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In 2017, Flipkart Fashion took a new approach to market one of its key categories — fashion. The brand began to supplement traditional advertising with content marketing crafted to entertain, engage, inform and meet specific targets for the business.

Also read: Flipkart creates web series with Firstpost to promote ‘India Ka Fashion Capital'

Over the last 20 months, it invested in various programmes in education, inspiration and information; from a 360-degree fashion music video to content for men, the world’s shortest web series and more.

Flipkart Fashion has three very clear goals that they wish to achieve through content: More shoppers, more shopping and improved perception.

More shoppers

With data connectivity soaring in tier II and III markets, and Flipkart’s existing distribution networks, the company saw an opportunity to convert a new wave of digital adopters to commerce adopters. While sales and discounts can entice an existing online shopper, the brand turned to barrier busting to build trust with new customers.

Using a data-backed approach, Flipkart Fashion went where no other brand has ventured and leverage the age-old national passion — TV soaps with a Flipkart twist. The five-part series Bittoo Ki Shaadi told the story of a couple seeking the blessings of their family to get married. Each 3-45 second episode continued the endearing story while landing a strong brand message. 28 million views later, the brand saw VTRs 2x the industry benchmark, substantial movement in brand perception and an 8.4% lift in new customers.

Identifying and enabling the right partners is an integral part of the content marketing journey. To address its female audience, Flipkart partnered with India’s biggest fashion content publisher Glamrs. The association put together a series of videos aimed at helping audience to get the most out of their online shopping experience. Created in multiple regional languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, etc.), the long-format videos were customised for audience segments the brand was speaking to and each one outlined tips and tricks for new shoppers on Flipkart Fashion. A simple idea, executed simply; the project was well-received among audiences who were happy to learn something new and valuable in a familiar language.

More shopping

In order in increase transactions by existing shoppers, Flipkart Fashion kept audiences enticed through always-on engaging and informative content. Even though men form a substantial part of the shopper base, Flipkart found that most fashion content was made for women. Defying the belief that fashion content should be skewed towards female audience, the brand launched Style Hacker with Rohan Joshi, aimed at male audiences. This 10-part web series educated men on everything from occasion-based fashion (weddings, gym-sessions, office, etc.) to category-based interests (footwear, watches, etc.) with the help of comedian and non-fashionista Rohan Joshi.

The results? Content consumption and audience retention hit an all-time high. Not only were men interested in the video they watched, they came back looking for more. Most importantly, men shoppers now had a few more reasons to shop.

Another initiative to increase shopping was inspired by intrigue-building magazine formats. Flipkart Fashion Stories brought together India’s favourite television celebrities and gave users a sneak peek into their lives and fashion choices. Eight celebrities put together detailed interviews, snackable Instagram stories to visually stunning carousels and more. The property took over the users’ mobile phone, and gave users more and more reasons to shop the styles of their favourite celebrities.

Better perception

Flipkart, as a horizontal retailer was known most for electronics and mobile phones. Building an association between the brand and fashion was a task that required breaking the clutter and consistent messaging.

Innovation is an integral part of content marketing. Today’s attention economy requires clutter-breaking formats, valuable content and the ability to scale up. One of the biggest technology innovations undertaken by the brand was India’s first 360 degree fashion music video.

A new and revamped version of the classic ‘Mera Joota Hai Japani’ was sung by popstar and fashion icon Arjun Kanungo, and audiences could use the 360 degree format to explore four different styles for every outfit in the video.

The video skyrocketed. Over 10 million YouTube videos and 2.5x industry completion rates were just the beginning.

To build the association between Flipkart and celebrity fashion, several projects such as Flipkart Fashion Challenge, Celebrity Style with Filmfare and many more keep audiences engaged throughout the year. While building the association, they also created need, thereby being efficient as well as entertaining.

Content marketing is still fairly nascent in the Indian industry. With growing privacy concerns, ever-changing technology and shrinking attention spans, brands such as Flipkart focus on providing high value, easy-to-consume content in a non-invasive manner.