Developing media for your fashion brand is no easy task, there are many things that your content needs to do: provide information, educate your audience on the qualities of your products, create a sense of aspiration and, of course, sell.
Creating a media plan for your fashion brand can be a very challenging task for any marketer and in this post, we’ll be talking about a specific type of content, user-generated content, and how it can help you achieve all of these goals, by leveraging your social media community.
Let’s start by providing a definition. User-generated content is original content created by your customers who use social media to share pictures, videos, or posts where your brand or product is featured and tagged.
Before getting into this, let’s take a look at the three kinds of media that you can develop online: owned media earned media and paid media. These media categories can help you understand the different media and content strategies that companies put in place.
Three Kinds of Media to Develop Brand Presence Online: Owned, Earned, and Paid Media.
When developing a digital presence for your fashion brand there are three kinds of media content you can develop to create a sense of allure and buzz for your company: Owned, Earned and Paid Media.
What is Owned Media
Owned media is the type of media that a brand creates for itself. It is entirely managed by the company and usually, it is developed in-house.
This type of content is extremely important for your brand because it allows your company to convey to your audience what the product is about, what value it provides, and who it is for.
What is Earned Media
Earned media represents all of the media that your brand has acquired because of associations with other companies or causes, through communications that come from third-party sources.
Because of the fact that your company cannot control what other media sources say about it, customers perceive that these types of communication are more effective and persuasive.
Within this category of content, we can list user-generated content as original content that is created and published by your brand’s customers on social media.
This particular type of earned media is one of the most persuasive content typologies you can develop, and in the next section of the post, we’ll list 3 reasons why it can be a pillar of your content strategy.
What is Paid Media
Paid media is the term that describes all of the promotional and advertising content a fashion brand develops to sell its products.
If you’d like to read up more about Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media in this post, we’re covering the topic more extensively.
Great, now that we’ve clarified what types of content can comprise your brand’s media strategy we can move ahead and discuss three important reasons why user-generated content is extremely important to your brand.
#1 Provides Validation to Your Fashion Brand
The first benefit user-generated content can provide relates to the validation that your fashion brand gets because it is being shown as used by real people in real lives.
Marketing research shows in fact that customers tend to distrust paid advertising or even celebrity endorsements. To some extent, the “random stranger” who has no stakes in the game or agenda, is perceived as an influential source of information. This is due to the fact that through the 2D screen of a laptop, all fashion brands can look the same. It’s customers’ experiences that can really tell apart a brand from the next.
Accessing successful customers’ experiences, as they provide validation that a brand’s promise has been maintained can be extremely influential on other customers’ purchase journeys, as it allows them to experience what we call the “Zero Moment of Truth”. The Zero Moment of Truth relates to the idea that instead of “trusting” a brand’s commercial communication, you can put it to the test by looking up previous customers’ experiences.
#2 Celebrates Successful Customers
At the same time, customers do not post this material simply to help others in their purchase decisions. If your brand is able to provide an emotional reward for the ownership of a product, then, by all means, it is a wonderful way to celebrate being able to join a community of elite customers.
Your current clients get to show belonging to the brand, as a symbol of identity and belonging to a social group. In this sense, it is a way to reinforce their sense of identification with the brand and the values it stands for.
#3 Elevates the Product and Its Culture of Use
Last but not least, user-generated content is an opportunity to elevate a product by showing how, even a small detail, a simple accessory or item can make a big difference. By displaying how a product is used, and representing it almost like the secret to the customer’s success, we’re able to elevate it and enhance its perceived value.
Not only that, because of the association with real-life people, the product connects to its cultural backdrop and occasion of use.
Great! Now that we’ve covered all relevant topics, it’s time to draw some conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve covered three valuable reasons why user-generated content matters for your brand and how encouraging your customers to create social media content that features your brand is a very important part of a persuasive web presence.
- As we discussed user-generated content provides validation for your brand, displaying customers who are successfully overcoming their challenges by using your products (or services). This is what we call a “functional” job according to Jobs to Be Done, a marketing approach, which is very effective in online communications.
- Moreover, customers can use your products to showcase the emotional benefits that come with their use of the product, like displaying a new look or showing knowledge of the fashion trends. This is what we would call an “emotional” job, according to JTBD.
- Finally, your brand gets to elevate and enhance the perceived value of a product, as it is being used in the context of real-life, building upon the values of the individual who is using it, like wearing a formal dress or suit to celebrate an achievement. This is what you would call the “social” job of a fashion product.
As we discussed, on top of these benefits, it may seem as if it’s your customers who do the work for you. However, getting your customers to create this content for you is no easy task, and a brand will have to invest in high-quality products to make its users go to social media to spread awareness.
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If you’d like to read more about content marketing, don’t hesitate to explore our blog, where we’ve got a huge amount of free resources for you to read and explore.