Influencer marketing has become a necessary weapon in every fashion brand’s marketing arsenal nowadays, however, the lack of clarity on how to calculate your ROI when it comes to these campaigns can make it hard to decide who to partner with when it comes to your campaigns. Individuals managing the PR for brands in the fashion industry, need to pay close attention to the best practices when it comes to influencer marketing.
In a study 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 funnel time and money on the wrong campaigns. Influencer campaigns have the ability to create an unparalleled emotional and authentic impact that traditional advertising has always found challenging. In turn, audiences instantly identify with the influencers they follow, as well as their content, which then quickly converts to sales. And, the power of influencers is unprecedented. Just at the start of this month, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson accumulated $54M in MIV for their campaign collaboration which was built up and promoted on both of their channels and platforms.
PR & Communications professionals are the ones in charge of Influencer marketing when it comes to most brands in the fashion, luxury and beauty industries. These actions must be planned in an increasingly strategic way, which is why we’ve compiled the 3 steps that fashion PR professionals should take to ensure their next influencer marketing campaign is a success.
What is the goal of my influencer marketing activity?
The first step you need to take is to understand your brand, your industry and ultimately what you want to achieve from your campaign or 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 increase your social media following on the whole? Setting a goal means that you will have something to reflect on. You can refer back to this goal throughout your campaign, and see where you are in achieving it, or whether the influencer or influencers you partner with have made an impact in achieving it. It’s hard to achieve better results if you didn’t even set a minimum to expect the first time around.
Too often brands may focus on the reach they are getting but if their post is reaching the wrong audience, niche or community, then it may not be 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 is the plan?
Understanding who you want to work with and making a plan for the project as soon as you can is your best bet when it comes to Influencer marketing, as digital creators are in constant demand. Affiliate marketing companies like RewardStyle, SkimLinks and 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 primary 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.
The ability to identify audience and location when discovering new influencers to work with, when done right, can yield 5xs more ROI than generic social campaigns.
Fashion PR: More than ever, analyze the numbers
In our last annual influencer marketing report nearly 50% of our participants who 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.
Now it’s your turn! Think about these three steps for any Fashion PR Pro while you plan your next project, and hopefully, you will be set for success. Have any other tips you think are important when planning? Drop us a note and let us know.