How do you create personalized content to help your e-commerce? How are bitcoins affecting fashion? Um, what is a bitcoin?
If you want answers then we recommend attending Fashion Digital Los Angeles, day-long conference on fashion e-commerce taking place in Los Angeles on May 7, 2014.
They’ve also given us a 25% Discount to pass along to FMG Members and industry friends.
Use this Discount Code: MP-25EIGHT
Register Here: http://lafashiondigital.com/
Fashion Digital Los Angeles will touch on fashion, E-commerce, and content trends (with an LA vibe of course). It’s warmer there. Much warmer.
May 7, 2014
Director’s Guild of America Theater
7920 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent-the-Runway
Other speakers include:
ShopStyle.com - Lee Anne Grant, Director of Business Development
Supra Footwear - Shad Lambert, Community Director
Wasteland - Amanda Mitzman, Director of E-Commerce
J. Hilburn - Veeral Rathod, CEO and Founder
Los Angeles Times - Jennifer Collins, VP Revenue Development
JustFab - Amy Zhou, VP Product
Invodo - Tom Niemeyer, VP Content & Commerce
Entire list of speakers here:
Look forward to seeing some of our west coast members in LA!
*FMG is a media partner for this event.
By: Jed Wexler
“As male consumers begin to take to style and fashion with the same fervour as their female counterparts, menswear is a growing priority for luxury and fashion brands. “ (Business of Fashion)
Louis Vuitton Menswear ‘13, Photo Cred: High Snobiety
A $50 Billion Opportunity. As of Today.
By now the menswear and mens e-commerce movement is in full-swing. We are fortunate to be living in a golden age of mens bloggers and brands creating great collections and even better content.
In an attempt to map out the future, we decided to take a snapshot of the mens brands, bloggers, and e-commerce sites currently taking things to another level - consider it a mens market refresher.
This rising crop (and countless others) has enabled men to seek and easily find the latest menswear looks, info, and product, and on any device. The mens market has certainly come a long, long way. All signs point to the male consumer buying fashion at record levels - with no sign of stopping. How did we get here and why is this so important?
The Menswear Movement. A Quick History.
1985 only 25% of all mens apparel was bought by men. 75% was bought by women for men. (NPD)
1998 men were buying 52% of apparel for themselves (NPD) but in….
2004 …it was 69% with no sign of slowing. (NPD)
2005 “The result is a full-blown category of menswear that draws equally from skateboard and surf culture, the preppy canon and the runways of Prada & Marc Jacobs.” (NYTimes, June 19, 2005)
2011 Does the Menswear Industry Matter? Um, yes. (Forbes)
2011 Study shows that men are more active social shoppers than women (E Marketing and Commerce)
2012 “Men don’t shop; they buy. Men spend 30 percent less time browsing online than women, viewing fewer pages before purchasing,” Frederico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox
2012 “Men are the New Women……The luxury menswear market is growing at almost 14 percent per year, outpacing growth in womenswear by almost double.” (Business of Fashion, Bain)
2013 “Men, look how far you have come….the arrival of a generation of young men who are taking more risks with their style.” (NY Times February 13, 2013)
2014…….$50 Billion. At least.
In 2013 sales of Mens apparel were up 2.8% to $58.6B for the 12 months ended September (NPD).
According to Bain & Co, sales grew more quickly for men’s than for women’s apparel, which inched up only .9% to $111.63B in the US. In contrast, sales of men’s high-end and ready-to-wear apparel rose 10% over the same period.
The Armory New York, Photo Cred: A Continuous Lean
In our view, women’s brands are really just competing to shift existing market share in an already hyper-competitive, maxed-out market (emerging markets notwithstanding). A huge market for sure, but one with nowhere near the opportunity presented by the mens market, especially for new brands. But how do you reach them? Part of the solution can be found by first taking a look at some of today’s most impactful mens fashion blogs and emerging brands. It’s an expert combination of beautifully designed product, content, convenience, community building, and digital branding savvy.
Men’s Fashion Bloggers and Content Sites
Here is a short (and in no way comprehensive or quantitative) list of mens bloggers and lifestyle sites to keep an eye on. As we’ve mentioned before, the best metric to follow is the level of content engagement - not necessarily size, traffic levels, or # of followers. The content in these sites tends to be straightforward, easy-to-follow, and educational from a men’s lifestyle perspective.
