US fashion brand Kate Spade has wholeheartedly embraced video content in the past few years.

While some treat social as a customer service vehicle or a secondary marketing tool, the retailer sees social as the key to success, creating an entertainment-driven strategy to drive engagement and increase sales across the globe.

There’s a lot we can learn from it, so let’s dive in.

1. Be channel-specific

Kate Spade doesn’t take a blanket approach to social media. Instead of creating content and rolling it out across all channels, the brand recognises that each platform is different (and so too is the type of content that consumers want to find there).

YouTube is a heavy focus for Kate Spade, with content designed to align with its ‘lean-back’ viewing experience. It recognises that YouTube is a place where people go and specifically search for content (typically for entertainment or educational purposes), and so uses it as a place for serialised and long-form videos. 

This is different to the brand’s presence on Facebook, where super-short videos are a bigger focus. And this is because users are more likely to discover and click on content by chance as they browse and scroll through their feed. 

2. Don’t try to do it all

Alongside creating a channel-specific strategy, Kate Spade has also recognised that not all social media platforms are right for every brand, and consequently, might not be worth as much investment. While the brand does have a Twitter account, for example, it is less of a priority.

Again, this is largely due to the brand’s focus on lean-back entertainment rather than real-time content or customer service. As a result, it is reserved for announcements or used as a distribution channel rather than for bespoke content.

Snapchat is another channel of lesser importance, most likely due to the nature of ephemeral content and the value it provides. Though it can be hugely effective for engaging users, the type of content that succeeds on Snapchat tends to be more raw and undiluted, which is not necessarily aligned with Kate Spade’s more polished and ‘luxury’ image.

3. Capitalise on search

When it comes to creating a content strategy, it’s easy for brands to focus on broad factors like demographics or customer personas and use it to inform content. Instead of relying on this, Kate Spade also delves into search data to find out the specific terms that its target audience are searching for on social media. 

It has then created content built around this, capitalising on search interest and drawing viewers into its channel organically.

One example of success is its ‘Make Yourself a Home’ series on YouTube, which feeds in to viewer’s interest in home décor and interior design tips.

4. Take note from TV

While there is often a commerce-element to Kate Spade’s content – with its ‘Miss Adventure’ series including shoppable links – the brand does not treat videos like ads or even standard social media content. Instead, it takes a TV-like approach, launching new seasons much like traditional television shows, by taking out ads in print publications as well as launching teasers and trailers on US TV networks.

This helps to build awareness and anticipation of the series in the run-up to its release. Meanwhile, the content itself feels very much like a television show, with the brand enlisting actresses from popular TV shows and films including Anna Kendrick and Kat Dennings. 

5. Use content to communicate values

While the actors featured in Kate Spade’s Miss Adventure series are well-known, they are not necessarily the biggest or most influential stars. However, they are a good fit with Kate Spade and its style of ‘affordable luxury’, maintaining a more down-to-earth and less designer-led image.

This is another key part of Kate Spade’s strategy, as the brand always ensures that the content it creates conveys the brand’s unique positioning and values.   

Its recent video campaign for its ‘In Full Bloom’ fragrance is another example, with the brand taking on a more inspirational tone. It features actresses from three different generations - Tavi Gevinson, Sasheer Zamata, and Laura Dern – each describing what a ‘love letter’ to themselves would say.

This feeds in to the brand's aim of targeting based on 'psychograohic' rather than demographic, i.e. the lifestyle, values, and attitudes of its core consumer.

6. Make it interactive

One way Kate Spade ensures viewer engagement doesn’t stop when the video ends is by including interactive elements.

Most videos include links to products, as well as to further content or the main Kate Spade site. This increases the chances of viewers further engaging with the brand, and theoretically going on to purchase.

The brand continues this tactic on Facebook, particularly when it comes to Facebook Live. Its ‘Shop It Live Experience’ acts a reveal of its new season collection, as well as giving viewers the chance to shop there and then. This also creates a sense of exclusivity, instilling the idea that viewers are seeing or getting their hands on something before others.

In conclusion….

With its channel-specific strategy, Kate Spade proves that social media shouldn’t be treated as a case of one-size-fits-all.

By delving into data and aligning its own values with those of its audience, it continues to create video content that is both original and highly engaging. Fashion brands should take heed.

Related reading:

Nikki Gilliland

Published 16 March, 2018 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Kristine McPherson, Founder at F.A.M.U.S., LLC

Love this article. Thanks for sharing. It is really important for brands to diversify the content they use across different platforms. Not only does it help to keep users engaged, but if they can receive the same content everywhere, they would have no need to be following the brand on different platforms.

4 months ago

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