What we could all learn from a fashion brand aimed at young women
Social media is a legitimate funnel – the secret is knowing who your clients are.
If there’s one thing the rise of social media should have taught us by now, it’s the importance of understanding your target market and creating content to engage them.
As a mum in her late 30s, I’m not really the demographic for online clothes stores such as Boohoo or ASOS, but that doesn’t stop me having an occasional look. That’s mostly because when those brands built their foundations, I fell within their audience and I am now what marketers would call ‘a loyal fan’ – so they did their jobs well.
Looking at the newer brands, DSLB stick out to me because of how engaging their Facebook content is, and it’s how I discovered them. They came up in my Facebook suggestions one day (after a Boohoo visit – great targeting!), and generally I don’t mind this when the AI is being relevant and helpful. When I browsed their page, I saw they weren’t really aimed at me – but I still followed. Why?
Because they do social media really well.
DSLB pitch themselves at young women in their late teens and early 20s, but they’ve got a good range of funky midi dresses that easily cross over into other age brackets. They also look vibrant and and chic on their socials – an absolute must for any self respecting online fashion brand.
The hard sell
Now there are some schools of thought that say social media shouldn’t be about the ‘hard sell’. It’s about winning people’s long term buy-in. However DSLB regularly share their products with prices – something not done by the likes of Next and Marks and Spencer’s. So a lot of their posts are about the sell.
It works though, and that’s because they know what their audience expect. DLSB clothes aren’t a big investment, and they aren’t pretending otherwise. It’s fast fashion. Their customers are going to want to know upfront what they’re spending on their next clubbing dress. Students, and people in their 20s looking for the sort of thing you’d see on TOWIE, but without the price that comes with a designer label.
Given this, it’s not a surprise that ‘20 pound Tuesday’ became a big thing for them. This is the market where someone at work, or in the bar, says ‘love your dress’ and they say quietly ‘it cost me 20 quid!’, followed by gasps of ‘you can’t tell’. And then those people go and check them out (great word of mouth marketing).
An upmarket brand isn’t going to be so on the nose with their pricing on social media, but specifically these guys will have got here because they tested their market. For a start – looking at the metrics between sharing a price on a dress on their socials, and the actual hits on the site and sales of the dress. This takes experimentation, analysis, and time, but it’s worth it.
I’m here for the memes
Despite their much complained about ‘one size’ dresses – highly problematic – their Facebook success can largely be attributed to the well thought out content (see above). The account is funny and it’s got them a following in their target market – and beyond, which has in turn got them sales.
Because of their successful content strategy, their memes are shared, which creates more traction. They are building a fanbase by appealing to the audiences who are on Facebook for a light distraction, who then discover these really affordable dresses. It’s an extension of word of mouth marketing, and it’s also a way they are creating raving fans: “these guys don’t just have nice dresses, they are hilarious.”
They’d probably cringe at that assessment, but stripping it back, it’s exactly that. And whether you work in fashion or not, it’s a testament to how important it is to knowing your client avatars well.
This long game of good content got me buying a dress from there after quite a while following them. I needed something, it was on my mind, then I saw a post of theirs on Facebook. That’s how the funnel works.
Good content has got them nearly 550,000 Facebook followers. Fans. That’s one fifth of Next’s Facebook page. That’s not bad for an independent online clothes shop.
DLSB are working well on all three of the above. In particular, the reason they do social media well because they know their audience.
Emotionally, they know how clients see themselves and how they want to be seen. The strategy is engaging with their audience using those values, and encouraging people to follow their social media pages with memes and relatable content while also advertising their products. Then, when the consumer wants to buy, they subconsciously remember this content and the products.
Copywriting with the brand personality
It’s not just their social media though. A glance at their website shows the DLSB copy is also on message: ‘Who runs this B*tch?’ is asked on the ‘About page’.
Could you imagine Wallis doing that? It would cause outrage. But it’s these details – knowing their clients will laugh – that wins them fans. They know what their customers are into, and copy like this is referencing their subculture. That’s a great approach to marketing – in jokes. It creates a connection on so many levels. Fashion, culture, humour – and it taps into how they know their clients want to feel about themselves. Fashionable, with a bit of self deprecating humour.
The perfect brand?
This isn’t an appraisal of the brand DSLB. I won’t list all the things that they could probably do better on, but on the service front, a quick search throws up some of the same complaints that Next and any other clothes retailer does: non deliveries, sizing complaints, quality issues. But ultimately people want to buy from brands that they relate to, and from an objective standpoint, they’ve been successful at that and it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re interested in building your customer base through a social media presence.
DLSB’s marketing team clearly love their jobs, and if they don’t, they’ve fooled me – I think they’re having loads of fun. This feeling has given the brand a personality. It’s not just a one direction sales platform of ‘buy my stuff’. And despite the majority of their items being ‘one size’ dresses, I followed for the jokes. It’s as simple as that.
That’s what happens when you do social media well. Next time you’re planning content, remember that sometimes the strategy lies beyond your product, and can be just as much based in the things your audience will care about.
Social media can work this way for everyone, in any market, but you have to be interested and inventive. And if you aren’t, then get somebody who is.
Know who your clients really are
The amount of times I have heard ‘my product or service is for everyone’ – but you need to know how to target your clients, how to create a relationship with them based on values, and ultimately, convert them to customers. usually, your clients are not ‘everyone’.
Jokes may not be for your brand, but there’s an approach that will work for you if you know your client avatars well. A little bit of experimentation and investment will get you so much further than you thought.
You might even get some of those unexpected fans beyond your target audience.
If you want more advice on content, like our Facebook group. A new installment on copywriting will be out next month.
Written by Jade Zienkiewicz, Content and Services Director at Phlashweb.
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