Niche, Tastemaker, Tailoring, Craftsmanship.
http://cultureclub.clubmonaco.com/ Club Monaco’s “Culture Club” content site
and of course http://www.thesartorialist.com/
Larger, more mainstream media sites.
http://four-pins.com/ (Complex Media)
http://www.highsnobiety.com/ (Complex Media)
Examples of smaller, niche Tumblrs with good engagement.
http://pleatsareforlovers.tumblr.com/ (from the editor of Gilt Man)
Best Made Company
A collection of (mostly) emerging mens brands and E-commerce sites doing great things with product design, quality content, and social storytelling. We also recommend following these on Instagram to get the bigger picture.
http://www.raenoptics.com/ (mens and womens sunglasses)
https://www.everlane.com/ (men and women)
The granddaddy of them all http://www.mrporter.com/journal
As you can see there is a wide range of mens style and culture resources now readily available. You no longer have to live in LA or NYC to have the latest and greatest intel.
What to Do
Brands: select blogger partners based on quality of content and engagement - bigger is not always better. Build community around great product and high quality content.
Bloggers: reach out to brands that are a good fit for your content. All brands need content these days, and lots of it.
Build Your Story: to paraphrase designer Paul Smith, there is a story in everything you do. If you can’t find one, look again
Curation and Editorial Content: present unique, educational editorial content that doesn’t try too hard – straightforward, informative, but elegant (and that doesn’t mirror women’s content).
Strategize, Track, and Measure: measure the effectiveness of the content you post whether you’re a brand or blogger. Content creators and brands should work together to co-establish key (and attainable) success metrics that can help extend the life of the content you both publish.
We Repeat, A $50 Billion Opportunity.
There’s still about $50B out there up for grabs in the U.S. alone. That’s “billion” with a capital ‘B.’
Shopping Behavioral Differences Between Men and Women http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3222-Behavioral-Differences-Between-Men-and-Women-Influence-Shopping
Men Are Out-Shopping Women Online http://www.cnbc.com/id/47263732
6 Trends Driving Mens E-Commerce http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/trends-men-online-shopping/ (from 2012 but a good refresher)
Proliferation of Shops for Men Only http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/fashion/new-york-fashion-week-new-wrinkle-in-mens-wear-shops-for-men-only.html?_r=2&hp&
You can also find this post on Medium.
As the world of content marketing expands, the epidemic of content pollution continues.
Free People (above), Nokia, and Miu Miu are 3 brands that break through the noise by creating short films that connect intimately with their customers while inspiring them to share their enthusiasm for the brand.
These captivating, touching, beautifully filmed, multi-part stories are being viewed and talked about hundreds of thousands of times. How did they do it?
We decided to dive deeper into the data of these campaigns and discuss how and why they are paying off for the brands that created them.
THE APPROACH: LOVE AND METRICS
Free People, Nokia, and Miu Miu are making bold moves by creating films that are not traditional commercials but literally short films with high production and even higher quality storytelling. Common to each film is that brand presence is subtle and product serves the story, integrated tastefully and effectively. Each brand also chose their partners and actors wisely.
Some are even being shown at film festivals as part of larger, subtly integrated global campaigns – a testament to editorial quality.
We absolutely love these 3 films because they are gorgeous, emotionally resonant, and capture our attention through powerful 3-act stories that keep us hanging on to find out what happens next. But is all this love enough to justify the cost of making such quality pieces of content? We say yes (the metrics we look at say ‘yes’ too).
Roshambo Series by Free People
Click Here To Watch
Watch the Films. Read the Blog.
Free People’s film, “Roshambo”, features Christopher Abbott from the HBO hit, “Girls.” The film revolves around two star-crossed lovers, and tells the story of how they met and how their lives intertwine again and again. The “Roshambo” shorts capture audiences by playing like an episodic TV series, each installment furthering the storyline.
The story goes straight for the heart strings and draws you in, leaving you holding your breathe waiting to discover if the couple lives happily ever after. Fans are also compelled to tune in to the brand’s blog to find out more.
Set to the music of indie band, Lord Huron’s “The Ghost on The Shore”, the dreamy cast is decked from head to toe in Free People’s February catalog, a seamless integration of the brand’s product, painting the picture of what it would look like to “live” the brand’s lifestyle.
