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For decades magazines have played a crucial role in the fashion industry, with the launch of popular publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dating as far back as the 19th century.

For brands and fashion houses, the ability to appear in front of fashion-conscious audiences is a vital marketing opportunity; it gives them a chance to show their products in aspirational settings that customers will want to imitate. With 30% of shoppers now choosing to research clothing online prior to making a purchase, the role of digital media within the fashion industry is of increasing significance.

In an increasingly digital era, the allure of fashion magazines shows no sign of abating. We’ve seen some inspirational examples of fashion content marketing in recent years, with more and more brands opting to create bespoke content that meets the specific needs of their audience. Online retailers ASOS and Net-A-Porter have even launched their own print magazines (although both are available online) – a notable feat at a time when many creative sectors are proclaiming the death of print.

For digital-savvy brands however, the increasing popularity of interactive magazines have huge potential for fashion content marketing. Combining the traditional structure of print publications with the flexibility of digital platforms, these magazines can reach new audiences and drive traffic towards ecommerce pages. With a variety of articles that can be shopped or shared across social media at the click of a button, the interest in interactive magazines looks set to continue within the fashion industry.

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Promoting an aspirational lifestyle

Interactive magazines allow fashion houses to promote a lifestyle in keeping with their brand identity. By featuring their own products within articles and editorials (and accompanying images), brands can demonstrate just how well they fit with and enhance their reader’s lives, in turn generating sales from readers that want to ‘get the look’. By adding interviews and articles with and about influential people, companies can add further weight to their brand – reinforcing it with an endorsement from celebrities their readers admire.

Connecting content with commerce

Creating seamless links between written and visual content is a great way to drive audiences towards the e-commerce section of your site. Gone are the days of rooting endlessly through shopping rails in search of the perfect pair of trousers that caught your eye in an edgy editorial. Interactive magazines cut out the middleman, creating a direct path from inspiration to ownership.

And because interactive magazine solutions can be self-hosted, fashion brands no longer need to worry about driving readers away from their site. Each click through to the magazine is a click through to the website, boosting visits, SEO and potential sales. At the end of each feature, Topshop magazine invites the audience to ‘shop the look’, therefore generating a stream of traffic to particular product pages.

And it’s not a one-way street either. Real-life locations can be used to drive traffic to the magazine and vice versa. In-store promotions can highlight exclusive reader offers, which can only be obtained by reading the magazine – creating another way for existing customers to engage with the brand. Through the use of quick response (QR) codes, brands can bridge the gap between in-store and online retail even further.

Personalising content

Interactive magazines bring the potential for effortless data collection, with integrated forms, competitions and surveys, giving fashion brands the chance to learn more about their audience and even personalise content. If brands are looking to raise engagement levels, getting to know their target audience and tailoring content to their interests is essential. Interactive magazines allow brands to push the most relevant pages to their readers, excluding content that isn’t of interest, so they remain engaged with the magazine for as long as possible.

Another benefit of data collection is the ability for brands to grow their mailing list. By gathering contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, fashion labels are able to deliver news and features directly to their customers’ inboxes, further encouraging website visits and sales. With more opportunities to personalise content when compared with blogs, interactive magazines are a great way to engage your audience with content that appeals to them.

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Innovative fashion content marketing

Video, audio and pop-ups are key features of many successful interactive magazines. We’ve already discussed the benefits of using video marketing and introducing multimedia elements is a great way to engage the audience in a way that’s entertaining and memorable. For example, The Edit - an interactive magazine created by Net-A-Porter – uses video demonstrations to show beauty products in action and visually demonstrate their benefits.

With bounce rates for interactive magazines as low as 6%, they’re likely to hang around for longer and buy into the brand – clicking links and eventually buying from your site. Audiences are accessing content through an increasingly wide range of platforms and devices, with the ease of implementing mobile responsive design features giving interactive magazines the edge over page-turning PDFs.

Attracting advertisers

Interactive magazines offer advertising opportunities too, which will have an impact on a brand’s bottom line. A captivated audience that reads an entire magazine will be attractive to carefully selected partners, because their adverts will be a good fit with the content and therefore be read and clicked.

But how can you tell if the audience is engaged? Interactive magazines often have robust reporting functions that tie in with Google Analytics, which will tell publishers and advertisers how much content readers consumed, exit pages and links clicked – perfect for demonstrating engagement rates.

Plus, the ability to include audio and video elements is guaranteed to attract a wide range of advertisers seeking new and innovative ways to stand out in a crowded market. With such an attractive proposition, how could advertisers refuse?

With an array of features suited to the way modern fashionistas shop, it’s little wonder interactive magazines are gaining popularity. To find out how an interactive magazine can boost your brand awareness and sales, take a look at Engage from Ad-Rank or drop us a line today.

The fashion industry is never predictable — shock and awe reign supreme when it comes to revealing each season’s latest collections.

Once, fashion was an industry built on hierarchies – with the designer as oligarch. Recently though, it has had to adapt to advances in technology that have seen much greater power placed with the consumer. This ethos harks back to the days of punk fashion (of which Vienne Westwood was – and still is – a pioneer) where it was a much more democratic process. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat are just a few of the social media platforms that have contributed to this shift.

It seems fitting then, that September’s London Fashion Week (LFW) took place in a Soho car park and not in its usual grander setting of the neo-classical Somerset House.

With this in mind then, we take a look at this year’s Technology Trendsetters…

Bigger, better and bolder

Brands are constantly looking for novel ways to attract and engage consumers.

