Why fashion brands must be promoted on Russian Telegram

Nowadays, Telegram is the most interesting messenger for advertisers in the Russian-speaking regions. It’s not only a messaging app, but it also introduces the ability to create chat-bots and themed channels – new media. The number of such channels is inexorably growing, and at the same time, the audience of the application also is growing. According to the creator of the platform, Pavel Durov, in the first week of 2021, the monthly audience of Telegram exceeded 500 million active users, and in just a couple of days, the messenger received another 25 million users, including 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from the Middle East and North Africa.

What do channels look like in Telegram? In fact, this is a chat in which only the channel’s administrator (or several administrators) can write. Such messages are sent to all users who are subscribed to the channel, and there can be an unlimited number of them. A Telegram channel is like a public page on Facebook, or a blog, or a news feed. The topics of the channels are very different, the most popular are IT and technology, news, science, education, marketing, and also fashion. 


What are the main features of Telegram?


The main feature of Telegram as a sales platform are focus and engagement: channels have their own topics, which are narrowly focused. This means that the subscribers of the channel are users who are interested in the given topic, show engagement, and loyalty.

An interesting feature is also such a difference between Telegram and Instagram as the optional accompanying the post with a picture. There is no need to attract the followers and their attention by publishing posts with images because the subscriber enters the channel himself to read the post on the topic which is interesting for him.  

Of course, it’s a big plus if your product is information. 

When it comes to ads in Telegram groups, in addition to images, there are also options such as video, GIF-animations, and voice messages. There is also a format of quick video messages – such videos are filmed by analogy to voice messages and are a native way of product/service promotion. 

In Telegram, there is also an option to add hyperlinks, which will be useful to analyze the effectiveness of the campaign. 

Another useful feature of Telegram (kind of innovation) – chats within channels – an easy way to collect feedback.


Why is the fashion industry one of the most promising in Telegram?


In 2020, sales via Telegram have grown significantly, and one of the industries that increased them is the fashion segment – the growth was 47% (from the Admitad report, based on 1.3 million purchases).

Before the Internet, glossy magazines were considered the main advertising channel in the fashion industry. 

What happened in the 2000s? 

The rise of the Internet has been seen as an opportunity to embrace new formats and produce texts and materials more quickly. Influencers finally got an opportunity to publish their opinions without agreeing with the advertising department, as well as quickly get feedback from readers – blogs became popular. The online fashion world has blossomed, become more individualistic and reader-focused.

Nowadays, it is much more important and interesting for readers to get the opinion of an influencer, a professional, than just rumors and obvious facts. Speed ​​and creativity are the main drivers of the fashion industry in the media space

In this regard, Russia does not differ from the European and American markets, but it has its own peculiarities. The internet has democratized the industry and this has an impact on content and of course consumers. First of all the readers are interested in trends, but only a few are interested in watching designers’ shows and monitoring drops, people want to see benchmarks they can rely on. Here we can mention the phenomenon of Meghan Markle – this is the person who literally sells in the world of media gloss because her outfits are simple.

However, behind this lies another problem of the market – classic fashion media, websites about fashion, and celebrities in Russia are classified as the yellow press. What brings the traffic and views? Gossip, intrigue, intimate details, and scandals. Traffic is sales. Such a situation raises a question – how to choose a good quality resource that fits well the brand vision and does not broadcast the endless stories of Kim Kardashian? The answer is “personal media”. Nowadays in the Russian segment, it’s Telegram.

Many channels today are full-fledged editions with teams of several people. Moreover, such channels reflect the true opinions of professionals. Such channels are not just news about the new dresses of, let’s say, princess but keep up with the times, and make memes and fashion jokes, analytics and comparisons. This is what the classic glossy magazines cannot afford, but it is also what attracts the consumer. In Telegram, it is enough just to publish news or comments during the day, give a link, and immediately receive feedback. These channels have their own narrow topics and attract the target audience.


Let’s see the examples of such channels:
  • Good morning, Karl!. We can say that this is the most powerful and stylish channel about fashion. It’s owned by Katya Fedorova, ex-director of the online magazine The Blueprint, former editor of Vogue, Grazia, and Interview. There are news, analytics, and a bit of humor in this channel.
  • Golden Chihuahua. This channel is more about young brands, fashion campaigns, and look books. There is also a lot of humor and memes. The author of this channel is Sasha Amato, a fashion journalist.
  • shoes&drinks. This channel is hosted by designer Elizaveta Buinova, who worked at Proenza Schouler, A.F. Vandevorst, and now works with the accessories at Ann Demeulemeester. The channel is dedicated to fashion backstage – the work of factories and sewing technologies, as well as the details of the show preparation process.
  • The Imposter. This channel is hosted by GQ fashion editor Alla Anatsko. She writes “about how women use men’s clothes in their outfits.” Here are archival fashion shoots and young brands.
  • Кинокостюм для чайников. The channel of costume designer, film costume historian Anna Bashtova. Quite a narrowly focused, but very interesting blog about movie costumes, styles in films, and actors.
  • ANTIHIPSTASWAG. A channel with simple and stylish content – examples of street styles and look books of street brands, as well as analytical articles and personal, independent opinion of the author.
  • ритейл головного мозга. Channel dedicated to online retail – Russian and foreign online stores, sales, and promo codes. Also, the author often shares own observations about modern fashion.

This is only a small part of Telegram channels about fashion, but even on the example of these channels, it is clear how developed is this industry in the messenger, how great the variety of topics, and also what kind of people are behind it all. 


What ad formats can be used in Telegram channels?

Ad formats in Telegram channels can be of two types:

  • direct link or direct ads. This is fair enough in relation to the subscribers, and also it is a personal choice of the channel authors, which allows establishing contact with the audience and getting loyal subscribers.
  • native ads. Of course, the best ad is the one that looks native and sincere. When it comes to such types of ads, it works the same as on other platforms. Everything here works such as on other platforms.

It is very important to adapt the website that will be promoted to mobile devices due to the fact that the main users’ activity comes from smartphones.


What are the pros and cons of working in Telegram?

So, we have already outlined the main advantages of Telegram: narrow channels’ topics, engagement, target users. It is also worth mentioning the cost of ad publication in Telegram. For example, if a blogger has a YouTube channel with, let’s say, 500 thousand subscribers and a telegram channel with 50 thousand subscribers, then the price of placing ads on Telegram will be several times cheaper. At the same time, on both platforms, ads will reach 50 thousand active and engaged target users who follow a specific person and his opinion. 

There are also some disadvantages of promoting in Telegram. For example, the app does not provide user statistics – GEO, gender, age. The advertiser can only focus on users’ interests. Extended statistics are provided by the channel owner and include the number of subscribers, subscribers growth, total reach, the reach of one post, ERR (reach-to-subscriber ratio), citation index (ratio of mentions and reposts to the number of publications on the channel). However, whether this is such a big disadvantage is the decision you have to make.


Is Telegram a good choice for fashion advertising?

In our opinion, the fashion industry in Telegram is represented very widely and on a large scale and can compete with full-fledged media publications. Considering the pros and cons of promoting in Telegram, we can say that this is your sales channel if you have a goal to get into the core of the audience, to hook and convey the goal, and also, if you are ready to be honest enough, because the personal opinion of the channel authors is not for sale. For the rest, any brand will find its channel, topic, and direction in Telegram. The main thing is to take a step forward.

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