According to a Fashion and Beauty Monitor report, 57% of fashion companies use influencer marketing in their strategies, and 21% plan to add it to their mix if they haven’t already.
The Digital Marketing Institute says, “Not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations but 40% had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.” It’s obvious that influencer marketing is the way of the future for apparel and clothing brands.
But choosing the right influencer fit for your brand is crucial to a successful social media brand ambassador campaign. We asked our influencer marketing experts here at Sideqik what recommendations they have for brands looking to find the right “fit” (pun intended).
Analyze Potential Influencers’ Engagement with Followers
It’s great to have a ton of followers, but does the influencer engage with his or her followers across platforms? It’s better to have an influencer in your program with a higher engagement rate than one with just a bunch of followers.
When people ask a social media personality how a piece fits, if it’s true to size, does it dress up or down well, is it soft? etc., would your influencer answer those questions? Here are some ways to gauge how your influencers make sure it’s a two-way conversation:
No matter the social platform, check to see if your influencer likes follower comments. As a follower, we’ve all felt that ping of “being seen” when we comment on a post and see the poster liked our thoughts.
It’s a little meaningless when they go through and like every single one. However, liking a few here and there on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter shows that the influencer actually takes the time to read follower comments and show appreciation.
The next level is influencers replying to follower comments and even commenting on other social profiles (to extend the network!). We’re not talking about the bot-type comments that are meaningless, but real interaction that shows the influencer is listening and considering what their followers are saying and asking–and taking the time to think through and post a response.
This will be helpful for your own campaigns with influencers — by driving more traffic to their own profiles, they’ll be helping drive more visibility for you. Plus if people ask questions about your apparel, you know your influencer will engage and not just ignore those comments.
Along with the regular comments on social platforms, Instagram stories lets users open up a question and answer box. May influencers have been using this as AMAs about topics they’re experts in, but it could also be used for your fashion influencer marketing.
For example, once your product is introduced, the influencer could offer to take questions about it and even link back to you through the story.
Regular communication helps to build a community. When people feel like they’re part of a community, they will trust the influencer’s opinion and recommendations more — especially if the influencer answers follower questions honestly.
Check the Other Brands They Represent
Not only is checking their engagement crucial to see how they interact with followers, but it’s important that clothing brands look at the other types of brands their target influencer represents.
Do you want an influencer that frequently posts #ad? Are you ok with the brands that influencer has worked with? Do they target the same audience? Would the audience that purchases the other brand also purchase yours?
Also, think if you want to be working with influencers who work with your potential competitors? Or do your competitor’s influencers want to work with you? Getting a clear picture of who an influencer works with is important and gives you a good idea of their product-market fit.
Note: Sideqik’s influencer marketing discovery tools can help you find which influencers represent what other brands online to make this step even easier.
Perform a Gut-Check on Authenticity
Followers prefer influencers and social media personalities who they feel are authentic. While there’s no authenticity-measurement tool, there are a few ways to gut-check a brand ambassador’s potential to help grow your brand awareness and affinity.
Along with answering follower questions and responding to comments, check out what else your potential influencer posts online–is it all #sponsoredposts?
The FTC requires that all posts that influencers are being compensated for include some form of disclosure to followers. So, you’ll know the type of content your influencer is posting based on the hashtags: #ad #spon #sponsoredposts, etc.
Make certain your target audience can actually relate to your social media partner and that the person posts some real-life, engaging content every now and again.
Bonus: You’ve Already Spotted Them Wearing Your Brand
If you do a profile check on a clothing brand influencer and spot them already wearing your brand while scrolling through YouTube or Instagram, it’s most likely a match!
If you just happen to see an influencer you hadn’t considered collaborating with, it might be worth the double-check to see if he or she is a good fit, too.
Use an All-In-One Tool for Easy Access to this Data
Sideqik’s comprehensive influencer marketing tool intuitively organizes all the data you need to see who best fits with your target audience. Easily find new influencers for your brand–or find new audiences based on influencer fit.
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