Tom & Issy by Nokia
Click Here To Watch
Function and Followers.
Nokia leveraged the large fan base of singer, Ellie Goulding, featuring her as the lead actress in their film, TOM & ISSY (all filmed by Roger Michell, filmmaker behind such popular feature-length RomComs such as Notting Hill and Morning Glory). The entire film was filmed on a Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia’s latest high powered smartphone, featuring a 41 mega pixel camera, Optical Image Stabilization, and full HD video functionality. The product is featured in the film and used throughout by the actors (but is otherwise not mentioned anywhere in the film and barely in the credits).
Nokia was really smart here. The films were delivered in several lengths (and related formats), each targeted towards a slightly different audience; 1) a full length short film (2) a trailer, 3) behind the scenes reel, and 4) a music video.
The full length film is 11:35 long has been viewed 156,000 times and shared 899 times. The much shorter music video version featuring Ellie Goulding’s song “How Long Will I Love You,” (edited from footage from the short), is only 2:38 in length been viewed 4.2 million times and shared 28K times. Ellie Goulding’s following, is largely made of passionate millennials known for their obsessive social media use. Releasing multiple formats and repurposed content enabled easy sharing and viewing by multiple audiences.
The Door by Ava Duverney
Click Here To Watch
The film, “The Door” by Ava DuVernay (Best Director, Sundance 2012) is a part of Miu Miu’s larger short film series called Women’s Tales. The series is a celebration of female perspectives and female friendships through the eyes of fashion. The series has been featured in Interview, NY Mag, and Rolling Stone. Miu Miu calls upon a force of talented women to convey each of these breathtaking stories. This is obviously a bigger budget endeavor, but paying attention to talent pedigree should be an approach at every level.
This group of 6 shorts are about 10 minutes in length with limited-to-no dialogue, set to beautifully selected music, featuring A-List actresses and musicians. “The Door”, follows a female protagonist played by Gabrielle Union as she experiences transformative relationships, with renewal represented by costume changes all aided of course by Miu Miu’s collection. The short leaves the viewer with a sense of feminine strength and resiliency. DuVernay communicates the narrative through complete visual storytelling, leveraging the full power of the medium. This film also screened at the 2013 Venice Film Festival – a rare feat for branded content.
A lot of brands and agencies only put emphasis on impressions, views, and followers gained when assessing the effectiveness of content. We suggest going much deeper into the metrics of content engagement and distribution strategy.
#1 – Watch Time
A key metric to pay attention to when distributing content is Watch Time on YouTube. Watch Time is YouTube’s algorithm that is responsible for populating video suggestions based on average viewingduration*. Why is this important? When a viewer watches a video for a longer period of time this means they are more engaged and focused. Even if another video has more views, the length of time the average viewer watches the video may be shorter, therefore it will not be prioritized before a video that has higher quality of views, i.e. WatchTime. This speaks to the importance of creating high-quality content.
One way to increase Watch Time and optimize play length is to add the video to a playlist. At the end of each video on a playlist, YouTube automatically plays the next video in queue, increasing time-on-page and play length metrics. Nokia, with an average 5:32 viewing duration is definitely winning according to this metric;
FREE PEOPLE’s Roshambo (selected episode)
Average Viewing Duration: 3:12
NOKIA’s Tom and Issy
Average Viewing Duration: 5:32
MIU MIU’s The Door
Average Viewing Duration: 3:57
#2 – Traffic Sources – Analyze Them.
The next metric that should be considered are traffic sources. Now that you have created branded content and have distributed it to the masses through your channels, do you know which ones are working best for you?
Traffic sources are a metric that can be tracked via most analytics tools. For example, we recommend adding photo stills from your brand films to your Pinterest and Instagram accounts (and video excerpts for Vine and Instagram). Lets say that you rarely engage your audience or manage boards or content. After you track your traffic sources you discover that over a third of your traffic is coming from Pinterest. Knowing where and when inbound traffic is coming from is key to improving your distribution strategy and where you should be focusing your efforts.
#3 – Encouraging Purchasing. Tastefully.
A large part of the appeal and effectiveness of these films is that they go light on the sales pitch and heavy on storytelling. Free People does a great job of enticing viewers to their website blog, which in turn subtly guides them off of social channels and on to their website’s E-commerce purchase funnel. The more you can do do turn viewers into web visitors the better. You can then incentivize the viewers that come to your site to sign up for your email newsletter, and in the process own the customer information.
