As independent fashion bloggers, we blog for ourselves, with our personal styles, opinions, and focus. But larger fashion brands have picked up on the blogging trend as a way to get in tune with their consumer base, as well as give them that “extra something” to keep people coming back for more. While some designers have deemed blogging frivolous in relation to their sales, other brands have embraced their blogs as a marketing aspect vital to conveying their style. In 2011, Tory Burch, who has been ahead of the trend with her blog and recently launched apps, reportedly saw a 90 percent increase in traffic and online sales grow by 87 percent at toryburch.com.
The benefits of brands using blogs can range depending on how it's used, but major advantages include highlighting new products without advertisements, increasing search engine visibility and sales, and giving a voice to your brand that your customers can associate with. If you have shop portion of your website, you can use your blog or create a blog to give a ‘voice' to your product. Besides, who knows your customer better than you?
Here are some “Do's” and “Don'ts” when using your blog to promote your own products:
- Don't be overly aggressive. No one wants to read a blog where every post is “Buy my cool product!!!” over and over. Intersperse your shop within your regularly postings. Maybe come up with a special title that highlights a certain product once a week or so.
- Do engage the customer. Ask for feedback on products you sell and use their comments to better your shop.
- Don't sound too much like an advertisement. Successful blogs usually are not the ones that are just typed up advertisements.
- But do write a post about where your product would be perfect instead. Who, what, where, when, and how will you product benefit your readers?
Also, check out these brands that have created blogs to enhance their product for inspiration:
- Free People, Bldg 25 Blog – Free People covers a lot of worldly content from music to food, decor to DIY to keep in touch with their fan base. They are also blogger friendly, including blogger's picks and interviews. It's a fun trip for your inner hippie.
- Alice + Olivia, Alice + Olivia tumblr – Quirky, fun, with lots of bright colors, their tumblr is great for visuals and a kick of inspiration. If you like contemporary art, this is up your alley.
- Tory Burch, Tory Burch Blog – From spotlights on surfers to “Day in the Life” features with Christy Turlington, Tory Burch's latest site is chic, classy, and full of laid back elegance.
- Colette, Just Another Colette Blog – Half in English, half in French, the Colette blog shows off all the stylish fun they have over there in France. With a bevy of cool contributors and personal posts (like photos of founder Sarah Andelman's wedding), you get a real feel for the brand.
- Opening Ceremony, New News – OC offers high fashion and quirky insights to the company like Carol Lim getting a Kenzo manicure or bios on the latest interns and employees. They also offer first looks at their latest collections and photos of the cool parties they go to.
- Urban Outfitters, Urban Outfitters Daily Posts – With a wide spectrum of topics from all across the globe, the site's randomness is full of fun. From Antwerp to Dublin, Auckland to Oslo
- Shop Bop, Shoptalk – To stay engaged with their consumers, Shop Bop offers a lot of “how to's” with their products, like how to pack for a trip Greece, or how to wear shorts to work. (Disclosure: Shop Bop is one of our sponsors, but we still love their blog!)
- Nasty Gal, Nasty Gal Blog – With music and models, Nasty Gal creates an atmosphere to wear their clothes in, along with their latest collections, editorial shoots, and “Chit Chat Live” where you can talk with Nasty Gal employees.