Last year’s Fashion Week events demonstrated just how important content creators have become to the fashion industry.
At the time of writing, TikTok content including “Fashion Week 2023” had 784.6M views so it’s little wonder that influencers took the front row seat (sometimes quite literally) around the globe.
Notably, it wasn’t just established fashion influencers like Alix Earle (at Dion Lee in New York) or Phoebe Burgess (at Oraton in Sydney) who were invited. In New York, Estonian rapper and singer Tommy Cash attended several shows including John Paul Gaultier and Rick Owens.
These types of content creator partnerships are becoming more prevalent across the entire fashion industry. Why? Put simply, it’s because the consumer path to purchase is changing and brands must adapt to the recalibrated marketing funnel.
Let’s look at what is driving this change and how some fashion brands are adapting their marketing strategies accordingly:
Brands are no longer in control of the conversation
People are no longer interested in just what brands say. Instead, they want to know what people they trust say about the brand. This has been driven by declining trust in media and brands, as well as the challenge of wading through the proliferation of information in our 24/7 culture.
So instead of looking to dominant platforms like TV, radio, newspaper or Out-of-Home, people are seeking out reviews, recommendations and inspirations from trusted networks - which invariably includes online content creators. Almost one in three Australians now visit social networks to look for information about brands and products.
Content creators also have the advantage of perceived authenticity. Additionally, unlike digital advertising or pop up videos, they don’t interrupt the consumer’s online journey. It’s little wonder that 2 in 3 brands plan to expand their creator programs in the next year.
Content creators work the entire marketing funnel
Fashion brands are discovering that content creators can work the entire marketing funnel. It’s possible to create powerful emotional connections to build brand advocacy and awareness (top funnel) as well as drive sales conversations (bottom funnel) through discounts and deals.
Crucially for marketing teams, technology like the impact.com/creator platform empowers brands to navigate multiple contracts and diverse reward structures within a unified interface. This means content creators can be rewarded for a diverse range of outcomes - uniting brand and performance in one single interface.
Content creators are highly measurable
Technology also makes it easy to measure the success of content creator campaigns of all sizes.
For example, in the US, fashion house Coach harnessed the power of its social channels to engage a younger audience and create a buzz for its new perfume, Coach Sunset Dreams. It worked with impact.com to identify and introduce fun-loving college students and recent graduates to the new perfume, as well as to identify paid influencers.
Coach was able to measure how the 56 diverse influencers across the US that it worked with, reached an audience of 2.3 million, delivering a 3.7 percent engagement rate with content from paid influencers and a 4.5 percent engagement rate for seeds from the 211 pieces of user-generated content that was created.
Customers can become brand ambassadors
Given technology can now make it possible to manage influencer campaigns at scale, fashion brands can also seek to incentivise their loyal customers to become brand ambassadors.
Asia’s online fashion destination, ZALORA has established an open and inclusive influencer partnership model, using impact.com, which has attracted more than 2,000 content creators to its program. The brand doesn’t require its partners to have a minimum number of followers or posts per month to join, and this year it adopted a new commission-based model that invites even more crowd participation. Recommendations that lead to sales earn the influencer up to 15 percent commission in cash back or up to 10 percent in cash.
The good news for fashion brands is that it is now possible for brands of all sizes to manage these types of creator programmes via partnership management platforms like impact.com. The technology does the heavy lifting so you don’t need to have large dedicated teams to manage global programs at scale. In fact, Australian luggage start-up July used impact.com’s partnership platform to launch into the US market at a time when they only had a team of 15 people!
For more information on how fashion brands can harness the power of content creators please visit impact.com/creator.