Is tumblr the right blogging platform for your brand?

 

tumblr blogging platform

Do you have blog for your brand? I know, you’ve got a lot to do. But blogging is really important for reasons ranging from SEO to customers relationships. When it comes to choosing a a platform for your blog, you may want to go with WordPress, which definitely has it’s advantages. Or you may be considering tumblr.

A lot of brands ask about the benefits and “is tumblr a good blogging platform for a MY brand?”  Here’s one way to look at it.

  • Do you want a blog that people are excited to engage with?
  • Do you want a community that is hungry for your visual content?
  • Do you want a blog that people “re-blog” today, tomorrow, and even 6 months from now?
  • Do you want a blog that allows fun features like polls?
  • Do you want a blog that you can post to on the go?

If you said yes to even a couple of the above questions, then tumblr may be the blogging platform for your brand.

tumblr is not just a blog, but an online community of people who are creating, curating, consuming, and sharing content every minute of every day. Consumers are there for one reason – to find and consume content they are interested in. So why not be where your consumers already are?

tumblr is extremely effective for visual friendly brands such as those in the fashion industry. Brands like NordstromClub Monaco and others have taken full advantage – including letting it be another path to purchase for their brand lovers. Furthermore, influencers in the fashion industry realize it’s another place that an audience will love to check out brand collaborations.

To read more on the benefits of tumblr and why the advantages could be right for your brand, check out my full post on Startup Fashion!

Image via Omarukai

Five Must-Have Marketing Skills for a Startup Marketer

 

marketing skills

In the startup world, when you’re beginning your new business, everything is going really fast. You’re wearing twenty different hats a day. One minute you’re the marketing manager, the next you’re the project manager, and yet another you’re the production manager.

Unfortunately, with the speed of the startup scene, sometimes certain skill sets fall to the way-side. So instead of letting that happen, make time to ensure that certain marketing skills are kept polished; whether it’s through workshops once a month, webinars, or just diving in with a good old business book.

Here are five key marketing skills that every brand must have. 

Storytelling

This is a unique skill that any marketer needs in order to be successful. It allows a brand to be unified across channels, allow consumers to understand what the brand stands for, and believe in the brand. It allows for the human side to come out and connecting with consumers on a deeper level. In addition to online storytelling through images, video, and written content, storytelling transcends to in-person interactions with customers.

Thinking Mobile First

When it comes to marketing your content, realize that people are always on the go. The one device that is always on them is their phone (and most likely a smart phone). Therefore, when creating your content and social strategy, designing your website, and/or strategizing your e-commerce efforts, it’s valuable to understand how your content will live on mobile devices first, then tablet, then desktop.

Differentiating Social Media Channels

It’s important to understand how each channel works, what it’s used for, which audiences are on it, and how best to distribute content within those channels. For example, one brand may be better suited for YouTube with its variety of videos,  while another may consider creating a tumblr blog for aggregating their content in one place for a community that is hungry for discovering and sharing cool stuff. Each channel is different and provides different features, which may enhance your products or services. Being knowledgeable on the ones that best fit your brand and your competition is helpful in creating the best marketing plan to be successful now and in the future.

Understanding SEO

This is one of the underpinning of being successful organically. Although Google makes changes on how people will be successful with their SEO tactics, it’s important to keep up. Whether it’s tagging your content with the right keywords, getting more shares on social, or distributing on partner channels for a larger audience – make sure you take the time to understand how SEO can play to your benefit.

To check out my tips around Data and Why it’s important to Understand all of the above, check out my full post on Startup Fashion!

Image via colinlogan

My Current Brand Crush (Maybe Love): Sole Society

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 11.21.00 AM

 

We, as consumers (and definitely marketers) have our crushes, our flirtations, and sometimes we commit to a brand we truly love. I’m currently having a major brand crush on Sole Society. Why? A few simple reasons:

1. They have a great affordable fashion line

Sole Society is known for “affordable fashion” – making it attainable for most women who adore looking great, but not breaking their bank to do so. The brand offers up items that are both on trend, but also classic. They partner with style inspirations like Julianne Hough to design their lines. And as of late, obtained Andrea Wasserman as CEO. I knew I liked her when she replied to me on Instagram, but the fact that she came from Nordstrom (my other major crush), demonstrates her ability to choose working for brands that put the consumers first. And that brings me to my next two points…

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 11.16.16 AM

2. They market themselves with style

Sole Society can be found on most channels, which allow for visual content to be at the forefront. They’re avid posters on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. My favorite is when I am able to get an inside look into what shoes they have yet to even put on their website or in stores. Getting an inside peek at the new colors, designs, and lines for the upcoming season is a brand lover’s dream. We feel like we have been let in on a secret that others don’t know about. Marketers, take note – this is a great tactic to get your consumers to come back for more!

