Instagram - is it THE essential part to any fashion brands marketing strategy?!

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Instagram - is it THE essential part to any fashion brands marketing strategy?!

instagram fashion influencer marketing strategy

Instagram has quickly become an integral part of the social media strategy utilised by fashion brands. With its simplistic format, eye-catching photography and total creative freedom, it is a tool to showcase the best clothing pieces designers have to offer in an accessible and authentic way. But is its rapid growth and universality shifting the fashion industry from an art form that requires years to master to a free-for-all for all aspiring fashionistas?

Launched in 2010, Instagram now has over 800 million monthly users and appears to be growing at a rate that will see it hit 1 billion by the end of the year. Its global reach allows users to present trends in a saturated market without becoming repetitive, and the variation of posts enables individuals to create a brand identity that their followers can recognise. It's become increasingly obvious that for any brand to fully cement themselves as a key player in the world of fashion they require a strong presence on Instagram to drive of sales and overall brand awareness. Emphasis is placed on moments being 'Instagrammable' and brands take huge pride in creating an Instagram feed that not only looks beautiful but persuades the user to purchase their products over a competitors. 

Instagram has become a platform of opportunity with more and more homegrown brands using it as a place to generate attention - and income - from their products. Similarly, established brands are aware that it has a huge influence over consumer sales. Official Instagram figures indicated that 1 in 3 of its users has bought an item of clothing after discovering it on their feed. Using photoshoots and 'easy on the eye' flat lays to generate revenue is a tempting prospect for companies, who, when implementing an effective and strategised posting schedule, can add real value to their brand. Posting regularly, following trends and racking up the likes is a surefire way to convert posts into purchases. 

Using the application, fashion brands are easily able to connect with thousands of influencers who have a significant impact on their own followers' buying choices. Not only can the brand create a direct line between themselves and the consumer, but by paying influencers to promote their products, they're able to further increase their reach. There is concern within the fashion industry that Instagram is facilitating a new age of fashion branding where ever-changing trends are increasingly accessible and brand exposure makes way for cheaply made 'dupes'. It is, however, difficult to deny the opportunities the platform creates for brands to identify trends and meet consumer demands accordingly. 

A huge benefit of Instagram for fashion brands is the means of communication between them and their customers. Having a comments section allows for instant feedback on products, as well as customers being given an opportunity to seek customer service support. Building trust, particularly as a new brand, is vital in retaining customers and generating new sales, so this open line of communication seemingly adds to the customer experience. 

It's undeniable that Instagram has made a big impact on the fashion industry. Instagram brands might not be a sustainable alternative to traditionally marketed fashion labels, but creating your brand from your fingertips has certainly never been easier. 

influencer marketing strategy

https://www.sociallypowerfulmedia.com/influencer-marketing-blog/instagram-fashion-influencer-marketing-strategy-for-brands

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Love Island and Influencer Marketing, are brands doing it right?!

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Love Island and Influencer Marketing, are brands doing it right?!

Love Island.jpg

Love Island; the marmite of British Television. Love or hate it, there is no denying its digital and social success. In its fourth consecutive series, and with 3.6 million viewers tuning in for the 2018 opening episode, an increase on the previous year’s 2.1 million, ITV Digital Studios have succeeded in channeling their following into a brand and infiltrating current culture. So what exactly are ITV doing differently to not only recapture the attention of an age who have tuned out but ensure contestants instantaneous social media fame?  

From memes on Facebook, teasers on Twitter and exclusive content on Instagram, ITV incorporates all strands of social media to engage and promote the programme. Their digital team strategically posts content across an array of platforms prior to the evening’s broadcast, which in turn ignites conversation and creates a space where viewers can discuss proceedings in real time.

Another reason Love Island bagged The 2017 Drum’s Best Use of Content on Social Platforms lies in the producers’ ability to depict reality TV as exactly that. Despite the artificial premise of the relationships, ITV succeeds in portraying the contestants vulnerabilities and emotions as authentic. In the same way that brands partner with YouTube stars for their seemed authenticity, the producers seamlessly and carefully integrate brand partnerships to boost subsequent sales. For example, the female contestants regularly style out Missguided looks which viewers can then purchase on their e-commerce platform to achieve the ‘love island look’. The clothing is selected to align with the girls’ style and viewers are not pushed to visit the site.

