While beauty brands were early adopters of influencer marketing, luxury apparel and accessories marketers were slower to embrace the practice. Legacy brands were concerned about giving creative control to influencers and possibly risking their exclusivity and integrity. Despite these reservations, almost two-thirds of luxury fashion brands are actively engaging in influencer campaigns and 65% believe their campaigns have been effective in driving awareness across key social channels. A look at which strategies have been most effective for luxury brands.
Celebrities or Influencers?
Increasingly, it’s both. Although they may be working with social influencers, luxury brands aren’t parting ways with celebrity ambassadors, they’re simply using different approaches for each. Luxury marketers have found traditional celebrities to be most effective for advertising and branding campaigns and social influencers most effective for product launch and promotion. Seventy-one percent of luxury brands say that social influencers have been “critical” or” very important” in developing content for product launches and building awareness within their community. Although some brands have used influencers in their advertising campaigns, only 26% of luxury marketers say influencers are effective for branding strategies.
Identifying the Right Influencers
Finding influencers who are the right fit for the brand is the single most important criteria for success for 44% of luxury brands. But finding the right influencers can be a challenge—78% of luxury marketers admit to manually searching through social media platforms to identify and vet potential partners and 56% rely on recommendations from colleagues. We’ve found many luxury marketers are selecting from the same somewhat small pool of influencers and possibly diluting their message with influencers who have been overleveraged in the category. Only a fraction (less than 30%) of luxury marketers say they are utilizing social listening tools to help to identify those influencers driving organic engagement around their brand and whose content reflects the brand’s own image, thus creating a more dynamic, authentic, and ultimately successful campaign.
Why Relevancy Is More Important than Reach
It was once believed that the more followers an influencer had, the more successful the campaign would be. But as influencer marketing has evolved, marketers have learned that this isn’t always true. Seventy-four percent of luxury marketers agree that relevancy in relation to subject and context is more important than working with influencers with the highest reach. This is particularly true for luxury marketers for whom quality is more important than quantity. Mid-tier influencers, those with between 15,000 and one million followers, with expertise in the luxury category, a demonstrated interest in your brand, and a dedicated and engaged following can be effective partners. Consider establishing longer term relationships that support brand storytelling and build content over time.
As it matures, influencer marketing needs to demonstrate ROI. Sixty-two percent of brands say that revenue generation is an important measure of success and new social tracking tools and shoppable content is making it easier for brands to attribute ROI to influencer campaigns. To be successful, marketers need to know how to put the right tools in place at the right time to get the most out of their campaigns. Women’s Marketing offers strategic influencer marketing programs that use best-in-class pre-and-post campaign analytics and smart social media strategies that deliver results. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand grow.
Sources: Fashion Beauty Monitor The New Face of Luxury Maintaining Exclusivity in the World of Social Influence 2017