Fashion is a fast-paced industry, which constantly faces challenges and changes.
When keeping up with the global trends, companies have to get the best out of all the perks of fashion-forward social media, which currently represent the most essential marketing platforms. Especially the use of visual-centric content on Instagram is gaining its momentum and generates significant returns for the retailers when used wisely. The fashion world is thriving on Instagram’s popularity because it represents the easiest and most relatable way to get the inspiration.
That is why utilizing the user-generated content (UGC) is not even a trend anymore, but it’s an essential part of the company’s marketing framework. Did you know that 56.3% of fashion shoppers interact with UGC before purchasing? It’s that easy.
And what is the hidden secret of the UGC in the fashion industry? Let’s have a look at the main reasons why it is essential for the fashion companies to leverage the UGC.
Social proof represents a powerful psychological trigger. When it comes to fashion, many people feel uncertain about the clothes, accessories and shoes that they are potentially purchasing and they might look for the validation and self-assurance that their look is styled well and that they belong to bigger mass, fashion-wise. Successfully implemented UGC campaign creates more brand-related content from the real perspective, showing off the popularity among its customers.
Why do some people only support particular brands? It’s because they relate to the brand’s identity. When the fashion company uses UGC, people feel more engaged and closer to their favorite brand. They can contribute to the shaping of the brand’s identity when they’re visually expressing themselves, showing off company’s products on Instagram pictures with a specific hashtag related to the brand. Competitions and the use of hashtags are a great way to encourage people to express the connection of the brand to their lives. An example is a Danish company Saint Tropez with the girls “hashtagging” their pictures with the #sainttropez_friends. Company is then showcasing all the pictures on their website, so that more girls can get the inspiration and relate to the company’s culture. Another example is a Danish clothing company Ganni, which is well known under #gannigirls. Currently there are around 10 thousand pictures under #gannigirls and the number is increasing daily.
Authenticity is the key. It is well- known that there is also a high percentage of millennials in the most fashion audiences and the millennials are well known for their strive for authenticity. Potential customers are looking for the real inspiration from the “streets”, rather than the artificial magazine or catwalk exposures, so there is a significant turn away from company-initialized marketing slogans and look for the visual word-of-mouth. Retailers are thus responding to this transformation with UGC-based inspirational pictures set in the context, to which their target audiences relate easily.
Direct feedback and e-commerce
UGC is not only a great way for the potential customers to get some real-life inspiration, but it is a form of a direct feedback for the companies themselves. Seeing what is being liked by their customers, which looks are being shopped and ‘instagrammed’ the most, what do people say about their products on Instagram and how did people style their product? Brands also profit through the UGC as a way to attract more of a mobile e-commerce. UGC can thus be used to “shop this look” from the Instagram pictures exposed in the UGC feed on company’s website.