How to leverage off Influencers for your fashion brand
Being an Influencer is a real job these days. It’s what I like to call a “2019 job title”. It began 5-10 years ago with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashion, who were famous for nothing in particular, apart from being rich…….people just wanted to follow them. The rise of reality television and social media gave the general public a platform to see into their exciting lives. Celebrities now had a space where they could promote themselves 24/7 and determine what image they’d like the world to see of them. It wasn’t long until brands cottoned onto the fact that when these celebrities endorsed their products on social media, their sales would sky rocket. Thus, the phrase “Influencers” was coined and a new marketing movement began.
Fast forward to 2019 and Instagram now has 1 Billion users worldwide, with millions of aspiring Influencers using the platform. A whole new industry has evolved, where it is common practice for brands to send their products or experience to people who have an engaged and active following on their Instagram. PR has become accessible and affordable for businesses! People suddenly have “media-kits” highlighting their audience reach and prices for promoting posts and they are quitting their day jobs to pursue Instagram fame.
Brands are either excited by this new phenomenon, or terrified of it. There are so many questions around how to leverage off working with an Influencer…. and how to do it right:
How do you find someone?
Do I have to pay them?
Do I have to give them free stuff?
What do I have the right to ask of them?
What if I give them things and they don’t post them?
How can I tell if they have an authentic following?
How can I track to see if it works?
Finding the right person to work with is perhaps the hardest part of working with an Influencer. It’s key to think of someone as becoming your “brand ambassador”, and to choose someone who you can work with long-term, and that they become and extension of your marketing team.
You can start by spending time searching hashtags, looking at who your followers are and who are following your competitors. Check out possible candidates pages; do they have professional photos? Are they getting lots of engagement per post? Are people commenting and tagging their friends in posts? Start to follow people you like the look of and over a few weeks, you will get a feel for their tone of voice and consistency of their photos.
Not everyone has the time to trawl through Instagram though! Especially busy business owners who never seem to have enough time in the day. There are agencies out there who have a large database of Influencers and they can connect you with the right people for your brand- for a fee.