In today’s online world, digital marketing and promotion will be a key aspect of your marketing efforts. In this guide, we'll take a look at the various methods you have at your disposal to promote your new brand using online resources.
Build Your Branding
From your initial apparel idea to your swing tag design, your branding should be pulsing through your clothing line from top to bottom. Even, your logo created using a logo maker. should find a place on your clothing line. It’s important to narrow in on what your brand represents and stands for as soon as possible to ensure that every decision you make throughout your setup process reflects your brand’s unique identity.
Design Your Line
By this point, you will have designed your line of clothing and created tech packs with detailed manufacturing information about each piece (including fabric and trims). You will also have made samples of each piece, which will have been tested for quality and wearability.
Partner with A Manufacturer
In the process of bringing your vision to life, you will have teamed up with a manufacturing partner who will be taking care of your production. Whether you have opted to work with local factories or overseas production suppliers, you will have a contract in place for at least the first run of your collection, which will be placed online ready for you to promote to sell. If you’ve not yet reached this stage of the process, you’ll be able to find production partners for every niche and from all over the world at Sewport.com.
Have a Launch Date in Mind
From the very beginning, it’s good to have a launch date in mind when starting a new clothing business. It’s not a problem for this date to change as you develop your business, but without a date in mind at the beginning, you’re starting yourself off on a timeline with no end date. This can be discouraging and actually cause you to take much longer when planning and coming to a decision about certain aspects of your plan.
What Have You Done So Far?
If you’ve made it to the stage where you’re working out your marketing plan and figuring out how best to promote your new fashion line online, then you’ve already made progress with your business. By this point, you’ve probably taken care of the following steps:
Your Starting Point: a Website
You’re going to need a website if you want to sell products. However, this process shouldn’t be overlooked as quick or easy because, as the online window to your brand, your website is the most important factor to get right when promoting your brand to new audiences online. It might be also a good idea to start a blog in order to educate your customers a bit or share your vision before the commit and buy.
So, you’ve bought your domain name and set up a server and email hosting, but now what? You need to plan how much of the website setup you are able to do yourself and how much of it you will need help with. Going into a website setup, you will need to consider some key aspects, which include but are not limited to:
From professional website design companies to build-your-own website services on the market, you’ll need to have or bring in some web design knowledge to help with the initial setup, layout, functionality and ongoing maintenance of your website.
When it comes to professional websites, images snapped on an iPhone without good lighting just aren’t going to cut it. You need your customers to trust that you are a professional business, and the imagery on every part of your site, from the homepage to the product pages, needs to reflect this professionality. You’ll need to consider not only photoshoots for product images for each product page on your site but also campaign imagery, which will be essential in creating the brand identity that will be displayed throughout your site.
Copywriting for a website can often be a forgotten aspect. It is frequently left behind until the time comes where you have to fill your pages with content, and you’re not quite sure what to say. If you’re not a solid wordsmith or if you simply don’t have the time to curate the right words in the right way, consider bringing on a temporary or freelance copywriter to help you voice the tone of your brand on every single page consistently.
As an online business owner, knowledge is power, and the more you can learn about SEO yourself, the more successful your website is going to be. However, alongside running a clothing line and all the concerns that online selling involves, it can be hard finding time to learn about the best way to present your website to search engines. Bringing in someone with SEO knowledge can help you make the most of every page on your site by using the right content and ensuring that every customer-to-be can find you on their searches through the amid the masses of competitors that are also vying for a top 10 slot on Google.
Setting your website up and clicking publish is the start to your online journey. However, evolving your business and learning from each customer to better your online presence is where success really happens.
This is where Google Analytics comes in. Giving you detailed information on where your customers are coming from before they visit your site, how long they stay, which pages they choose to visit and for how long, and the last thing they look at before they leave are just some of the key details this platform can check.
Here are some of the key metrics on Google Analytics:
If you decide to start this process without a professional web developer to save money in your budget, you will need to research e-commerce store options. With these tools, you can build a site for your brand using a template platform that is pre-built for those who do not have skills in coding. Look into the following companies to decide if this is something you are able to take on:
With these companies, you can create professional-looking websites to start your business. However, you need to bear in mind that as your business scales and you require more technical specifications for your site, you will likely need to bring a developer on board.
1. Images Are Key
High-resolution images are critical for creating a professional website. Not only will you need specific product images for your individual product pages but you will also need stunning PR shots of your clothing.
