Fashion Content Marketing: Lessons from Mr. Porter

You'd think that fashion and content marketing would go hand in glove.

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by Peter Coish & Dave Robson

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Let’s talk about fashion and advertising. A look at Vogue’s rate sheet can be eye-watering. A two-page spread can run higher than $150,000.  Yet many fashion brands remain loyal to traditional media, claiming digital just doesn’t do them justice.

The truth is that content marketing is the most cost effective way to drive qualified prospects to a fashion brand’s website.  Our experience shows that it is 40 times less expensive than print, 20 times less expensive than digital display, and 6 times less expensive than paid search.

Yet Fashion brands apparently haven’t cut print advertising, even as they’ve increased spending on digital. Most brands think that print still has cachet and appeals to luxury consumers but the reality is that these consumers are among the heaviest users of digital and social media (particularly mobile).

Combine the expense of print with the fact that the fashion industry is oversaturated, new brands are launching every day with more of those new brands operating online only, and you can see why it’s getting tougher for fashion brands to connect with their customers.

And yet, there are some savvy brands that have realized the era of fashion content marketing is upon us.

As a case study, let’s take a look at Mr Porter. They ship from the US to nearly everywhere, have everything from shoes to accessories to clothes, and carry 380 brands like Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, and Berlut. How do you market a juggernaut like that?

Well, it looks like they spend as much time and money creating content as they do on their retail business, and it pays off in big ways.

Branding

If a customer really likes Tom Ford, they can buy Tom Ford from a dozen places. What makes Mr Porter stand out? Well, Mr Porter’s content creates its own little commercial ideology. A Mr Porter shopper isn’t just a guy who wants to look great, he’s a guy who thinks about how best to survive parties, knows how to make amazing nightcaps, and has a thought or two about noted Swedish restaurant Fäviken Magasinet (even though he’s never been).

Staying Power

Fashion changes quickly. That’s sort of the point. But by investing in content, Mr Porter gets a bit more bang for their buck. Google ‘how to iron a shirt’, and you’ll get a video from Mr Porter’s YouTube channel. Shirt ironing technique doesn’t change but the subject will always be relevant to a fashion-minded shopper.

Relevance

People can’t stop talking about comedian Aziz Ansari and his hit Netflix show, Master of None. Naturally, Mr Porter is too—except they’re talking to Ansari. He’s on the cover of the holiday issue of their journal and is the subject of a feature article. Styling, photography, and editorial content all get equal billing here. Obviously, Ansari is pictured wearing luxury items carried by Mr Porter (helpfully linked), but just as important is the actual content about Ansari.

And that’s what creates brand engagement.