You’ve probably seen them, people who have hundreds of thousands of online followers just for looking good and dressing well. These so-called fashion bloggers are highly influential online, so it makes sense that they are highly sought after by a variety of brands looking to get involved in influencer marketing.
If you’re a brand that sells clothes, jewelry, and other accessories, and perhaps even beauty products such as makeup, then targeting these influencers to collaborate with you shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. As long as you approach it right.
However, brands that are unrelated to the fashion industry will likely find this more difficult. But is it impossible?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the strategies you can use for targeting fashion bloggers if you’re not a fashion brand. We’ll also look at some examples of this done right to give you some inspiration.
Why fashion influencers?
You might be wondering why you would want to target fashion influencers if your brand has nothing to do with fashion.
These influencers can still provide you with a great deal of value as their content has such a wide reach. With tens or even hundreds of thousands of loyal followers, getting your brand name mentioned in one of their posts could expose your brand to thousands of new users. This would then, hopefully, lead to new followers and increased interest in your brand and its products or services.
The key, however, it to find a link between your brand and the kind of content that the influencer posts. If the influencer doesn’t see a logical link or just isn’t interested in your brand, then they are unlikely to agree to team up with you.
For influencers, their reputation is everything. It’s what their whole online presence is built on. So, they have to carefully consider what brands they partner with.
What’s fashion got to do with it?
So, that brings us back to the question of how you could possibly find a link between a fashion influencer and your wholly unfashionable brand. The most likely link is that you share a similar target audience with the influencer.
For example, let’s say you run a travel company that likes to target millennials who are interested in taking a few months or a year out to travel the world. There’s got to be loads of fashion influencers out there who appeal to a similar kind of audience. Young, independent, and adventurous.
A fashion blogger that targets Moms might like to share recipes or products related to children, not just children’s clothes, either. Fashion posts aimed at middle-aged men could team up with a brand that sells power tools or golfing equipment, for example.
It might just take some thinking outside of the box to identify a link between your brand and a fashion influencer, but there are plenty of creative avenues you could go down.
So, now you know that teaming up with fashion influencers to expand your online reach isn’t impossible, read on for some more specific strategies for targeting those much-desired influencers.
Strategies for targeting fashion bloggers
Influencer marketing isn’t something you can just dive right into. Your strategy should be well thought out in terms of a number of things:
- Which influencers to target
- How to approach them
- Which products or services to promote
- What kind of content to create
Luckily, the fourth bullet point listed there is made easier by the fact that these influencers know what they’re doing and tend to have a lot of ideas of their own for content creation. Giving them a large degree of control over the content tends to lead to impressive results.
This leaves the first three bullet points as your main responsibilities. Do lots of research into fashion influencers to determine which would be suitable for you to work with. Once you’ve selected a handful, it’s time to start engaging with them.
If you contact them straight away to propose a partnership when they have no idea who you are, you can expect a resounding no. Follow them first, comment on their posts, share content with them. Do whatever you can to build a relationship before you reach out.
When you do eventually approach them, make sure you have done all this strategizing so you can make a proper proposal to them. Let them know what product you want them to promote and why you think it would make a good partnership.
So, now that you’ve got an idea of the process you need to follow, let’s get down to those strategies you’ve been waiting so patiently for.
Blend into the background
It may sound counterintuitive, but, sometimes, the best way to stand out is to blend into the background. This is an easy strategy for working with fashion influencers. They’re taking pictures of their latest outfit on a regular basis, often every day. Unless they opt for a super close-up shot, there has to be something behind them in the background of the photo. And that something could be your brand!
For example, an influencer could promote the brand that sells the furniture they’re sitting on, a piece of artwork on the wall, or a TV or computer that’s on the table behind them. It’s easy to work these kinds of products naturally into a photo that they would be sharing anyway.
The example above is from the Instagram of Rachel Pitzel, a fashion and travel influencer who regularly posts photos of herself spending time with her son and daughter. And the post we’re looking at is no different. The main focus of this photo is her cuddling up with her kids, but it has been created to promote the comfortable sofa that they’re cuddling up on from custom furniture brand Joybird.
You might not be featured as prominently using this strategy, depending on how it is executed by the influencer. But, it’s definitely effective if you’re struggling for ways to collaborate with fashion influencers.