Brands should learn from the producers ability to integrate brand partnerships naturally into the Love Island narrative when affiliating with contestants once they exit the villa. With viewers cottoning onto the blatant artificiality of contestants’ promotion of that ‘charcoal teeth whitening stuff’ they are going to have to become savvier with how they incorporate influencer marketing into their campaigns. The fashion brand, In The Style, is a good example of a brand evolving their strategy. Over 86,000 people engaged with their recent tweet, where they told followers that Megan would not be getting a discount code. In acknowledging the inauthenticity of brands using love island contestants, In The Style actually increased engagement. However, they have also sparked mixed reactions and were compelled to release an explanatory statement for their tweet promoting the discount code #wehatejosh. Indirectly engaging with the show, poking fun at influencer marketing, the contestants and themselves, In The Style risk leaving themselves open to criticism.

With contestants leaving the villa with thousands of Instagram followers - Dani Dyer already has 1.3 million - and in some cases Chris and Kem from last years series secured a record deal (Little Bit Leave It), it is undeniable that there is an opportunity to profit from partnerships with the contestants. However, brands must be more selective with which contestants promote their products as the public become more aware of the premise of influencer marketing.

Ex-contestant Hayley Hughes has recently received major backlash for staged and inauthentic product promotion. The combination of Hayley’s status as one of the less popular contestants, coupled with an incredibly staged and poorly integrated deployment of content, led to her followers mocking and disregarding her as feed as illegitimate. For example, she received comments such as, ‘You know Hayley didn’t write it when she doesn’t even know how to spell half the words’ and ‘I’m unsubbing ur sooooo annoying’. Whilst the public view these collaborations as indisputably inauthentic, it remains uncertain how much longer brands are going to continue to partner with Love Island contestants.

 

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Sentiment Analysis and Influencer Marketing?!

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Sentiment Analysis and Influencer Marketing?!

sentiment analysis of influencer marketing

In the past few posts we have highlighted the power of influencer marketing in this new social media age and how you can measure its effectiveness. When negotiating with agencies specialised in social, you’ll undoubtedly hear terms such as reach, engagement or sentiment analysis – all three holy grails to qualm nerves and measure branding success (if you’re unfamiliar with these, check out our post below!).

The latter, sentiment analysis, is a buzzword that has taken the online marketing scene by storm. Here we break it down for you by explaining what is meant by sentiment analysis, why it’s important, how it can be measured, and how we at Socially Powerful use it to inform our campaigns.

What is sentiment analysis?

Social media platforms have drastically changed the relationship between producer and consumer. The top-down one-way channel of communication common to traditional media has been torn down by UGC, opening up dynamic spaces for consumers to collectively and individually voice their opinions on brands. This, in turn, has made it far easier to understand how your target audience feel about your product and/or your marketing strategy, whether that be through the like/dislike ratio, influencer story polls or (and this is the most fruitful) the comment section. While engagement is a useful metric to gauge a post’s relative popularity or the amount of interest it peaked, sentiment analysis allows you to further refine and optimise your content strategies to effectively maximise ROI.

So why doesn’t everyone carry out sentiment analysis?

They do. Sentiment analysis is featured as a metric on many social media insight tools used by agencies – hence its buzz on the marketing scene. However, often these metrics are used without fully understanding how they work. Some rely on the like/dislike ratio mentioned above. Other more specialised analyses will examine the language used in the comment section, and here is where the problems arise.

Sentiment and opinions are highly subjective and open to interpretation. As such, the grammatical and syntactical conventions used to express positive or negative emotions are hard to generalise with precision.  To circumvent this, some tools such as LIWC use sentiment lexica, i.e. list of words organised by their bipolar semantic orientation (positive/negative). However, this offers only a crude interpretation of language, which ignores the intensity of a certain sentiment or the contextuality in which words are used – a feature particularly crucial as words often have multiple meanings. Even tools that incorporate valence scores for intensity (e.g. VADER) ignore the lexical features native and ubiquitous in UGC like acronyms, emojis and slang.

Other more recent attempts at sentiment analysis (e.g. Naïve Bayers classifier, Support Vector Machines, etc.) have made use of growing expertise in machine learning and natural language processing to learn and identify sentiment-relevant features of text. However, the issue with such tools and UGC is that they require large sets of validated training data which represents as many of the lexical features as possible. Such data sets of UGC are hard to acquire due to the spare and short nature of text on social media.

