Jordan Ranstead is our digital marketing specialist in Fashion. Social Media is extremely important, not only for eCommerce in general but especially for the Fashion industry. Social Influencers are constantly suggesting directly or indirectly what is needed for the best look, life, make up, etc.
In this article, Jordan shares with us his view of brands and influencers and the way to include them in your digital marketing campaign.
“I am a millennial. Granted, not your ‘stereotypical’ millennial. I am classified, as such, purely due to the era in which I was born. I don’t follow anybody religiously on social media, I don’t take a huge amount of interest in what brands are doing on Instagram or Snapchat and my general cynicism towards everything means almost all attempts of retargeting and social ads really do not capture my imagination at all.
Now, this may be somewhat of an oddity, considering I spend nine hours a day toiling away, sifting through huge amounts of digital data in order to support and consult clients on the aforementioned.
So I seem to ask myself quite regularly why so many people my age are constantly glued and almost obsessed by someone else’s life. I have enough problems keeping mine in check, let alone worrying what brand of teeth whitening solution Kim and Khloe Kardashian are using (it’s Express Smile Atlanta, if anyone was wondering).
However, putting the above aside, I do completely understand the merit and brand growth these partnerships can create for socially savvy businesses. I mean, find the right representative, target the right demographic, with a respectable impression range and voila! Right?
Now, let’s use fashion as the guinea pig here. Arguably fashion and in particular high end and large fashion brands have implemented social strategies extremely well. They tend to know their target audience and often have their fingers in the right pies to attract lucrative partnerships with the right people. For example, look at the returns Nike are making from our old friend, Cristiano Ronaldo. Granted, from his perspective, who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of all-time greats Lebron James and the man, the myth, the legend himself, Michael Jordan. Oh yeah, and not to forget the cheeky little $1 billion dollars that were deposited into his (what I imagine to already be stacked) piggy bank.
It is no secret that Ronaldo has one of the largest social followings in the world, with the likes of Forbes and The Business Insider taking note of the frankly humongous 262 million people following him. Roughly breaking down to 120 million on Facebook, 92 million on Instagram and another 50 million on Twitter.
Objectively, I have thought about this a lot and still cannot work out who the winner is in this partnership. One party has essentially sold their soul to the devil for a rather sizable fixed fee, whilst the devil has acquired a cash cow that keeps on giving (well, until it ceases to be relevant or essentially stops being alive).
Forbes reported that Ronaldo accumulated an estimated $474 million in media value for Nike in just 2016 alone. So, if there are any maths boffins out there who want to work out how long it would take to acquire a positive ROI (my forecasting skills are, let’s say, non-existent) then please do let me know, but I make it just over two years.
Not all influencers have a reach this extensive and it is important to understand the different roles mega and micro influencers play in the ever-shifting digital landscape. For the sake of simplicity, micro-influencers tend to be utilised and unleashed on niche markets. This is not to say they may also have a wider influence on a market or demographic, whereby mega-influencers are more like a rather potent flash bang being thrown in your face, bringing to the table almost immediate PR and brand value according to Bloglovin.com, the creators of influencer marketing platform Active.
Below are some guidelines for what constitutes as Mega and Micro, as set out by Influencer Marketing Days in their case study entitled Value of Mega and Micro Influencers.
- Followers over 100,000 on and/or offline
- Aspirational to followers
- Can be niche or lifestyle focused
- Unable to respond individually to all followers due to large numbers
- Produces significant social media engagement such as likes, views, shares and comments
- Sweet spot of between 1,000-10,000 followers
- Create related micro-moments that their followers find inspirational but also attainable
- More responsive to followers due to smaller numbers
- Smaller numbers of likes, shares and comments in quantity, but higher in ratio
When we consider the commercial benefits with this form of activity, we have to ask “what is most cost efficient for my brand?” Sadly, there is no solid, set-in-stone answer for this. It really does come down to trial and error. From my research, it would seem those who conduct both forms of influencer activity actually see the best returns. However, I do have to state that nearly every case study I have read around this subject has also tipped micro influencer campaigns to drive more direct revenue with a lower CPE (cost per engagement). But as with anything in life, we must take a more holistic approach. Whilst the micros might be driving more direct revenue, the megas can have far more of an umbrella benefit, supporting the micro influencer campaigns. In addition to this, the megas will have a far larger impact on many other commercial channels, in a way that is more indirect and intangible. I mean, I can’t look at a pen anymore without thinking about Michael Parkinson and his outstanding performance in the Sun Life over 50s advert from back in the day.
Micro influencers in particular have become extremely sought after by fashion brands. The process of acquiring much of the talent in this industry has become heavily reliant on marketplaces. Imagine going into your local Tesco and perusing different brands of baked beans – they all look different, but at the end of the day, they still pretty much taste and go down the same way. Our friends over at Drum recently published an article about the introduction of TRIBE into the UK market. In my opinion, Felix Morgan the author of the article Why brands shouldn’t be looking to marketplaces to find micro-influencers nailed it with the following: “The very idea of a marketplace is built on an assumption that influencer identification should be seen as a media transaction, while I would contest that it should be a human task. In fact, I believe that influencer identification should have more in common with going on a date than with buying a TV spot.”
Now this really resonated with me; brands should be speaking with these micro influencers, they should be asking them questions, understanding their passions and asking what inspires them. They are, after all, going to be representing your brand and products. So why not take that extra time to get to know these human beings on a social platform, as well as a professional one? I think we all know the answer to this.
Social channels like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are hugely valuable to brands to engage with potential customers and expand their brand reach. Although personally, I don’t buy into the whole idealised lifestyle ads that seem to crop up constantly in my social media feeds. I do, however, heartily understand why these brands are shifting a huge amount of their budget into running these influencer campaigns.
And always remember, if you can’t take any more of the brands and their products being consistently jammed down your pie hole by people with more money than you, there are always social media accounts like the below which will reset your inner social media Qi.
I mean, who doesn’t want to look at the same picture of Michael Cera every day?”