Good strategy for: furniture brands, tech companies, and pretty much any brand that sells physical products
Focus on what’s underneath the clothes
No, this tip isn’t just about having an influencer show some cleavage in an IG post (although that may have been their strategy in this example). This is all about making the most of the fact that fashion bloggers are all about looking good. And that isn’t just about the clothes, jewelry, and makeup they’re wearing, but also about how their bodies look.
So, in this example, @thehautebrunette shared a sponsored post about her at-home workout, in which she mentions fitness company p.volve and a specific piece of fitness equipment they sell - the p.ball.
The post predominantly features Alyssa Melendez herself sporting active wear, so followers can still get a taste of what she wears in her day to day life. The p.ball is then positioned next to her with the p.volve logo facing the camera, so the brand is featured in the picture without being overly promotional or in your face.
This is a great way for health, fitness, and wellbeing brands to get involved with fashion influencers. Their followers are interested in how that influencer looks so good and how they could emulate them, so a fitness brand could gain a lot of attention by partnering with these people.
Good strategy for: fitness brands, personal trainers, skincare brands
Make it onto their menu
Everyone’s gotta eat, even fashion influencers. So, food and drink brands can get in on the action by being that influencer’s snack, beverage, or grocery store of choice.
This can be as simple as having your food or drink brand featured in the background of a post where a fashion influencer is showing off their latest outfit. For greater prominence, the fashion influencer could be holding or actually consuming the food or drink in the photo.
Of course, fashion influencers are often more creative than this, like the above example of Sazi Hills, aka @fashion_53. In this sponsored post for Pepsi, she takes things a huge step further than the simple can of Pepsi Max in her hand. She’s taken the product and used it in an innovative way, and a way that’s relevant to fashion and style, no less.
That’s right, she’s using a bunch of empty Pepsi cans in her hair as rollers!
This is definitely an eye-catching post. One that would make you stop as you scrolled past it. But, at the same time, it still shows off her trendy outfit, staying true to her own brand of influencer marketing.
Unsurprisingly, her followers loved it, with more than 5,000 likes and words such as “slay,” “dope,” and “fly” being used in the comments to show their appreciation of her unique style.
Good strategy for: food and drink brands, food delivery services, restaurants, supermarkets
The ‘aww’ effect
What better way to liven up an otherwise boring sponsored post than by strategically positioning your pet in the shot? This means that you could be talking about tax or banking and people would still pay attention to your post because it has an adorable animal in the photo.
So, if your company sells something completely unglamorous like the examples mentioned, your best strategy is to add a bit of cute to grab people’s attention. This will encourage them to read the caption, which is where exposure to your brand will come in.
Now, when it comes to the ‘aww’ effect, there are two different routes you could go down – kids or pets. And we’ve got examples of both!
A lot of fashion bloggers that are also parents post about the clothes that their kids wear and the brands that provide them, as well as their own clothes. But, partnering fashion with fashion is not what this blog is about. So, what other types of brands can use the ‘aww’ effect that kids provide when they’re collaborating with influencers?
This strategy could cover a wide variety of brands because parents need a lot of supplies to look after their kids, so they can potentially promote lots of different things. So, let’s look at a couple of good examples.
This post from @walkinginmemphisinhighheels, aka Laura Lee, came at an appropriate time – that miserable time when everyone is suffering from colds and flu. She is promoting the cold medicine she used to help her daughter recover from “the sniffles,” Matys Chest Rub.
This cute picture of her and her daughter is a nice, wholesome sponsored post that warms your heart while also suggesting a remedy for any parents with children that are unwell. As an added bonus, this post is also a giveaway in partnership with Matys, but we’ll get onto that strategy in more detail a little bit later.
Kelly and her daughter Kennedy are the dynamic duo that feature in most of the posts shared on @_thevintageblonde_. She often mentions her and her daughter’s stylish outfits, but featuring her daughter with her in these photos also gives her the chance to promote the brands that she uses to help her through parenthood.
In this post, Kennedy adorably poses eating Cuties Citrus easy-to-peel oranges, with a cheeky smile on her face that would make any parent want to go out and buy some for their own kids.
Good strategy for: any brand designed with kids or families in mind
As I’ve already suggested, putting a cute dog in a photo can help you sell anything. But, a fashion influencer with cute pets, especially ones that regularly make appearances in the influencer’s posts, present a great opportunity for any brand that targets pet owners.