YouTube also allows you to create “annotations” or links that are embedded in the video itself. This can be a good opportunity to encourage viewers to visit the blog or content area on your site after they have watched your video. This can also work well if you’re a cosmetics brand offering free samples and/or discount codes to viewers.
If a well told story achieves what it seeks out to do, the viewer will be inspired to shop, to view the product or collection they have just seen. We’re just making it a little bit easier for them to get there.
#4 – Digital Influencers/Brand Loyalists
Digital influencers should be a part of your content marketing strategy. These are usually bloggers and other individuals with measurable digital clout, with loyal and engaged followings. The key here is working with influencers that already speak to your target customer. Identifying those influencers can be a tricky, especially finding mid-level, region specific bloggers, but there are indexes that can help you find and reach out to blogs that work best for your brand. Digital influence can now be accurately measured and ranked, helping connect the dots between content and word-of-mouth marketing.
A QUICK NOTE ON DISTRIBUTION
The films were distributed in some of the following ways (and you should too);
The shorts gain extra traction by getting press mentions on news outlets, fashion blogs and cultural sites. As time goes on, engaging, emotionally resonant films gain views by being shared over and over again, considerably extending the life of each piece of content you create (and pay for).
Free People, Nokia, and Miu Miu are pushing the boundaries of branded content and obviously getting noticed for it. They are all proof that great storytelling combined with a world-class distribution strategy can provide the kind of metrics everyone can fall in love with.
By: Lorraine Tran
Stay tuned for our first FMG newsletter of the year. All things we love about Fashion + Digital.
A Way for Fashion Advertising and Content Marketing Creatives to Get Noticed.
International advertising awards competition, The CLIO Awards, began over 50 years ago by recognizing the best campaigns by the most creative advertising agencies in the world (and one very famous fictional ad man).
Now they’ve launched a brand new fashion-focused event, The CLIO Image Awards, honoring advertising and marketing creativity in Fashion, Beauty, Retail, and Accessories.
Founding Jury: CLIO Image’s founding jury features some of the industry’s most influential creatives from brands and agencies such as;
and Laird + Partners
Awards Gala: The inaugural awards gala will be held at The Pierre in New York City on May 7, 2014 in association with WWD.
Submissions: If you’re in Digital, Mobile, Film/Video, Partnerships/Sponsorships, Design, PR, Print, or Outdoor Advertising, you can now submit your campaign. The first entry deadline is January 24. The extended second deadline is February 21.
Check out CLIO Image’s interview with Sheila Choi, VP Global Store Design at Estee Lauder - Watch It Here
Click here for more info - http://www.clioimage.com/
Check them out on twitter and search #CLIOImage
The holidays are here and you’re officially scrambling for cool gifts for those special people in your life. Here are two events we highly recommend that our members check out, where the kinds of gifts you’ll end up buying will most likely be for yourself.
The Pop Up Flea - December 6-8
82 Mercer Street, NYC
The Pop Up Flea is a consumer shopping event that features the best in new and vintage-inspired menswear from some of our favorite brands including Billy Kirk, Deus Ex Machina, Club Monaco, and Shinola. All attentively curated by A Continuous Lean founder, Michael Williams.
Capsule Market Square - December 14-16
82 Mercer Street, NYC
The brains behind the Capsule Trade Show and BPMW PR Agency debut their lively consumer shopping offshoot Capsule Market Square. The event features a curated a selection of 100 labels, spanning men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, home goods, art, and furniture all together under one roof. This includes some great brands including Birchbox, Billy Reid, Staple, Naked & Famous Denim, Maison Kitsune, and Bobbi Brown.
Happy Holidays from FMG!
The NYTimes, in an article by Andrew Adam Newman reported today that TOMS has created its own multi-brand E-commerce marketplace for like-minded retailers. This is an amazing idea with superb execution, and an even deeper foray by TOMS into using social good and authentic content to grow their mission and brand.
Here is an excerpt of the NYTimes article: Buy One, Give One Spirit Imbues an Online Store;
"TOMS started in 2006 with what was then a novel idea: for every pair of shoes it sold, it would donate a pair to a child living in poverty. Along with donating more than 10 million pairs to date, the company spurred a trend of “buy one, give one” companies, with the eyeglass maker Warby Parker among the best known.
