If you are unaware of what ModCloth is, you must not be into old-timey, vintage women’s clothes, accessories, and home décor. But really, who isn’t? I’m going to assume that most people are huge fans of this brand. I know I am. One thing I like about ModCloth is their amazing content marketing strategy. They really know how to organically sell themselves, and through this, they have shed a light on the retro, vintage appearance in general. Because marketing is so important, companies that do it well are always the ones people should be looking to follow.
ModCloth is an example of these content leaders. For a group that is dedicated to vintage apparel, they sure are forward-thinking in their marketing.
7 Ways ModCloth’s Content Is Killer
ModCloth has several content strategies that I love but here are six (and a half) things that they do that I think are especially innovative.
1. They use real models.
If you go to the ModCloth website, you will not always see the average model. ModCloth sometimes even uses their own employees to show off their great designs. In fact a campaign they ran earlier this year took several of their employees of all different sizes and had them model the same swimsuit.
ModCloth makes use of ‘real’ models in many different ways.
- They were one of the first retailers to sign the “Heroes Pledge for Advertisers,” which consists of guidelines on limiting Photoshop use in ads.
- They boosted their plus-size collection shortly after they signed the pledge.
- If you want to model for them, they make it easy for you to apply even if you do not have modelling experience straight from their website.
- In fact, they claim that they often find models in untraditional places, from, in their own words, “parties and shopping districts to airports and libraries.”
The reason this works is because they are committed to making clothes for the everyday girl, and they realize that if they want to sell to that everyday girl, they need to show potential customers what someone like them would look like wearing that outfit. Plus, not for nothing, it got talked about in the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Gloss, Cosmopolitan, and tons of other big name markets.
Lesson to Learn: Be up front and honest about your product. If you try to flatter and deceive, customers might use you once, but they won’t come back. Plus, this is such a rare concept that when you do it, tons of people will want to cover it.
2. They keep their retro-y vibe even in modern-y formats.
As does any e-retailers, and hopefully most if not all retailers, ModCloth has a blog, a Twitter account, Instagram, Tumblr, and you get the picture. All of these social media platforms have something big in common: they are all decidedly un-vintage.
How can a company that is dedicated to celebrating all things retro use modern forms of marketing?
The answer is by turning those modern forms into a retro playground. If you look at ModCloth content, you still get that vintage feel that you would expect from them. Through color schemes, images, and product descriptions, you forget that you are using technology from this era as you are transported back to the time that ModCloth wants you to envision.
What is the lesson here for all employees, though?
- Remember who your audience is. You might not have young women who love that old-time feel as your target reader. So don’t advertise for them. But do figure out who you want to target, and then make sure your content reflects the image you want those people to feel.
- Don’t let technology control you. To an extent, you have to follow the crowd. If Twitter is where the people are, you have to be on Twitter. However, just because you need to use these modern marketing methods does not mean you have to market on their terms. Turn these formats into platforms to showcase your visions.
3. They let their customers upload images.
Similar to the real life models point, ModCloth is great about encouraging people to upload their own images. Other places do this, but I have never seen it done quite as much as I have on ModCloth’s site.
When you go to view an item, you can see whole galleries of real customers wearing that same piece. This is a great concept for so many different reasons.
- Free models. The more you get people to show off your product without having to pay them, the better it is for you.
- Customers feel like they are part of your team. When you let them help, customers feel like they are part of the family. And the more they feel like they are part of the family, the more they are likely to remain a loyal customer.
- People see what it looks like off the shelf. One of the worst things about shopping online is that you cannot see how you will look in an outfit before purchasing. Just because it looks good on a model, does not mean it will look good on you. And even if the model is just an ordinary person, the photographer is taking the picture at just the right angle with just the right light. However, if you get to see the outfit worn by someone of the same size as you (the uploaders include their measurements and the size they ordered to help make picking the right size easier) in a real life situation, you are more likely to purchase it.
What should you take away here? Let your customers get in on your content marketing plan. They’ll give you free marketing and will want to keep coming back.
4. They give you access to their stylists.
ModCloth makes it easy to get the information you want most through their ModStylist feature.
Most sites have a chat feature where you can talk to a customer service rep. But ModCloth takes it a step farther. You can chat, email, or even call them for advice like what to wear for a big event; how to pick a style that will look right on you; and what the latest fashion trends are.
This strategy works because people want more than customer service. They want to know how to incorporate a product into their lives.
Say you order a dress from a regular retailer and want to know what shoes to wear with it, so you call up the customer service department. Chances are, you aren’t going to get much help even with the nicest of reps because they aren’t the ones who know the answers to these types of questions.
With ModCloth, not only do you get your questions answered, you can solve fashion dilemmas you didn’t even realize you had. And let’s be honest, if a stylist goes out of their way to help you look your best, aren’t you that much more likely to buy the pair of matching shoes they suggest?
Your lesson here is simple. If you want to make the sale, go above and beyond in your efforts to prove to people you are an expert in that product, you want to help them in the ways they really need help, and using your product/service is just what they need.
5. They let you pick what they sell.
If you really want to grow your customer base, let them pick your product. You know they’ll want it then. ModCloth does this through their ‘Be the Buyer’ feature.
Every now and then, they put up a possible item, and let viewers vote on it. If the people want it, it goes on sale. The idea here is to let the customers be the designers because the customers are who the designers are trying to please.
You can take away from this that, the more you give customer’s input into your product, the happier they will be. After all, nobody knows what they want better than they do.
6. They rock at Pinterest and Instagram.
When your product is visual, you have to be good at the visual based social media platforms. That is just a given. ModCloth knows this and uses it to their advantage.
First, they make it very easy to pin their outfits to personal Pinterest sites. If someone likes your product and wants to share it, they are much more likely to do it if you make it easy for them.
Second, they fill their Instagram account with pictures of their products in real life situations. They use stunning colors and vivid imagery that really catches the eye. However, they also use it to host challenges and contests to really get people sharing their favorite outfits.
What your takeaway from this is take advantage of whatever social media platform especially fits your brand. For retailers, image-based sites such as Instagram and Pinterest work. If you are a targeting business people, LinkedIn might work for you.
Whatever the platform that is going to help your brand the most, make sure you are really doing it right.
7. They rock at social media in general.
As mentioned above more specifically, ModCloth is just great at most social media platforms. So the lesson here is really straightforward. Have a presence on and be great at all social media.
Follow the Leader to Success
I could name 100 hundred other reasons ModCloth’s content marketing plan is great (and they aren’t even paying me to write this or even know that this article exists). So, if you are trying to figure out ways to jumpstart your content marketing strategy, maybe you can take one or two ideas from the ModCloth playbook.