When approaching the development of a marketing strategy for your fashion brand, it is necessary to sit down and spend time evaluating options.
A marketing strategy is a very broad term, which can be misleading.
As a business manager, your role is to bring down to a practical, empirical level your vision for your brand and identify the right channels to promote it.
By adopting the right channels you’ll be able to acquire customers and bring revenue to your company through their customer lifetime value (the amount of money they’ll generate for your business over the course of their life).
And here comes the challenge.
There are a lot of channels available.
So many that in fact, it can be really difficult to even list them all.
In this post, we’re breaking down a list of 11+ marketing channels you can use to develop a go-to-market strategy for your brand, picking the ones that best resonate with your goals.
By seeing them in a bullet point format you’ll be able to quickly skim over all of them and identify the channels you’ll want to test first.
With no further ado, let’s dive into the topic!
#1 Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is a very effective form of marketing that was very popular at the beginning of web 2.0 and social media.
In viral marketing, by developing compelling, emotional, and highly engaging content a brand was able to tap into social media platforms’ vast organic reach and connect to a massive audience with – relatively – low cost.
This would happen as users, after experiencing the content, would organically like and share the content with their friends and circles, expanding the number of people that would come in contact with it at no cost for the business.
Developing a viral campaign is still something that can be done, but to some extent, we should not rely on it as chance plays a strong factor.
As social media marketing has become such a relevant part of a fashion brand’s marketing strategy, social platforms are not posing much higher thresholds to “virality”.
The reason is that these platforms are profiting from the advertising spend of companies who use social media to reach their customers, and it would be unprofitable for them to “allow total access” to their audience simply because of the captivating nature of a video.
In this sense, viral marketing, in our opinion has already had its golden era, and as much as it is still possible to score viral content, it is not a channel that fashion brands can rely upon excessively.
#2 Public Relations
Public relations are a very effective way to get your brand known as it takes advantage of earned media.
Earned media is content that is not directly managed by the brand, but is associated with third-party publishers.
Public relations relates to the relationships that a brand develops with the press in order to manage and inform the opinion surrounding it when the activities and operations that the brand carries out connect to public matters.
All in all, public relations are considered strictly connected to the brand’s reputation, and by developing a strong brand image, an organization can present itself very persuasively to its customers.
If you’d like to read more on public relations, here’s an article that addresses it in further detail.
#3 Search Engine Marketing
SEM, or search engine marketing is one of the more traditional forms of digital marketing.
Through search engine marketing a fashion brand is able to take advantage of the online customer journey of its clients and show ads that are highly relevant to the particular stage of the journey the customer is in.
This approach is fully digital as it takes advantage of the queries that customers type in search engines as they explore shopping options.
Traditionally, journeys are comprised of 5 steps: (1) Problem Recognition, (2) Information Search, (3) Evaluation of Alternatives, (4) Purchase, (5) Post Purchase Experience.
At each of these steps, customers will display different purchase intents and different needs for information.
Through a carefully planned SEM strategy, a brand will be able to develop a specific Unique Selling Proposition or advertising copy to fully connect with the customer’s journey as it is represented by long-tail keywords and queries as potential customers surf the web.
This approach can be really effective, but it does rely on a strong understanding of your customers’ behaviors and patterns and this can take time.
To read more about this, here’s an article about Jobs to Be Done, a marketing framework that can help you identify what needs best connects to your products and services.
#4 Social and Display Ads (+ Existing Platforms)
Social and display ads are advertising typologies that allow your brand to interact with its potential customers while on social media.
It is important to note the difference between SEM and Display ads:
In the former case, the ad interacts with customers who are actively looking for a solution to a problem – and that, oftentimes, involves purchasing a product.
In the latter case instead, what happens is that potential customers are shown ads during an experience on social media which is often connected to entertainment and fun.
The benefit of this approach is that the display ad placement is connected to behavioral and psychographic data associated with the potential targets.
On the other hand, however, the limitation is that customer is actually being interrupted or distracted from his\her activity with an ad that does not connect to any specific problem.
In light of this information, it is important to adjust our advertising copy taking everything into account.
#5 Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is an approach to inbound marketing that allows fashion brands to focus on creating content that can be easily ranked by search engines.
