How to do Influencer Marketing During Fashion Week
For another season, a vast majority of designers have decided to use the See Now-Buy Now model- in their aim to close the gap between the visibility of their fashion show and the moment of purchase.
This means that designers show their collections to buyers, months before the live catwalk shows. Buyers make the orders for their favourite pieces, that they will be available in stores and online when the public sees the collection for the first time. So the designs on the catwalk will be available to buy as soon as they hit the catwalk.
This is why especially this season, influencers will be a vital part in the collection’s success. Not only will they be introducing new looks, they will hopefully influence consumers, prompting instant sales.
Instant gratification will be an option. Consumers can get their hands on the newest trends and won’t have to wait 6 months to steal the looks of their favourite bloggers. The influence of influencers during this Autumn-Winter 17/18 fashion season will be immense.
The See Now-Buy Now model, means that the influencers who attend the all-important fashion shows, and others who wear the new collections on their social media posts, form instant marketing campaigns which should lead to direct sales.
Brands and designers would be foolish not to take advantage of bloggers this season. However it should be done right, that’s why we’ve highlighted a few points you should take note of.
1. Choose Influencers Specific to your brand
Deciding which influencers to use for your influencer marketing campaign, or selecting who to invite to your show, it’s important to consider their style more than anything else. You should select influencers who will organically show a genuine interest for your designs, and would wear them independently of whether you had invited them or not.
This is critical; the style of your influencers is likely to reflect the style of their audience, and your potential consumers. If your brand is completely different to their original style, not only will they look out of place, their posts won’t seem genuine and your goal to transform their audience into buyers will fail miserably.
2. Mix your influence
Your choice should be based on their fit for your brand rather than their reach. It’s quite apparent that most brands, and particularly fashion brands, choose the most popular influencers to attend their shows, or to post on their social media. But reaching out to influencers who vary in their audience sizes, guarantees a wider reach of a similar fashion sense.
In fact, influencers with a smaller reach, have not only a more specific audience but also have a higher engagement rate. Meaning that smaller influencers (micro-influencers) are more engaging with their audience, and could influence them at the same if not at a better rate than influencers with a greater reach and a smaller engagement.
Working with smaller influencers, could mean that you will be one of the few brands they work with, and you’ll receive their full attention, as the larger influencers attend show after show, with your brand getting lost in all the fashion show noise. So exhausting all your influencer marketing budget on the top bloggers won’t do much for your sales. Often reaching out to a total one million followers across more influencers is more effective than reaching out to a million followers of a single influencer.
Top tip: Choose well-known names but also up and coming bloggers. Top bloggers charge a lot more than micro-influencers, so you’ll probably find yourself overpaying for influencers without seeing a return. Bigger names can give you recognition, but smaller influencers can well give you sales. Ideally you would want to use one or two Influencers with a big reach and a few additional micro-influencers. If the budget allows you, using influencers with a reach of all levels, with a similar style, should do wonders.
3. Gift Carefully and Independently
What you decide to send influencers to wear, should be specific to their style. Although ideally you’ve already chosen influencers who would naturally wear your brand. You should try to find outfits and send pieces they would genuinely consider wearing.
Sending each influencer different gifts, but specific to their personality will show the verisitility of your brand. But it’s also a way to trigger organic exposure and to encourage a genuine loyalty for your brand in the near future.
4. GO BEYOND THE SHOW
With bloggers attending numerous fashion shows each day, your brand could get lost in the plethora of their fashion week posts. It’s a good idea to organise an event which takes away the hustle and bustle of the fashion shows and focuses its attention to the new collection and the influencer.
Being the center of attention is likely to be reflected in their social media posts. They will put more emphasis on an exclusive event they have been invited to, dedicated just to your new line. Naturally influencers will push their social media posts, to emphasise the importance, of their presence at the even, and of the event, posts which will also be perceived as more authentic by their audience.
5. Hash the right tags
Be sure to make clear your requirements for your campaign. Making sure your influencers are aware of which hashtags related to your show and/or your brand, to include in their posts, is crucial for propper marketing. Likewise, it’s also as important, to adhere to the advertising rules; that your influencers, disclose their posts, clearly stating when they are sponsored and promotional posts.
6. Make your requirements clear
Fashion week is a critical period for fashion houses to take full advantage of all the short-lived full-blown attention they receive. That’s why it’s necessary as a brand to set your expectations, for your influencer’s posts. Clearly outline when to post, on which platforms and a rough guideline on how you would want your pieces to be portrayed.
7. Make it Live
With the See Now-Buy Now model, it’s especially useful to ask influencers who attend your show to post live. Following the implementation and success of Instagram stories, live video on both Instagram and Facebook, real time advertisements are increasingly becoming more popular, interactive and engaging. With Instagram users, revealing that their Instagram stories and live streams receive many more views, in contrast to traditional posts on the platform, it’s essential to take advantage of it.
I’m head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.