Chiara Ferragni, a fashion / style blogger who has rightfully ascended into the tier of celebrity ( A List or B List will depend on what industry you are examining, but she is a fashion A-Lister ), will be seen on the cover of Vogue Spain’s April 2015 issue. While Chiara clearly represents that 1% of bloggers, she has had previous mentions this year, including the cover of the February 2015 issue of Lucky Magazine along with by a February 2015 cover of InStyle Germany. Let’s not forget her past cover courtesy of the May 2014 Grazia Italy after being featured in practically every magazine ever to mention a blogger in both the print and digital versions at some point. This is capped off by her receipt of the Forbes 30 under 30 in Art & Style mention and collaborations with brands such as Steve Madden, Chanel, Dior and Seven for All Mankind.
For small brands not generating capital at the rate of those mentioned above ( Chiara’s collaboration with Steve Madden sold over 16,000 pairs of shoes in two weeks ), Chiara’s ascension to the fashion elite may make one feel as though there isn’t much hope for working with the right influencers. That is anything but true. In fact, Chiara’s unconventional level of success has helped solidify the next levels of fashion bloggers behind her and changed the way bloggers view their work. In the age of the Blonde Salad, here are a few takeaways small brands should have about influencer marketing.
- Target, Target, Target. Forget the concept of just targeting bloggers based on geographical proximity or social size. As a note, most large bloggers are represented by talent management agencies or work closely with larger / national PR agencies. In fact, our PR Director has firsthand experience in seeing how competitive PR firms can vie for attention from said bloggers. Look instead to see what brands these bloggers have previously worked with, their personal aesthetic, what content they share on social media ( this can be very different from their blog ) and even where they have been featured, as this can influence the style they present ( so they can be featured again ).
- Messaging. If targeting is right, then messaging is equally key. One common component of all large influencers is that they don’t have a great deal of time, but they usually are excited to see emails from new sources. Linkedin encourages users to limit emails to under 100 words for reaching new connections. Treat bloggers the same. If they are really interested or excited about your message, they will likely communicate with you for more details, so try to only include the essentials and what kind of collaboration you are looking for. This paragraph is about 100 words long.
- Choose the Right Channel. Not all bloggers will mention this, but they have a preferred channel for both business communication and personal communication. While some bloggers may love posting new pics on Instagram, they may prefer to receive brand inquiries on Twitter. As a general rule of thumb, its best to email bloggers at their preferred email address for business inquiries. This is important as they likely check it much more often for those reasons. But if all else fails, know that bloggers love their blog, so they do check new comments.
- Be Where They Are. There is a good reason why virtually all deals are still handled in person. Nothing sells a product or offer better than a firm handshake and a deep stare into one another’s eyes ( ok maybe not that deep ). For meeting bloggers, some are very excited about promoting the events they attend, many of which have a public facing or non-invite component. Networking with these bloggers or more likely persons they constantly affiliate with is a great way to create the connections and relationships needed to bring attention to your brand.
- Consider Employing an Agency. Oftentimes, the connections required to get the attention of large bloggers are not within your network. This is perfectly acceptable as a small brand looking to grow and attract a new customer base and make the right connections. There are times when these connections are worth being paid for. An agency may have a strong relationship with that blogger’s best friend, manager or even their publicist / representative. Sometimes, they have established a relationship with the blogger themselves. When in the process of searching for an agency partner, an example of placement with influencers or a direct question of if they have ever had placement with a certain blogger is not out of the question.
Featured Image: Vogue Espana