When you’re planning how to produce your key shots for your initial site launch, take into consideration that these images will also be used for social media and press releases sent out to PR firms and publications. Therefore, they need to both reflect the brand identity and show off the products in the very best way. Although it’s possible to produce a great photoshoot by yourself, it’s worth considering hiring a professional fashion photographer to achieve the best results possible.
2. Social Media
Every type of social media channel should be used for different business goals, and this form of promotion should not be mistaken for simply having a few social media accounts and posting on Instagram or Facebook without a strategy.
Organic Social Media
Organic social media is the type of promotion you will do through your account for free. This is your daily posting format. By using strategies involving things like hashtags and competitions, you can start to create awareness of your brand, but this kind of promotion rarely leads to direct sales unless your brand has a huge following.
Organic social media promotion can include user-generated content (UGC), which involves your customers posting images of themselves with your product followed by a repost on your official page. Fifty percent of consumers stated that this kind of promotional activity is more likely to make them complete a purchase, so it has become an incredibly popular tactic.
Paid Social Advertising
With organic reach providing a 2% conversion rate, simply posting to your social media accounts is no longer a valuable or profitable strategy. The social media world of advertising is now a “paid for” business, which means it is important for you to factor this into your initial launch budget.
From Instagram to YouTube, paid posts can reach outside of your circle of followers, and by using targeted audience selection, you can define your ideal customer and make your all-important posts visible to the people you’re most interested in reaching. Although many brands have seen success using paid social media promotion, it can be both expensive and disheartening if you don’t experience those hoped-for results.
3. Influencer & Blogger Outreach
What started as elusive marketing-speak is now one of the hottest marketing and promotion techniques in the fashion industry. Influencer marketing and blogger outreach involve having influential social personas promoting your brand and products on their platform in the hope that their followers become your customers. 92% of marketers doing this found this approach to be “highly effective,” which is a huge proportion of respondents claiming to have happy clients.
While influencer marketing and blogger outreach may be a part of your social media plan, it is now a strategy of its own within many global brands’ marketing plans. With an overwhelming area of the space to enter without in-depth knowledge, it is worth considering hiring a blogger outreach specialist with a database and contact list who can help you to connect with the most relevant influencers in your niche and form working relationships.
Instagram was part of 93% of all influencer campaigns in 2018, which is approximately double the metric belonging to YouTube and Facebook. The same report from Forbes says that the best influencer campaigns are when the brand and creator join together to create the best, most authentic content for that influencer’s followers.
Not only this, but the influencer trends for 2019 predict the use of more influencers than ever. Brands are no longer looking at their top 10 influencers to work with but are instead amassing lists of 100 or even 1,000 creatives to rely on for their influence, which builds a network of ambassadors with smaller individual followings but more with more effect as a whole.
If Influencer marketing is new to you, there are several online tools you can use to help:
4. Invest in SEO From the Start
SEO is not something that happens overnight, so if you’re not a pro, get a person or team in from the beginning that can help. With anything from meta tags to super-rich search engine-optimized content on every page of your site, working on this from the beginning will help you consistently improve your Google rankings. A focus on SEO will also ensure that you don’t end up with a site that needs a complete overhaul several months down the line.
5. Your Blog
Within your online promotion strategy, you might also want to add your own brand’s blog to your website. Having high-quality, regular, and (most importantly) super-relevant content will help you start to appear in Google searches for relevant keywords. Investing heavily in your blog also adds an element of trust for your customers.
We often hear about link-building strategies without too much information provided regarding what they are and how they work. The most important thing to remember as you pursue link-building is that quality is much more important than quantity. The only way to get real, high-quality links back to your site is by providing content that is worth linking to. This is where your blog articles can really come into play if done well.
6. Video Content
It’s no secret in the marketing world that video is top dog when it comes to producing consumable content for your visitors. You know that it’s a proven successful way to get your customers to engage, but did you know the actual extent of video's online marketing success? Here are some shocking facts about content marketing from Wordstream.com:
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook and YouTube videos a week
- 87% of online marketers use video content
- More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day
- 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs
- Having a video on a landing page makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of the SERP
We could go on. But we’ll leave the video marketing facts here and let you get back to planning your first video marketing campaign for your new clothing line.
