The first thing to do is to define what an influencer is, what she/he does and who she/he is.
Definition: An influencer is a person with significant networks (followers, readers, etc) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.
Then there’s a very important concept that needs to be clarified about influence: “True influence drives actions, not just awareness.” cit Jay Baer
Why does your Fashion brand need influencers to launch successful campaigns?
We have to say that the buyer’s journey has changed, many companies continue to rely on the theory of funnel, but it is not like this anymore. You can read a full research about the new buyer’s journey in this article published by the Harvard Business review.
Let’s come back on influencers, well the most important information to keep in mind is: Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself.
Well, this assumption may sound obvious, but what is very important is to realize that the 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads. This data can explain why when you try to make several digital advertising campaigns, your ROI is most of the time negative.
So we can say that to reach an audience that is willing to buy your product you will need a third party to present your brand, conveying trust among her/his followers base. Now we will go beyond this to identify with precision what is the purchase journey of a buyer online, and how you can tap into it by structure an influencer marketing strategy.
What is the Role of influencers the Buyer’s journey?
With the revolution of the Web 2.0 users have now access to an endless flux of contents, information, articles, and reviews; for this reason, consumers do more of their research, and they engage with more content to support their decision making in the matter of purchase a new product. Here some important data to keep in mind:
1. 70 – 90% of the buyers journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor. (Forrester research)
2. Consumers consult about 11.4 pieces of content before to making a purchase. (Forrester research)
3. Consumers are 5 times more dependent on content than they were 5 years ago. (Nielsen)
These data clearly show that to launch a successful campaign you will need to plan the creation of several contents and distribute them on your social channels, but you have to include in the picture third parties that can convey your message & products to their audiences.
Typology of contents that convert more
Then we have to identify the typology of contents that can bring more conversions and can drive more sells for your brand. Thanks to a research made by Nielsen we have now precise data about the most impactful contents in the buyer’s journey:
1st place: Influencer content (third party content which consumers defined as credible)
2nd place: Brand content (from the brand of brand employees & advocates)
3rd place: User – Generated (Reviews made by other consumers such as Amazon)
What’s the difference between branded content & influencer content?
To have a better understanding of why influencers contents are a powerful resource for your brand let’s see these data that shows the difference of the impact between a brand content, an influencer’s content and a user generated content.
Brand awareness: Influencer content had an 88% greater impact than brand content and 50% better than user generated reviews.
Brand affinity: Influencer content had a 50% greater impact than brand content and 20% better response than user reviews.
Purchase intent: Influencer content lifted intent over brand content by 38% and 83% over user reviews.
The study without a doubt revealed the strength of influencer generated content over the brand content and user generated content. However doesn’t mean that a brand has just to rely on influencers, but that the common idea of social media marketing campaign, need to be revisited in a more wider perspective.
Now is absolutely important more than ever that brands place content that buyers will trust in front of them at the right time in the cycle.
Which business models can you use to work with bloggers?
Many fashion bloggers use to be paid upfront, in order to start to work with your brand, if you work with stellar fashion bloggers like Chiara Ferragni, Le Blog de Betty or Gary Pepper this will be the only possible solution. Big brands already use to work in this way with super famous fashion bloggers.
Then you can work with bloggers and pay them on the base of the purchase generated by their posts (CPA – cost per action), this is probably the most secure and fair way to create a beautiful collaboration between your brand and a blogger, moreover, it helps to determine the value of each post.
If you want to discover techniques and services to grow your online customers, influencer marketing is just one of many possibilities that you can adopt.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.