How then does Socially Powerful analyse sentiment?

Here at Socially Powerful we understand why sentiment analysis is hard and we, therefore, like to do everything in-house to ensure the highest degree of quality and certainty for our clients. We carry out our own comprehensive sentiment analysis, integrating easily identifiable metrics such as like/dislikes and influencer polls, validated sentiment analysis tools and analyses of multiple samples in comment sections, carried out by different expert analysts. This way ensures we cover the drawbacks of each method. It also means we can be more creative and offer a more fine-grained bespoke analysis for each piece of content.

Why is this important?

Thinking back to last year’s Pepsi-Kendall Jenner advert provides a perfect example of the importance of sentiment analysis. Viewing it on the basis of engagement, the advert was a huge success. However, as everyone knows by now, it drew widespread criticism from around the globe for its insensitive and farcical content.

Kendall Jenner Pepsi influencer marketing.jpg

In influencer marketing, for example, an influencer may post to Instagram holding the product in hand so that it gains exposure to their followers. Any of the sentiment analysis tools mentioned above will then analyse the language in the comment section to get a rough picture of how it has been received. However, going the extra step allows us to fully understand whether the positive or negative sentiment recorded is actually directed towards the product or just other features of the post (i.e. outifts, quality of photo, background, etc.) – if the latter is the case then it is classified as neutral. In other words, it allows us to fully understand the context in which views are expressed, because ultimately it is that context that shapes our opinions.

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The POWER of Influencer Marketing FOR Beauty BRANDS!

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The POWER of Influencer Marketing FOR Beauty BRANDS!

influencer marketing for beauty brands

The influence YouTube beauty vloggers maintain over their subscribers is undeniable. With 73% of Millennials viewing it as their responsibility to guide friends, peers, and family toward smart purchase decisions, beauty influencers exercise the power to deliver honest and credible feedback regarding the legitimacy of brand claims. A mascara that lengthens lashes by 10x? We will see about that.

Their opinions can make or break the launch of a new product and subsequent reputability of a brand. For example, take the top 200 most-viewed beauty videos on YouTube; 86% were filmed by bloggers whilst only 14% where by beauty brands. Therefore, when we talk about the ‘power’ of YouTube, we are talking about that incomparable authenticity unique to real people, with real opinions.

With the influencer market continuing to expand at a rapid speed, and the potential for exposure and positive sentiment leading to a consequent spike in sales, it is obvious why leading brands are turning to these self-made beauty gurus. What is compelling is how brands are increasingly using and applying innovative approaches to influencer marketing to generate consumer engagement.

Since the boom of the beauty vlogger in the late noughties (one word, Zoella), brands have evolved their marketing strategies to encapsulate such authenticity, be it through affiliation, imitation or collaboration.

Take Loreal for example. Back in 2016, they increased their market share and improved brand reputation through deploying their first ever influencer-led campaign. In support of the release of the True Match foundation range, Loreal launched the #YoursTruly campaign; sourcing a diverse mix of YouTube influencers to establish the range as inclusive and credible. Since the campaign, and further collaboration with YouTuber’s, L’Oréal has since experienced a positive uplift in sentiment as well as sales. 

Becca’s product collaboration with YouTube beauty vlogger, Jaclyn Hill, of a limited edition ‘champagne pop’ highlighter, is another example of a brand nailing it. Drawing on Jaclyn’s, at the time, 3 million subscribers and personable approach, Becca broke Sephora’s record to become the store’s most-purchased product on its first day of release alone selling out 25,000 units in 20 minutes. This initial success propelled Becca from relatively unknown, with a consumer brand recognition of 0.5%, to a brand with a two million strong Instagram following. In late 2016 the company was then sold on to Estee Lauder for a reported 200 million.

However, failure to recognise an audience’s needs, overpricing and portraying a lack of diversity can lead to a financial and reputational loss for both YouTuber and brand. YouTube has the power to reward and ruin, as Benefit Cosmetics found with their collaboration with five big beauty YouTuber’s for their Beauty Stowaway set. The set received huge online backlash for products which were suitable for white skin only, unoriginal and minuscule in size.

