Picture this. You get called in for a job interview after applying for a position through one of those huge job boards like CareerBuilder. You show up to your interview dressed to impress with your resume in your hand and your go-to interview answers memorized. Then you find out that you’ve actually had an interview at an employment agency, which means that you’d have to pay them a percentage of your salary if you land a job as a result of working with them. But the very thought makes you cringe! This happened to me a couple of times right after I graduated from college, and I too had the same reaction. Then, by some sort of strange twist of fate, I ended up working at one of those employment agencies, and I was able to see how they work from the inside. Now that I know what is involved in agency work and given the current economic climate, I think a lot of people might actually be better off using one.
The first thing on everyone’s mind
Before I list the benefits of using an employment agency, I’m going to address the issue that makes everyone uncomfortable: the commission fee. Look, in placing you in a job, coaching you and essentially acting like your agent, employment agencies have offered you a very valuable service. Agency employees have to make a living too, so you can’t expect them not to charge some sort of fee. Acceptable fees and practices vary by state. For instance, employment agencies in New York have fee restrictions based on percentages of the first year’s salary. The regulations in Arizona are different. If you have any doubts or questions, make sure to check what kind of provisions have been set forth by your state’s Department of Labor for both public and private employment agencies. Here’s something else you need to know: there are instances when the company with the open position will cover the agency cost. You see, employment agencies aren’t just for individuals, they have whole companies as clients who will pay for their services. So there is a chance you won’t have to pay anything at all. If that doesn’t work out, there is also the chance that the employer will at least pay part of the fee. The bottom line is that you are entitled to explore your options. If you want the employer to pay the fee, tell the recruiter. Agencies will often partake in negotiations to make all parties involved happy. Now that the controversial stuff is out of the way, here are some of the benefits of using an employment agency:
Companies actually use them
Ever wonder why you can’t find those great jobs you hear about on huge job boards? It’s probably because they are using the services of an employment agency. Nowadays, more and more companies are turning to employment agencies to do initial screenings and interviews, that way they don’t have to sift through countless resumes and interview hundreds of people before they find the right fit. In fact, an April 2011 Staffing Industry Report finds that industry revenue went up 12 percent in 2010. It forecasts that professional staffing revenue will hit $50.6 billion by 2012. What does this mean for you? It means that these agencies actually have clients that could be your next employer.
They have a stake in your success
It’s in an employment agency’s best interest to coach you well for a potential job. Basically, if you look bad, then they look bad. As a result, employment agencies prep you for interviews so that you impress your potential employer. In other words, you’ll never go into an interview blind. These agencies also rework your resumes to fit the jobs you are applying for, a much-appreciated service since many people still don’t know how to write a good resume.
Employment agencies essentially take on the role of your agent. If you have a problem with your placement, need to negotiate benefits, salary, or commissions, or just have general questions, employment agencies will work with you and for you. Again, it’s in their best interest to make sure that both the employee and the employer are satisfied. While employment agencies may not be for everyone, they are a viable option for finding anything from temporary work to permanent employment.
When applying for a job in a competitive hiring environment, it’s important to have every possible advantage, or a hiring manager may never even see your resume. The right education and training, relevant experience and industry certifications are all important. But it sometimes takes much more to land an interview, and ultimately, the job.
More job seekers are using job recruitment agencies to help them navigate the hiring process. Not only does a good agency find you more opportunities with hiring managers, but it can also be a valuable long-term career partner. If you’re considering a recruitment agency, follow these tips to determine whether it’s a good or bad one.
TIPS ON CHOOSING A GOOD RECRUITMENT AGENCY
Many professionals limit their recruitment agency search to those advertising positions of interest. While this isn’t necessarily a mistake – after all, you could get lucky and end up with a great agency – it’s not the best approach.
It’s more important to proceed thoughtfully, and choose a recruitment agency that’s a good fit for you and the career opportunities you seek.
