2022 was an eventful year for our award-winning, female-led boutique agency! The SLT Consulting team charged ahead into the year, eager to embrace new strategies and take on client projects with fresh perspectives informed by rising E-commerce trends. All the experiences we’ve gained this year are far too valuable to leave behind in 2022. So we distilled everything we've learned this year from working on award-winning campaigns with DTC brands into four essential marketing lessons we're excited to apply in 2023.
Use micro-influencers and UGC to engage your target audience
Influencer marketing gained traction in 2022, and our team of experts predicts it will continue to flourish in 2023. 89% of brands who are already investing in influencer marketing will continue or increase their budgets in the coming year. Furthermore, 17% of marketers have plans to experiment with influencer marketing next year. A common misconception about influencer marketing is that it requires a large upfront investment to get started. In truth, most brands that partake in influencer marketing partner with micro or nano-influencers as they are more cost-effective than macro influencers within their niche (think celebrity influencers like the Kardashians). Despite their smaller following, micro and nano-influencers reach a more targeted audience with their content, usually resulting in higher levels of engagement on promoted posts.
And for the SLTC team, the proof is in the pudding. This year, RALLY's influencer marketing efforts went beyond skin deep. The skincare brand leveraged UGC to showcase its best-selling 1-2-3 Pack and demonstrate the results to potential consumers. Another SLTC client, Tequila de la Gente, the world’s first crowdsourced tequila, used UGC to showcase brand authenticity, reveal a playful side of their brand, and speak to their target audience in their language.
Leverage analytics to create powerful DOOH campaigns
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) marketing is on the rise due to consumers spending more time outside without their devices, a behavioral trend mostly driven by the pandemic. For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, DOOH is a cost-effective way to enhance brand awareness, drive website or landing page traffic, and provide marketers with detailed insights into what's working and what's not. This dynamic reporting feature allows DTC brands to hit the brakes on an underperforming campaign or swap out creative to showcase a new offer or limited-time promotion.
When executed with careful thought and precision, DOOH campaigns can yield powerful results for DTC brands. At best, DOOH advertising can increase online engagement via social media and search at four times the expected rate compared to relative ad spend in those channels. Leveraging the power of DOOH, our DTC clients Yaasa and Luelle engaged consumers through interactive content that resulted in higher brand engagements and online activations through mobile devices.
Lean into storytelling to inspire your audience
A compelling brand story connects consumers with your company. An effective brand story creates an emotional connection between your brand and customers. The fashion industry is no exception to this rule. Storytelling elements are woven into every facet of a fashion brand’s identity, from design to branding to merchandising.
Even in 2021, the fashion sector was still reeling from the impact of COVID-19. A decline in mall traffic coupled with canceled in-person events hurt every sector of this vast industry. As 2020 came to a close, Betsy & Adam, a fashion brand specializing in nightlife and gowns for special occasions, approached SLTC with a $10,000 budget, a 3-month timeline, and a challenge for Q1 of 2021: “Increase web sessions, sales, basket value – and quick!”
Our messaging needed to challenge the notion that celebrations were over, or at least muted, and that “dress-up” was on hold for 2021. So we centered our messaging around celebrating any occasion, for any reason. View the results from the full campaign here that won us a Shorty Award!
Employ social media messaging to enhance customer relationships
In the wake of the pandemic, the rapid global adoption of digital connectivity, networking, work, and commerce made customers more eager than ever to interact with brands through their social media channels. Utilizing social media as a customer service tool is not a new concept, but thanks to the pandemic, this shift in consumer behavior is quickly gaining momentum. So much so, more than a quarter of brands employ direct messages (DM's) as a customer service channel, and 15% of brands plan to integrate support options and chatbots into their social media strategy in 2023.
With the two biggest social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram – focused on building out in-platform e-commerce tools for businesses in 2023, brands are wise to take advantage of this trend. And if your brand caters to a younger crowd, offering direct lines of communication with your customer through social media is especially important. According to a 2022 Consumer Trends Survey by Hubspot, 20% of Gen Z consumers and 25% of Millennial consumers have reached out to a brand on social media for customer support in the past three months.
At SLT Consulting, we're looking forward to our best year yet, and we hope you are too! If you’re ready to take your marketing strategy from fragmented to focused, then we need to talk! Contact our team today and discover the benefits of joining forces with an award-winning, boutique digital marketing agency that will skyrocket your brand into the new year and beyond.