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Top 5 Fashion Influencers of 2018

The cultural relevance of modern fashion and its key players has never been greater. Todays influencers have been afforded unique abilities to steer perceptions in ways that those before them never were.

Social media has given the opportunity for the large scale characterisation of your everyday man and woman on the street, often transforming mere fashion appreciators into globally recognised opinion shapers.

Here is a list of 5 fashion influencers that did it best in 2018:

  1. @Modestmira_

A Manchester based fashion influencer who combines modesty with fashion to create some beautiful styles. Her very real captions inspire and create discussion around different social issues making her one of the leading personalities in fashion influencing.

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2. @Slipintostyle

Ellie is based in Paris and has an intriguing style that perfectly recreates the idea of smart casual outfits. Ellie also has some very bold outfit choices, which we absolutely love and want to try in 2019!

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3. @Katherine_Ormerod

Katherine is a journalist, blogger, mum - and fashionista! Her blog, Work, Work, Work is an inspiration to all career driven women and her outfits are perfect for standing out in the workplace.

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4. @Margaret__Zhang

Margaret is a Chinese-Australian photographer, writer, stylist, director and fashion influencer. Her bold styles stand out among New Yorkers, where she is based, and are perfect for any city lover!

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5. @Thickleeyonce

Lesego is a South African, plus sized fashion influencer. As well as being involved in various campaigns, Lesego also promotes her own body positivity posts, sharing inspiring stories and photographs of her pulling off some amazing styles.

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Were there any fashion influencers that you would have liked to see on our list? Let us know who your favourite’s were from 2018, and who you’d like to see more of next year!

FASHION INFLUENCER MARKETING: CHOOSING THE RIGHT FASHION INFLUENCER FOR YOUR BRAND

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Marketing is difficult. As a professional, the extent to which a customer engages with your content relies heavily upon whether or not they sense sincerity in your message. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of traditional advertising and skeptical as a result.  

This skepticism has caused consumers to rely more heavily on guidance from immediate sources that they inherently trust and that are more directly aligned with their own style and taste. This is often friends, professionals, but more recently and prominently social media influencers.

The fashion world is undoubtedly one of the more influential sectors. Largely due to it’s ability to act in conjunction with many other areas. Technology influencers, gaming influencers, sport influencers are all able to drive interest and engagement for fashion brands in cohesion with their respective industries.  

Despite all of this, investing in fashion influencer marketing is a waste of resource should the selection process not be considered, measured and eventually refined to a candidate that has an audience specific to the one you’re striving towards.

All a bit overwhelming? Don’t worry. Here are 4 factors to consider before choosing your influencer:

How relevant?

Before you do anything, you should asses the relevance of the influencer to your brand. How aligned is their offering with yours? What tone do they convey and how is yours similar? For example, if you have a product made from organic recycled cotton, you’re going to want an influencer that endorses sustainable fashion as opposed to someone that regularly wears plastics and expresses no interest in environmentally conscious products.

This step is crucial as it’s the starting block to which the selection process is built upon. 

How engaged?

How engaged are their followers? How many are sharing? Commenting? Liking? Returning? A huge following is great but it means very little to brands if those numbers aren’t interacting with content. A good indication of a meaningful relationship is how often the consumer returns to the page after first viewing. 

What reach? 

An important factor but often an over emphasised one. The size of an influencer’s following and its relevance to your brand is only relative to the extent that it’s representative of your target market. For example, a fashion blogger endorsing boutique sunglasses is going to drive more meaningful engagement than a gaming influencer endorsing the same product.

It’s also important to note that different social platforms attract different demographics. I.e a fashion influencer boasting a large Instagram following is likely to be a more useful resource to brands than a fashion influencer with the same following on Facebook. 

How authentic? 

Authenticity is a key component to a compelling story. It’s also a critical factor in your selection process. Influencers with a smaller ratio of sponsored content tend to be more trusted by consumers and appear far more authentic.

When reviewing an influencers content, you should assume that the viewer understands the concept of influencer marketing and recognises that product reviews are unlikely to be organic conceptions and are more likely commissioned.

The most effective endorsements are those that are woven into a narrative. For example, a video blog documenting your weekend at London fashion week.  

With this list you’re now equipped to tackle the fashion influencing market and begin your journey to increased brand relevance. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

What is influencer marketing?

Have you ever made a purchase based on a social media recommendation? Have you ever seen a product promoted on social media with no explanation or reasoning as to why? Then you’ve been party to influencer marketing. What is influencer marketing? You say. Let me explain.