Additionally, Julianne Hough who has her line on Sole Society gives sneak peeks through her Instagram channel too. Although she can afford shoes much more expensive, it’s great to see a strong, stylish female partnering with a brand the average female can afford and feel like she’s wearing high class style. And tying an influencer with a fun-loving spirit like Julianne to a fun-loving brand like Sole Society is a perfect strategy to get consumers to turn their heads at the brand – creating both awareness and consideration.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 11.17.15 AM

To read my 3rd reason for totally crushing on Sole Society (and it’s major) check out my full original post on Marketing on the Rocks!

Wearable Technology – the Hot New Trend

Wearable technology is all the rage, ranging from fitness measuring devices like the fitbit to smart watches that will connect to your smart phone to Google Glass which will let you control even more “without your fingertips” to clothing that detects temperatures, heart rates and even environmental changes. What’s the hot new toy now? In my humble opinion, I am “geeking” out about the latest in wearable tech fashion such as these dresses that change colors based upon what’s going on inside your body or environment.

This is huge for the medical industry, fitness industry and brands overall. Why you ask? Wouldn’t it be great to know when your heart rate is too high and you need to slow your run down or grab some water? I foresee apps like Runkeeper partnering with such types of tech to give their audience a head’s up. What if the temperature is dropping and you’re hiking pretty far up, and need to head back? Wouldn’t it be great to get an alert through the fabric of your underarmour shirt?
Imagine if you’re a celebrity on stage and want your audience to see your tweets live or the hashtag for your event? Forget a live stream on a screen, why not giveaway tshirts that show the hashtag on them in different light settings? Have your live tweets show up on the tshirts too.
Now if that’s not contextual relevance, what is?
Tech is sexy and you know it.
Note – This post was originally posted on Socialnomics and can also be found here.

LinkedIn & How Fashion Brands can take Advantage

So you know about Facebook and Twitter, but there’s more to social then those two players. Some brands forget that LinkedIn is not just a great resource for individuals and their “online resumes” – but also a great network for you to showcase your brand, boast product offerings, highlight team members, initiate collaboration, and more!

Here are 5 Ways Fashion Brands Can Leverage LinkedIn

  • Products and services tab: the perfect place to show off the great things your brand offers. For example: if your brand has 3 to 5 specific offerings, a new offer, or updates – the tab is a great way to link directly, give teasers, and provide a place for consumers to comment. Tip - consider video content on this tab to make your products more engaging and shareable.

  • Cross Promote:  LinkedIn allows brands to cross promote their other social networks such as Twitter feeds but also their blog rss feeds. Fashion brands that have a great content source such as a rich blog with visuals should always find ways to create awareness for their content and in turn engagement with it – whether it’s through the blog itself or through distribution on social networks.

  • Company Updates: LinkedIn offers a great location to update on what’s happening with the company. Does your company have a new CMO or Intern? Give them the spotlight and show how much you appreciate your team.

    To learn about the other 2 helpful ways fashion brands can leverage LinkedIn (or most brands for that matter) – check out my full post on startup fashion.

    Photo source: http://blog.amsterdamprinting.com/2013/03/07/10-excellent-examples-of-linkedin-cover-images-for-brands/030413_apl_blog_images_post2/

Why your Fashion Brand Should Consider Video Content to Add Value

Burberry Video Content

Video content isn’t a new trend, but it’s definitely being adopted more often by brands as the value and engagement has increased with social media and blog content — especially fashion brands, in order to tell their story.

The value of video content is growing exponentially in this visual world of social media and content.

Hot Example: Just look at Burberry and how they utilize YouTube videos and streaming videos throughout their Facebook page. They give their Facebook fans the chance to have insider content on their campaigns and runway shows, as well as be there live and “front row.”

Or if you want to get really tech-sexy: Add video to your in-store experience like Burberry did below.

 

Why should your fashion brand embrace video content?

Drive Commerce

YouTube videos are great for driving action if used properly. If your budget doesn’t allow for youtube annotations (driving to products and services) then embedding video content on social sites or a blog is a great alternative. It’s easier to drive to commerce and doesn’t cost a pretty penny to do so. Note – Videos are great for sharing a sneak peek into a new product line; how a line was made; a runway show; and of course enticing the viewer/customer to “want” – no, “need” your product.

Engage

Fans, especially loyal fans of fashion brands, want the inside scoop of the latest and greatest coming down the pike. And when there’s a sale – they want to be the first to know.

Gap on Facebook does a great job of letting friends know when something is new, when there’s a sale coming up, and when there’s an online exclusive.

Read more on how you can engage with video content; and my third tip on how to take advantage of video for your fashion brand on my original full post on Startup Fashion.

Photo Sources: Fast Company

Get the Inside Look on UGC Fashion Startup Sketch Street

Always on the lookout for interesting new start-ups in the fashion world, especially those that are doing something to shake up the industry a bit,  I was looking forward to the opportunity of speaking with Anthony Chan from the new fashion start-up Sketch Street, a brand that is rethinking the fashion cycle around the community.

