As we move head first into 2019, and as PR and comms tactical effectiveness ebbs and flows, some newish practices have undoubtably proven their value and staying power. Previously thought to be a fleeting fad, influencer marketing has stabilized to become a common practice for a variety of consumer industries, including the fashion, luxury and cosmetics sector.
In fact, according to research featured in a new report from fashion-focused marketing and data firm Launchmetrics, The State of Influencer Marketing, 65 percent of professionals claimed to have worked on influencer marketing campaigns in 2016. Just one year later, this number rose to 78 percent.
Today, fashion and apparel brands continue to prove that influencer marketing is highly effective—90 percent of professionals say influencer marketing campaigns are most effective for generating brand awareness, while 69 percent of professionals say influencer marketing campaigns are most effective for boosting sales.
UK-based bathroom and shower brand Showerstoyou.co.uk analysed the report in detail, to identify the six things professionals say influencers look for when collaborating with brands, to highlight what brands should consider before implementing an influencer marketing plan. Among the key findings:
- 46 percent of brands prefer working with micro-influencers (a reach of 10K-100K followers.)
- 90 percent of professionals say influencer marketing is most effective for generating brand awareness.
- 27 percent of fashion, luxury and cosmetic industry experts claim ‘Monetary Rewards’ is the main incentive for influencers.
- 42 percent of professionals claim product launches are the leading scenario for which they implement influencer campaigns.
Showerstoyou found 27 percent of fashion, luxury and cosmetic industry experts cite “Monetary Rewards” as the main incentive for influencers, while 20 percent say influencers are motivated by the “Exposure” a campaign could offer them.
Other motivational factors include the opportunity to bag “Free Merchandise” (18.08 percent) and to participate in “New Experiences” (10.30 percent).
Monetary and merchandise incentives aside, the possibility of career progression presents another two things influencers look for when partnering with brands. Industry experts believe curating “Valuable Content and Information” for their communities is a driving factor for influencers (15.70 percent). While “Networking with Other Peers” encourages 8.30 percent of influencers to collaborate with brands.
“As we move toward 2019, it’s becoming increasingly important to reach audiences in a different way. Outdated tactics such as cold calling or placing impersonal, generic ads will no longer work with modern consumers,” said Martin Smith, managing director of Showerstoyou, in a news release.
“Influencer marketing is a great asset to explore because it shows brands are not just selling specs but a lifestyle. Whereby consumers can see a vision that is more than nuts and bolts, it’s how a product will work in their everyday,” said Smith.
“By taking on an influencer who aligns with your brand, you are creating an organic and personal feel to business. It will also help to target key demographics, increase engagement and boost sales, if implemented correctly,” he added.
Tips for partnering with the perfect influencer
- First, it’s important to remember working with an influencer is give and take. Money may be the main driving force behind collaborations, but there are other incentives to consider. Think early product access, networking opportunities or exclusives unbeknown to the influencer.
- It’s also important to provide and listen to feedback when partnering with an influencer. Yes, you want an influencer who commands their audience and has personality, but to be successful you need to find one that matches the tone of your brand. Understand your message needs to be consistent across the board and socials. This presents a strong bond and unity for brand and brand ambassador.
- When you feel you have found the right influencer, don’t go in too hard with a nondisclosure and contract. If you start the relationship organically, it should flow through your partnership moving forward. Begin with picking the platform where your influencer is most active and reach out. That could be on Twitter, Instagram, or in the comments of a personal blog.
By contacting the influencer in the same way their audience does, you can start an open conversation that isn’t alien and impersonal. It will also provide good insight into how the influencer manages and responds to any contact made to their site.
To create the 2018 edition of Launchmetric’s report, over 600 professionals in Europe and the United States were surveyed.