African fashion has taken the world by storm as the Ankara fabric is a fashion statement not just in Nigeria but amongst global fashion and style icons.
A brief history of the Ankara fabric. Did you know Ankara did not originate from Nigeria like many people think? This African fabric was formerly known as the Dutch wax print. It was originally manufactured by the Dutch for the Indonesian textile market. But, by mistake or design, these prints garnered significantly more interest in West African than in Indonesia. On recognizing this, the Dutch decided to focus on West Africa and each print began to reflect the African
If you aren’t already knowing fashion designs, now is the time to start. Today we’ll share with you our African Nigerian handmade product this marketing method is a perfect fit for your store, how you can get your own blog up and running, and some tips to keep in mind as you create your content.
Let’s get started!
Why Handmade Nigerian Product
We’ve explained before why content marketing is a natural fit for some industries and businesses. It’s seen as more authentic than many other marketing methods, and can have huge benefits for your ranking in search engines, too. But let’s take a look at how producing content can benefit a clothing or fashion store specifically.
Fashion is one of the most popular topics for bloggers to write about. A high number of individuals use their blogs to share fashion tips, ideas for outfits, makeup tutorials, and other relevant topics.
The reason this industry is so popular among bloggers is because the audience is enormous. And both readers and bloggers themselves are always looking for new sources of inspiration. That’s where you come in: your brand’s blog can be a new source of inspiration,
With that inspiration comes an affinity toward your business for making helpful recommendations or educating fellow fashion enthusiasts. As you gain the trust of your readers, they’ll be more likely to feel comfortable buying the products you suggest (that is, you own) or engaging with you online.
Let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind as you start a blog for your own business.
Your blog should be an extension of your brand — style, voice, products & all
When you created your online store, it’s likely that you (whether you realized it or not) adapted a specific style and set of standards for everything you produced.
Take a look at a few of your product pages. You should be seeing consistencies between them — the same voice in your copywriting, similar styles of photos used for each product, and the same design throughout, thanks to your store’s theme.
These same consistencies should also make their way to the blog you create. Think of this addition as an extension of your brand. Like any other extension you might add, from a new product to a FAQ page, you would use care and caution to ensure things have the right brand “fit.”
This might play out in a few ways, such as:
- Using the same or a very similar theme on your store and blog — this is easy as long as you don’t set up your blog on a separate host or third party service (ex. Tumblr, Medium)
- Producing an internal guide to blogging that can be used to help those writing your posts know what kind of tone, formatting, or even specific words to use/avoid — this will keep your brand’s “voice” consistent throughout
- Having employees that customers know and trust produce the blog posts (ex. the owner, the head of social media…) instead of hired copywriters
- Not accepting guest contributions from others unless they meet your standards, tell a customer’s story, or link to a truly valuable resource that you would have shared yourself
- Using existing product photos or website photography in your blog posts as opposed to adding stock photos that don’t match your actual product selection or have any meaning
Ankara Handmade Nigeria Designers
Folake Folarin-Coker is the founder of Tiffany Amber, a world-famous iconic label whose journey began in Lagos in 1998. Born in Lagos, she did her schooling in Europe (England, Scotland and Switzerland), where she got an opportunity to interact and engage with various cultures while still at a young age. Interestingly, she has a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Law from Switzerland, but as fate would have it, her insatiable passion for fashion led her into fashion design. Her curiosity for cultures steered her love and interest to focus on unique fashion designs that appeal to women of various tastes and preferences.
Folake’s tasteful and colorful creations have earned her global recognition, making her the first African fashion designer to showcase her talent at the New York Mercedes Fashion Week two years in a row. She has also been widely featured by International media houses such as CNN, and in 2013, she received an Enterprise Award at WIE (Women, Inspiration and Enterprise) Symposium. In addition, she has made it onto the Forbes Power Women in Africa list.