Now Toms is introducing an effort that helps other businesses with a social purpose, Toms Marketplace. The online store, which will be introduced Tuesday, will feature more than 200 products from about 30 companies and charities.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks, for example, employs members of vulnerable communities, like the Mlabri tribe in Thailand, to produce colorful hammocks, while Stone and Cloth produces backpacks and other products in Los Angeles, with a portion of revenue going toward scholarships for students in Tanzania, Africa.
While some of the companies have a one-for-one donation model like Toms, others take different altruistic approaches.
The basis for choosing companies to include in Toms Marketplace wasn’t “ ‘one for one’ as much as, ‘Does this company really have a mission of improving people’s lives baked into its business model?’ ” said Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, using the shorthand term for donating one item for each item sold.
While consumers are accustomed to recommendations from online merchants based on algorithms, such as Amazon suggesting that a buyer of an Arcade Fire album might also like the National, the new online store will base suggestions on consumers’ concerns along with their tastes.”
Read the entire article here
This a great article by our colleague Kevin Maney, as part of his series for Newsweek:
"The intersection of fashion and technology is like the G-spot - everybody’s sure it exists, but nobody can find it.
The fashion-tech hype hit the stratosphere this month thanks to two events: the hiring of Burberry’s acclaimed CEO by Apple, and the introduction of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch. The first is pumping up the hope that a marriage of fashion and technology will finally produce something really good; the second is dashing it.
Let’s first dismiss this Samsung watch thing. It’s the worst of both worlds - neither a useful gadget nor a fashionable watch. It’s the spork of fashion-tech. Respected tech reviewer Hiawatha Bray wrote: “Rarely have I tested a more forgettable piece of hardware.” His appraisal was one of the nice ones.
Samsung’s watch is in a category the tech world calls “wearable technology.” Right there, you see a problem: Wearable doesn’t mean fashionable or image-enhancing - it just means it can be worn. A beer hat can be worn. It can also make it very likely you’ll spend New Year’s Eve alone.
The industry needs to aim a lot higher than wearable. We’ll know it’s on the right track when people say wearing a piece of technology makes them look hot or 10 years younger.
Oh, and then there’s Google Glass, the current epitome of wearable technology. All that needs to be said about those is that users have been given a nickname: Glassholes.
So how about Apple? It is already the most fashionable tech brand.”
Read the rest of this fantastic article here
This is a great post you can find at The High Low, a site that covers retail trends across tech, fashion, and E-commerce. It’s about engagement, not number of followers.
"The numbers are in…and it’s not about the numbers. Through our partnership with Tribe Dynamics, we’ve found that beauty brands making the highest quality social media in-roads are doing so through super-engaged online publishers — bloggers and social media posters who get tons of comments and feedback. Further exemplifying this as a cross-industry trend were certain key Fashion Week invitees.
*screenshots from The High Low.
While AdWeek reports that completely digital news outlets now warrant front-row seats at the tents, smaller online publishers are getting their due, too, as brands catch on to the high-quality audience they’re particularly well-positioned to deliver. kate spade new york, for instance, invited the blogger Jen Hsieh to its presentation; Hsieh has a loyal following across her blog, Facebook (839 likes), Twitter (842 followers), Instagram (567 followers), Pinterest, and Tumblr. Phew.
You might have noticed that none of those numbers hits four digits, which you’d think would be required by a national label, but guess what? That’s not the point. Rather, every one of Hsieh’s posts, on any of these platforms, is guaranteed to garner comments, re-blogs, likes, and other feedback. Her followers are very clearly paying attention, perpetuating a conversation about everything she puts up. It’s like high school English class — participation counts.”
Click here for the rest of the post.
For quite a while now we have been talking about the importance of blending e-commerce, social, and editorial especially when it comes to fashion. And, how it has become essential to put fashion products into a curated editorial context in order to compel that all-important online purchase.
With that in mind, we highly recommend attending FASHION DIGITAL NEW YORK, a 600+ person event dedicated to exploring the future of fashion E-commerce, with a nice discount code for our FMG members below (thanks FDNY!). Prices go up a bit after today. Check it out.
*FMG is a marketing partner in this event - in exchange, Fashion Digital New York has provided a discount code for our members.
