Small scale fashion and beauty businesses cannot match the marketing funds doled out by large brands. However, these small scale businesspeople enjoy the benefits of digital marketing through various free marketing platforms. If you are stuck looking for free avenues online, here are five easy ways to get publicity for your brand.
1. Use the tag feature on Facebook
When you post on your Facebook page, tag your personal account and your friends. For example, if you have 100 Facebook friends, and five of these friends who believe in your business and encourage you to soldier on have 100 friends each, when you use the tag option, each post will reach the people who’ve liked your page and about 600 people more. However, your friends must enable the tag option in their accounts first or the tag will not display content on their timeline.
In addition, use the tag option when a celebrity visits your store and agrees to have you post about his/her visit on your page. Make sure to use @ symbol plus the Facebook name of the celebrity within the post. For example, to tag The Fashion Parlour, write @thefashionparlour.
2. Utilise Twitter hashtags wisely
Twitter in Kenya is another world altogether. If you have a business account on Twitter, take advantage of hashtags to promote your brand. Hashtags are a set of words or a single word preceded by a #. You must have come across hashtags like #EyeWitnessChallenge and #RIPBishopKorir.
There are two ways to use hashtags to promote your brand. One, create hashtags around the business goals or brand name. Some examples of brand hashtags are #AMLiveNTV, #K24Alfajiri, #ChurchillShow and #CokeStudioAfrica. Second, use existing hashtags and trend on the matter. In the first instance, create a hashtag and encourage your followers to use it when referring to your brand. If you wish to ride on the success of an existing trend, execute the campaign seamlessly.
3. Offer opinion on current affairs
Participate in forums online and in traditional media affecting your industry. First, gather news events in your industry, and see where your opinion matters. For example, if a new tax policy may affect your industry, give your opinion in discussion panels on TV shows.
Connect with media personalities who focus on your industry because they are always looking for experts to comment on trending topics. If public speaking is not ideal for you, write a blog post analysing or criticising the matter and invite your audience to share the post.
4. Post in marketplaces and groups
Advertise your products and services through groups and marketplaces on Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram. On Facebook, join various marketplaces whose members fit your target audience, using your personal account. However, some groups do not offer free advertising.
5. Post on classifieds websites
The number of classified ads websites in Kenya is increasing. The most popular are JiJi, Zetu and PigiaMe. Jiji has quite a number of categories suitable for a fashion business in Kenya. When you click Sell your Item, under the Fashion and Beauty category, the options are Clothing & Shoes, Health & Beauty, Watches, Jewellery & Accessories, and Babies & Kids
Publicity is important in marketing because it builds brand awareness. Businesspeople often ignore it thinking that for every cent spent in marketing, there should be conversion. Nevertheless, publicity prepares the ground for persuasion.