategies are bringing the most ROI, which one need to be furtherly tested (through AB testing for example) and stopped.
9. Sales and promotions
There is a good chance that your competition is running sales on a regular basis. This is a great way to get new clients and have your past clients coming back. Make sure to create offers that would be compelling enough for your target and let your customers know. How? Different options are possible: mailing, emailing, social media. Make sure to have the information displayed on your website.
Apparel marketing tip: Your current clients are your brand best advocates. Allow them to get special promotions if they refer your brand to someone else!
10. Inspire your customers with style guides
You know how well your clothes or products can work together, what will make the best outfit for each body type, personality or style, let’s make sure that your clients and potential clients know that too, especially if you have a large variety of apparel items! Put together a style guide on your website or even in your physical shop so that visitors can get ideas on how to wear and style your clothing. You can create multiple style guide based on seasonality or special occassions, use or purposes.
Apparel marketing tip: Make sure that your style guide fits with your positioning and what your clients would be interested in. Try telling a story with the style guide to interest your customer.
Do you have the feeling that your current marketing strategy is not strong enough to get more awareness and conversions among your target market? We have been working with lots of apparel businesses like you for decades. From Lululemon to small travel businesses, we know what is working and what is not. From a marketing assessment to a full action plan, we work with you on finding which marketing strategy will help your fashion business reach its goals. Contact us!