When researching recruitment agencies, you’ll find they have commonalities and differences. The key is to know the good qualities you want and the bad qualities you want to avoid.
QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN A RECRUITMENT AGENCY:
Approachability: Look for agencies that are personable and approachable. They should seem genuinely interested in learning about you as a person, as well as your career goals.
Sales ability: You’ll need your agency to go to bat for you. Therefore, you should look for one with strong sales skills that will accurately represent you to employers, persuade them that you are the right candidate and convince them you deserve an opportunity.
Optimism: It’s not easy looking for a job; you’ll want to team up with a recruitment agency partner that makes it easier for you by being positive and motivating.
Industry expertise: Good agencies understand your industry, the roles they are recruiting for and the needs of employers. They have cultivated strong relationships in either their specialty industry or a variety of areas.
Longevity and turnover: Find out how established the agency is and how long the recruiter you’ll be working with has been there. If they have a high turnover rate, your consultant may not have developed long-term, established relationships with employers. For you, that could mean the difference between getting an interview and being ignored.
Resume help: Good recruitment agencies are experts in resumes and cover letters. They know exactly what employers are looking for. The agency should be able to help you put together a resume and cover letter that stands out and speaks directly to an employer’s needs.
QUALITIES TO AVOID IN A RECRUITMENT AGENCY:
Fees: If the recruitment agency charges you a fee for their services, consider it a huge red flag. Legitimate agencies are paid by the company doing the hiring – not by the candidates they place. Avoid signing any contracts that require you to ever pay a fee, even if they find you a job.
Lack of interest: Some agencies don’t interview individual candidates in person. Or, they may push you toward jobs that are not suitable for you, but pay larger fees to them. Be sure your recruitment consultant always has your best interests at heart.
Overpromising: Keep your guard up when a recruitment consultant promises the moon, such as indicating they can guarantee you a job. Remember that all hiring decisions are made by the employer, not the recruitment agency.
Lack of privacy: Beware of recruitment agencies they send your personal information to employers without your consent. They should always respect your privacy and be completely transparent about where they send your information.
Look for agencies with good reputations that are focused on their candidates and interested in long-term relationships. Avoid agencies that are more interested in making a quick buck, and end contact with candidates once they’ve been placed in a position.
When interviewing with an agency, ask plenty of questions that will help you learn whether they have the qualities you seek or those you wish to avoid. Find which industries they specialize in, if any, what makes them different from the competition and what types of clients they typically work with.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT RECRUITMENT AGENCY AND LAND THE RIGHT JOB
As stated above, no recruitment agency can guarantee you a job. However, choosing the agency that fits you and your career goals is the first step to landing the position you want. Knowing you’re represented by an agency you’re proud of and that can open additional doors will give you a greater feeling of confidence – an advantage you’ll need when you’re job hunting!
The fashion industry is ruthless. It’s a dog eat dog world out there with trends rapidly coming and going from season to season. As a fashion marketing expert, you need to be well prepared and ahead of the game in terms of your branding and marketing if you want to stand any chance of survival. This goes for the already established brands, as well as any emerging start-ups. Just because you might have built up a bit of a name for your fashion brand doesn’t mean that the hard work is over. In fact, every campaign you launch going forward will be watched and scrutinised even more closely, so you can never take your eyes off the prize if you want to be and remain successful.
It’s an exciting industry and one that comes with many challenges due to its high level of competitiveness. One of the best ways to compete in this fast-paced industry is with a great fashion marketing campaign.
Throughout this guide, we’re going to cover some of the top building blocks that make up a successful, high-performing fashion marketing campaign.
9 ways to build the perfect fashion marketing campaign
First things first, you need a website and a pretty good one at that! E-commerce in the fashion industry is huge. In fact, with a global market value of $759.5 billion in 2021, clothing, accessories, and footwear are the number one e-commerce sector in the world. And this figure is expected to grow to +$1.0 trillion by 2025!
