Fashion brands are notorious for talking about their products and services…all the time. And why not? Fashion brands, and literally all companies, love the products they offer and, over time, have become very adept at talking about themselves.
We clearly don’t need more of that kind of content, especially when that type of information is only needed at a very small portion of the buyer’s journey (when they are ready to buy). What you lack are stories that engage your customers…and move your customers and/or prospects to take action.
Our goal, with content, is to “move” the customer in some way. We need to positively affect them, engage them and do whatever we must to help stay involved in their lives and their conversations.
In 2007, Lauren Luke began selling make-up products on eBay in an effort to subsidize her modest day job as a taxi dispatcher in Newcastle, England. In an effort to improve her eBay sales, Lauren began creating practical make-up application videos and distributed them on YouTube. Five years later, Lauren has her own brand of make-up distributed exclusively by Sephora, she has a series of teen books called Lauren Luke Looks, and she’s built a bigger brand than Estee Lauder on YouTube. Most impressively, Lauren Luke hasn’t spent a dime on traditional advertising.
Lauren teaches us six specific steps about content marketing that all fashion brands can take learn from.
1. Fill a Need
Your content should answer some unmet need or question for your customer. It needs to be useful in some way to the customer, over and above what you can offer as a product or service. In some cases, it may fill an emotional need (like Coca-Cola’s content tries to do, or even Red Bull’s storytelling). Lauren’s practical tips were just what the marketplace needed.
2. Be Consistent
The great hallmark of a successful publisher is consistency. Whether you subscribe to a monthly magazine or daily email newsletter, the content is always delivered on-time and as expected. This is where so many companies fall down. Whatever you commit to in your content marketing, you must consistently deliver. That was indeed key to Lauren’s success.
3. Be Human (Find Your Voice)
The benefits of not being a journalistic entity is that you have nothing to hold you back from being…well…you. Find what you voice is and share it. If your company’s story is all about humor, share that. If it’s a bit sarcastic, that’s okay too.
4. Has a Point of View - This is not encyclopedia content. You are not giving a history report. Don’t be afraid to take sides on matters that can position you and your company as an expert. Lauren’s wit and clear point of view were an asset (where in the past, it may have been looked at as a negative).
5. Far Removed from Sales Speak
The more you talk about yourself, the less people will share and spread your story. It’s that simple. Lauren was so successful in the very beginning because she really wasn’t selling during the videos, she was teaching.
6. Best of Breed
Although you might not be able to reach this goal at the very beginning, the ultimate goal for your content is that it needs to be best of breed. This means that, for your content niche, what you are distributing is the very best of what is found and is available. I know this may sound overly simplified, but if you expect your customers to spend time with your content, you must deliver them amazing value. When it came to practical fashion tips, Lauren quickly rose to the top.
Take some time and look at your content marketing strategy. How many of the six steps/principles are you hitting?
About Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi’s third book, Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less, was just released. Epic Content Marketing takes business owners and marketers A-to-Z toward creating a content marketing strategy that works to grow the business. Joe is also founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. You can find Joe on Twitter @JoePulizzi. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange.
Photo Credit: Aih.