FASHION DIGITAL NEW YORK – October 8-9 New York City
Featured Keynote: Uri Minkoff, Co-Founder & CEO of Rebecca Minkoff
And speakers from: Gilt Groupe, ASOS, Guidance, Alice + Olivia, The Jones Group, Clarins, Forrester, Founder/CEO of Wanelo and others.
25% Discount code: 25EIGHT
Entire list of speakers here:
Hope to see some of you there!
This is a pretty informative infographic making the rounds that touches on the convergence of online/offline influences when it comes to purchasing, as well as the importance of word-of-mouth (read: influencer marketing), crafting the right message, and the emergence of big data.
Some key figures:
90% of customers trust recommendations.
70% of customers consult user reviews.
37% of prospective buyers are influenced by word of mouth.
10-25% of social media users use their social networks to make purchasing decisions.
60% of consumers who follow a brand on Facebook are looking for deals and coupons
The tactical requirements of brands have quickly come full circle. At first of course, all offline. Then a rush to (almost) all digital. Now, a realization that in order to succeed, the need to seamlessly combine the online (digital, mobile, web, et. al.) and offline brand and retail experience. The challenge for companies remains; finding the kind of talent that can bring all of this together.
**source: Mckinsey Global Institute, Forrester, Radicati Group
These Companies May Just Beat Amazon at Fashion E-Commerce: A Visual Map of the Marketplace. -
Amazon enjoys the kind of PE ratio that most investors and companies can only dream about. Without getting too deep into the details, while the company has impressive revenue, the expectations for profitability don’t come in anywhere close to the growth rates projected for revenue….
David Weinrot is the chief marketing officer and 12 1/2 year veteran of Shopzilla Inc. which is recognized as a first-mover in the E-commerce space. He is charged with keeping his company top-of-mind with Shopzilla’s over 40 million shoppers.
Shopzilla connects these 40 million shoppers with thousands of products through its suite of growing brands: Beso, Bizrate, Shopzilla, Retrevo, RobotOatmeal, PrixMoinsCher and SparDeinGeld as well as B2B businesses including Bizrate Insights, Shopzilla Publisher Program, and its audience targeting division Aisle A
FMG caught up with Weinrot and asked him how technology has upended traditional marketing methods and the role of a CMO.
Q: What are the skills required for today’s CMO? How have they changed?
A: I’d say that in the digital media world and the digital product world, the role of the CMO is less about managing an agency and traditional brand management and more about understanding consumer needs and their behaviors and then tailoring experiences to support them. No amount of continued advertising or celebrity or professional endorsement of a particular product would continue to drive users beyond initial trials for any of those experiences unless they are nothing short of amazing. If you don’t deliver on the mark it’s pretty clear that users won’t continue to use you.
Shopzilla has long been about connecting buyers and sellers and retailers and consumers. Our new property called beso.com is designed to support a different type of behavior—its less about price comparison and more about product discovery and style inspiration. We began to observe that individuals have a penchant to fill pockets-of-time in their lives - whether in line at Starbucks or before meetings at the office - with the passive consumption of inspired content. So, to support that behavior, we launched a visually rich, curated shopping feed on both our Beso desktop experience and our iPhone app. When we tapped into this behavior, we observed a 3x increase of dwell time.
Q: What are the challenges for today’s CMO?
A: Unlike perhaps the role of the traditional CMO, we don’t really have the luxury of being able to rely on traditional advertising to sustain use. Which is why someone in my shoes has to be incredibly focused on creating experiences that support behaviors that consumers or users exhibit.
"Everyone is an influencer."
Q: What differentiates Beso.com from competitors like ShopStyle.com?
A: Beso.com takes the Shopzilla experience to another level. What’s unique about Beso, particularly relative to our other properties, is that it has a decidedly editorial bent to it. We realized that our contributors are really passionate about shopping and that comes through in the content that they create. Beso Rewards brings the concept of affiliate marketing to the masses. It’s about showcasing great style to inspire shoppers and rewarding them for sharing their finds. Everyone now has a platform to reach friends and family. Everyone is an influencer.
Q: How does Aisle A cull information from Shopzilla and/or Beso.com?
