One lazy Sunday afternoon, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and realized that the majority of the content I “follow” is fashion-related. And, the producers of that content aren’t my friends or people I know, but rather famous fashion bloggers. I found myself caught in a trap of never-ending engaging fashion content, beauty tips and information on the latest trends.
I started thinking about fashion bloggers, have they appeared in recent years or have they been here for a while? Some may say their popularity is a new fad that will diminish, is that true? And more importantly, should brands think seriously about finding ways to work fashion bloggers into their content marketing and influencer strategies?
I’m sure all marketers know the terms “opinion leaders,” “influencers” and know about “turning customers into brand advocates.” But, I am not sure if all marketers acknowledge how much influential power fashion (and other) bloggers have over their target audience.
How influential are fashion bloggers?
- Vogue, the 100+-year-old fashion magazine, has 3.5 million followers on Instagram.
- Chiara Ferragni, a fashion blogger, known as “The Blond Salad,” who started her blog five years ago, has 3.2 million followers. (And, she had more followers than Vogue when I first checked five months ago.)
An independent fashion blogger has as much influence, based on numbers, as a respected 100-year-old fashion powerhouse, and it doesn’t end there.
According to Fashionista, a number of bloggers have signed contracts with prestigious brands as a result of their fashion content creation and overall influence.
They create powerful content and brands are noticing.
How and why your customers engage with bloggers?
It’s all about influence and trust:
- According to Ninja Metrics, “5-10 percent of social media users are responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of influence.”
- Stokberger-Sauer & Hoyer reports, “opinion leaders represent a powerful group in the marketplace because they can influence consumers via word of mouth.”
For this reason, the influencer’s role is undeniably important because they have significant influence on the pre and post-purchase behaviour of customers.
Especially in beauty and fashion industry, customers tend to follow number of bloggers at once to see what is trending. The most popular blogs with the highest number of followers work as so-called “hubs” in the blogosphere and have the highest influence on followers.
The influencing power of bloggers lies in the engagement with consumers. They trigger conversations and are credible because they are “one of us.” They aren’t top models, but girl/boy-next-door types that are trustworthy. And, the similarity between reader and blogger makes a big impact on the final purchase decision.
A good fashion blogger also adds value and expertise because he or she discovers, evaluates, compares and introduces products to a wide audience. And the blogger also helps to explain how the products can be used to achieve a particular look.
Fashion blogger turned journalist?
Elle, a massive lifestyle magazine, recently hired an independent blogger to “bring life” to their online blog. Fashion brands pay high prices to have bloggers sit in the front row at their fashion shows. And, beauty brands send products to bloggers directly to encourage them to test and evaluate.
A shining example of a blogger that made her hobby into a profession is Zoella, a beauty “vlogger” from the UK with more than 7 million YouTube subscribers. In November 2014, she published her first novel “Girl Online,” and recently launched her very own product line, Zoella Beauty Range, in cooperation with Superdrug, the health and beauty retailer in the UK.
As you can see, influencers are the amplifiers for the voice of a brand. Through their own social media channels, they spread the message to multi-million-strong-target audiences that are hungry for information.
Sounds great, but…
What does this mean for my brand?
Bloggers (beauty, fashion and beyond), hold the power to shape public perception of everything, including your brand—challenging you to determine how your work with them will help your brand become an integral part of their online conversations. There are many paths to help influencers shape their message, with your brand included, and regardless of the path you choose, it will require content.
While I am biased, I believe the best path to success is equipping bloggers with interactive, engaging on-demand content streams (we call them playlists). Thanks to solutions like Content On Demand, brands can put the right information into the hands of influencers quickly and efficiently.
In the time it took me to research and write this article, the list of people I follow on Instagram increased by 15 fashion bloggers, and I went to check out Zoella’s Beauty Range to Superdrug and I am sure I’ll be buying more than I really need!