People now consume content as easily and naturally as breathing air. Because of social media, the arrival of 5G and the democratization of mobile phones, brands and designers are constantly pressured to create, release and share more.
You need to regularly update your websites, post consistently on social media, create visuals for your promotional campaigns… The list can go on and on. I know it can be daunting to see how much you need to create to do that.
In my 3 years of fashion entrepreneurship, I created around 3700 web content, wrote 4 ebooks, more than 200 long form articles and many promotional emails.
Some people told me that they were very impressed with the amount of content I was releasing every month.
So I thought It might be interesting to share with you my secret recipe to create a massive amount of content in a short period of time when you are a fashion brand, marketplace or an indie fashion designer.
If you are looking for actionable tips and a strategy that will make your life a lot easier, keep on reading!
- What type and how much content do you actually need to produce?
- The number 1 rule to create massive amounts of quality content for your brand : content batching
- What is content batching and why should you batch content?
- 6 other advantages of content batching
- How to start content batching?
- Create and multiply your content
What type and how much content do you actually need to produce ?
Yes, we can all agree that you need content to have a presence on the internet and make your brand look alive.
However, knowing what and how much content you need to have is a whole different question. It’s also a good way to start a solid content strategy.
It will help you plan your actions better and will make the process of posting a lot less stressful.
Here are the different types of content you could be posting when working in the field of fashion and beauty and how much content you might need.
Web contents include any type of contents that need to be uploaded online.
According to Oberlo, the number of online shoppers should hit 2.14 billion by 2021.
In addition to that, in a survey conducted by Bizrate Insights in April 2019, 3 out of 5 internet users said they’ve purchased clothes, shoes or accessories online in the past month.
So there’s no doubt that having an online presence for fashion brands and designers is key.
Depending on your situation, the website could be a simple portfolio page that showcases your main products/ assets or a solid e-commerce platform.
Contrary to what many people think, a website is not a static asset. It’s not “now, it’s developed, live and I’m good to go”. Just like a car, a website needs some maintenance to keep up with the new trends, algorithms and new technologies.
On top of that, a frequently updated website will have more success with organic search engine rankings. In other words, the more you keep your website up to date, the more likely you are to have a better ranking on Google.
The homepage should reflect the latest collections of the brands or your latest works. Therefore, there should be a change of pictures/ banners at least once every season. And if you have any promotional campaign going on, it should be mentioned somewhere on your website. Blogging regularly, every 2 month for instance, is also a good practice.
Instagram and facebook are considered as essential in the fashion industry. But depending on your target audience, you could also consider using Pinterest, Tiktok, LinkedIN, twitter or Youtube.
Obviously, the more social channels you have, the more work it requires. But bare in mind that :
- People can be on several social media but have different behaviours depending on the one they use. For instance, a woman can be browsing ideas on pinterest, checking out a brand on instagram and then purchase via facebook.
- People are not on all social media. If you want to reach baby boomers or Gen X, you’d better off publishing and advertising on Facebook rather than Instagram or TikTok (Although there are opportunities to reach them also on both platforms)
As for how often you should post on social media, there are good practices (as shown below) but if the best you can do is once a week, it is fine as long as you stick to it.
Consumers do their research before buying a brand. It’s part of a classic shopping journey. And that’s even more true today because many consumers now take into consideration how authentic and sustainable a brand is before buying.
If you are a brand with products to sell, online advertising is almost a must.
There are many types of online ads. You can use Google Ads, programmatic ads, facebook ads, instagram ads, pinterest ads, twitter ads, youtube ads… And all of them require specific visuals and formats. And every time you are doing a different campaign, you need different visuals.
Emailing is one of the best ways to reach potential customers and convert them into actual shoppers. On top of that, once you’ve built your email list, sending email is almost free.
According to Hubspot, over 90% of consumers check their emails daily. Also, email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share social content than others.
To craft a good email, you will need a good text, click-worthy images and a call to action.
86% of consumers said they would like to receive a promotional email from brands they subscribe to at least once per month. Weekly emails are also said to be effective but no more than that to not be considered as spammy. 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from lists because a brand was sending too many emails.