A: We realize that the things that people shop for say a lot about who they are. If you’re shopping for baby stroller, it says a lot about the life stage you’re in. We use that data to help marketers reach people who are in the market for strollers but we think it’s more useful to help marketers bring other messages to those who are in those life stages. There’s an emerging industry in advertising technology that allows marketers to reach audiences irrespective of the context of where they are. So [if you’re shopping for a baby stroller you’d be] ready to receive a message about things that new parents would be interested in such as vacations or baby food. We think that this is a great thing for the industry.
Q: What are the current consumer trends you’re now witnessing and how are you gearing marketing to those trends?
“I think we’re beginning to observe a rise in marketplaces.”
A: I think we’re beginning to observe a rise in marketplaces. The original marketplaces on the web were Craigslist and eBay where individuals could come and find buyers for things that they were digging out of their closet. Now it’s not just individuals, but established brands that use these outlets to reach buyers. If you think of eBay as a mall as opposed to a garage sale or a flea market—it’s a channel through which retailers and brands can reach shoppers in much the same way that J.Crew might set up a store in a mall around the corner. Amazon and buy.com have all manifested marketplaces. Now you see retailers like Petco on Amazon reaching consumers that they would not ordinarily reach. There are essentially these monuments of website that do an amazing job of aggregating audiences.
Q: What’s your long-term vision?
A: Our mission has always been about connecting buyers and sellers, shoppers and retailers, and as our company has evolved, we have appreciated the big funnel through which that process happens and it’s not always a straight line. The top is largely about inspiration and product discovery and helping shoppers understand the landscape of what’s out there and what’s available. The bottom is the price-comparison proposition—making sure you get the best deal. It’s about connecting buyers and sellers along every point in this shopping funnel. Our long-term mission is to continue to an expert job of connecting buyers and sellers at every point along this long and sometimes circuitous shopping funnel.
By Kristin Young for FMG @kristayloryoung
Chief Editor: Jed Wexler @jedwexler
Spring is Here. Finally.
As we slowly but surely enter the homestretch to Spring (at least on the East Coast), the ‘industry’ is riding a serious storytelling, content, and Pinterest marketing wave. In an attempt to make sense of it all we’ve selected some articles for you that may shed at least a little bit of light on the whole thing.
FMG Editor’s Picks:
1) Why Content Marketing Beats Out Advertising (infographic)
2) How To Engage The Right Fashion Bloggers for Your Brand (And Amplify Your Content Marketing).
3) Great branded storytelling by Free People
4) Reasons Why Content Marketing is Scaring the Pants Off Media Companies
5) Pinterest Image Data Proves Valuable to Brands.
Stay tuned for improvements to FMG! As always, we look forward to your continued feedback and contributions.
The FMG team
photo: Stephen Stickler
“The company is now just as much a content generator as it is a design house.” Christopher Bailey, Creative Director of Burberry, (in Fast Company).
This pretty much says it all. Brands have become the new content publishers, rapidly morphing into today’s media companies.
‘Content Marketing’ is undoubtedly the new (and here to stay) tactical wave of how brands plan reach and engage with their customers - and on a much deeper level than ever before. Content marketing is also proving to be more effective and cheaper than paid advertising.
According to this infographic by Marketo , content marketing is a growing force because it develops trust, minimizes risk, drives traffic, and captures leads…and nurtures those leads.
Enter The Fashion Blogger.
The idea of content spans so many genres, levels, and mediums that what may be appropriate for one brand, may in fact be meaningless for another.
Brand marketing today is moving at light speed, beyond simple media buys to buzzier words like ‘engagement’, curation, and ‘social commerce. Marketing strategy now involves being editor-in-chief, filmmaker, and storyteller, all-in-one.
But once you have created captivating, quality, authentic content in line with your brand values – now what?
Why are fashion bloggers (or any blogger for that matter) relevant to content marketing?
Because bloggers are gaining ground on traditional media as never before - in many cases consumers are engaging with bloggers/indie publishers at the same rate or more compared to established media brands (i.e. Conde Nast, Hearst, et al).
Also, Bloggers have the potential to build content and bolster your brand message if managed and engaged in a meaningful way.
Bloggers typically have a much more resonant online voice than the average person in social media, and when chosen wisely, are uniquely qualified to amplify the voice of a brand.
Bloggers vs. Big Media – A Comparison
We recently crawled some key fashion blogger social media data points in order to compare the levels of Facebook & Twitter content sharing and engagement between blogs and big media.
