If your content marketing is looking a little last season, log on to ASOS for a some inspiration, says Cirrus Media’s social media strategist Alessandra Nixon.
From ‘how-to’ hair videos to fashion news and inspiration galleries, the online retailer has set the standard for creating a broad range of engaging content around a product offering. Yes, you now have permission to dwindle away the hours perusing ASOS at the office.
James Fitzgerald, executive director of programming at social media training and research business SMK, believes there is one key question that your marketing department needs to ask when planning content marketing – what would ASOS do? At a recent seminar in Sydney, Fitzgerald used the online retail giant to illustrate the key lessons that every brand can use to inform their content marketing efforts.
Cue important content marketing wisdom courtesy of SMK, fashion tips by yours truly.
EVERYONE LOVES A FASHION FREEBIE
Do you know what people really love? Free stuff. While ASOS doesn’t give away free shoes or bags, they do offer free content. In an effort to own the relationship with their consumer, the online retailer has invested heavily in owned media. ASOS has created a highly successful online magazine, a YouTube channel packed with ‘how-to’ videos and numerous blogs about fashion, trends and celebrity news. While some posts include links to buy, a large proportion of content is just fun, inspiring information that connects with the lives and passions of their audience.
One of the biggest problems in marketing is that the customer already knows what you want to say. Your brand is a lot like the friend that only calls when they need something. Consumers have been conditioned to think that each time you get in touch with them, you’re asking for something – usually money. Think of content marketing is an opportunity to turn this around.
MIX AND MATCH FOR A LOOK THAT IS SURE TO TURN HEADS
A classic cut suit or a little black dress are essentials of any wardrobe but neither is going to turn heads at fashion week or earn you a spot in the style pages. If you want to get noticed, you need to stop playing it safe and jazz things up a little with some on-trend accessories or a colorful print.
Likewise, a blog is a staple of any content strategy but a few text-based posts are not enough to make your brand stand out or really connect with the audience. It’s important to create a broad range of content in order to provide variety and speak with your customer through their preferred medium. Mix it up a little. ASOS understand that not everyone wants to consume written content so, in addition to a range of style blogs, the online retailer produces ‘how-to’ vides, inspiration galleries, celebrity news, an online marketplace and the popular ASOS Magazine.
THE FASHION REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED
ASOS is one of many fashion brands that has realised the potential to connect with their audience and provide real value through video. The online retailer produces interviews, celebrity style guides and numerous ‘how-to’ clips for hair, nails, styling and garment care. Each product in the ASOS shop even has an associated video so you can watch your clothes walk before you buy. Apparently, some individuals have been purchasing shoes online before seeing them in action. Philistines.
The most recent addition to the ASOS YouTube channel is their ‘witness the fitness’ series. Flipping the male gaze on its head, these simple clips comprise 20 seconds of a popular male celebrity just standing about for your viewing pleasure. This kind of snackable content illustrates that creating video does not need to be difficult or expensive. You don’t need to produce the next James Cameron movie, just whip out your cell phone and start shooting. Some of the most watched clips online were recorded on a cell phone or webcam. People will put up with less than stellar production as long as the content is good.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Anyone that has attempted to pour themselves into a size too small can attest to the fact that fit is very important. One size or style does not work for everyone. Content marketing is no different.
What appeals to one person won’t necessarily appeal to everyone. It’s important to segment your audience to ensure that you provide the most relevant content for each demographic. ASOS understand that their male customers are much more likely to be interested in sports and suit blazers than spring dresses and nail art. For this reason, they have created a separate blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel to house all the male-appropriate content. The online retailer employs the same strategy with ASOS Curve, ASOS Australia and ASOS Marketplace, creating content which will appeal to each specific group of consumers. If your brand does not have capacity to manage multiple Facebook accounts or websites, try targeting posts to the relevant demographic.
If you’re struggling to find the right direction for your content marketing, remember to ask yourself: what would ASOS do? Or check out some of the upcoming courses offered by SMK. And once you’re killing it with your content marketing, it might be time to reward yourself with a new pair of shoes…