With Fashion Week just around the corner, brands and PR representatives are whittling down their guest lists and determining who deserves those precious seats. It’s an art AND a science but not an easy one to nail down. While Fashion Week used to be an industry event for brands, media and buyers to gather, now bloggers are part of the equation too.
Once shunned by the fashion set, bloggers are now photographed at fashion week – in and outside the shows – for their over-the-top outfits. They’re even given preferential treatment on the fashion week front row and their influence can’t be overlooked.
Bloggers are the next generation of media influencers and come with their own built-in audiences of all different sizes and niches. They play many roles during Fashion Week: part-editor, covering the best shows; part-model, representing brands at the shows in their coveted clothes; and part-celebrity, offering their followers a behind the scenes look at their lives going to and from the shows during the much-anticipated Fashion Week (or Fashion Month for a lucky few). Personal style bloggers are the face of their site, so they are a natural fit for brand endorsements and ambassadorships at the shows. Their readers have come to expect gorgeous and original photos and videos straight from the shows; without a good view of the runway, this just wouldn’t be possible.
But how do you choose the right bloggers to attend your show?
Review Past Blogger Collaborations
It’s important to consider which bloggers will have the most impact on your target audience. If you’ve already worked with bloggers on specific campaigns, you should have a good idea of which ones best represent your brand. Where have you seen the best results in terms of awareness, engagement and sales? This is a great place to start as far as natural fit goes.
Evaluate Organic Relationships
If you want to get some fresh faces at your show, consider organic relationships you’ve formed over the past year. Patti Cohen, EVP of global marketing and communications for Donna Karan International says, "We invite bloggers to our shows that we have formed relationships with organically through our public relations efforts and social media engagement.”
Invite Bloggers on Your A-List
Even if you haven’t worked with particular bloggers, there might be a few you are pining to work with. Perhaps you’ve started to build relationships with them, engaged on social media, or started communicating through email over the past year. Now is your chance to give these leading names an exclusive invite to your show. It’s a great way to form a stronger relationship and naturally encourage them to share photos and footage from the show, in turn exposing you to a much larger audience.
Consider Who Will Give You The Best Coverage
Identify the voices in the ‘Magic Middle’ of the attention curve. Brian Solis of “The Art and Science of Blogger Relations” identifies this as “the bloggers who have from 20 to 1,000 other people linking to them. It can enable you to reach The Long Tail and also see measurable results. In other words, if you have a niche brand, your audience can likely be found in equally niche blogs. These bloggers are also the ones that will be excited about your brand, post the very best coverage they can, tweet up a storm before and after the show, and capture the best Instagram videos for their well-aligned readers to watch. The ‘Magic Middle’ can be a no-brainer for some.
Whether you're after smaller, niche bloggers or A-list names, most will be flattered and excited to attend your show. Evaluate where you fall in the ecosphere of Fashion Week and start sending out your invites ASAP!