Influencer Marketing is becoming a key strategy for majority of brands today including those in the fashion industry. Throughout the years, more and more fashion brands have aligned themselves with key opinion leaders (KOL).
Take for example the case of Nike, the world’s leader in manufacturing and supplying athletic wear and sports equipment: when they wanted to promote their new Air Vapormax series, they worked with several influencers including the Youtube channel ‘What’s Inside’ owned by father and son duo. They produced a series of videos, but one that stood out the most was the ‘What’s inside Nike Air VaporMax?’ video wherein they cut the Nike shoes in half to show what’s inside and it sparked curiosity among people—it went viral and received more than 4.4 million views. Because of that, the campaign was a success as they were able generate buzz for the product and consumers started to buy. Nike has proved that by transforming your marketing strategy to meet the digital age, you will attain optimal results.
You might ask: is it also possible for small brands to succeed in influencer marketing? The answer is yes! With the advent of social media, it’s a lot easier to build your presence. But half the battle of building your presence is having your audience engaged—and influencer marketing can be that key that can help you open the door to success!
Influencers definitely changed the face of fashion—forever. And there are numerous influencer marketing trends that are transforming the industry. To know more about them, read on:
1) Instagram Influencer Marketing
According to experts, Instagram is more than twice as popular as any other channel because 36 percent of professionals prefer this platform when developing campaigns. A user’s follower growth and interaction between people are both highest on the platform. As per a survey, 91.9% of 150,000 influencers chose Instagram as their number one platform.
You might be wondering: how come Facebook, considering it has over 2 billion users all around the globe, is not giving the same impact as Instagram—well, it’s because teens and young adults are departing the social network. “Facebook has a teen problem. This latest forecast indicates that it is more than just a theory. Until now it has been able to rely on platform shifters being hoovered up by Instagram.” says Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer. The reality is Facebook is now losing its grip on young people, and the older generation are the ones filling up the spaces left. Another thing—the more parents and grandparents sign up on the platform, the more the young people are convinced to leave. At the same time, they crave scroll-stopping contents and visuals. According to a recent study by Arkadium, 82% of millennials return to sites that regularly use visuals, and Instagram lives up to that.
“Facebook has a teen problem. This latest forecast indicates that it is more than just a theory. Until now it has been able to rely on platform shifters being hoovered up by Instagram.”
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the major shift in where influencer marketing is performed. It started mostly in blogs where lifestyle and fashion bloggers first launched their careers, but now it’s all about Instagram. In the present day, fashion is considered one of the biggest industries on Instagram. Consumers today crave real and authentic forms of content—they spend most of their time using the platform to search for the latest fashion trends, and brands together with influencers are taking advantage of it by showcasing well-curated photos that would attract consumers.
Instagram has truly opened the door for a modern type of marketing. It continues to revolutionize sales and it’s only right to keep up.
2) The Major Shift in Launching New Garments
(photo source: fashiontoast)
Not a long time ago, fashion brands would invest on conventional ways everytime they would release a new collection—celebrities, models and known personalities are invited to grace magazine covers, billboards, tv ads and even walk for massive fashion shows wearing new pieces of clothes. The efforts seemed to be effective, but as technology rises, fresh marketing tactics were born. Most of the old ways are still being practiced today, but after realizing how laborious it was to use traditional procedures in promoting new releases, majority of brands went full-on digital and started working with influencers. Retail stores become more like a ‘marketing channel’ to see the clothes rather than a sales-generating channel. According to the latest statistics, 75% of global fashion brands now actively use social influencers in their marketing strategy.
