If you are a fashion brand implementing an influencer marketing strategy, there are a lot more options for collaboration than a static Instagram image with a lousy tag and "OMG love this skirt" caption (cringeworthy, right!?). In fact, there are a whole bunch of different ways you can collaborate on a creative strategy and mutually beneficial campaign. Here are 10 ways fashion brands can work with influencers, with options for short-term engagements and long-term partnerships across a range of platforms.
Gifting Product For Consideration
Obviously, gifting product in exchange for digital mentions and coverage is the most popular and most common form of collaboration between an influencer in the fashion space and a fashion brand. Gifting is more of a PR activity and doesn't necessarily guarantee coverage, however, it is a good opportunity to introduce an influencer to your brand and test the waters on what a working relationship could look like. The other benefit of a gifting arrangement is that it is low cost to the brand, and there is potential to rapidly spread brand awareness and exposure and ultimately saturate the market with lots of consumer touchpoints.
The Standard Outfit Post
An outfit post usually involves an influencer using an item or items in an outfit and promoting the brand by creating content with the product. An outfit post is usually a negotiated agreement between the brand and influencer to openly include the garments in an image (with tags) that is shared on a particular platform, or across platforms. This collaboration can either be paid or in exchange for product (contra agreement) depending on negotiations made between both parties.
Create A Lookbook
Creating a lookbook in collaboration with a brand is a great opportunity for vloggers and bloggers as this entails the styling of multiple outfits from the one brand and creating a series of imagery around the brand and product/s. Consider focusing on a particular theme or style when creating a lookbook with an influencer so the imagery works really well together and a similar style is used throughout. Some examples of lookbook themes could be high fashion, summer holiday and festival style, or it could focus on a particular colour palette or trend.
Try-On Haul Video
If you are planning on sending a Youtube influencer a range of products, suggest a try-on haul video on their channel for the influencer engagement. This has become an extremely popular option for many brand and influencer collaborations as it allows the influencer to have creative freedom to style the items the way they would naturally wear them, and also show their followers the true look and fit of the piece. Vloggers have a great relationship with their followers and audience, and their content is super engaging, so this is a great way to get involved and collaborate. If you need a little more convincing to work out if a try-on haul is something your should consider for your influencer strategy, have a read of our blog post on what they are and how they can benefit you.
Whilst it is hard to track analtics, referrals and conversions on a SnapChat influencer campaign, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered, especially in the fashion industry. SnapChat is the latest social media trend, and users are flocking to the platform in the hundreds of thousands. In fact, SnapChat now has more users than Twitter! The best part about a SnapChat collaboration is that it is a personal interaction between the influencer and their audience, and has potential to convert big numbers when used effectively. When working with an influencer on SnapChat, it is a good idea to give them a unique discount code to share so you can track sales conversions from their audience and evaluate the ROI. Ultimately, SnapChat is a new platform for influencer marketing, and it presents a great opportunity for brands and influencers alike, so jump on board and test a number of different strategies.
For more information on how brands can use SnapChat in their social media marketing strategy, check out How Can Brands Use SnapChat And What Are The Benefits here.
Style Them For An Event
This is a particularly popular choice when it comes to celebrity fashion influencers, especially during local, national and international fashion weeks. Get your brand out there by styling and dressing an influencer for the event, or perhaps send them some options from your brand to consider wearing. This strategy is a win for two reasons: 1. their audience will no doubt see their outfit for the event when they post about it across their platforms, and 2. the reach of this collaboration extends to the general public as a result of event coverage in the media. When styling an influencer or celebrity for an event, ensure the outfit fits with their personal style and aesthetic for the best results. This could be the start of a long relationship with the influencer!
Engage Them As A Brand Ambassador
For a long-term partnership engage an influencer to be your brand ambassador. This could mean a contractual agreement and may include (ut is not limited to) sections on exclusivity, promotional activities and KPIs. Engaging influencers to be a brand ambassador is great for authenticity and helps build conversions and referrals over time through repetition and the influencers genuine love of the brand. It also presents an opportunity to not only build a relationship with the influencer, but also their engaged followers and audience.
You can read more about long-term relationships influencer relationships here.
Employ Influencers To Be Your Product Model
Fashion brands need product models for their website, catalogue, social media content and marketing materials, so why not employ an influencer to be your model (many influencers actually work as models to complement their income). It is a great opportunity to share your brand organically with their followers, connect a well known personality to your brand (much like a brand ambassador) and you'll have create product imagery you can share across your platforms. When employing an influencer to be your product model, always work with someone who is a good fit for your brand's style and your target customers demographics.
The In-House Role
Could you make an influencer part of your team? Hiring them can actually work really well for your brand, and will, of course, lead to a long-term partnership, or something temporary but fulfilling for both parties involved. If you know, or have previously worked with, an influencer who understands your brand and aligns with your vision, get them to join and support your team across one area or a number of areas including product design, buying, merchandising, styling, content creation and campaign implementation. Fashion influencers have a unique skill set across platforms, from blogging and content creation to communication and even trend forecasting, plus, they know your target market inside and out (because it is likely the same as their own audience). Allow them to bring their experience to an in-house role and watch them take your business to the next level.
Design A Capsule Collection
We have seen this collaboration time and time again, where an influencer designs or curates a capsule collection for the brand, which is then sold across their platforms as the "influencer" for "brand" collection. It's similar to the role of a creative director or project manager, and basically entails working closely with an influencer to produce a product, or a collection, that will be available to the public. Why get an influencer involved in this process? Because they will share the collaboration across their platforms and drive sales, and they will likely spread awareness and coverage through their industry and media connections.
In terms of compensation, there are a number of different options to consider, so it is best to have and honest and upfront conversation and find an arrangement that works for everyone. It could be a one-off design fee, or commission based once the product/collection launches.
Here are 10 ways fashion brands can work with influencers across their digital marketing strategy, but it's not the only 10 ways. Get creative and combine what you need, with what an influencer can bring to the table and dream up a collaboration that is mutually beneficial and ultimately drives a successful ROI.
Are you a fashion brand that has worked with influencers? We'd love to hear how you collaborated, and what your experience was like! Just leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.