How to Advertise Online Fashion Sites on a Budget

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Now that you know how to use your fashion blog to make some money, you might want to consider getting into ecommerce as well. If so, your next concern should be how to let people know about your blog and ecommerce site. After all, you can only grow your audience if they know about your site and where to find it, and the best way to do that is by having an online advertising campaign.

You might think that should be easy enough; all you have to do is to keep talking about it in your social networks, and people will come. That might work at the start, but unless you do something more, growing your audience will likely trickle to a stop as you saturate your natural fans such friends and family. You want to attract the attention of people you don’t know in order to widen your circle of influence, and that takes a bit more effort.

Targeted advertising
The first thing you need to do is to narrow your target audience. Your little sister may be an ardent supporter, but most of her circle of friends are unlikely to appreciate your insights on fashion do’s and don’ts, especially if you are targeting male teens. There are five major segments in fashion marketing: gender, age, geography, behavior, and lifestyle. You have to identify the profile or buyer persona of your target audience by defining them as male or female, age range, location, fashion quirks, and lifestyle choices. For example, your blog may focus on females between the age of 14 to 18 in New York that prefer US brands and are avid followers of K-pop.

Once you have identified your target audience, you can start planning your advertising strategy. Social media is the new black when it comes to advertising and marketing in general, but it is peculiarly suitable for fashion sites. This is primarily because people on social media tend to be more receptive to new ideas, more engaged once you capture their interest, and more likely to share to their networks because it is so easy to do so.

Social media in fashion advertising
According to this article, the top sites for fashion advertising are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Snapchat, a relative newcomer to the social media power sites but with a large following of young people, is also a powerful marketing tool for fashion sites for teenage fashionistas. However, while it may be easy for fashion and retail companies to launch an aggressive campaign on all these platforms, it is a little different if you have a limited budget. Here is some useful information about the different platforms that can help you decide which platforms are best for your fashion site.

• Facebook – Facebook tops the list for most advertisers from sheer volume. As of the 3rd quarter of 2016, it had 1.79 BILLION active users a month, which is about 1.2 billion users a using it on a daily basis. Statistically, advertising on FB just makes sense for blogs as well as ecommerce sites. Aside from reach, FB also offers different ad types to suit advertisers of all budgets and experience levels. You can pretty much learn as you go when you use Facebook ads, and you can start small while you test the waters.

• Instagram – Instagram is particularly apt for attracting interest because it’s visual. You can tell a story more effectively in fashion if you use an image or video better than text, and with 600 million monthly active users, it makes sense to include it on your list. However, Instagram is not too forthcoming about its ad rates, so you will need to get a bit creative when using it in your marketing strategy.

• Twitter – There are about 317 million active users monthly sending 500 million tweets daily, which is not bad at all, although you need to know that its demographics can affect its effectiveness for fashion site campaigns. It does offer quite a few options for advertisers and allows you to set your own budget, so you can start with as little as $5 a day.

• Pinterest – Most people don’t know that you can advertise on Pinterest through promoted pins. However, these are auction-based, meaning that the more you pay, the more prominent the pin. In a very real way, you are bidding for the best spots on a board, which usually means bigger and more prominent pins. Not only that, you have to follow some stringent rules for your pin.

• Snapchat – According to its site, Snapchat has 150 million users a month sharing 10 billion videos a day. They offer a slew of ad options, and they are very effective, but most are priced way beyond the budget of most small ecommerce or blog site owner. However, you can start with Snap Ads or Local Geofilters, which are on the low end of the ad cost totem pole at as little as $5 per campaign. You can also try these tips for using Snapchat without paying a cent.

Making the most of paid ads
Let’s say you decided to go for paid social ads. Does that mean you stop engaging in other ways on social networks? Heck, no! You should actually make some noise as your paid ad is running to maximize its effectiveness. You can use:

• Hashtag campaigns – a very successful example is that used by Travelocity in 2013. Here is how they did it.

• Engaging social media communities – you cannot afford to let your social media pages to go stale. Here are some tips for keeping your profiles fresh as a daisy and enlarge your fanbase.

• Partnering with influencers – it would be awesome if you could get participation from some influencers on the platform on which you have an ad campaign. It can have an exponential effect on your engagement. You can do that in several ways without being considered a pest.

Whether you are seeking more exposure for your fashion blog, or embarking on ecommerce, these tips on advertising for online fashion sites will work for you. You don’t need a bucket load of money to do it either. Use social media and their ad options to your best advantage, and you might just achieve something amazing!

This article was contributed by guest author Sheila Frye.

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