In the fashion world, influencer marketing is everywhere. In fact, a report compiled by Fashion and Beauty Monitor revealed that just 22 percent of fashion brands weren’t using influencer marketing and had no plans to do so in the next 12 months. About 21 percent of brands didn’t have a fashion influencer marketing strategy, but planned on putting one into place within the next year.
Meanwhile, the majority of fashion brands — 59 percent — used influencer marketing and planned to continue to do so.
Whether you work with a high-end, haute couture fashion house or are managing the marketing for a fast-fashion label, there are many reasons why fashion influencer marketing is going to be worth it for your brand.
Why Fashion Influencer Marketing Works
When it comes to fashion influencer marketing, it is almost as old as the practice of designing clothing. It’s safe to say Influencers have long been swaying people’s opinions about what to wear and why. They just weren’t always people who were famous because of Instagram or their blog.
You’ll find fashion influencers all along the timeline of fashion history. Back in the day, those influencers might have been the king and queen, who strutted out in high heels or colorful gowns, causing other nobles to drop what they were doing and race off in search of the latest trend.
Fast forward to the 20th century, and you’ll find Coco Chanel, a designer but also an influencer, who’s still quoted today for her fashion wisdom. Thanks to Chanel, we have the little black dress, costume jewelry, and trousers for women.
Throughout the rest of the 20th century, fashion editors and magazines were able to influence current trends and get people to purchase specific items by recommending styles and garments.
While fashion magazines still exist today, they’ve largely been replaced by fashion blogs and Instagram accounts. One reason why fashion influencer marketing has taken off the way it has is largely to do it’s accessibility. It’s easy to type in the address of a blog or to follow someone on Instagram, giving audiences direct, 24/7 access to their favorite influencers.
Look to Success: Fashion Influencer Marketing Examples
The savviest of brands have realized the impact and influence bloggers and social media stars have on audiences and customers. You don’t have to look that far to find examples of fashion labels that have had success working with an influencer or team of influencers.
Revolve is a multi-brand fashion retailer that mainly targets millennial customers. It works primarily with bloggers and other fashion influencers, inviting them to special events and encouraging them to post photos of those events on their social feeds. The brand’s strategy has worked: Fortune reported that the brand was on track to bring in $400 million in revenue in 2015 alone.
Brandy Melville is a fashion label that mainly appeals to teenage girls. As such, it’s found a considerable amount of success on Instagram, particularly from working with influencers. In March of 2016, it set the record for the most likes (9.3 million), thanks in large part to the influencers it worked with.
Fashion Nova’s influencer marketing strategy is to work with lots of influencers. Lots. The retailer has worked with pretty much every fashion blogger and Instagram-famous celebrity (Kylie Jenner, Carbi B., and Amber Rose, just to name a few). Thanks to its no-holds-barred influencer marketing approach, the brand reached six million followers after just three years.
While it might seem that influencer marketing primarily works for fashion brands that target a younger audience, it’s also proven successful for higher-end brands, such as Coach. The brand recently worked with Selena Gomez on an Instagram-based influencer campaign. The total cost of the campaign ended up being less than 25 cents per impression, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
Best Practices for Fashion Influencer Marketing
If your brand is ready to give influencer marketing a try, following these best practices will help you put together a strategy that leads to success.
Know where to find the right influencers.
You could spend all day hunting on social media and Google, looking for influential bloggers. But it’s often a lot easier and quicker to use an influencer marketplace to find influencers. These connect you with the type of audience you want to reach. You’ll quickly see who is a good fit for your brand’s style and price point.
Go high and low.
As Fashion Nova shows, sometimes more is more. If your budget allows, go ahead and work with celebrity or macro fashion influencers. But don’t neglect less established or “micro” fashion influencers. They might not have huge follower counts, but they often have high rates of engagement.
Focus on quality over quantity.
Don’t get too concerned with an influencer’s follower numbers. You want to pay closer attention to the quality of his or her posts. It’s important to know how he or she connects with an audience.
Keep it visual.
Fashion is by its very nature a visual thing. You’ll get better results if you work with influencers on Instagram, or with vloggers or bloggers.
Encourage and enforce disclosure.
Keep everything above board. Try to avoid any run-ins with the FTC by requiring influencers to disclose any partnerships with your brand.