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Yuli ZivFounder and CEOStyle Coalition
As founder and CEO of fashion and beauty influencer network Style Coalition, Yuli Ziv thinks, speaks and writes about the convergence of fashion, technology and social media. Ziv spoke to eMarketer’s Lauren McKay about witnessing the fashion industry’s move toward wholeheartedly embracing digital media. Online video is one area fashion is adopting—because of its ability to capture the visual aspects of the industry but also as a way to engage with shoppers on a deeper level.
eMarketer: In what ways have you seen the fashion industry flock to online video? And how has it changed in recent years?
Yuli Ziv: Video is a great medium for fashion brands because it allows them to bring their creations to life. It’s an entertaining format that could include many different lifestyle elements, and provide a fuller picture of the brand message.
Online video started more along the lines of commercials, but now we’re noticing that brands are actually producing videos specifically for the web with the notions of [their becoming viral] and social sharing in mind.
The range in types of videos is pretty wide—some are promotional, some are purely artistic and have that cinematographic quality. There are the Cartiers of the world that spend millions of dollars to bring in leading directors for their videos. On the other end of the spectrum, we see brands doing more video with a user-generated feel. We’ve actually seen brands more willing to experiment in that medium because they’re not afraid of opening up their brand message.
eMarketer: How can brands ensure their online video content will be engaging?
Ziv: Oh, that’s a big question. You can’t just expect that a video will automatically be more engaging just because it’s a moving image. You have to think about what you want the viewer to do. What action do you want them to make after they watch it? Most [marketers] don’t bother to ask this question.
We’ve seen a lot of videos that are beautifully produced, but I don’t know if the brands even have an agenda in mind or ask if it’s going to be engaging or not. We’re still in that stage when fashion brands think that the visuals and the creative side are important enough.
Only up until a few years ago, for most fashion brands, their marketing strategy was based around print, and the only goal was to be pretty. There were no engagement metrics to attach to it. There was no call to action. You would just see a pretty image and a little logo in the corner, and the brand hoped that would create sales. And for a long time it did create sales. But today, online, there is much more actionable media. That transition is still challenging for many brands. How do we go from a static, print, beautiful advertorial page to an engaging, interactive online message?
eMarketer: What else is holding fashion brands back?
Ziv: Today they’re challenged to constantly produce content, whether it’s for their Facebook page or their own website. Video has become a great tool to add to the variety of formats that they communicate and include their message in. The challenge is for each brand to identify where they fit in that scale of video production, and being comfortable with that. A lot of fashion brands don’t have huge budgets, but not being able to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a video isn’t necessarily going to hurt you.
I advise clients that they can still invest a small amount and see high returns from the video. It might not look as polished, but it can be effective in communicating your message. Fashion brands need to get over the thought that if they can’t afford to do video on the higher end that they shouldn’t do it at all. It’s no longer about this glossy filling—it’s about your message. So I think once they get over that, we’ll see more experimentation.
A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer Total Access clients only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Total Access client, click here.
Check out today’s other articles, “Online Hispanics Make Time for Social Networks” and “TV Programs Rule Online Video Viewing in Australia.”
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