Native articles, like fashion-focused posts “Tombabe Style” and “Rule the Pool,” as well as interviews with celebrities like Azealia Banks, appear on the company’s homepage alongside new product arrivals, whereas other retailers tend to keep their content — blog posts, photo essays, video – under a separate domain.
The prominent place on the site reflects the role of content in the brand’s strategy: Asos has been publishing native content since it launched the Asos Magazine, available both online and in print, in 2006, before it became the norm for brands to run blogs on the side.
The dedication to content has paid off. Today, Asos is able to write fashion and style articles, as well as take part in conversations across its social media channels with easy authenticity, avoiding the whiff of heavy promotion that surrounds other brands’ handles.
“Asos Magazine is a credible fashion and lifestyle magazine, and the brand’s online content continues to be
authoritative and full of personality,” said Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the innovation group at J. Walter Thompson. “The thing that sets them apart is the execution. It feels like a credible magazine; it has a tone of voice; it’s not too heavily branded and features tons of culture.”
“We want to be more than just a shop,” said Asos’ head of commercial, Kate Whitelock. “We want to offer great products to our customers but also inspire them with content across lots of different verticals — fashion and beauty, as well as entertainment and lifestyle.”
In order to remain in touch with what its customer is talking about both on and offline, Asos regularly convenes a rotating millennial focus group so it can pick the brains of its key demographic.
Most recently, Asos stepped into new territory by partnering with Google Play Music. The brands collaborated on “Soundtrack Your Summer,” a group of playlists inspired by staple summer events — music festivals, pool parties, beach days — complemented by shoppable Asos product collections for men and women.
Google Play launched its free radio streaming service this June and has since been working with digital agency Essence to pick brands to partner with.
On social media, the Asos approach is to mimic millennial behavior on each channel, focusing less on product promotion. According to Whitelock, Asos’ Instagram is led by fashion content, Twitter and Facebook are for sharing entertainment and lifestyle news, and Tumblr is a celebrity-riddled stream of photos meant for style inspiration. On Periscope, which Whitelock called a “test and see” space, videos of Asos events and red carpets have gotten traction.
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