Between 2019-2020, the impact of influencer marketing in driving sales for fashion, luxury, and beauty brands increased by 18%, with professionals labeling it as one of their top goals when collaborating with creators (alongside driving awareness and supporting digital strategy). As a marketing tactic that is still fairly new in the grand scheme of things, there are questions around how influencer marketing strategies generate ROI, and more importantly, how brands can measure this in relation to the types of influencers they use, the campaigns they run and how it translates into actual sales. Through the case study of a hugely successful influencer marketing campaign: 'Asos Insiders' we will explore the opportunities brands have to drive sales via different creators if done in the right way.
Asos Insiders is an initiative that the eCommerce giant has been running for multiple years, featuring a selected group of around 20 "insiders" that share their favorite fashion and beauty edits on the site, as well as on their branded Instagram profiles. Each insider has a unique style and niche that sets them apart from the rest, which allows consumers to try and find someone they identify with, whether it be through style choices or an insider's voice and beliefs. This is not only a clever campaign because each insider curates a unique collection on a frequent basis for their fans to pick from (directly on the Asos website), but also because the campaign is designed to specifically resonate with typical Asos customers. If someone browsing the Asos Insiders page can find someone they have an affinity with, it's likely they might explore their top picks and checkout with some of their favorite outfits. Not only this, but they may continue to come back to see their favorite insider's updated edits as a quick and easy way to find styles they love, as they trust and relate to the influencer's choices.
The influencers (who account for $3M of the MIV® generated by the campaign in the past year) also use their own Instagram accounts, YouTube channels and more to promote their top Asos picks, which allows the brand to open up a new channel for potential sales. Not only can shoppers explore the Asos Insiders homepage, but they can also discover the influencers via social media searches, suggestions, and more. Each insider's Instagram account is also branded by Asos, alongside their discount affiliate code making it clear for those that visit, that most of the clothing featured on their page is probably from the e-commerce site. The top-performing influencer in terms of Media Impact Value™ was gender fluid @asos_ari who posts daily unisex outfits, complete with product codes.
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In the past year, the Asos Insiders campaign has drummed up $8M in MIV®, with 85% of this via Instagram specifically. This suggests that the mainline of discovery for Asos Insiders comes from the influencers themselves, as they direct traffic towards the site, which demonstrates potential ROI as these users convert into sales. By measuring the Media Impact Value™ that brands accumulate thanks to influencers, this quantifies the potential ROI gained off the back of specific campaigns, giving a better indication as to how this translates into sales. In our recent report, The State of Influencer Marketing 2020, we take a more in-depth look at the impact of influencer marketing on sales and conversions for brands, and how the way collaborations take place is currently evolving.