Flyers and pack-ins
If you are making a sale, you may want to add flyers, coupons, branded stickers or postcards to the packaging to make the shopping experience last a little longer.
Encouraging a customer to buy again is easier than converting a new customer.
Some brands, like Sezane for example, also change their mailing boxes every once in a while.
Therefore, you can also take into account all the things you need to develop for your after-sale experience when you will be preparing your content.
If you are taking part into a trade fair (BtoB or BtoC), you will probably need lookbooks and flyers to present your brand or your work to potential buyers and customers. And in case, some journalists come to see you, having a printed copy of your latest press release could be useful.
You will also need to decorate your booth with your colors and identity to make it stand out. Frames, photos, large banners can be useful to do so.
The number 1 rule to create massive amounts of quality content for your brand : content batching
What is content batching and why should you batch content?
Content batching consists in creating all your content in one go instead of little by little every week. I realize it might sound like a lot of work but there are many benefits to content batching and it actually fits the way the fashion industry works.
As a matter of fact, in the fashion industry, your work revolves around collections and seasons. Haute couture and ready to wear fashion collections need to be ready at least 2 seasons prior to their presentations. In other words, when you are selling the winter collection, you are actually designing the summer creations or even the next winter pieces.
So, you are already used to batch working because that’s what you naturally do when creating a new collection.
6 other advantages of content batching
Not only will it feel natural to you to batch content but there are also many other advantages.
- It will ease your mind. Once it’s done, it’s done. No more stress over “hey, what should I post today ?” . Even in a time of pandemic, you don’t have to fret over what to post because you already have ready-to-go or easily tweakable content.
- In the end, it will save you time and allow you to take care of things that are equally important for a successful business: customer service or quality control for example. Ultimately, it streamlines your marketing efforts and makes you more efficient.
- You will avoid making stupid mistakes. Again, since fashion collections are completed sometimes a year in advance, it’s easy to get things mixed up or to forget about important details. Content batching and planning prevent you from that.
- It helps your brand to be more consistent and provide a more holistic experience. When you are creating all your content at the same time, it’s easier to see the big picture and keep everything in line with the chosen art direction.
- You tend to be more creative and have more ideas. When you are creating your content week after week, you need to restart and warm up the machine (i.e your brain) every time you do it. On the other end, when content batching, the ideas will flow a lot more easily because you will be intensively brainstorming and focused.
How to start content batching?
It all starts with a good plan
Before getting into the actual content batching, you need a good plan. Just like war, you need to get prepared and know where you are heading to.
First, assess how much content you need to produce. You can refer to the earlier sections to do so. List all the pieces of content you will need and afterwards, all the elements it will require to create these pieces of content. You might already have some of them. Things like moodboards, sketches, collection boards or sketches are all sources you can use to create your content.
The rest can be gathered through photoshoots and brainstorming sessions.
Optimize your photoshoot sessions
Most of the content needed by fashion brands and designers are visual-based. Photos are the one thing that show people what your universe and inspirations are. They showcase the qualities and the details that make your clothes or accessories unique. Through your pictures, people can also project how the clothes will look on then when worn. In a nutshell, your pictures are what triggers the desire and maybe some impulse buy.
In other words, optimizing and succeeding your photoshoot sessions are crucial. Good photos sell. So, do not be afraid to allocate some budget to hire a good photograph and models or to book the right venue.
Also, take into account where these photos will be used.
As a matter of fact, if you know that you need to create banners for your website, you will make sure that your photograph also does landscape photos.
If you are selling on a marketplace, you know that your pictures should comply with certain tech specs (white background, png format… ). Therefore, you will shoot your products with the adequate background so that you don’t have too much post-prod to do on your photos.
Here are the types of pictures you should consider taking during your photoshoots:
- Lifestyle photos
- Pack shots (ideally, take a picture all angles of the products)
- Photos with a white background (or at least a background you can easily remove)
- Flat lay photos
- Outfit ideas
- Behind the scene pictures
- Inspirational photos (pictures of the venue for instance)
Obviously, the more photos you have, the more options you will have to create your content.
