What marketing activities work best for you to build your fashion label? Ask the Fashion Darling this week!
I often get asked – which marketing activity is the best for my fashion line? There really is no correct answer. There is no single activity that will save or build your label. Marketing is the sum of all efforts you have taken over a period of time. And that ‘best’ marketing activity? It’s the one you do frequently, consistently, and in line with your target market and your brand.
How to create an effective marketing strategy
When you’re starting out you have a limited budget so it can be difficult to utilise traditional marketing methods like radio, tv, or print. Sometimes these efforts might not even be relevant to your business. You have to be creative with your efforts, so before you spend a cent think of this:
- Who is my target market and my ideal buyer/customer?
- Where do they spend their time? Do they read magazines, are they on Instagram?
- Who are they influenced by? Style icons, celebs, friends, family?
- How do they discover new brands and products?
- What makes them loyal to a brand?
- How do we need to present our message in order to create a relationship with them?
- How can we nurture and support that relationship?
Have you heard of Influencer Marketing?
Regardless of which client I speak with these days, social media reigns supreme as the key marketing activity on their radar because as consumers we spend so much time on social media.
When speaking to agents and buyers (I interview them for my online course so our students can hear from industry insiders) they say they spot new brands on social media, and that seeing the brands worn by bloggers and celebrities can persuade them to contact the brand and see the range.
It is for this reason that you need to add influencer marketing to the mix, to reach an engaged audience and to get the influencer ‘recommendation’.
Find influencers who suit your ethos, and who speak to your target market. Invest your budget wisely!
Regardless of which marketing strategy you choose, you HAVE TO have professional photos for the lookbook, website, PR, and this has to come out of your marketing budget. Choose successful photographers, stylists, makeup artists and models who have large social media audiences – they will share your project as their latest work on their platforms and give your brand an extra boost.
Don’t try to do everything yourself! Hire professionals who can help you build the brand; create relationships in the industry rather than do it all yourself and be the only one who knows about your brand.
Marketing budget and cost-effective activities
When you’re deciding your marketing budget choose between 10-20% of your annual income. New brands may need to invest more because they have to build brand awareness from scratch. If you don’t have sales yet then create your annual sales projection and allocate 10-20% of your projected annual income into marketing.
If you’re looking at influencer marketing, contact the influencers directly or talk to their agencies to get their rate cards and media kits – a rate card has the breakdown of their costs and the media kit has their reach and stats. Once you have these costs add them into your marketing budget spreadsheet to see what you can afford.
Facebook advertising is another tactic you can utilise on a small budget, but make sure you use a retargeting pixel on your site, so that you can capture visitors to your site and then re-market to them again. Facebook advertising can be expensive if you’re looking to get clicks to your website, so budget in around $1 per click.
Email marketing is a non-negotiable activity – you absolutely have to harvest email addresses and consistently nurture your list. Email marketing still has the highest ROI (Return On Investment) and it’s a great way to keep in touch with your customer base. It’s fairly inexpensive and can be very effective.
PR can be costly but there are ways you can start this activity inhouse. Subscribe to Sourcebottle and get free alerts when journalists and media need a source – someone to interview, feature and promote. This is a great way to build awareness when you have a limited budget.
Are there any brands you can cross promote with? If there is a brand that already speaks to your target market there may be a good opportunity to collaborate. You could create a design collaboration, a giveaway promotion, a joint popup shop or a VIP event, and work the PR machine to get more exposure for both brands.
Now that you know more about what marketing activities that work well for fashion labels and the investment required, consider answering these questions for your fashion line:
- Which marketing activities are you currently utilising?
- How much of the marketing budget have you already allocated?
- Which activities are you not utilising, that would be beneficial to your business?
- Which influencers can you approach to help you build brand awareness?
About the author
Vanja Stace is the founder and principle of The Fashion Darling School of Business.
The Fashion Darling was founded in 2015 and has helped many international designers. In July 2015 she won the Fashion Edupreneur 2015 Award, which recognises excellence in the delivery of educational programs in the fashion industry.
The Fashion Darling will be back next friday with tips for your fashion line. In the meantime, if you have any questions for Vanja, reach out to her on www.thefashiondarling.com.