Sketch Street

StUF:  How did Sketch Street begin?

AC: The idea really stemmed from an ordinary fashion lover’s desire to buy high-quality, unique designs without burning big holes in one’s pocket. I love high-street, love their trendy pieces and love them being affordable to young people like me. However, I slowly got frustrated by seeing the same fashion pieces, in the same chains across the globe.

Fashion is a statement of personal taste, a showcase of individual style. Of course, for some privileged individuals, they can afford to buy customized clothes, or high-end designer limited edition clothes. But I believe that fashion should be enjoyed by ALL. It is a simple pursuit of beauty. So why can’t we have unique designs that are high quality and yet affordable? We definitely should – that is what we are trying to live up to at Sketch Street.

A second important propelling force behind the Sketch Street idea is to disrupt the hierarchical nature of the fashion world. For emerging designers, it can take years before they see their own designs been made and sold. Worse still, many of them may never see that day.  The film “Eleven Minutes”, depicts well the difficulties faced by young designers such as Jay McCarroll (winner of Project Runway). The difficulties faced by emerging talents are at best understated!

We want to establish ourselves as a platform, a jumping board for these [emerging] talents. We finance the sampling and the production. We want to allow these designers to focus on what they do the best – design. For designers, participating in Sketch Street is a sure-win with no downside risk.

Powered by these two beliefs – bringing unique and affordable designs to fashion lovers + supporting emerging talents to produce great designs, Sketch Street was born.

 To read the rest (trust me there’s lots more awesomeness), check out my full interview on Startup Fashion !

How to: be a Fashion & Digital Marketing Expert (Interview: Michelle McCormack)

I had the pleasure of interviewing friend, fellow fashion lover, and digital marketing expert, Michelle McCormackCMO of Fashion Project in Boston, MALet’s take an inside look into what brought her to where she is today…

StUF: What brought you to Fashion Project and FNO?

Michelle: It’s been an organic process of just ‘showing up’ and working every day. I left Hill Holliday in 07 > started LoveTheCool, a digital strategy company back when social media was learning to walk (still is) > early Twitter adopter > started Secret Boston and built a pretty passionate local community > decided to bring FNO to Boston w/ my old Vogue friend and colleague Rich Villani who I worked with in NYC > leveraged Secret Boston and the skills I learned living on the social web for a few years > did agency level work with no money > got noticed by press and have been asked to speak at various conferences > got on the radar of lots of people offering me jobs with Fashion Project being the best fit.

StUF:  What marketing goals and strategies helped you take FNO from an idea to an event, which was so great, it’ll be taking place again this year?

Michelle: I leveraged Facebook like crazy. I started the FNO Boston Facebook page and leveraged Secret Boston to begin building the community. Within a week – one week! – Rue La La called me and asked to sponsor. I then hammered the FNO Boston stream with editorial content – stuff people who are into fashion love. Within that I had little predictable updates that users could look forward to: “Yay or No Way”, “I have a crush on”… etc. There’s so much noise on the web, giving predictable content to users is a relief and gets you noticed. Within all that editorial content I’d slip in FNO promotions, like retailer updates… where I’d post what retailers were planning and tag them. Retailers came to depend on us.

To read the rest of my interview with Michelle and her insightful tips on digital marketing, check out my full interview on the startup fashion blog here

 

How to: Use Twitter to Market Your Fashion Brand

 

 

The top ten things your brand should always consider when starting, strategizing and optimizing your channel strategy for Twitter:

  • Listen: First and foremost your brand should set up a listening station to listen each day to what’s going on the Twittersphere. It’s important to listen not only to what your followers are saying, but also regarding brand mentions industry news, competitive insights, and more.
  • Pick the right Tool: Before a brand can listen properly, it’s helpful to have the right tool to listen simply yet efficiently. A couple quick tools which are free to utilize for listening to one handle areTweetdeck and Hootsuite. Best part about Hootsuite are the analytics if you are willing to spend a little more than free.
  • Utilize Lists; Making and following lists are helpful in listening more easily on Twitter too. For example it may help to have a list made of all your competitions’ handles, the influencers in your category, loyal followers, and industry experts.
  • Capitalize on Hashtags: Hashtags are not only another great listening tool, but they are a great way to interject in a conversation with valuable content. First you can listen to key hashtags in your industry, event hashtags, so on and so forth. Then, you can interject with valuable advice, product info, and/or lead the conversation to your website (if and only if it’s valuable to the conversation at hand).
  • Utilize your Twitter Real Estate: Don’t underestimate the power of your Twitter real estate. It allows for a cool background which can be picturesque and/or should other brand traits such as links to other social channels, websites, etc. Don’t forget the ability to pin tweets in order to have a specific Tweet take priority over others on your Twitter brand page.

Great Example Below:

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion, and you can read the other 5  Twitter Tips on my original post here!