Insider Secrets of Fashion Content Marketing

About Nicholas Cheong

Nicholas Cheong, Content marker for Zalora

He’s worked on brands from Marvel to Clarins. Currently a Regional CRM Content Strategist for Zalora, handling everything from YouTube content to ads on mobile chat apps, Nicholas Cheong shares with us his experience in the fashion content marketing industry:

How did your passion for content marketing come about?

Photo from Zalora’s Facebook

Well, it certainly didn’t happen overnight. I have always been intrigued by the media industry as a kid — constantly curious about the makings of  videos and advertisements that I saw. Somewhere down the road, I got really interested in the field of advertising, (in which I took a 3-year course in pursuit of actually learning the art of crafting ads). I guess that curiosity probably brought me on a longer road — into the vast field of what we call content marketing today in the age of millennials.

What in your opinion makes good content?

Good content has to be user-centered: something that doesn’t passively talk about its own subject matter but rather puts it’s audience at center stage. For example, a good title for an article could be: “10 things that will improve how people look at you” versus the latter, “10 things to make a person look better”.

Are there any particular companies or individuals that you draw inspiration from?

Nicholas’s student project 

I absolutely love Airbnb, in that it is a company built from design thinking ground up. I also love that all their marketing comms are loyally centered around the idea of “home away from home” — that’s not an easy feat when a company is experiencing rapid growth.

Second to that would be my ex-mentor Dan, who owns StudioMDS – a tech startup centred around 360-degree panoramic experiences. Being his first intern earned me a lot of insights — with the biggest takeaway being that in all businesses (and relationships), it’s really all about the people.

What is Zalora doing differently when it comes to content?

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 6.57.12 PM
photo from Zalora’s website

It might (or might not) be different, but we aim to track every form of content we push out to our audiences. This could range from articles, e-newsletters, social media posts to video seeded onto various platforms. With overall customer growth as our key performance indicator, the value delivered by each type of content matters to ensure that our efforts are as streamlined as possible to deliver maximum results.

Should fashion brands bother with written content at all? Or should they focus more on photo and video?

fashion content marketing
photo by Gettyimages

This would depend on how the brand wants to position itself and in which category (lifestyle or luxury). Lifestyle sectors generally deliver more articles while luxury express themselves through high-quality photos and videos.

The business of fashion has always played a pivotal role in shaping the way individuals express themselves; written content offers our customers a deeper dive into how we think about fashion and from our perspective. While a written article can never be replaced with a photos or video, all 3 mediums should still work together to deliver a well-rounded content experience for its end-user.

What do you think is unique about content production and distribution when it comes to fashion brands?

Perhaps one thing unique about us is that content can easily spark from almost anywhere in our daily lives – unlike marketing for a drink or a specific product that requires a specific kind of event (a TV set for example). It is also easier to explore potential partnership opportunities with brands from other verticals as it’s easier to find a fashion angle to tie into its products.

What are some tips you can give for distributing content?

photo from Zalora ‘s Facebook Page

That would be to insert a form of tracking onto every content you push out – only then will you know how that content performed and how much business value it gives. Items to track are typically impressions, likes, engagement, click-throughs and conversions (ultimately depends on the main intent of your content).

What kind of testing do you perform to ensure the content reaches their objectives?

We make use of several platforms to reach our audiences but the intended mode of testing is roughly the same – to put a tag on what clicks and what doesn’t in every market. For Facebook, we first define a few content buckets that we’d like to test with our audiences, these could range from articles, memes, to product shots or OOTDs (Outfit of the Day). We typically run these tests for 2-4 weeks, looking at things like total reach, engagement rates or the number of clickthroughs for each link. The latter is simple; scale up for what works, scale down for what doesn’t. And we do it again.

Any last tips for fashion blog shops looking to gain fans and sales?

All this content we’re talking about today is merely an interface between your business and your audience. My advice would be to look beyond that – go offline and create different opportunities to talk to your audiences (set up pop-up stores periodically if needed). Build relationships. What you want ultimately is a loyal community of followers who will talk and share to their friends about you, and that’s probably the cheapest and most cost-effective traditional way of customer acquisition beyond digital screens.

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