She has been instrumental in making the Nigerian fashion industry shine. “Now, Nigerian fashion has a personality of its own. There are so many amazing designers in Nigeria doing such great things. If you mention a designer, someone would likely know who you were talking about. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case. Lagos was more of a tailoring city back then as opposed to the designing city it has become,” Folarin-Coker said.
One thing to keep in mind, however: the posts you create should always have some kind of relation to your business. If you sell men’s suits, blogging about men’s formal wear makes sense. Even
Look for opportunities to recommend your own products
If you’re writing about topics relevant to your business, it will probably feel natural to recommend your own products or services over the course of a blog post. This isn’t something you should necessarily do frequently, but making reference to what you have to offer usually isn’t unexpected.
The key is to strike a careful balance between pushing your products too hard and recommending them because they fit the needs of your readers. If you’re talking about new nail polish colors for fall and you’ve got one of those beautiful shades, bring it up! But don’t turn what should be a post about color trends into a full-fledged sales pitch.
If you’re using WooCommerce, you can easily embed one or more of your store’s products in any blog post with a shortcode. You can find the shortcodes to use for either a single or multiple product embed right here.
Connect and collaborate with your community to further promote growth
As we alluded to earlier, fashion businesses and individual bloggers often find success because the community is so large and active. If you want to take your efforts to the next level, you can tap into this active community to grow your brand even further.
There are quite a few ways you can collaborate with other fashion businesses, bloggers, and influencers, including:
- Sponsoring giveaways, contests, or other promotions
- Offering free products to influencers who may agree to review them, show them off in a photo, or offer styling tips with them in a photo
- Contacting bloggers to write posts for you
- Conversely, offering to write posts for other blogs
- Collaborating with other businesses to work together on a joint promotion, like a giveaway of multiple products from different stores
London-based, Nigerian born, Duro Olowu, shares both Nigerian and Jamaican roots and is a household name in both the Nigerian and global fashion industry. He is, undoubtedly, a well-respected Nigerian fashion design personality, famous for his unique and colorful African prints. He’s super talented in working with patterns, and his designs incorporate the rich culture, spirit, and diversity of the Nigerian people.
His interest in fashion began when he was only six years old and went on throughout his childhood. Olowu’s talent has earned him global fame and recognition with top clients to his name such as Michelle Obama, Solange Knowles, Uma Thurman, and Linda Evangelista, among others.
Despite being a lawyer by profession, fashion was Olowu’s first love. During his career, he has bagged numerous awards further raising his profile in the global fashion industry. In 2005, he was the first designer to be named New Designer of the Year at London Fashion Week without staging a catwalk show.
At the African Fashion Awards in 2009, he was named the Best International Designer and was one of the six nominees for the Swiss Textile Federation’s top prize of 100,000 Euros. Both British and American Vogue in 2005 named his waist patchwork “Duro,” as the “Dress of the Year.” One of Olowu’s famous quotes is, “My job is not dictating to women what they should wear; it is presenting them with beautiful options.”
A few final tips for your new blog
We’ll leave you with a few final things to keep in mind as you plan your content production efforts, whether you’re a small business selling nail polish or a larger company specializing in men’s suits:
- Consistency is a must. It’s better to post once every week than eight times at the start of the month, then never again. Search engines also slightly favor websites with freshly updated content, so that’s something to keep in mind.
- Quality is crucial. Even if you have no choice but to outsource your posts or hire a copywriter, remember that this blog is a reflection of the brand you’ve worked hard to build. Don’t settle for poor quality just to get something posted.
- Promote your posts! Once your posts are published, remember to include them in posts on social media, in your emails, and so on. Readers won’t just show up automatically — it takes work to get them to you, whether they’re existing customers or brand new readers.
Helpful and entertaining blog posts can add fuel to your fashion brand’s marketing fire
Blogging isn’t just a way to entertain your customers: it’s a way to connect with new shoppers, spread the word about your brand, and promote your business in a way that’s more authentic and often better received than other methods.
By producing helpful, educational, and relevant blog posts, you’ll be able to light a fire under your fashion brand like never before. Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you!