7. Email Marketing
Experts in the industry have whispered about the death of email marketing as everyone rushes to focus on their Instagram platforms. However, a report from the DMA shows that 99% of consumers read their emails every day with many checking their inbox up to 20 times a day. These staggering statistics show that email is going nowhere.
The most important factor in email marketing is relevance. With only 9% of marketers confident that all of their emails are relevant, it’s no wonder this strategy isn’t giving them the best results. Think up relevant, useful, and exciting content to send to your customers' inboxes to ensure you don’t get an automatic delete (or even worse, a click of the "Report Spam and Unsubscribe button). Building an email database is difficult. Try to entice people to leave their emails on your site with a slogan such as “Leave your email for 10% off your first order!”
How to Promote Your Clothing Brand on Social Media
Now that you have a basic understanding of the seven approaches you should take to marketing your fashion brand, it's time to focus in on the marketing approach that you should emphasize more than any other: social media marketing. Connecting with potential customers and engaging existing customers on social media platforms is an increasingly integral aspect of any effective marketing strategy, and this tool is even more effective when it comes to promoting a clothing brand.
There's no one social media platform that will serve as your golden ticket as you promote your brand. While it's true that Instagram users are more likely to take an interest in a fashion brand than LinkedIn users, it's still important to diversify your social media fashion marketing efforts to reach the widest customer base possible. The fashion world is all about brand loyalty, and the best way to develop this key brand attribute is to cast a wide net and rely on word-of-mouth to do the rest of the work in expanding your brand awareness.
Paid social media marketing might be overrated, but we'll cover the best ways to use this marketing strategy as we break down the top methods for promoting your brand on each of the top social media platforms. Remember, however, that posting content that naturally engages your target audience and effectively tells your brand story is vastly superior to relying on spammed paid ads that cause consumers to turn away in disgust. Your social media know-how will make all the difference as you promote a new product or drive more traffic to your online store, and here's what you need to know about boosting your online marketing efforts on the following social media sites:
1. How to promote your clothing brand on Instagram
If you aren't marketing your fashion brand on Instagram, you're going something wrong. According to eMarketer, 96 percent of U.S. fashion brands are active on Instagram, and according to the platform's own statistics, 60 percent of Instagram users find new products while they browse through posts and pictures.
Instagram's unique premise made it a perfect match with fashion marketing right from the start. Instead of focusing on text-based posts, Instagram posts have to feature pictures, which makes this platform highly optimized for selling products. In addition to helping you grow your following and promote brand awareness, your Instagram account is a selling tool in and of itself; this social media program features a simple online store function, and over a third of all Instagram users have purchased products on their mobile devices.
When combined, these statistics paint a very clear picture: Instagram is the most important asset in your social media toolbox if you want to connect with fashion bloggers and target audiences in a powerful way. But what's the best way to use Instagram, and is this platform's paid marketing worth it?
First, keep in mind that Instagram no longer features a chronological feed. Instead, this platform's posts are sorted by relevance, which makes it similar to other social media giants like Twitter. Therefore, it doesn't pay to spam posts on this platform; instead, you'll want to craft targeted, meaningful content that will express the personality of your brand and encourage users to share.
Most Instagram users don't go to this platform to read text; if the images you use to accompany your posts aren't compelling, then your brand won't get attention. Try to tell a story with your pictures. If you want, you can even incorporate text into your images to make them into "memes" that are easier to share and retain their meaning even when they're used outside of Instagram.
In terms of paid marketing, it's not like you'd be the only one to take advantage of Instagram's advertising options. There are now over two million monthly advertisers on Instagram, which means that plenty of brands feel that paying for advertising on this platform is worth it.
Keep in mind, however, that consumers are leery of paid content. If you want your paid posts to have an impact, craft them to be as fresh and engaging as they would be if you were trying to make them go viral without sweetening the pot.
Lastly, don't forget that location-oriented posts on Instagram receive 79 percent more engagement. If you want to corner a particular market in New York or London, remember to include your target city in the text of your post.
2. How to promote your clothing brand on Facebook
While Facebook now owns Instagram, these platforms couldn't be more different. Instead of limiting itself to images like Instagram, Facebook casts a wider net by also allowing text-only posts.
It's true that Facebook has over a billion more active users than Instagram, but these users aren't usually flocking to Facebook to learn about the latest fashion trends from their favorite influencers. Instead, they use this mammoth app to catch up with friends, read the news, and engage in political debates.
