According to a 2009 study by Technorati, blogs have exceeded all other Internet applications in the number of users. By 2011, the total number of blogs reached 152 million. The popularity of blogs has shifted the nature in which fashion brands communicate with their audience, as blogs today are considered the new electronic form of word-of-mouth or e-Wom (Sedeke, 2013). A few features and functions of online communications through blogging platforms include (Okonkwo, 2010): Transparency – people must know ‘face’ of blog, blogger must be open to all dicussions, even negative ones Informality – the more informal: the better – if writing is ‘too smooth’ readers may not trust voice and see blog as ‘corporate ghost’ Objectivity – bloggers must be unbiased and fair, readers are quick to point out when blogger is being influenced by certain brand/company Trust – consumers trust eachother more than press and companies, without trust, community is gone Most fashion brands have only just caught up with bloggers. Much scepticism has been placed around the credibility of bloggers, with established brands and designers resisting to incorporate them into their corporate communication (Okonkwo, 2010).
(Marwick., 2013) defines fashion blogging as an “international subculture comprised primarily of young women who post photographs of themselves and their possessions, comment on clothes and fashion, and use self-branding techniques to promote themselves and their blogs”.
They create a website, on which they write about their latest finds in fashion, beauty and lifestyle in general. Working with bloggers is a famous strategy among Fashion Retailers as blogs rank among the top five “most trustworthy” sources of information on the Internet.But it can sometimes be hard to stand out when working with bloggers, as they are demanded by many brands that want to benefit from their visibility.
As explained in previous blog postings, I have been looking to improve the digital marketing strategy for Gourmet Burger Kitchen and part of this development was to include a blog into their portfolio. I was amazed to see the amount of restaurants and other business within the food industry who had their own blogs, and how much of a powerful marketing tool they are to them. With more people than ever using the internet on a regular basis, and choosing to rely heavily on peer-reviews, the influence that a well constructed blog could have have on your restaurant reputation is greater than ever!
It is a great way for your restaurant to be open and honest with your consumers by showing them recipes, your supply chain, promotions, staff bios and that you share their love of great food as well! Research carried out by Park et al. (2007) shows that most topical blogs (such as a restaurant blog) us popular and alluring information to attract browsers. In addition to this, Krishnamurthy (2002) identified four categories typology of blogs: personal, topical, individual, and community.
Vlogging is a fantastic tool for not only marketing your products but also some E-PR (electronic public relations), it allows you to maximise favourable mentions about your brand, company website etc… and potentially drive some traffic towards your website! It will also give you the opportunity to minimise your negative E-PR by monitoring and influencing conversations.
So how influential are fashion bloggers? People rarely recognize how influential some of these fashion bloggers can be over their target audience for example Vogue is a globally recognized fashion and lifestyle magazine which has an impressive 3.9 million followers on Instagram and close behind Italian fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni has 3.6 million followers. Based on numbers an independent fashion blogger has just as much influence as a 120 year old fashion giant! But it doesn’t end there several of these bloggers have landed contracts with major brands because of the huge influence that they have. For example Emily Schuman has signed a contract with beauty giant Estee Lauder and Susie Lau cooperates with clothes retailer H & M, urban outfitters and Gap!
Eridon, C. (2013) details how blogging can help drive traffic to your website through organic searches. Each and every single indexed page is yet another cue to google that your site is active. Consequently, every new indexed page is another opportunity to show up within search enginges and drive traffic towards your website and for this to convert into sales. I’m guessing you get the gist of this now! Also no doubt, alarm bells are ringing that blogging is a worthwhile strategy to element. Slow your horses, we’ve only just begun!
Blogging is highly beneficial if you understand your audience and what exactly they are looking for.
The first important point to consider is that SME’s should not be considered as homogeneous and that this marketing technique may not be suitable for every business. It depends on the type of customers a business carries on whether a blog post is necessary or effective, for example, do the customers use or take notice of blogs, is the type of product going to gain interest through blogs, and customer preference i.e. if the customers prefer a face-to-face approach/ have trust in online resources (ibid). A study by Kaye