When everyone from ASOS to Zara, from high street or online to designer labels, are using influencer campaigns as part of their marketing output, it can be tempting for any fashion brand trying to keep up, to just do the same. However, at Hit Search, we believe that using influencers as part of your overall marketing strategy isn’t something that should be rushed into just because it’s what everyone else is doing. Read on to find out some of the biggest mistakes being made by fashion brands when it comes to using bloggers, vloggers and celebrities as part of their campaigns.
1) Pushing influencer marketing campaigns because it’s the ‘done thing’
As with any marketing channel or technique, if you want to make the most of your budget and get the greatest possible return on your investment, you need to clearly map out the objectives of an influencer marketing campaign, dig into the nitty gritty of how it will be implemented and understand how ‘success’ can be tracked and measured.
What action do you want your target audience to take as a result of seeing the influencer’s content? If you want to use influencers to improve brand awareness within a specific demographic, how will you benchmark this? If you want to increase social media engagement, how will you measure its relevance and meaningfulness? If you want sell more of a specific product or line, how will you track back what has been sold as a direct result of your influencer activity? By putting together a plan of how all the elements of your influencer marketing campaign will work together and (hopefully) achieve your desired results, you’re already in a much better starting position than many of your competitors.
2) Paying a fortune to use the biggest influencers and therefore ‘guaranteeing’ success
Perhaps surprisingly, the influencers with the biggest followings don’t actually always perform best, when it comes to this type of marketing. Research shows that as someone gains more followers on platforms like Instagram, the engagement rate of their followers decreases. Therefore, for fashion brands who are looking for influencers of their target audience with a highly engaged following, it could well be the case that someone with 20k followers is more impactful on the campaign KPIs than someone else who might have a 200k social following.
A huge part of making influencer marketing work for your fashion brand is in choosing your influencers carefully. Do your research to make sure their followers really are the people that you want to reach. How does this influencer usually work with other brands? Is a high proportion of their content #sponsored? Are they upfront with their followers about the brands they work with and that certain things they post are part of a paid partnership campaign? Do they naturally fit with your own brand ethos? The last thing you need is an insincere influencer getting a backlash from their followers because a brand link-up is clearly contrived and not something the influencer is genuinely interested in.
3) Keeping the campaign ideas too far within the ‘safe zone’
Influencer marketing is often thought of as pretty much just product placement. The influencer is simply photographed wearing an item by your brand and then tags your products/brand in a few social posts. It’s an approach that isn’t really what their followers want to see anymore. Young shoppers are very savvy when it comes to seeing through the marketing glare and they aren’t taken in by someone simply wearing something in an Insta post as a genuine endorsement.
What consumers want from the person they are following, in order for it to be memorable and stick at the front of their minds, is some exclusive content that takes a different approach. Whether that’s a fairly standard, but exclusive, discount code link provided by the influencer in their posts, or them actually wearing the garment/product out in the wild, such as when walking their dog, going to a party, riding their bike or hanging out with their friends.
It’s only by having a firm strategy about what you’re trying to achieve, knowing which influencers will help you get there and how they can best be utilised, that you can build a strong influencer marketing plan which benefits your wider marketing strategy and is effective and measurable.
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