Content brand of the week: ASOS, the dedicated, ‘always on’ followers of fashion

Well, if the shoe fits…

ASOS certainly wears its content colours with pride. Blurring the lines between fashion magazine and retailer, content is as much a part of its business as the clothes it sells.

A brand that sees itself as a publisher? That’s in vogue lately.

It’s an encouraging trend. You only have to look at the homepage of the ASOS website to see how invested the brand is to this approach – content is proudly on display, rather than being confined to a blog or hidden in some dark corner of the site like an embarrassing old sweater.

screenshot of asos homepage

And how does the content measure up?

Well, the site is certainly packed with fashion tips and advice. The Daily Edit showcases the clothing du jour, as chosen by ASOS’ style experts and editors. It also features plenty of collections put together from the latest trends, as well as themes such as ‘retro 1950s style’. Bloggers are recruited to help too, allowing ASOS to show off its contacts with the wider fashion community.

Stylish and popular? I think I’m a little jealous.

ASOS certainly is popular – it has half a million followers on Twitter, two million on Facebook, three million on Google Plus…

I didn’t even know two million people had Google Plus!

Google Plus may get forgotten by many brands, but it can be a valuable tool. There’s a definite correlation between +1’s and Google search rankings for a start. For ASOS, which has its sights set firmly on 20-somethings, it’s also a great opportunity for some targeted marketing, since 58% of Google Plus users are aged 18-34 and only 7% are over 55. This leaves ASOS free to connect with its younger audience without worrying what their parents will think. For a brand focused on style, Google Plus’ wider, triple-column feed and animated images allow the retailer to show off a bit more than on other channels too. Google Plus is also one of few social networks that skews male in its demographic, a statistic that ASOS is clearly aware of, as it alters the content it posts to reflect the higher levels of testosterone in its audience.

alternative google plus

ASOS has a strategy in place for every channel. Impressive. I don’t see a lot of comments though.

True. Google Plus isn’t currently a great way for brands to have a conversation with their customers. Luckily ASOS’ Facebook page has this covered – the comments provide visible customer contact that’s available  round the clock. Named representatives write out replies with personality, so there’s less of a call centre vibe. Reflecting perfectly the ‘always on‘ mindset of its Gen C consumers.

asos online customer service and reputation management through facebook

Customer service that’s made-to-measure?

You could say that.

I think I just did – so what else have they got planned?

I’m glad you asked. They have just launched an innovative new crowd-sourced content channel, As Seen On Me.

asos as seen on me photo feed

“Me”? Is this some hip new TV streaming service I don’t know about?

No, dummy, that’s what the new ASOS channel is called. It’s where ASOS asks people to upload photos of themselves wearing its products to a live image feed. All the products being worn in the photo are linked to a product page where the items can be purchased. Not only does this allow the brand to crowd-source free content and publicise its happy customers, it also builds a connection to the ASOS brand with those uploading photos too.

example of asos as seen on me shoppable content

Is this going to be a new trend for social content?

Well, the photos are sourced from Instagram using a system created by a company called Olapic. There are a few other brands using the platform, but expect to see more of this sort of functionality as other fashion brands jump on the bandwagon. In this case, ASOS is very much the leader of the pack.

Trés chic!

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