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Digital innovation & the future of social media marketing in fashion retail

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We belong to an era where embracing technological developments has become imperative. Speed, accuracy, data analytics, personalisation, engagement and customisation must be kept at the centre for every business to stay relevant.

Technology exists and will keep evolving – what business needs to do is to stay abreast with the latest happenings. You would be enlightened with plethora of services available. What matters is getting the right match for your brand, the relevancy of the service to the business requirement and what incremental benefits it offers to the business.

Before you invest in a bunch of different technological solutions providing real time marketing, marketing automation, personalisation, social listening, etc., think about your business goals. The crux lays in how the new applications are understood and used in our daily tasks, be it at individual level or in a huge spectrum of business. If it doesn’t fit the objectives, it’s simply a shiny toy creating noise.

The term ‘digital innovations’ may sound overwhelming, but the actual results are pretty easy to understand.

We have been experiencing them for years and are now seeing an accelerated pace of changes than before. We would witness this year to be shaping up to be a big one in social media marketing with new technologies coming into maturity and going mainstream.

As technology advances, it becomes embedded in our culture in different ways. It is therefore important to invest in an Omnichannel customer experience. This is especially crucial in e-commerce marketing where a customer may search, peruse and research in four different places and finally make the decision to buy in a totally different place. It’s important to have a holistic approach to your marketing. Your solid social strategy, a high converting website and a great mobile experience – all of these have to come together for an Omnichannel customer experience. It’s important to cater to potential customers, wherever they are, lest you lose them to a competitor.

Retail’s Digital Transformation

On an industry scale, the digital transformation has already shown what it did for the e-commerce giants and the leading cab aggregators. These businesses have taken traditional business concepts, like retail sales and transit, and then applied innovative digital technologies and made the lives of end customers easier like never before. In the area of marketing, it can bring about some exciting, visible and profitable changes for brands with a vision.

Digital transformation has given marketers two invaluable new tools: multi-stage interactivity and analytics. Social media marketing has become such an integral part of the marketer’s toolkit over the past decade that the daily interactions the brands has with this platform helps brands to stay in conversation with the target audience and thereby build an emotional connect. Half the battle is won if the brand strikes a right chord with the target audience!

However, social media as an industry is still in its infancy and has a lot of growing and evolving to do. Considering we’ve only had mainstream social media platforms for less than 15 years, there’s no telling what is in store for the coming years.

We see the world of social media marketing is transforming quickly. Facebook is constantly tweaking its algorithm, content strategies that used to be effective suddenly stop working, and then there’s all the new technology you have to stay on top of, like AI, VR and chatbots.

There’s more content online than ever before; yet all is not striking! The content needs to stand out in this increasingly crowded space. It’s more important than ever to build trust with consumers and also give a lift to your content so it both moves people and converts them. Producing content that’s a cut above the rest definitely means a lot of effort but is worth it if created well and if it reaches the right set of people. It’s a game of art and science!

Using New Content Channels Every time a new content channel is born, an empty new playing field opens. With channels like chatbots and VR still relatively young; brands that arrive first tend to thrive.

We usually think of public platforms such like Facebook and Twitter as our most powerful social marketing tools. However, the number of people using private messaging services like Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat is humongous too. Social media is still growing, but these private networks are growing faster. Therefore it is important for content marketers to focus on them.

The latest trend is consumers discovering new ideas, content and products on smart speakers. Since most of what we do in social media and content marketing is aimed at helping people find products or services, this is vital. When consumers ask a smart speaker a question, the response isn’t an endless list of research reports, blog posts or videos. Instead, it’s the answer to their question. Brands need to be mindful of all these disruptions and stay tuned.

The future of social media marketing has yet to be unlocked. In 10 to 15 years, marketers should expect to seamlessly track a user across every social platform to see the multi-touch interactions with their brands.

In this fast paced era inertia definitely is not healthy. Neither rushing headlong into technology without a well thought through plan is of any use. Just meet your customers where they want to be met, and you’ll see conversion grow and brand loyalty stay.

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