It’s no secret that women’s fashion apparel companies are leading the way in content marketing. These retailers are honing in on their mobile-addicted audiences and serving them content that reflects the ethos and style of their brands. What they are doing is more than selling clothing— like any great fashion brand, they are selling a lifestyle.
Two companies doing it right are Nasty Gal and Free People. Let’s take a look at how their content is benefiting their brands and contributing to their respective success.
Online retailer Nasty Gal has seen a quick rise to the top. In 2012, six years after Sophia Amoruso started the company, it raked in almost $100 million in profits. Aside from offering distinct clothing and accessories to its customers, the brand produces content that seamlessly ties into its products and culture.
Nasty Gal’s message is one of female empowerment and discovery. “I want to make girls smarter and to create a community that can have conversations,” Amoruso told The Telegraph. “My customers are curious about the world; they know that Nasty Gal is about making your life more than the sum of its parts. It’s not enough that girls are supposed to only be into fashion and that’s it.”
The site’s blog includes the Nasty Gal hashtag, #GIRLBOSS (which is also the title of Amoruso’s book) wherever it can. It features profiles of women working in the fashion world under its beauty and style “Role Model” sections, as well as interviews and photo shoots with powerful women and what they have in their closets.
There are also categories focused on art, music, food, and film for the well-rounded reader who isn’t just interested in fashion. The brand showcases globetrotting women who blog about their experiences traveling around the world. These girls own at least one leather jacket. They wear black and take pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower; posing like models outside of Jamaican houses. They are infinitely cool (under the brand’s definition of the word) and dynamic.
Lesson: The Nasty Gal narrative is weaved into its blog content. When you’re coming up with a content marketing strategy, it helps to know what you’re trying to say. Figuring out the unique message that will resonate with customers is the best jumping off point for any content campaign.
Free People’s content fully plays into its strategic approach to fashion and does much more than promote its own products.
According to the company’s website, the brand wants to reach “a 26-year-old girl, smart, creative, confident and comfortable in all aspects of her being, free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic.” This girl “likes to keep busy and push life to its limits, with traveling and hanging out and everything in between. Who loves Donovan as much as she loves The Dears, and can’t resist petting any dog that passes her by on the street.” If Nasty Gal is Miley Cyrus, Free People is Shailene Woodley.
Basically, this Free People fantasy woman is bohemian yet chic, hardworking but relaxed, and nice but not afraid to get down to the nitty gritty and stick up for herself. She’s an enviable character that translates into a lifestyle its audience is eager to buy into. The Free People blog, called BLDG 25, is full of content that this “woman” and the target audience will enjoy.
There’s a movement section, mostly devoted to pictures of yoga poses and recipes for creating healthy snacks. The DIY portion of BLDG 25 showcases how to make your own dry shampoo, a hemp beaded light fixture, a bamboo wind chime, and an all-natural bug spray. In the fashion category, there are photos of models in overalls and oversized sunhats, relaxing at Bonnaroo or hanging out in an open field. A music page on the blog is comprised of first hand accounts of festivals and profiles of indie bands.
Inspirational messages are plastered all over the blog. For example, the beauty section states, “Beauty comes from within, but there’s nothing wrong with giving a little love on the outside too,” while the DIY page says, “Get handy with DIY, a creative outlet that allows you to archive crafty bits and bobs.”
Notice how every part of the blog is fully integrated with the fantasy character narrative? This girl is smart, creative, and likes to keep busy. She is confident and comfortable, and she chills out in fields wearing nothing but overalls. She does yoga to free her mind and loosen up her body, and listens to all types to music, seeking out adventure at different festivals around the nation. This woman romanticizes life and is free from the constraints of being labeled. She loves everything, and nothing holds her down.
Lesson: Come up with a marketing idea that your audience will cling to. Show them who they can be and how they can achieve this identity by reading your content and buying your products.
By creating a brand persona so specific in its interests – yet grandiose in its reach, these brands have succeeded in creating a space for “girls just like us” while distributing useful, valuable content that keeps readers engaged and loyal and ready to pounce on the “add to cart” button once their paycheck clears. In digital marketing – niche has found a whole new meaning. How can your brand cater personally to your target demographic while maintaining just enough mass appeal? Figure out what story you want to tell, and who will want to listen – carefully crafting your content just for that audience. You’ll be dressed for content marketing success in no time.
By Kylie Jane Wakefield, NewsCred Contributor