Contributor Analysis: 3 Mistakes (And Solutions) Startups Make When Crafting Their Editorial Strategies

Contributor Analysis: 3 Mistakes (And Solutions) Startups Make When Crafting Their Editorial Strategies

It’s now a fact in the startup world: brands don’t exist in a vacuum; they need to make their presence known across multiple dimensions and channels.

In addition to crafting the perfect social media strategy to raise awareness for the company, many fashion tech startups have turned to editorial content production to maintain their online presence. However, creating content is more than typing up a blog post and calling it a day; it can be much harder than it looks.

Here are 3 common mistakes that fashion tech startups make when they first foray into the editorial space – and some suggestions on how to remedy them.

Writing content for the sake of writing content

Everyone seems to have a blog these days, and so you feel like your company needs to have one… Even though you have absolutely no clue what to put on it. But you can’t have an empty blog, right?

Not true. A blog that does nothing for your brand and for your vision is arguably worse than not having a blog. A blog that shows no (or minimal) effort is a clear signal to your readers and consumers that they shouldn’t pay any effort into keeping up with your brand either. That’s not good!

If you’re keen on having content, make sure you have a clear vision on what you want the blog (or any other form of editorial content) to achieve. Maybe you want to spotlight the designers whose designs you feature on your marketplace; maybe you want to write about the best upcoming trends for spring. Map out an editorial calendar, and plan ahead. Give your blog a goal, and make the content the stepping-stones towards achieving it. Make sure the content arrives consistently and regularly; you want to hold your readers’ fleeting attention span and not make them wait.

An indistinct, non-relatable voice

So your editorial calendar is meticulously planned out, and you have all these awesome ideas for content lined up. Great! Now what?

With so much information out there, it is crucial to make your company’s content stand out. You can have the best ideas for content, but without a deft hand at executing those ideas, you won’t be able to reach and/or retain your reader; your voice will just get lost in the shuffle.

The key here is to be natural and genuine. You know how you want your company to come across to your readers, so let that voice come through. Think about it this way: you have a riveting story to tell your friends over drinks at happy hour. You’d laugh, cringe, or blush wherever appropriate – it’s natural to. You wouldn’t flatten your voice to a monotone while recounting that exciting moment, would you?

Consumers and readers are looking for companies that resonate with them, not ones that merely churn out products day in and day out. Cultivating a brand persona makes your brand livelier and more personable, and if they like what they see, they’re more likely to come back for more. And you want to keep them coming back.

“Un-sticky” content

Think of all the content sites that you read regularly. Maybe it’s a larger site like Buzzfeed or Refinery 29, or it could simply be your favorite blogger’s Tumblr. You go back every day because their brand voice and content quality are consistent, and you can’t get enough. Congratulations, they just managed to make their content stick with you.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this “mistake,” and frankly it’s the one that deserves most of your time and attention to remedying. Content will likely stick with your readers if it piques their interest repeatedly and reflects their real-life interests and lifestyle. Play around with your content ideas – on what days did you get more views, and what topics was the content on? Did they like this tone of voice more than the one you tried last week? Social media analytics can come in handy here as you figure out what in particular “sticks” to your niche of readers, and social media in general can be an effective way to prolong the longevity of your content.

Another good way to make content “sticky” is to tie it together with the rest of your site. Be proud of your content; don’t tuck it away in some obscure blog. Got a fabulous dress for sale on your site, or a talented designer who hand-stitched that sold-out leather wallet? Make the stories known by connecting the content with commerce. Your readers won’t even know that they wanted to read the story, but thanks to your great content, they’ll want to come back for more.

Fashion is a very emotional, personal experience: the more people read and know about your brand and merchandise and the more familiar they become with it, the more time, emotions, and (hopefully) money they’ll invest in it. It’s just a win-win situation all around.

Jaclyn Siu is a Third Wave Fashion contributor. She’s currently a student at NYU, a fashion journalist, and the founder of wearhou.se. You can follow her on Twitter here

Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

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