The pandemic has inevitably turned everything upside down. Never before, in recent times, had people been limited to their houses for such a long period.
Now, according to Business Insider, one-third of the world population has been under lockdown, at some point in time.
Such massive lockdowns have had a drastic impact on all sectors. Apart from healthcare and essential services, every industry of the world had witnessed a loss.
One industry that has been significantly affected is the fashion sector. It is one of the most prominent sectors of the world. For instance, as per Statista, global spending for the footwear and apparel market reached 1.9 trillion USD. And it signifies a 4 percent global market share.
So, does it mean that fashion brands are doomed? Not if you are smart about it! As consumers move online, you can leverage the digital platforms to market your brand. But you must do so. Here are some digital marketing tips that can help in building a connection with consumers amid pandemic.
1. Create an online shop
The first thing you must do is make sure that you have a robust online presence. People won’t be looking at your billboards or BTL activities when they are stuck at home. The only way you can communicate with them is through your online platforms.
After all, according to Statista, approximately 50 percent of the world population is online!
So, begin by building and optimizing your website. In the case of a fashion brand, you must have an online shop. After all, previously, Ecommerce fashion sales were predicted to reach over 7.3 billion USD by 2021.
And while, according to Mckinsey, purchase intent of consumers has decreased by 40 percent even via online channels, it is still the lifeline for brands with shuttered stores.
If you don’t create an Ecommerce channel for your fashion brand, you will end up witnessing your revenue dropping to zero!
Primark, the UK’s biggest fashion retailer, is a living example of this. Since they didn’t have any digital presence, its sales dropped to zero from a staggering 650 million pounds!
2. Market what your consumer wants
The search patterns of consumers have changed drastically following COVID-19. In the case of the clothing industry, while previously there was a demand for trendy wear, now people opt for casuals over other things.
For starters, in the UK, as per a survey conducted by Fashion United, the demand for loungewear and casual wear increased by 49 percent. Therefore, if at such times, you market formal wear through your digital channels, you will be at a loss.
But what will niche fashion brands do? Well, you must tailor your product to make it relevant to consumers. For instance, if your brand sells leather jackets, focus more on Leather Jacket men and women can wear for workplace zoom meetings.
SEO was and continues to be an essential part of digital marketing. According to BrightEdge, over 68 percent of online experiences begin on a search engine. And when this is the only platform to find brands, its importance increases even more.
So, make sure that your consumers can find you online by getting a high search engine ranking. The chances are that you will have to reoptimize your website. This is because the keywords being searched more nowadays may differ.
For example, now, consumers are aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. Therefore, they look for sustainable fashion brands. Additionally, the products they search for also differ.
So, conduct keyword research and optimize your website for the right words. Make sure to address COVID-19 in your blog posts. This will help you in showcasing how your brand is still relevant during the pandemic while also ensuring a high ranking.
4. Remain Empathetic and Authentic
While the use of social media and emails have witnessed a significant spike, consumer spending has decreased. This is because many people are either experiencing the effects of economic crunch or are preparing for it.
At such times, fashion brands might consider reducing their digital marketing spend. However, this is the opposite of what should be done. This is the time for fashion brands to showcase their loyalty and commitment to their customers. The ones who do so will be remembered.
This is why you must use your digital channels to launch purpose-driven and genuine communications. Make posts about the health and safety of consumers. Keep them updated about the SOPs you are taking for business continuity.
Nike started a digital campaign that showcased how they are safeguarding the interests of their employees as well as customers. By being an advocate for safety, the brand received immense support from the masses.
5. Start a viral challenge
Merely posting static posts or promotional videos is no longer enough. Now, rather than trying to sell, you must keep your consumers engaged with your brand.
A great way to do so is by starting a viral challenge that takes consumers on board. Many brands and designers have already begun doing so.
For example, Alexander McQueen, a British Fashion House, asked its followers to send their interpretations of the Rose dress, which closed their Winter 2019 show. The hashtag used, #McQueenCreators, gained instant momentum and garnered over 14000 mentions in a matter of a month.
Another famous fashion brand Reffstrup began a challenge, #HomeIsWhereTheHeartis, and asked its followers to share their artwork on the theme. The shortlisted artworks will be featured on the Copenhagen Fashion Week, to be held in August, while winners will receive gift cards.
Such challenges can help create user-generated content on digital platforms – the best way to engage more people.
Yes, the pandemic has been tough for all sectors and individuals. But, there are ways to adopt the new norm and move forward. Rather than giving up on marketing, now is the time to improve your digital presence. The platforms might have changed, but your fashion brand shouldn’t.
Reflect your personality, positioning, and goal through your digital marketing campaigns. Make sure to use the five tips to ensure your success.