Here’s a Teen Vogue post on two bloggers who share an apartment
The Data (from last year):
FB Shares: 12
FB Likes: 5
FB Comments: 1
FB Total: 18
Total Retweets: 16
Now, let’s take a look at one of the bloggers featured (“Trop Rouge”) who posted a run-of-the-mill post;
Prior to being featured the post received,
FB Shares: 4
FB Likes: 6
FB Comments: 1
FB Total: 11
Total Retweets: 4
At first glance you might say “Teen Vogue got more engagement,” but consider that they have 1.3 million Facebook fans and 1.2 million Twitter followers. Trop Rouge has 3700 Facebook fans and 3300 Twitter followers. This is a testament to the power of the mid-range blogger.
Now for another example, and one that shows that it’s not just US bloggers holding their own against huge multi-person operations:
Garatos Estupidas (“Stupid Girls”)is a Brazilian blog, currently the top non-U.S.-based foreign-language blog in our list – and created by a single author.
We put Camila Coutinho (‘Garotas’ single blog author) up against Vogue Brasil;
Traffic (according to Google AdPlanner)
GE: 680,000 visitors in May 2012
VB: 2.6 million visitors in May 2012
Vogue Brasil has 3x times the traffic, and still can’t match a single author blog when it comes to fans and followers.
And, now for the men. The Sartorialist vs. GQ.
Coverage of the same men’s Bottega Veneta fashion show last year;
FB Shares: 3
FB Likes: 11
FB Comments: 7
FB Total: 21
GQ: Total Retweets: 1
FB Shares: 67
FB Likes: 20
FB Comments: 11
FB Total: 98
The Sartorialist Total Retweets: 89!
You may get ‘visibility’ by going with traditional media but if you want to reach sites that can drive the same level of interaction (and possibly more) for half to a quarter of the cost, go with bloggers.
Now to the tactical part…
How to Engage the right Fashion Bloggers for your Brand: 3 Tips;
1) Evaluate Blogs on Content & Audience: Go beyond follower counts.
First of all, select fashion bloggers based how often and how widely a blogger’s content is shared – not just follower counts. Retweets, comments, and engaged followers are way more important.
There are several ways to do this;
- Search blogger user names on Twitter to get an influence overview
- Google has analytics tools evolved from their acquisition of Postrank that sift through social media/content data
- Work with your developer/tech team to pass it through Facebook’s ‘Open Graph API’ – this is the primary way to get data in and out of Facebook’s social graph
- On Instagram search for a blogger’s username and look for the number of comments to get a feel for activity and influence.
2) Choose bloggers that fit your brand. Look beyond the names everyone knows. Give Recognition.
As content and commerce merge, the demand for content (and curation) on behalf of a brand can be an overwhelming task, and bloggers if worked with properly, can be your most effective partner.
Expand potential blog partners to include up-and-comers as well as established names. The top ten fashion and beauty bloggers have become household ‘brand’ names along the lines of Vogue and Elle – and can be just as expensive to work with and as tough to reach.
Therefore, in many ways the more influential (and accessible) are those hundreds of bloggers that sit somewhere in the middle and still preside over passion-communities, and can become your greatest brand advocates.
Also, give recognition to bloggers who post content in line with your message. And there should always be a deal in place if republishing original content in its entirety, and fair use – short snippets, a small thumbnail, etc., if just including a non-commercial daily roundup or something similar. Using blogger content for your own advertising or products always requires the bloggers’ or publisher’s permission.
Unlike magazines, blogs aren’t standardized. Each one will have different criteria for widgets, write-ups and everything in between.
3) Ensure Blogger marketing is part of your overall marketing strategy
Campaigns that are in the digital realm cannot exist in a vacuum. Your strategy with bloggers and content marketing must fit in with your overall marketing mix. Marketing and brand strategy has to be an integrated solution across all media, traditional, and digital, especially for visually driven industries like fashion and beauty.
Too often brands relegate blogger marketing, partnerships, and PR to their ‘social media’ or ‘digital’ departments without integrating these initiatives at the highest stakeholder/CMO levels. The issue is the way brands are siloed. By leveraging all of your departments around blogger marketing and content initiatives, these campaigns take on a robust life that, if executed well, can significantly increase consumer engagement, brand chatter, and ultimately revenue. ***
Article, data, and research by:
Cover Photo courtesy of Stephen Stickler