In summary, if done well, YouTube influencers offer brands countless opportunity to engage an audience they would otherwise have limited access to and derive credibility not found in traditional advertisements. However, with the influencer market becoming more cluttered with beauty brand affiliations, it is questionable whether YouTuber’s can continue to maintain such reliability and, in turn, power.

influencer marketing for beauty brands

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Measuring the success of Influencer Marketing - Socially Powerful

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Measuring the success of Influencer Marketing - Socially Powerful

How do you measure the ROI and effectiveness of your Influencer Marketing campaign?!

how to measure the roi in influencer marketing.jpg
 

It’s safe to say that Influencer Marketing has found its place within the marketing mix, it’s not going anywhere soon and has become a powerful tool for brands in today’s age of social media. Many of the most iconic brands in recent times have come to the fore with an all-in approach to Influencer Marketing, e.g. Gymshark, which is now one of the fastest growing businesses globally.

However, with anything new making its way in the world, there are questions and scepticism around it, especially if you’re doing it wrong. So, how do you measure the effectiveness and the ROI of Influencer Marketing, what metrics should you be looking at? Today, we will answer your question and show you all!

Firstly, when any brand is looking to commit to spending even $1 in any form of marketing, we need to look at the goals of the campaign and the potential returns. We always ask our clients three key questions - What are you trying to achieve? Who are you trying to target? And, what are your campaign objectives? We reverse engineer from the agreed outcome to make informed decisions about which influencers and platforms best capture the target audience’s attention to develop long-lasting engagement and business impact.

Now, let’s talk about the goals and how you can measure them.

Brand awareness

Many will see brand awareness as a given with any marketing activity, let alone influencer marketing. However, to be seen and wanted by your target audience is one of the main goals of brands. Even if you’re working with just one micro-influencer with a few thousand followers, you’ll want to know how many eyeballs have seen your brand or been exposed to your brand. The metrics to look at here, cover total reach and impressions. How many times a post has appeared on people’s timelines and how many unique impressions there was.

Engagement

Engagement goes one step further than brand awareness, here we look at the audience that how they have actively engaged (link clicks, left a like, a comment, dislike, shares, followed your brand etc) on the content for the particular campaign. To look at the effectiveness of the engagement, you need to look at the influencers previous engagement rate and how the campaign compares. Higher engagement rate (likes, comments, shares, link clicks etc) indicates the audience enjoyed the content and appreciated the campaign. The next logical step would be to work with the influencer(s) again to continue building your relationship with them and their audience.

Lower engagement rate (low likes, high dislikes, low views etc) will indicate that there was something wrong with the campaign. Perhaps the wrong influencer was selected, the content was poorly put together or there wasn’t a particularly good audience fit.

Sentiment

Whether you’re trying to shift perception, provoke a reaction or test the waters, influencer marketing is a great way to understand audience’s sentiment towards your brand, products or campaign. There are numerous ways to look at the sentiment, either through comments in videos or pictures (what people are saying positive, negative, neutral?), the like to dislike ratio, amount of web traffic or another way is through polls on influencers stories on Instagram for example.

If you’re a watch brand and you have a dilemma about which colour watch to produce, you could simply run a poll on a few influencers stories that hit your target audience demographics, you’ll see results almost instantly. Through analysing the sentiment you’ll be able to see which social platforms react best to certain pieces of content, enabling you as a brand to prioritise your marketing spend towards those platforms.

Sales

Everyone wants to sell more, let’s face it, when you market your brand or service, the hope is that the audience will buy or use it. Influencer Marketing is a great way to increase sales or conversions and there are many ways to track the success. However, before beginning the campaign understand your sales figures for a few months previous and benchmark against these figures. Are you selling more with or without the chosen influencers?

If you’re a beauty brand, partnering with influencers to increase sales of a product, you can track sales through tracking links and discount codes, unique to each influencer you’re working with. By ensuring each link and code is unique, not only can you see day to day analysis and whether certain offers work best on certain days, but you can figure out influencer conversions. Which influencers are performing best and converting more of their audience to sales vs ones that aren’t performing well and have very little actual influence over their audience.

If you’re a mobile gaming company and your goal is to increase downloads using influencers, you can then track this through clicks on trackable links and then downloads of the game. Through this data, you can see the conversion metrics as before and you’ll be able to prioritise your top performing influencers for further marketing.

Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you have a concrete strategy in place (please see our previous blog for tips on this) and you know what you’re looking to achieve or measure. The above metrics will allow you to put together an Influencer Marketing campaign with confidence and understand the true power of the campaign performance.

 

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