There is no denying that a strong social media presence is key to the success of a fashion brand.
At the same time, we’ve discussed in many of our posts that developing and maintaining a persuasive presence on multiple social platforms is a huge time drag. And it can be really expensive too.
Many organizations can fall victim to a “churn and burn” cycle that keeps them creating content that does not actually do anything for them.
It does not impact profits, it does not engage customers, it just "exists" on the internet for shorter and shorter news cycles.
This is why it’s really important to understand that not all content is equal on social media and that there are a few types of content that are far more valuable than the rest.
These content typologies are more valuable as they are more persuasive and convincing in informing your customers’ opinions.
At the top of your content hierarchy, you can find user-generated content, which is a perfect example of a highly-persuasive content typology.
This is a type of content that is created by your users who are so in love with your products that can’t resist wearing it out and taking pictures for their own followers on social media.
Brands do not control this content, it is in fact called “earned media”. It is “acquired” by a brand, as it becomes relevant and current, and people talk about it.
As a result, people are influenced by it, as it is presented to them by third-party users who have no interest to advertise a company if not for its innate qualities.
It can be really helpful for your brand to make sure your users can easily develop this content typology and spread awareness of your brand by posting it online.
In this article, we’re going to shortlist 5 reasons why user-generated content can really help your brand take off and grow its audience.
With no further ado, let’s delve into the topic.
#1 It Provides Social Value
A brand can talk a lot about the quality and craftsmanship, the style and appeal of a garment, but in many cases what sells clothing is the social value a brand holds.
The challenge in proving the social value of your products is that it can be hard to show how desirable and appealing a product is unless there’s a strong buzz surrounding it.
By having your users take pictures of your products, the most immediate effect your brand gets is validation for the social value of your collections and accessories.
Without user-generated content, a brand would have a much harder time creating a perception of desire and aspiration capable of triggering your customers’ resolve to buy.
If you’d like to learn more about the emotional, social and functional value of fashion, here’s an article where we discuss the subject in further detail.
#2 It Builds a Co-Creation Effect
Secondly, brands have fundamentally changed their relationships with their audience.
Brands no longer approach the market as hierarchical entities that create and distribute merchandise.
In contemporary fashion markets, brands have fostered peer-to-peer relationships with their customers and are aware of how a “horizontal” relationship allows clients to influence the brand’s creative direction through social media platforms.
User-generated content can be thought of as a new, enriched vocabulary that customers use as a means to represent their own personality.
To this extent, by encouraging customers to use your brand as a means of self-expression, you are allowing them to become part of the company’s mission.
For instance, if your brand stands for sustainability and ethical fashion, then your customers will wear it on social media to signal their support to your cause.
This is why using user-generated content helps build partnerships with your users and foster a connected and engaged community around your company values.
If you’d like to read more about the business models that build upon customer and brand value co-creation, in this post, we discuss the topic in greater depth.
#3 It Build Your Organic Reach
As social media organic reach is reducing, brands are required to invest more money in advertising. As this can become very expensive, very quickly, user-generated content can help you save a lot of money.
User-generated content can help your brand gain a wider audience by tapping into the organic reach of your users.
User-generated content tends to go through longer-than-average share cycles as they are connected to real-life circles of friends.
This is different from your usual post cycle, which is required to be very successful, very quickly before algorithms set it “on the back burner”.
On the contrary user-generated content, builds upon strong, pre-established networks that can help your content create new alleyways for content distribution.
#4 It Enhances Your Resale Value
As we know pre-owned markets are a fully legitimate market in the fashion industry at the moment.
By having the social currency of your collection increase, thanks to your loyal customers and brand advocates, you can make sure that not only the price of your product may increase when sold new, but may also gain second-hand value too.
If your products become sought after - maybe because they get sold out- your clients will want them twice: when they’re new, and when they become available on second-hand markets.
Resale value economics provides an interesting analysis of a growing trend in the fashion industry which we’re exploring in further detail in this post.
#5 It Ties Your Social Presence to Your Ecommerce
Last but not least, your user-generated content allows you to effectively tie your social media presence to the “purchase” stage of your customer's journey, creating a direct connection between your social media profiles and your online or physical stores, where the value you have built, can be monetized.
As we’ve seen your social media presence can become a vital part of your customer journey, leading your online store to benefit from your social profiles in a very direct way. We’re discussing this subject in further detail in this post.
Great! Now that we’ve covered all 5 reasons it’s time to draw a few conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve listed 5 top reasons why your fashion brand needs to work towards building a strong user-generated content presence on the internet.
As we’ve seen from our list, there’s so much that user-generated content can do for your brand, building upon your products’ social currency and organic reach.
If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing and become a fully-fledged expert on the subject, Social Media Marketing is a book we recommend reading.
Moreover, don’t hesitate to visit our blog, where we’re sharing a wealth of information on digital marketing and social media strategies for fashion companies. Enjoy!
If you're interested in learning more about Content Marketing, don't hesitate to take a look at our course "Content Marketing for Creative Rockstars". Our short and to-the-point, online class covers a wide range of topics spanning from developing blog posts capable of driving profitable traffic to strategies for getting strong conversion rates on your landing pages. Here's a link to the course, if you use the discount code BLOG20 you can access a 20% discount. Enjoy!