This could range from the less interesting necessities such as pet insurance, to more exciting things like clothing for pets.
This kind of post will attract a lot of attention because Bella is so cute. And the dog treat brand is likely to get some new customers because any of Krystin’s followers who are also dog owners might follow her recommendation of this brand.
Good strategy for: pet brands (and pretty much any brand because we all love cute animals)
One easy way to get your product into a fashion influencer’s post is to offer it up as a prize. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to partnering your unrelated brand with a fashion influencer. If you have products, gift cards, or other freebies that can be given away as prizes, then you can get involved with an influencer in that way.
Most influencers will partner with a brand as long as they like and believe in their products or the brand itself. They’re unlikely to partner with you if they don’t support or agree with the way you work or what you stand for.
Other than that, you’ve got a great amount of freedom with this strategy.
In the above giveaway post, @ashleyspassionforfashion has partnered with another blogger and Nooga Boutique to offer a huge giveaway. Some of the prizes included are fashion related, including items of clothing and a Nooga Boutique gift card. However, there is also a $25 Starbucks gift card included in the prize.
Starbucks has very little to do with fashion, but they can still get a mention in Ashley’s posts by partnering with her in this generous way. If your company can offer a desirable prize, then they can make the most of this strategy. Products such as iPhone’s and tablets are also very popular prizes in giveaways. These kinds of things attract a lot of attention and entrants.
Good strategy for: stores, cafés, and restaurants, tech companies
Be part of the experience
Looking at this picture, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s an ad, and you certainly wouldn’t know what it’s advertising. That is often what makes a good sponsored post on Instagram. If a post is blatantly an ad, it can really turn people off. Followers are more likely to scroll past without engaging if the post doesn’t fit naturally with the rest of the account’s content.
The image in this post is of a group of well-dressed women, which certainly fits in with the usual content of @fashionistamomma. The caption then makes it clear that this photo is of Megan Ballard and her Mom friends enjoying a day out in Temecula Wine Country, courtesy of a company called Aall In Limo & Party Bus.
Even though the brand isn’t featured in the photo, it still gets a mention in the post as a company that has made this experience possible, giving them some exposure. It’s a great example of simplicity in influencer marketing.
This kind of company could have actually made it into the photo in a logical way as the women could have posed in the same way in front of their limo. However, this strategy provides a way in for certain experience companies that wouldn’t naturally be able to be photographed. If it’s a brand that’s there in spirit rather than in person, or if it’s the person/company standing behind the camera, for example.
Good strategy for: providers of experience days, travel companies, service industries, photographers
Join in with the festivities
There are certain times of the year where almost everyone is looking for presents to buy their loved ones. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the ones that immediately spring to mind. If your brand sells anything that makes a popular gift, then you can use this to your advantage when targeting fashion influencers around these seasons.
Influencers all over Instagram were sharing the gifts they were buying for their friends and family over the holidays, and giving the brands they bought them from a nice big shout out. The example above shows @feralcreature backing the benefits of eBay gift cards as presents.
Other examples include lifestyle blogger, Abby Smith promoting Stein Mart by showing off all the gifts she bought from there on here Instagram, @twistmepretty. Then, beauty blogger Jamie Rocker got creative with her sponsored gift giving by customizing some trainers with acrylic paint from Reeves.
This strategy allows pretty much any brand to partner up with pretty much any influencer. Because, no matter what their interests are, they will still have to buy gifts for others.
So, even though a fashion influencers followers will primarily be interested in areas like fashion and beauty, their parents might really enjoy golfing, meaning they’ll be looking for ideas for golf related gifts.
Good strategy for: brands selling anything that makes a good gift idea
Now it’s your turn…
So, there you have it! Seven killer strategies to help you take advantage of the power these fashion influencers have. I don’t want to hear any more excuses about how your brand isn’t the right fit to partner with fashion influencers, because there’s bound to be a strategy listed here that you can use to wrangle your way in.
Influencer marketing is the perfect example of brands sharing each other’s successes. Make the most of the fact that some people have a million followers on social media and use their influence to turn some of those followers into your new customers.
TheShelf is a platform that’s here to match you up with the best and most relevant influencers. So, take some of the challenge out of that first step of deciding who to collaborate with by letting us help you with your influencer marketing strategy. We also run influencer marketing campaigns from start to finish.
Click here to find out more about TheShelf and how we can help you get started with successful influencer marketing.