While sales in bricks-and-mortar fashion stores were already declining before 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sped this up even further due to the lockdowns that forced stores to remain shut for many months. Online fashion retailers such as Zalando and Boohoo soared during this time, with Boohoo claiming a 45% increase in revenue across all of its fashion brands during the second quarter of 2020.
The opening up of a physical store is an option, however, choosing whether or not to have a website for your fashion brand should not be. Leading consumers back to your website will be the goal of all of your digital marketing efforts. So having a great website that looks amazing, is easy to navigate, up-to-date, well-branded and functional is the key starting point to your fashion marketing campaigns. 2) Great visuals and branding
Having great visuals is necessary for most businesses when it comes to selling their products and services online. However, for clothing, it is especially important if you want your customers to get a good idea of how they might look in your product. Paying for a studio, models, hair, make-up and a professional photographer might seem like a stretch for a new brand on a limited budget, but if the outcome is increased sales and fewer returns then the expense will certainly pay off.
It’s also beneficial to have a clear idea of your brand image in terms of the colours, lighting, tones, models, backdrops used for photography, etc. Keeping everything consistent and on-brand from the get-go will make you look more established and professional. Plus, it will enhance the aesthetic of your website and social media pages too.
3) Mobile presence
With 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and the average time being spent daily on our mobile devices rising to 3 hours and 43 minutes a day, having an app or at least a well-optimised mobile website is a must-have part of your fashion marketing campaigns. A mobile-optimised website resizes content accordingly based on the screen from which it is being viewed. Without this functionality, it’s likely that any potential customer that lands on your site whilst browsing on their mobile device would immediately be put off and go in search of a competitor instead.
Consumers are spending a large portion of their day on their mobile devices, and often it’s as part of their downtime, so in other words, the perfect moment to tempt them into a sale. Gone are the days of having to load up your computer to browse the internet on the desktop. Mobile browsing now makes up 56% of the market share for internet usage. It’s the ideal platform for having a direct line of communication with your customers, whether that’s through push notifications, SMS marketing or email marketing.
Your marketing efforts are going to send prospective customers to your website or mobile app, so you want to make sure that they are well-optimised, functional and provide a great user experience if you want their visit to result in a sale. 4) Social media
As a fashion brand, having a strong social media presence is a must. These platforms are completely free to sign up to and enable you to build up a following, connect with your audience and enhance your relationship with them.
The most popular social channels for fashion brands right now are Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest. Whilst they all have their own unique elements and pros and cons, they are all very heavily focused on imagery and video content. This is your opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and create content that showcases your products in the best possible light. Some of these platforms even allow you to integrate your store so that your customers can browse and purchase items directly from your social media channels.
Giveaways and competitions also work incredibly well on social media. With a decent prize up for grabs, you could get thousands of likes and shares and boost your brand awareness before you’ve even spent a penny on ads.
Using social media, you can help communicate the human side of your brand through things such as live Q&As with the founders and behind-the-scenes footage of product designs, photoshoots, catwalks, etc. Consumers love to see this sort of content, and this is what will help you stand out from your competitors and build trust and loyalty with your audience. It helps to be constantly engaging with your audience through social media also. Reply to comments and respond quickly to any questions as this will help build your brand’s sense of community.
Following on from social media, if you want to see the most success for your social media campaigns then it always pays off to get some influencers on board. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “influencer”, then first of all, where have you been?! But to answer your question, influencers are people within your industry who have a large following on social media and are genuinely good at influencing their followers, hence the term. When they speak, others listen. What they do, others copy. So getting them to speak about and wear your brand is a great way to pique the interest of your target audience, grow your following and ultimately sell your clothing.
It’s important to choose the right influencers for your brand, so be sure to do your homework and make sure that the demographics of their following matches your target audience. Go for the ones that are picky about which brands they chose to advocate for, as they will come across much more genuine than the ones who are simply in it for the money and have ‘AD’ slapped across each and every post on their account.
