Yesterday August 24th, 2017, ShopStyle had the opportunity to sponsor Glossy’s Hot Topic Event in NYC on Influencer Marketing. Not only did we have a full day of insightful speakers sharing their strategies, successes, and key learnings on this topic, but our very own Hilary Sloan, Director of Business Development, also spoke alongside a great retailer partner to us – Bloomingdale’s with Katie Leuer, Affiliate Marketing Manager – on our most recent successful Collective influencer campaign.
While most topics really focused on how brands could work with influencers and how they should navigate within this landscape – the same could be shared on the flip side, how can influencers work better with these brands?
We took some of the key brand takeaways and flipped it in reverse to share with ShopStyle Collective, hoping to give you more insights to continue to build your brand, business and voice. Read below for the top four takeaways.
There’s a place for everyone!
In today’s world, there are many types of influencers. Find your niche and focus on your content that caters and speaks authentically to your audience. Brands will notice. Rent the Runway’s Sr. Content Strategist, Alyssa Bronander, speaks about how they view influencers in “buckets” – the bucket they play with are their real customers, their advocates – who continually share real, authentic content to show off their dress, type and fit and in turn, these act as great user-generated content for RTR’s Instagram feed.
Whether you are starting out small or boast over 1M+ followers, brands always have a different marketing strategy and point-of-view on who they want to work with, speak to and of course, at the end of the day, partner with in a collaboration.
Once Upon a Time…
Storytelling is key! On the topic of focusing on your content, it is important today to have a unique point of view on the topics you are speaking about. To paraphrase Dina Fierro, Global Director of Digital at Christian Louboutin, she says “it is become increasingly rare” and “the most valuable thing that an influencer can bring to a brand is a FRESH perspective, content production that allows us to reach and engage different audiences.” She stresses the importance of storytelling as that is truly invaluable to a brand like Christian Louboutin, who focuses on giving rich and immersive experiences such as trips and events to allow influencers understand the brand at a deeper level.
Similarly, Director of Brand Marketing of ELOQUII, Diana Richter answers to question of “What makes a good influencer” – to which she replies “The influencers we work with time and time again are creating interesting and quality content. And being easy to work with.” At the end of the day, both parties recognize they are in a mutually beneficial relationship so being easy to work with will also yield more benefits long term!
Brands are looking for influencers and content partners to tell their story that is AUTHENTIC to you. In addition, some brands are constantly looking for true brand advocates and ambassadors. For example, Veronica Beard is all about tapping into networks that truly LOVE the products and are passionate about it. They have a gifting strategy and allow influencers to share on social without giving any direction. No parameters, no control – go rogue.
That said, have a unique point of view, stick to your own voice or continuously evolve and find your “new” voice – brands will notice and want to stick out of the crowd WITH you.
Swipe Right, Swipe Left… no, not that kind of relationship!
We love that Chris Benz, Creative Director at Bill Blass, compares cultivating influencer relationships to the likes of growing a garden. Brands are open and know they have to cultivate, mend and grow their influencer relationships. Given this, as an influencer, it goes a long way to continually support and talk to brands you truly love as this can help flourish and deepen the relationship further.
Many other speakers who spoke are smaller brands just starting out, and to them – these 1 on 1 relationships are key in their launch and marketing strategy.
It’s all fun and games, but always follow the rules…
Last but not least, as we all know, the FTC is on a strict crackdown. Fashion lawyer, Danielle Garno from Greenberg Traurig Law, gave a very helpful and informational session to the brands in the room on the Do’s and Don’ts of sponsored content. However, the responsibility doesn’t just fall on the brand partner, it is also on the influencer. We know “#ad isn’t sexy” but as this industry grows, it is important to be compliant more than ever – and yes, #partner will not fly now with the FTC. According to the FTC, it is defined as being deceptive even if it misleads 10%-15% of the consumer.
Head of New Business & Sales