Influencer marketing has become a necessary piece in every fashion brand’s marketing plan nowadays, however the lack of clarity on how to do it sometimes means that hundreds of dollars are spent on ideas that aren’t really strategic and even worse, unmeasurable.
In a study done by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, it was found that word of mouth drives sales between 5-200X more than paid media, so brands can no longer afford to waste time and money on the wrong campaigns. Influencer campaigns have the ability to create an unparalleled emotional impact that traditional advertising has always been challenged with. In turn, the followers instantly identify with these influencers and their content, which then quickly converts to sales. According to the State of Influencer Marketing 2017, 74% of marketing & communications professionals working within the fashion industry said their strategies with influencers were effective at driving sales.
The same study affirmed that PR & Communications professionals are the ones in charge of Influencer marketing for 57% of brands. These actions must be planned in an increasingly strategic way, which is why we’re sharing 3 steps that fashion PR professionals can take to ensure your next influencer marketing campaign is a success.
What’s the goal of my influencer marketing activity?
The first step you must take is to understand your brand, your industry and ultimately what you want to achieve from this project: Is it to gain more brand awareness or increase sales? Is it to expand your reach or build more engagement? Or is it to achieve more press coverage? Setting a goal means that in the end you will have something to reflect on. It’s hard to achieve better results if you didn’t even set a minimum to expect the first time around.
At Launchmetrics, when we work with clients we always seek to outline the goal before the project begins. Too often brands focus on reach but if their post is reaching the wrong audience or the wrong community, then it’s not very valuable. Smaller brands and larger brands will have different goals, one might need reach to build awareness while the other needs a strong affinity to drive sales. Putting your ideal outcome on paper is the first thing you can do to ensure your campaign will be on the right track.
Who should I talk to and what’s the plan?
Everyone is getting in on this influencer marketing plan, so understanding who you want to work with and making a plan for the project as soon as you can is your best bet! Affiliate marketing companies like RewardStyle, SkimLinks, LinkShare are monopolizing the paid influencer marketing field, but Fashion PR professionals are still working 24/7 to engage these contacts from the other side of the business (unpaid) and it is critical that the two sides work together for the best possible results.
Once you and your fellow marketers are aligned with the goal, it’s important to make sure you are engaging the right Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). Today, everyone thinks the obvious KOL choices (or the ones you know) are the best way to go, but sometimes in fashion we are a little blind to who our audience really is and what really engages them. Remember, if you don’t choose the right KOL you will always be disappointed with the results, so check the data to see who is friend or foe.
A lot of companies which work in the Fashion & Retail industry said that measurement was their biggest challenge when working with influencers. So how can you be more savvy than those 50% of the industry who are currently struggling in this department? Implementing a proper measurement system can rectify this problem and allow you to be a better marketer. Having a proper monitoring platform means you can easily track the results of your project, what’s working and what’s not; it is a crucial first step to creating a sustainable, scalable marketing or PR plan. Too often brands try to do this manually and miss many essential pieces that can’t be tracked without the proper tools such as audience information or areas of interest. Even worse, nowadays we see brands that have too many tools, making it impossible to benchmark the data from each medium (print, online, social) to get a real read on how they are performing.
Using one tool that can give you simple, actionable tips to help you measure engagement properly as well as benchmark against your competitors will help you improve your strategy for the long run.