While 68 percent of Instagram users regularly interact with brands on this platform, only 32 percent of Facebook users do the same. Facebook takes in vastly more marketing revenue than Instagram, but the majority of marketers who use this platform aren't fashion brands.
If you want your fashion brand to gain international recognition, being active on Facebook is a must. However, you should be very careful when allocating marketing funds for Facebook ads; the statistics clearly show that paying money to sell your brand on this platform just won't be as effective in the long run.
Facebook is the right place to share in-depth stories about your brand. It's also a great place to engage in more meaningful conversations with customers since this platform's commenting and sharing functions are more robust than Instagram's.
If you use it correctly, Facebook can be a great tool for boosting website traffic and providing sneak peeks on new clothing lines or brand improvements. What's more, don't forget that your Facebook page also has an online store function that you can use to sell your fashions directly to users.
3. How to promote your clothing brand on Twitter
At a glance, Twitter simply isn’t an effective platform for fashion marketing. This social media platform only commands 13 percent of social media advertising budgets compared to Facebook's 57 percent, and it doesn't have a built-in store. Plus, there are only 500 million tweets per day versus the 4.75 billion items shared by Facebook users in the same period.
While Twitter offers paid ads, it doesn't have the same association with fashion or e-commerce in general as Instagram or Facebook. What Twitter is great for, however, is interacting with existing customers. Tons of consumers take to Twitter to voice complaints or share their success stories, and as in the case with Instagram, it's easy to follow whoever you want on Twitter.
Twitter is great for hot takes, and it's also a necessary component of your customer outreach strategy. However, it doesn't make sense to rely on this platform for paid marketing. At best, you can hope to produce organic viral tweets that get shared hundreds or thousands of times, and keeping a close look at Twitter's trending hashtags is a great way to get in on a topic that's catching everyone's attention at a given moment.
4. How to promote your clothing brand on LinkedIn
Fashion startups don't market on LinkedIn to grow their customer bases. Rather, they buy ads on this platform to build professional relationships and improve their brand authority.
To get started, you'll need to make a company page on LinkedIn, and you'll need to identify your target audience. Then, you should optimize your page for search engines, and you should add all of your employees to your profile.
After you've equipped your profile with engaging content, it will be time to draw in potential collaborators with paid ads. Paid marketing on LinkedIn can be an effective method for finding influencers and other partners, but it shouldn't be a huge part of your overall marketing strategy.
How to Budget Your Promotion Efforts
It's important to avoid going overboard on social media marketing when you're first starting off as a brand. Unless you have a big following, customers might be leery of trusting your advertisements, so it's best to build your follower base through word-of-mouth before you start whaling away at those Instagram or Facebook ads.
Instead, you should focus on getting your SEO content up to snuff. In the early days, most of your customers will reach your online store either via word-of-mouth or via search results, so you should get started on filling up your website with excellent content right off the bat. The positive news when it comes to content marketing is that you can take care of this process for free if you do it yourself, but you might want to rely on a professional writer to make sure that your content is polished and inviting.
Populating your site with high-quality images is an absolute necessity when you're just getting started. Make this step a top priority, and also think about how you're going to reach out to bloggers and other influencers. Getting noticed by a prominent influencer can transform your brand practically overnight, so start making a list of creatives you want to work with.
Some fashion startups spend as much as 50 percent of their monthly budget on marketing, and while that might seem like a lot, this approach could pay off in huge growth. To play it safe, however, you might want to cap your marketing budget at around 25 percent. That way, you'll have time to play around and figure out what works and what doesn't without putting yourself in the red.
How to Promote Your Clothing Brand: the Bottom Line
Being able to promote your brand means you’ve got to create content. However, average, everyday content won't do: You'll need to produce good, creative blog posts, product pages, and social media posts. To stand out in the online sphere these days, your content has to be beautifully shot, entirely on-brand, compelling, and memorable. Whether you plan to work with partners and professionals or take on a lot of this work yourself, putting together a plan and strategy, including a budget, will be crucial to ensure you make the most out of every channel available.
While manufacturing your clothing can be one of the hardest parts of starting your own fashion business, it isn't the only hurdle you'll need to tackle as you transform your clothing brand into an internationally-acclaimed household name. Once you’ve managed to navigate the sometimes-treacherous path of creating the products to launch with your new brand, you'll then need to promote your clothing line properly to start selling.