Seeing is believing, and at London Fashion Week Henry Holland experimented with a new and unique mobile payment system. After partnering up with Visa, Holland showcased an insect ring which featured NFC (Near Field Communication) inside. The ring was then swiped over a smart brooch to create an instant transaction.

British luxury goods house Burberry partnered up with Snapchat. Although not an obvious partnership, the idea paid off, with Burberry netting 10.5% of all London Fashion Week mentions. Over 24 hours Burberry shared exclusive footage from backstage, as well as showcasing its designs and revealing all the gossip from the much-scrutinised FROW. Borrowing from the old notion that the consumer will trust and buy into your brand if it feels particularly affiliated with it, Burberry is combining the old ethos with new marketing. The hype that Burberry created didn’t dissipate and the fact that the footage disappeared shortly afterwards only made consumers hungrier for this season’s must-haves.

Burberry also gave Apple a helping hand – British singer Alison Moyet’s live musical will be available on Burberry’s new channel on Apple music.

UK heritage brand Hunter Boots followed the lead of fellow British designers Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood, and joined the Periscope bandwagon, proving that all brands are joining the technical revolution to stay in touch with consumers.

A shift of power

Advancing technological developments are changing all aspects of the fashion industry, from the way brands market their goods to the way consumers shop for and buy their clothes. It shows that no matter how big your brand is, the old adage is true: the customer is always right.

 

Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden

 

Image credit.

Independence Day is a great opportunity to jump on the USA nationalism spirit bandwagon, posting pictures of fireworks displays and star spangled banners.

How not to do this was perfectly exemplified by American Apparel, the headline hitting clothing company out of LA, when they posted a picture of supposed clouds on Tumblr over the weekend. The image was not of clouds, but of the aftermath of the Challenger explosion from 1986. The company issued an apology blaming a young worker who was born after the tragedy that claimed 7 lives, after deleting the post.

This is not the first time that the company has been in the news, with multiple sexual harassment lawsuits brought against the now ex-president, Dov Charney. The board of directors recently voted to oust him from his post, but he claims to be fighting back, something that many investors are keen to avoid. Charney has, however, been a champion of fair pay for all of his factory workers, alongside supporting equal rights for the LGBT community and immigrant workers. American Apparel’s image has been tarnished multiple times over the past few years, mainly because of marketing blunders such as this one. We suggest that they maybe employ some quality control to their social media, rather than letting something such as this happen again.

As the marketing world as a whole gets increasingly fascinated by the possibilities of content marketing, the fashion industry can justifiably say they were way ahead of the curve.

If any sector should be studied as a great example of how content has been used incredibly smartly to build brands, develop a social presence and acquire search traffic, fashion content marketing is it.

With over 80% of companies who blog on a daily basis now quoting a positive ROI for their inbound marketing, fashion brands have been at the forefront of blogging, posting great social content and encouraging rampant sharing of their content. Of course, fashion brands have fantastically visual products, normally modelled by striking individuals, all of which helps in terms of making their content look brilliant, but there is still much to learn from how they create engagement and conversation amongst peer groups.

Here are our 5 favourite examples of great fashion content marketing, in no particular order:

Anthropologie
Women's clothing and accessories brand Anthropologie have used brilliant content to generate strong communities. They use Instagram to post new products and previews of new brochures and publications, building anticipation for new collections. As well as posting photos of their employees wearing Anthropologie clothes, they also share photos of what's happening in their offices, giving a glimpse behind the scenes of the fashion industry. They've even become masters at initiating their own innovative hashtag campaigns, encouraging sharing amongst their community with hashtags like #HisPantsHerWay, with users posting photos of themselves wearing their boyfriends' clothes.

Birchbox
Using various topics, how-to and style guides, as well as product reviews and interviews, beauty and lifestyle brand Birchbox are able to create a constantly compelling blog. Their aim is to get customers engaged through genuinely useful advice and videos, helping them to gain their trust, and ensuring customers return to the site regularly.

Victoria's Secret
Obviously Victoria's Secret is a huge brand with the resources to match but much can be learned from their content and social approach. Their annual Fashion Show has become a huge marketing event and spawns huge amounts of shareable content. Using offline events to generate online content is a great way to engage your audience. Knowing their customers inside out, Victoria's Secret use customer insights to craft their Fashion Show and then capture the action in a striking and glossy manner for a much larger audience on social. It may be difficult to compete with Victoria's Secret in terms of production budgets, but it's worth investing significant amounts of time and money into the look and feel of your content.

Victoria's_Secret_store_in_Las_Vegas

Rebecca Minkoff
Fashion brands are increasingly adept at talking about a range of subjects wider than just their products of their niche. Check out Rebecca Minkoff's RMEdit website to see how a brand can talk about culture, music, arts and travel, relate it back to fashion and their own products, and make it all resonate with their own tone of voice.

Net A Porter
Online fashion brand has taken content production to a new level, almost becoming a publisher first and retailer second. Their website and primary shop front, looks like a magazine with the articles, features and celebrity interviews. They then use their heavily subscribed social channels to propagate their content and create a vibrant online conversation with their users, including video guides on health issues, beauty secrets and even yoga.

So there are our 5 favourite fashion content marketing examples. Even though these brands have firmly established themselves as content creators, often with budgets to match, it's clear that there's plenty that other businesses, both large and small, can learn. So get thinking today how you can use content marketing to build your brand today.

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