Unlocking the Power of Influencers: How Fashion Brands Can Revolutionize Engagement going into 2024
In this post we will delve into the fusion of influencer engagement and conversational messaging, offering insights into how brands are redefining their approach to reach and engage with their audience.
Photo by Will Adams IG Credit: Ava Dash
February 14th of this year, the renowned French fashion label Louis Vuitton chose Pharrell Williams, a Grammy-winning producer, rapper, singer, and songwriter, as its new creative director for menswear. This decision is notable because Pharrell lacks formal design training, but his substantial Instagram following of 14.3 million users is a pivotal factor. According to fashion editor Robin Ghivan from The Washington Post, Williams possesses a keen sense of emerging cultural trends and resonates with the younger consumer demographic.
This narrative highlights the burgeoning prominence of influencers in the fashion industry, a trend being observed globally. Figures like Alyssa Coscarelli, now the director of partnerships at LA-based retail platform Emcee, Chiara Ferragni, who joined the board at Tod's Group, and YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, who assumed the role of creative director at the beauty brand Bad Habit, exemplify this shift. Moreover, Klarna, a specialist in microloans, recently collaborated with Paris Hilton, one of the original influencers, for a comprehensive multimedia campaign, featuring films, images, events, and social content.
Fashion brands are increasingly embracing influencer engagement, and it's no surprise considering that 60% of consumers have made a purchase based on influencer recommendations at least once. As a result, three out of four B2C brands plan to boost their influencer marketing budgets in the next three years. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that influencer content reaches its intended audience, as users can't be constantly online on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook Messenger, and the lifespan of Insta stories is limited.
Social shopping events have emerged as a crucial means for brands to utilize their influencer partnerships to drive sales. Swedish company Bambuser offers a platform for both brands and influencers to host live online shopping experiences, akin to QVC for social media but with clickable "buy now" links. Bambuser has successfully collaborated with over 35,000 unique creators on more than 41,000 live shopping events, working with 350 brands, including Farfetch, Clarins, and the LVMH group.
While the potential for extending reach and relatability is promising, it raises an essential question: how can brands increase viewership for live video shopping events and influencer content? An answer lies in the medium itself, as influencer engagement primarily occurs on mobile phones, which are inherently suited for messaging. This is a unique aspect of modern media, as traditional advertising channels like magazines and TV shows don't allow direct messaging with the audience.
Today, brands can engage in two-way conversations with customers through advanced messaging channels such as WhatsApp and rich SMS, which allow the inclusion of images, videos, and chatbots. These conversations can be initiated by simply introducing a campaign, such as "Check out our campaign 'That’s Smoooth' with Paris Hilton." Thanks to technological advancements, integrating messaging functionality through APIs is straightforward, and brands can manage their activity across multiple channels from a user-friendly web dashboard. Furthermore, chatbots can handle routine queries, eliminating the need for human intervention.
The fusion of influencer engagement and conversational messaging presents a compelling opportunity for fashion brands. It enables them to locate and engage with customers, offer personalized deals, and communicate through interactive chat. This approach marks the next stage of social commerce and aligns perfectly with the trends going forward. It's undeniably in vogue!