As mentioned in my post Making Money in a Brave New World- Sourcing Keynote, I was loving the fact that I had a large pool of informative, exciting, and relevant seminars to attend at WWD MAGIC this year. One of my favorites (well, to be honest, they were all my favorites) was Complex Media Network’s Style Editors Roundtable. It was a fantastic discussion on social media and blogging and its impact on the fashion industry.
The keynote was moderated by Rich Antoniello, CEO and Publisher of Complex Media Network. The panel was made up of writers/ owners of the following sites:
The group was insightful and really made some points that are worth sharing. I think the easiest way to share all of the useful information is to break it down in the form of bullet points because sometimes, the best info was simply an off-topic statement or an idea that was not fully developed due to lack of time. So here goes.
- Public Relations for the Blogosphere– There used to be a lot of negativity from brands about blogs. They simply didn’t see the value in them and it has only been in the past two years that they have started to understand- Blog content drives sales to commerce sites. They offer content for free and without pushing a message on consumers. It’s the kind of acknowledgment brands have been paying to try to initiate for years.
- Blogs are more dynamic, drive more sales, and are actually trackable in comparison to traditional print publications. You can really see what’s working and what’s not working; which is key. Blogs are immortal; each post can live on through tweets and comments.
- Brands need to build relationships with bloggers. Press releases mean nothing to a blogger. Just like consumers want to feel like your friend, so do bloggers. They will support you if they feel a connection with you. You don’t form a connection through a press release.
How to Build a Relationship with a Blogger: Through Social Media.
- The internet is so rich with opportunity, stop thinking old school. Think in terms of Entertainment and Information.
- Don’t create content for a blogger, create it with the blogger. Be their friend.
- Don’t blindly send press releases to several bloggers you don’t know in hopes of getting them to write amazing and praising blog post that will lead to tons of attention to your site. It won’t happen.
- Do spend time reading, commenting on, and sharing the bloggers content. It’s flattering and shows bloggers that you really are interested in what they have to say.
- Understand the blogger’s audience. Seems obvious but you’d be surprised.
- One brand that is doing it right is a street wear label called The Hundreds; through their own blog and connecting with others, the brand remains engaging, interactive, and authentic with a unique voice.
- A common protest among brand owners is the “I don’t have enough time” protest. If you don’t have enough time, then you’re not doing it right. Social media should be authentic and an extension of you. If you have time to send a goofy text to your best friend, you have time to send a funny tweet to your online friends and followers. There is no better time spent than with your customer.
- It is finally the year of Mobile Marketing– brands need to make sure that their commerce is workable through any and every device; iPad and other tablets and mobile phones.
- Mobile apps need to be seamless throughout all outlets; computers, mobiles, tablets. But they also need to recognize the specific assets of each and build upon them respectively.
- A few trends the group sees in the coming year in terms of the digital age in general:
- Music Industry will really start moving to the forefront; collaborating and advancing its presence in the digital world
- Men’s retail becomes what women’s retail is- men want to work with online stylists, they want fit tips, they want to online shop, etc.
- The quality of content will step up becoming way more interactive.
- TV and online will be merging, the right way this time.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to this panel. It was made up of a group of young and successful entrepreneurs with a strong knowledge and understanding of the digital world and how it applies to fashion.