Ideally, this process is not particularly expensive or time-consuming, as discussed in this post, however, ranking on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) can take from 3 to 9 months if your website lacks authority.
In this sense, we need to acknowledge that there is a tradeoff with what we discussed with previous – paid media – approaches.
In SEO content will be displayed organically to all the customers who search for particular information, but in order to be within the first 1-3 results, your brand needs to create content that can rank better than any other existing content (for the same queries).
This is far from impossible, but learning how to write for the web, takes time and effort.
Aside from this consideration, SEO content development can be a great way to explore all of the ways in which your products can be positioned as solutions to your customer’s problems. This may help you to unravel a lot of your brand’s potential value by connecting your products to your customer’s expectations and desires.
#6 Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to the practice of developing a wide range of free content typologies that can help your customer navigate the market.
Starting from developing buyer’s guides all the way to sponsoring a series on Netflix, your brand has a broad range of options when it comes to developing content designed to support a particular stage of your customer’s journey, from the awareness stage all the way to the purchase decision and beyond.
If you’d like to explore this subject in further detail, we’ve got an article which discusses this channel in greater depth.
#7 Email Marketing
Email marketing may certainly seem like one of the earliest forms of marketing, old as the first generation of Web 1.0 websites.
The fact is that as the internet has become more and more dominated by algorithms, many marketers are not any longer in any position to control who will actually receive their communications and messages.
This is why, email marketing – especially in the context of email nurturing – has become such an integral part of a brand’s marketing efforts.
Having said this, actually collecting emails has become a challenge, and developing a long email list will require you to provide a compelling low-risk offer.
#8 Engineering as Marketing
This type of marketing is quite recent and relates to developing apps that provide helpful or fun services to your customers. As a result of developing an app, your business could find a way to connect to one of its most profitable customer niches and build a relationship which initially fostered by your app, but that can slowly transition towards your ecommerce platforms or digital stores.
If you’d like to read more about this, we’ve got the perfect article for you, focused on how fashion brands have moved into gaming to compete in this customer acquisition strategy.
#9 Community Building
This strategy is about developing a following for your brand, without pushing any specific product or service onto them. At least at the beginning.
In community building, what you are doing is focusing on helping your audience by providing a service or a platform that allows them to connect and share value.
As a result of this strategy, you can build an audience around your brand and identify niches of value that can attract an engaged community of users, who at a later time, could easily transition into becoming customers.
As per any long-term strategy, by developing a large community you are working towards developing a long-term asset, which is great.
Having said this, however, the time it may take to build and monetize this audience can be quite long. As a result, not all companies may be interested in this approach or may need to pursue this strategy together with other short-term customer acquisition approaches.
If you’d like to read more about this in this article, we’re discussing a fully-fledged strategy that revolves around community building.
#10 Offline Ads (+ Trade Shows and Offline Events)
As we’re coming to the end of our list, we’re now discussing a few more ideas that have to do with offline customer acquisition.
It’s important to remember that even if online digital marketing is generally cheaper than physical marketing, by being creative, there is a lot that can be done if you’re able to connect to specific geographical locations that are likely to have the right footfall.
Examples of offline advertising can include billboards or even some forms of guerrilla marketing, which is designed to create surprising or unconventional interactions with your target audience.
If you are new to the industry, attending conferences, events, and trade shows could be a great way to develop new connections and work both on your B2B and B2C relationships.
#11 Speaking Engagements
Last but not least we’ve got speaking engagements. It’s important not to fall prey to our own ego, and make events too much about ourselves and less about our work.
In any case, if you are invited to these types of events, you may gain an opportunity to develop new connections while presenting your ideas (and products) under a unique spotlight.
Great! Now that we’ve listed all of the 11 customer acquisition channels it’s time to move towards our conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve listed 11+ marketing channels your fashion brand can use to acquire its customers.
It can be hard to pick the right channel combination right away, and you should allow yourself some time to test different possibilities and see which options are able to bring you the highest returns.
Once you’ve identified the most profitable channels, then it’s time to double down on what works and start building your company from the ground up!
We hope this article has been helpful, and we encourage you to navigate our blog section where you can find a lot of material on digital marketing and fashion business. Enjoy!