London Fashion Week has always been progressive when it comes to harnessing the power of successful digital marketing campaigns to create a buzz around its events. At the same time, long time aficionados of social media, luxury fashion brand Burberry, went one step further in 2016. It bucked normal catwalk trends by launching its Spring/Summer Collection through Snapchat 24 hours before the actual physical show, generating hype for its brand that it would never have achieved by simply relying on the traditional press reporting on the catwalk show.
In 2020, London Fashion Week had to completely change its format due to the pandemic and was able to plug into its already established digital know-how. The British Fashion Council was able to put together a dedicated digital platform that hosted podcasts, virtual showcases, and digital showrooms, inviting in the general public and generating conversations around diverse trending topics.
Ultimately, the platform highlighted how to measure digital success - clocking up a record-breaking 3.5 million views across all platforms, with designers reaching out directly to consumers and achieving sales that they would otherwise have missed out on.
What lessons can we learn from London Fashion Week? While you may not have the pull and clout of global luxury brands, we have highlighted a number of key lessons that you can integrate into your own digital marketing strategies for online success.
If you are selling a product aimed at 16- to 20-year-olds, then LinkedIn and Facebook are not going to be your go-to platform. Equally, if you’re targeting HR managers and directors of SMEs, then Snapchat is not going to bring back the results you are seeking.
You need to go to where your audience is hanging out. The more the technology advances, the more you need to consciously keep a finger on the pulse, as platforms are being developed and launched all the time, outside of the primary ones we know about (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.). Names like PearPop, Yubo, and Caffeine may or may not gain the traction that is needed to become a long-term global success, but they may have enough users based on your ideal avatar to explore as a potential source of outreach.
Trends can come and go within weeks, but they are an ideal opportunity for you to create some of your own noise. Even better if you can either start the trend or buck the trend. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - this became a global phenomenon for what was a relatively small, niche charity and raised an estimated $135 million worldwide.
London Fashion Week in 2020 made sure that it started key trending conversations focusing on a wide range of timely societal topics. Starting these conversations in an open forum that was previously associated with inaccessibility and a degree of exclusivity allowed a much wider and more engaged audience to participate, rocketing the overall success of the participating fashion brands.
Whatever trend you are plugging into is congruent with your own brand identity. Any conflict will turn previously engaged followers away from your brand.
It is well known in marketing that ‘the confused mind doesn’t buy’. The clarity of your message and product proposition is important, and it should be a given that your prospective customer knows exactly what you are selling and what they are buying.
What often gets overlooked, though - particularly in the digital world - is the actual buying process. In a physical shop, the final transaction is completed face to face; the salesperson knows what needs to be done and is there to answer any questions. You walk out of the door with your purchase.
In the digital world, the onus is on the customer to complete all the necessary steps themselves, and no matter how much they have bought into you and your brand, if this stage of the selling process is flawed, it will not take much for the prospect to abandon the process and not make the purchase.
A simple and seamless checkout process is the most important step in how to measure the success of a digital marketing campaign. It needs to have a minimum number of steps which could a) go wrong or b) make the process too long and convoluted, meaning that the buyer loses interest and changes their mind at the last minute.
The power of a successful digital marketing campaign is the ease with which you can segment audience and visitors and create retargeting campaigns. For example, if someone has abandoned the shopping cart last minute, they can be targeted with a follow-up email checking in with them and asking if they would like to continue with their purchase.
This process can start from the very top of the funnel - from the initial launch of a campaign. Anyone who has interacted with your digital marketing assets can then be retargeted at various key stages to guide them along the persuasion route. A successful digital marketing strategy will follow this process and keep tweaking it to ensure it continues to perform well.
The information given by the analytics can also be an instant indicator of how the market is changing and can prompt you to re-evaluate and make any immediate changes.
Events like the London Fashion Week have always been the focus of buyers and retailers across the world and an opportunity for major brands to increase awareness and plug their names. However, digital technology has changed that emphasis and given major brands direct access to a global audience that might not have previously purchased their products through retail outlets.
Running the show on its own digital platform allowed brands to set up their own e-commerce strategies. While retail fashion buyers will always remain a key part of their overall strategy, fashion brands are able to expand their own global reach by creating their own digital marketing strategies for online success. For example, a new and upcoming UK fashion label may not have the ears of the major retailers in the States, but through digital marketing, they can generate their own interest and develop a niche audience that might have been overlooked by the retailers.
Creating an effective digital marketing campaign requires bringing together a number of often complex and ever-changing elements and then keeping a daily proactive eye on the results. If you need help bringing these elements together, come and talk to us at i3MEDIA.