“Retail stores become more like a ‘marketing channel’ to see the clothes rather than a sales-generating channel”
H&M, one of the leading apparel brands in the world, is known for their bold and infectious campaigns. At this year’s Coachella, H&M took selfies to the next level by launching an interactive photo booth. Attendees wearing H&M clothes can take photos and videos and share them online—something they would totally enjoy. “This marketing tactic is quite smart. They are tapping into a critical insight and understanding their audience and providing them what they want.” said Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis. Aside from that, the main purpose of the campaign is to also generate awareness about garment recycling and water conservation efforts. Just recently, H&M released their first LGBTQ-themed collection as a celebration for the upcoming pride month in June. Influencers from different fields were chosen to promote 70s-inspired clothes for the ‘Pride Out Loud’ campaign.
Throughout the years, key opinion leaders have put the fashion industry on a pedestal: back then, media companies and in-house stylists are the ones predicting fashion trends. Nowadays, influencers are the ones who help get the community engaged with new collections. But not only that, influencer marketing is also being used as a way to spread awareness on paramount issues and causes we should all be talking about.
The future is definitely bright for the fashion industry, don’t get left behind.
3) Celebrity Endorsements—Is It Here To Stay?
In any kind of marketing strategy, it’s important to always aim for quality over quantity. We can apply this on influencer marketing.
Fashion brands no longer care about how famous a particular person is. Majority of them don’t tap big celebrities anymore because apart from the expensive cost, they are also not as influential as they used to be. We all know celebrities are valued for the high level of exposure they can provide, but they’re not credible enough to get the trust of consumers. Apart from that, their image has a huge impact as one wrong move could hurt the brand’s sales. One example is when Tiger Woods image went on the rocks in 2009 after his infidelity with a lot of women including pornography actresses—his sponsors dropped him to avoid negative perception. Also, the popularity of celebrities tend to overshadow the brand. Some ads focus on celebrities too much to the point that they lose recall.
Let’s take for example the case of David Beckham: in his prime, the British icon earned $42 million from countless endorsements from sponsors including Adidas, H&M, and Samsung, just to name a few. Was he an effective endorser? Probably, but we will never know. In this case, consumers will most likely only remember David Beckham, as his superstar status devalues the brand.
The main question is: are celebrity endorsements here to stay? Top of mind answer is yes. Some brands still trust them and they still remain valuable in many situations; that’s why they get paid millions to wear clothes, which is evident at the recent Met Gala. But the problem lies with looking only at the popularity of the celebrity without even considering the engagement and reach the person can give. Apart from that, celebrities are pretty expensive and they may not be practical for fresh brands. Influencers are now more desired because they help shape the industry, spark conversations and drive conversions, so we might be seeing a decline of celebrity endorsers in the coming years. Like what they always say, don’t go after followers—go after engagement.
Takeaway: celebrities help build awareness and boost brand image so they can be good for one-time massive endorsements. But if you’re aiming for assurance and long-term relationships that drives tangible results, go for influencers!
4) Influencer Marketing Platforms: Making Your Strategy Uncomplicated
The world of fashion can be too demanding and busy. And if you’re thinking of starting an influencer marketing campaign, you better do it with a data-driven channel.
Why partner with an influencer marketing platform?
Well, let’s dive into assumptions first: your brand is already using influencer marketing and you’re delighted by the results you’re getting, but you’re still looking to build up this acquisition channel—this is where an influencer marketing platform enters. An influencer marketing platform assists marketers in driving brand awareness, leads, and revenue from their influencers. Majority of them collates a database of people it believes are powerful and influential on social media. By using these platforms, brands are able to work with the right influencers that has the same target audience as them. In some cases, brands can just launch a campaign on the platform and let the influencers choose you.
Most global fashion brands already teamed up with an influencer marketing platform because it’s less tedious and more convenient. Imagine manually searching and handpicking influencers, checking if the accounts are legitimate, discussing and following-up about campaigns, messaging them one-by-one without assurance if they’ll respond back, analysing KPIs and campaign results on your own—it’s not practical for a busy industry!
Remember: The actual marketing is already challenging, the process doesn’t have to be.
Content creation today is not just up to brands. Influencers also have a say in the stories and messages the brands want to communicate to their target consumers. No matter what your fashion brand, if you think influencer marketing is right for you, leverage it now!