We live in an age where the power of the blogger is undeniably something which can no longer be ignored by brands. This is particularly relevant for fashion houses; working with bloggers opens brands up to the best chance of promotion, owing to the aesthetics of fashion blogs and their associated social media platforms. Not only can products be showcased for all to see, but brands also gain access to an audience who can ‘regram’ and ‘retweet’ products to their loyal followers. The key to unlocking these untapped audiences? Harnessing the power of the blogger!
The first thing that needs to be addressed when looking to tap in to this resource is to find out what the brands IQ is. Yes, you heard that correctly. It is now common practice for companies and brands to assess their digital IQ to gain an understanding of how successful/unsuccessful they are performing in the digital world; essentially a digital health check. Is the brand active on the main social media platforms? Does it have a mobile-optimised site? Is the website content regularly updated? These are all questions that need to be answered in order to properly assess digital presence, find areas that need to be improved on as well as areas that play to the brands strengths. Bloggers are more likely to work with brands that are already employing a good digital strategy, so this needs to be in place well in advance.
Working with bloggers can really help to drive sales because of the increasing amount of trust placed in bloggers by their readers, fans and followers. Research Now Group* recently found that for females, bloggers are placed after family and friends as a key influence on their purchasing decisions, whereas, the male audience place most trust in a blogger when it comes to making a decision. In the past, a brand could rely solely on well-placed and targeted advertising. Now, engaging and collaborating with bloggers is key in driving footfall and sales.
Before deciding on your blogger strategy, you need to consider the following:
What is the price point of your product? – High street or luxury?
It’s vital that brands pick the bloggers accordingly; choosing a high street blogger to promote a designer bag won’t seem like a credible collaboration in the consumer’s eyes. A fit between the brand, the blogger and the audience is key to the success of the partnership
Some bloggers have a full-time job and brands need to be aware of this. Plan out the strategy in detail ahead of time so that both parties know what is expected the time investment required. This way, bloggers can schedule their posts to fit in with their daily routine.
Type of partnership
The type of partnership is going to be is largely budget dependant. Decide how you would best like to use the blogger to promote your products. Do you wish to simply do sponsored posts? Do you want to create a social media campaign, consistent across all platforms? How much audience engagement do you want? These are all questions that need to be addressed.
Using bloggers as part of an online marketing strategy can not only increase sales for brands, but can also create a relationship between the brand and the consumer. When a consumer looks to a blogger to make a purchasing decision and ends up following their advice, the chances of a return purchase by that customer is heightened. This moves away from a purely transactional relationship between brand and e consumer; a loyal customer base is created, increasing brand equity and earning the brand far more than just a sale. Going forward, this is what brands need to be looking to do, if they aren’t already.
Originally featured in WWB online.