Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re a small business owner with something beautiful to offer – say you have a clothing boutique, run a beauty salon, or sell your own fragrances or jewelry – you know that the success of your business is founded upon the visibility and prominence your products hold in your target audience’s eye.
The good news for small business owners in fashion and beauty is that the digital era has fundamentally changed the landscape of both industries in favor of indie efforts and local appeal. Small business owners stand to benefit the most from using digital marketing strategies in social media and branding to convert viewers of beauty into purchasers of products.
Take the example of Black Milk Clothing, which began in 2009 as a small online shop out of Brisbane, Australia, thousands of miles from the world’s fashion capitals. Founder James Lillis sold playfully patterned leggings and used multiple social media platforms to build a community for his fans. The work paid off – Black Milk Clothing now brings in several million dollars in annual global sales.
Lillis, who has said that his business wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Facebook and the power of hashtagging, is quick to offer advice: Online promotional efforts should never be purely about selling, because no one likes to feel marketed to. Instead, learn to use digital platforms to create compelling stories and build communities around your products.
Here’s how fashion and beauty small business owners can use digital trends to their advantage:
1. Think about your target audience.
Are you marketing to millennials, or are your customers mostly baby boomers? This will help you choose which digital platforms you should invest in. Instagram is incredibly popular among the 35-and-under crowd, while a carefully constructed email campaign will help you win over older customers.
2. Consider how the features of various platforms shape their functions.
Instagram is perfect for showcasing curated content:
- Use Instagram to highlight how your products work seamlessly as part of a larger, desirable lifestyle.
- Position your products in photos – whether it’s a tube of lipstick, a necklace, or a bright nail polish – as the small but crucial detail needed to complete your target audience’s idealized life.
Video, be it a DIY tutorial or live stream, instantly creates emotional connections between you and your consumers:
- YouTube is a great platform for producing tutorials that show your target audience how to use or style your products.
- Live video streaming, such as on Periscope or Facebook Live, gives your customers an intimate look at your business. Use live video for unveiling new products, or going behind the scenes at your store.
Facebook or platforms such as Spot.Im are ideal for building a community around your business:
- Create quizzes, polls, and contests to engage your consumers and encourage sharing of your posts.
- Consider common links among your target audience. For example, is there a cause your consumers would all be likely to support? Include discussions of topics that go beyond your products.
3. Consider how you can use the power of digital to shape your brand identity.
- Make sure to customize your social media designs so that your platforms stand out from the competition.
- Create quality email newsletters that offer your customers tips and special offers. Including videos in your newsletters will increase your open rates.
- Understand your brand and boost your business by creating brand consistency across all of your social media platforms.
- Give your website a makeover by improving the look of your landing page and making sure that it incorporates mobile-responsive designs.
Tap into Fiverr’s network of experts to overhaul your old digital marketing strategies and try something new to make your beauty or fashion business an online success.
Are you a small business owner in fashion and beauty with a digital success story? How do you like to engage with your favorite beauty and fashion brands?