Dedicate some of your time to writing sessions
You will probably need texts to accompany your social media posts, your emails or documentations.
Same as the photos, identify all your needs in terms of texts. The advantage of creating all the texts in one go is that you only need to do your brainstorming and your research once.
My recommendation would be to start with the bigger chunks that can then easily be split into small shareable pieces of content.
For example, your press releases could be turned into many social media posts. Moreover, if you write an ebook to use as a lead magnet, you can transform each chapter into a blog article.
Here are some texts you will probably need to create as a fashion brand :
- The description of your mission and your values
- The product details (description, composition, traceability, sizing, care instructions)
- Why your products are the best and how unique they are
- The inspiration/story behind the collection
- The description of the creation process
- What you do for sustainable development
- Keywords that can be used for your collection
- Taglines for the collections
- The details of any events or promotions you will be planning
Create and multiply your content
Once you gathered your base elements for your content, you can start creating what you will need for the next months.
Of course, for any visual based content, you can use photoshop or illustrator. But, one tool that I love using is Canva.
As a matter of fact, Canva is a very user-friendly digital graphic platform that enables you to easily create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. They have many ready-to-use templates and fonts that make your content look professional.
And with a premium subscription, you can with a click resize all your design and this is a super time-saver! In other words, you can create a bunch of designs for facebook and then just resize them all and adapt them for twitter within a minute.
On top of that, it’s pretty affordable, especially compared to adobe’s pricing. Indeed, it doesn’t do the same thing. If you really need to completely modify and edit a photo, Canva won’t do and you’ll need to use photoshop… or hire somebody else to do it.
However, usually, when you are doing a photoshoot, your photographer should give you files that are already clean. Unless you are creating a large billboard that needs to be printed, Canva should be fine for your needs.
As for your text-based content, any text editor you are familiar working with is fine. The real key to creating a massive amount of texts is writing a good long first draft. The first draft is always the most difficult one. Once it’s done, you can use synonyms, split the texts, merge them or spin them to multiply the initial draft into multiple content. And for those who know the art of content-spinning, feel free to use it!
The next step: outsource
If you want to go further or if your business requires it, you can also outsource your whole content creation process.
You know the principle. When you work alone, you have 24 hours in a day but when you are 2, you have 48 hours to use in a day. That’s the magic behind outsourcing.
Finding the right team or person is not that easy but when you do find it, it will save you a lot of time. What you need to do, afterwards, is to implement a good communication system so that the content creation process flows smoothly.
It could be something like:
- Naming your base elements and the future content pieces in a certain way
- Sharing a plan that is realistic but ambitious and clear about everything they will need to do (what types of content, how many they need to create, in what format they should produce them, where they should put the files…)
- Clarity about the deadlines
- Telling them how creative they can go with your designs and texts (Having a brand style and editorial guide could be useful for this purpose.)
- Creating templates together
Alternatively, you can also grow your team with a new member who will be dedicated to this task. It’s a matter of budget. Outsourcing is usually less expensive than hiring.
Finally, the true secret for unlimited content : repurposing.
Each content you created can potentially be transformed and used somewhere else. In fashion terms, it’s like upcycling.
As a matter of fact, not everyone uses the same platform. You might have reached some people on facebook but there might be people on Linkedin who never saw and who might feel equally attracted to your new collection.
On top of fact, if you create evergreen content, i.e content that never gets old, you can use it endlessly. It could be pieces of advice on how to use your products or to care for them, a picture of your team or a video on your creation process.
Because it was used once doesn’t mean it’s good for garbage. It’s quite the opposite actually. In fact, sharing them again can amplify the message and the chances someone remembers it.
This is the brief overview of how you can produce and create a lot of content in a short amount of time, even if you are alone, have a small team or a tight budget. It’s a habit to take but once you are used to it, it’s like a machine that just needs a little bit of maintenance.
Of course, there is a lot more that can be said about the topic so feel free to ask questions in the comment section if you have some or to contact me directly.
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