Wondering how to market online? Get inspired by the European fashion brands that mastered social media.
In the world of online marketing, a trend that is rising is Account Based Marketing. Its key principles are: (i) build your audience, (ii) engage with your audience, and (iii) convert audience members into paying customers. Essentially, ABM focuses on gathering and analyzing data from across different platforms (such as social media, web analytics, and email marketing) to better understand each customer’s individual needs.
While most fashion brands have yet to fully adopt this strategy, those that have adopted it see great success. Take Milan, the fashion capital of Europe. The city’s economic impact is equivalent to that of a small country. In the last decade, Milan has built an extensive digital presence across all social media platforms, integrating their offline and online marketing strategies.
The brand’s Instagram account, @milanfashion, currently has over 400,000 followers. The account features fashion and lifestyle shoots as well as curated content from Milan’s designers. The brand has also created an app, Milan Fashion Store, which is available for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, the @milanfashion Instagram account regularly posts content from their store, where users can find fashionable products at affordable prices. The store is a hub for the fashion-conscious millennial, with over 30,000 products available for purchase. Milan’s success in marketing online is a testament to the power of an effective ABM strategy.
The Rise Of Online Marketing
The digital revolution changed the way we shop and the way brands market. Thanks to the likes of Google and Facebook, which allow businesses to have a physical presence on their platforms, traditional marketing methods, such as printed catalogs and billboards, became outdated. What’s more is that consumers have the power to choose what products they want and don’t want, so it’s critical that brands adapt to this new environment.
Reaching consumers where they are has become an essential marketing tactic. In the past, companies would rely on one or two platforms to spread the word about their products. However, with people frequently switching between devices and multiple accounts per person, brands need to ensure that all their content is being seen by the right audience. Luckily for brands, the internet lets them target niche audiences across multiple platforms with unprecedented precision.
Since its inception in the early 2000s, social media has been a goldmine for marketers. It gave birth to countless niche interest communities that can be tapped into for marketing purposes. Moreover, the fact that these communities are completely online makes them accessible to marketers from all over the world.
Milan is one of the most famous fashion cities in the world. Its influence in the design world is immeasurable, with many top designers having studios there. As the saying goes, Milan is the “Moulin Rouge of fashion”, and that is pretty much what this city is known for.
Although it is the largest city in Italy, with a population of 2.26 million, Milan is actually only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) wide. The rest of Italy often feels like a cold war to Milanese—the food, the fashion, and the way of life are all different—making the city a true melting pot. The fact that it is Europe’s leading fashion hub makes it a natural fit for any type of business.
Now is the perfect time to be in Milan. The city is abuzz with fashion and cultural activities. Thanks to the newly elected Mayor, Giuseppe Sala, who took office in 2018. Mayor Sala is determined to continue building on the success of Milan’s previous administration, which saw a 19% rise in visitor numbers and 30% in retail sales between 2016 and 2018. The new mayor also has ambitious plans to develop the city’s culinary scene, with a particular focus on attracting more tourists. All these factors make Milan a must-visit destination for anyone interested in fashion, business, or culture.
The Anatomy Of An Effective ABM Strategy
Let’s break down the anatomy of an effective ABM strategy.
First, you’ll want to establish a base line of customers. You can do this through a variety of marketing methods, such as SEO, PPC advertisements, and content marketing. Once you have this base line, you can start to create buyer personas. This involves getting to know your customers (and potential customers) better and defining their needs, wants, and behaviors. You can also develop a persona for the person controlling the financials of your business. By creating buyer personas, you’ll be able to tailor your strategy to fit the individual needs and behaviors of your customers. Moreover, you can use personas to determine the content and style of your campaigns on social media.
Next, you’ll want to gather data. The data you need to establish the base line of customers will be different from the data you need to develop your strategy. The first set of data will be found in your email marketing platform, while the latter will come from your social media analytics tool. You should also look to see what other data sources, such as web analytics, can you tap into to support your strategy.
Create Content That Works
An important tenet of an effective ABM strategy is creating content that works. The type of content you create will depend on your target audience. If you are targeting fashion enthusiasts, you will want to create fashion-related content, such as the occasional web article, a fashion blog post, or an Instagram account dedicated to fashion. If your target audience is larger, you may want to create a YouTube channel or Twitter account focused on educational or informational videos or podcasts.
The type of content you create should match your target audience’s interests and should make them feel that your business is interested in talking to them. Moreover, you want the content to be of a high quality and interesting enough to keep the attention of your target audience. Finally, you want to make sure that the content you create is relevant and fits with the voice and style of your brand. This will ensure that your brand’s identity is consistently represented across all your content.
Use Platforms To Their Full Potential
As previously mentioned, the internet makes it much easier for businesses to target niche audiences across different platforms. This is why it’s important to utilize all the resources available to you on social media. If you’re reading this article, I assume that you’re already aware of the existence of multiple social media platforms. What’s more, you probably already use some of these platforms regularly. Others, you may have heard of but haven’t used themselves.
Each one of these platforms has its perks when it comes to marketing. For example, let’s take Twitter. Twitter is mostly known for its short-form tweets, but these tiny little boxes can be extremely effective at drawing in and engaging with audiences. Moreover, the platform’s algorithmic timeline makes it easy for anyone to stay on top of the latest news and trends. It also has a fantastic search tool that allows you to type in any topic or word and see relevant content available for your consumption.
On the other hand, Instagram is mostly known for its images, memes, and videos. These platforms are great at getting content in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Moreover, the algorithm that curates content on Instagram—known as ‘the holy grail algorithm’—allows businesses to have content reach a highly specific audience. While there are many benefits to using multiple platforms for marketing, creating content for each one individually can become cumbersome.
That’s why it’s important to have a content strategy that incorporates all the different types of content you create for different platforms into a single, coherent piece. This will help ensure that each type of content you create is reaching its potential audience and encourage people to explore more content from your company.
Creativity is an important part of any business, regardless of whether you’re creating content or engaging with potential customers through a PPC advertisement. After all, no one wants to work with a business that doesn’t have any individuality or creativity. So, when crafting your ABM strategy, don’t be afraid to be creative. Use your imagination and come up with unique ways to reach and engage with your target audience. Moreover, find ways to brainstorm new ideas and challenge yourself to come up with new concepts. This is a critical part of any business, and it never hurts to boost creativity.