The fashion industry is massive, bringing in $1 trillion in gross revenue per year.
Yeah, that’s “trillion” with a “t.”
So what is fashion marketing? It’s the outreach you’ll need to separate your product from the competition and succeed in the most cutthroat retail industry in the world.
Here are a few tips to help you get started and get an edge on the competition.
Have a Great Product and Know Your Niche
It all starts here, right?
A lot of people sell underwear, so if you’re selling underwear, it had better have something that sets it apart from the competition.
Better materials. A great story. An amazing fit.
Whatever the product is, you need to understand exactly what you’re selling and how it stacks up to the competition – so do your research before you develop your marketing plans.
It doesn’t matter if you’re asking folks to “Click Here” to buy grillz or selling winter parkas. All successful fashion marketing starts with knowledge of the product and research on the marketplace.
That’s the first job of your newly minted marketing team (even if it’s just you!).
Social Media Is Your Friend
When looking for sterling examples of just what is fashion marketing, look no further than social media.
Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Even Snapchat.
The fashion industry leads pretty much all industries when it comes to experimenting with social media.
After all, social media has become increasingly visual and fashion is nothing if not aan image-first industry. Studies have shown that fully one in three consumers have purchased an item of clothing after seeing it on Instagram.
If you hate social media, sorry – it’s critical you learn to love it or hire someone who does.
Find Great Influencers in Your Niche
Speaking of people who take to social media like proverbial fish to water, influencer marketing has become a huge part of what is fashion marketing in 2017.
What is it?
Put simply, influencer marketing is when a company or brand contracts with someone who has a huge, established social media presence in their target niche to promote a product.
It’s basically a celebrity endorsement for the 21st century.
Just how important is it? More than six in 10 fashion companies made influencerspart of their marketing strategy in 2016, with another 21 percent planning on incorporating it in 2017.
Don’t Forget Your Ground Game
Social media is good to talk about because it’s accessible anywhere, but the soul of fashion marketing is still on the ground.
So go to trade shows, fashion shows, and make connections.
Showcase your collection. Do a trunk show. Co-sponsor an event.
The key is to have your digital marketing game set up so that when you do face the public with the product, the conversation can continue in the digital space with website, email, social media, and so forth.
The ground game is an opportunity for people who find you through the digital space to get a tactile experience–see the product, touch the product–and also an opportunity for those who have seen the product engage in an ongoing dialogue with the brand before they buy.
What Is Fashion Marketing? That’s up to You
With this much competition, the most important thing is to stand out. Take risks.
Some brands do their marketing through e-mail only. Some do massive stunts.
Others simply stand by their terrific product, tour the country doing shows, and rely on word of mouth.
No matter what, though, you need a good photograph.
A great picture, after all, says a thousand words. And that translates to dollars.