Ecommerce allows small fashion marketers to compete with giant companies in a way rarely possible before. With the right marketing savvy, social media, and innovation, independent clothing and beauty brands can reach higher than the sector's giants. Today's small clothing and beauty brands don't need million-dollar marketing budgets to have a big impact on the audiences they're trying to reach. Here's how to get it done:
1. Focus on a Niche
Brands that focus on a niche have a higher potential to go viral than their larger competitors. That's because "niche player" brands can hone in on the needs and wants of a very targeted audience. When brands cater to niches, they can take care of the issue that their larger competitors may not be addressing. This helps smaller clothing and beauty brands gain an edge on big brands by taking advantage of their flexibility and ability to move fast.
2. Leverage the Tools and Team
Ecommerce helps to level the playing field for smaller brands, which no longer require hefty budgets to get started with marketing campaigns. Small brands can use tools that help with search engine optimization (SEO) to drive organic traffic to their sites. They can also create, organize and execute inbound marketing strategies, place links and online ads in e-newsletters and subscriptions, and use content to keep a constant conversation going both online and offline. By leveraging tools and building a team, clothing and beauty brands can surpass the competition.
3. Engage the Audience
Putting any guerrilla-style marketing tactic in place requires engaging with the audience on a consistent basis. Without engagement, the target market won't have much to keep the conversation going. Engagement gives brands the opportunity to build a community of enthusiasts and evangelists for their brands. Indie brand Fashion Nova keeps the conversations going on its social media accounts, especially Instagram. The company constantly interacts with its audience and notices every comment or like. This constant engagement has helped the brand gather 10.4 million Instagram followers (as of February 2018).
4. Be Unique
Copying other brands doesn't get beauty and clothing brands noticed. Offering a unique product or service that's different is what sets them apart. But how can this be done? It's important to do research to drive innovation. That calls for keeping a listening ear and open eye on what's happening in the market. It's also important to focus on making it clear to the target audience what the brand's service or product offerings are.
Striking up the right partnerships or collaborations can help skyrocket indie clothing and beauty brands past their competitors. Influencer marketing and social media are two routes that brands can take and maximize to drive results that push them past beauty behemoths. Indie beauty brand Seed Beauty -- the makers of Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics -- leveraged social media and influencer marketing to build a cult-like following of loyal customers.
Although the company only began in 2014, its focus on digital marketing has helped it catapult the brand into a beloved viral success. It collaborates with and produces products for social media influencers who use, test and review the brand's products to spread awareness online. These collaborative tactics have helped the beauty brand expand awareness with 5.5 million Instagram followers for its Colourpop brand, which is greater than longstanding beauty behemoth Revlon's 1.4 million Instagram followers.
While large apparel and beauty brands may seem to have an advantage because of their big marketing budgets, small brands still have the opportunity to catapult past them. By using guerrilla digital marketing tactics, indie clothing and beauty brands can outpace their competitors.
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