A key part of your fashion marketing campaign needs to be your emails. And when I say emails, I don’t just mean the occasional promotional email that gets sent out to your entire database. Your email marketing should have a strategy of its own and requires extensive thought and planning if you want to get it right.
Make use of email automation tools, such as Mailchimp or Hubspot, to automate when your emails are sent and to who. Personalisation is key here. Any email received by contacts that exist in your database should be tailored based on their stage in the customer journey as well as catering towards their likes and dislikes. Segment your audience based on their behaviour on your website or mobile app and send them content based on this. For example, if you stock items for men, women and children, and you notice a contact browsing on the children’s pages frequently, then it’s highly likely that they are a parent or guardian, so create email content specific to that in an attempt to capture their attention.
Here are a few more examples of specific email marketing campaigns that you need to have set up for your fashion brand:
Content emails i.e. founder’s story, behind the scenes, a fashion blogger article, etc.
Personalised product recommendations
Abandoned cart emails
Back in stock emails
Post-purchase emails (opportunity to cross-sell, gain referrals, customer reviews, etc.)
Holiday/special events emails
Running a consistent and high-quality fashion blog alongside your website can be great for helping build your website’s SEO and increasing the organic traffic you receive. Having a blog helps establish you as a thought leader in your industry, and will hopefully lead consumers who search for phrases in Google such as “summer trends 2021” onto your site (provided you have optimised well for the chosen keyword).
A great blog is another way of building up brand loyalty and connecting with your audience. You want your website to act as a one-stop shop for your industry. Providing an outlet for your customers to purchase the latest trends is helpful, but you can give your brand an edge by supplying additional useful and informative content when it comes to styling your products.
Take some inspiration from these three great examples:
Digital ads are a crucial part of any fashion marketing campaign. Through the use of Google ads and ads via social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can effectively target your desired audience through keywords and by setting certain criteria based on demographics and behaviour. This ensures that your consumers only see the most relevant products for them.
Across Facebook and Instagram these types of ads work quite effectively for fashion brands:
Carousel ads allow you to display up to 10 images or videos that are part of one advertisement. Each image links off to the product highlighted allowing brands to showcase many items in an attempt to capture the attention of their target audience. You could think of these as mini style guides.
A collection ad includes a cover image or video followed by 4 product images. Once clicked upon, the user gets an instant experience which is a full-screen landing page designed to drive engagement and nurture interest and intent further than the regular sponsored ad.
Another powerful feature of digital advertising that needs to be utilised is remarketing. Remarketing allows you to capture the visitors who have recently paid a visit to your site but perhaps left again without making a purchase. The beauty of remarketing is that you know that this audience has already shown interest in your brand, so your conversion rates for these ads should be higher than a normal ad. Use the likes of carousel remarketing ads to remind consumers of the products they viewed while on your site, or even products that they added to their cart before choosing to abandon it. Providing them with a discount code or free delivery could be all they need for that extra little nudge to return and complete the checkout process.
If a consumer has just come across your brand for the very first time they could be hesitant to purchase unless they can find some real-life reviews from other customers. Give your audience the confidence they need by having customer feedback easily accessible on your website.
Fashion e-commerce royalty ASOS include reviews based on each individual item on the product page itself. This sort of information, based on quality and sizing, is very helpful for customers and will help prevent a high volume of returns for your business too.
Include some content asking for a review into your post-sale marketing messaging, whether that’s in the form of an email or push notification. Perhaps even offer a discount on their next purchase for their time too. If you don’t ask, you generally don’t get. A great review also makes for some ready-made social media content!
The options for how you can stand out and be creative when launching a brand new fashion marketing campaign are endless. By implementing the 9 elements we touched upon throughout this blog, you’ll be well on your way to capturing the attention of your target audience, improving your ROI and making your mark on the fashion world.