Influencer marketing is a term used in the social media sphere of the digital world. It refers to social media personalities with a number of active followers who endorse products for brands. They harness their powers in social persuasion and wield them to the benefit of commercial brands.

There are many variables to influencer marketing. Firstly, influencing is practiced on various levels, levels of which are usually dependant upon the number of followers and rate of engagement. Micro influencing is a popular term these days. It refers to the influencers with the smaller following that still maintain the ability to steer public perception.

It is often debated whether a larger or smaller following is most useful to brands. Smaller followings often command a niche and, if chosen correctly, will drive more specific and targeted engagement. Larger followings obviously have a more encompassing reach and will see your brand/product in front of a far bigger audience.

There are different ways of payment - yes, that’s right, payment. Influencers get paid to advertise brands and usually tag their paid content with #ad or #spon. However, not all influencers get paid with money. The bigger influencers often have managers who negotiate cash payment with a brands. Smaller influencers, or ‘micro influencers’ often work alone and are more likely to be offered products to test, try and keep as long as they advertise said products in their content.

Where did it come from?

Influencer marketing as it is today on social media is a very new concept to the world of advertising. However, despite its irregularities many are surprised to discover the extent to which it’s rooted in traditional advertising. In the same way that celebrities are used as a familiar face in fancy perfume advertisements, influencers are recognisable in the same way to a slightly  younger generation. Both are similarly founded on the traditional economy of trust and discernibility. Starting to click?

Influencer marketing has grown intensely in the past few years.  As an increasing amount of people from various backgrounds to boast the ‘influencer’ title many millennials will remember where it all began.  Before consumers began to recognise the value in digitally distributing their day-to-day goings on, consequently monetizing social media, Youtube and other social platforms were viewed as little more than frivolous pass-timers.  

By 2010, Youtubers such as Zoella started to break through onto the site, creating tutorials about beauty and lifestyle. This is where social media influencer marketing really began to take off.

Once Youtubers showed their viewers how to use certain products and realised that their viewers were actually buying the products, brands started to get involved. Influencer marketing was born of the viewer and consumer. It works because it was created by the people who buy into it.

Where is it today?

There was recent controversy surrounding the advertising of products as many influencers did not (and still sometimes don’t) disclose whether the products are sincere recommendations or paid-for influencer gigs. The new advertising standards have now been introduced guidelines and things are a lot more clear. Influencers now usually only recommend products that they are inclined to use themselves.

Recent day has seen the rise of Instagram shift the paradigm of influencer marketing away from Youtube and towards the photo-centric platform. ‘The gram’ has been commended for its instant and real time quality, allowing influencers the ability to share a story or a post quickly and gain engagement even quicker.  

Influencer marketing, simply put, is a product of the millennial generation’s distrust of traditional advertising. Instead of continuing the mindless consumption of artificial catwalks and television advertisements, they rebelled and built personalised influencing constructs to which they could trust. Surrounding themselves with personalities that more directly align with their own style and taste.

Make sense now?


When fashion influencers met social media and why it was destined for success

Gemma, an avid fashion enthusiast, picks up her mobile tablet, beginning her routine of immersing herself in all-things-style during her morning commute. She stumbles across a Forbes article on 20-year-old Kylie Jenner, and how the fashion icon is set to be the youngest self-made billionaire in recent history with ‘Kylie’s cosmetics’. To the digitally uninitiated, it may seem an inconceivable concept that a company founded on ‘lip kits’ - a short term fix to an unwelcome genetic make-up - could attain such societal relevance. However to those aware of modern marketing formulae, influence on this scale comes as no surprise.

Traditional fashion influencing

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Traditional methods of fashion influencing have been declining in recent years with the digital swamp tightening its grip on all industry. As we gradually bypass old forms of communication, so does the world of fashion with social media leading the charge.

The industry standards of using catwalks and glossy magazines to influence trend and perception are fading. Generally, consumers are thought to be becoming increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising, having a better understanding of the editorial process behind a magazine cover shoot and the unrealistic aspirations of looking like a catwalk model. But when did it all change?

Modern methods

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The year 2000 saw fashion blogs seep into the public sphere. Perceived by many at first to be little more than amateurish independent journals to which fashion admirers could share musings on popular topics and events with little cultural influence. As their readership expanded, the bloggers began to monetise their content and before long, these restricted channels became, at least somewhat, avenues for commercial and fashion influencing. The ascendance of popular social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr saw the parameters of their reach expand further and their relevance in fashion culture correlated. The merger was a success, but it was always going to be…

A new age for brand awareness

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“When you are a public figure, you have a responsibility to look good.” Betty Jackson’s inference is that the buying habits of fashion consumers are directly related to, and influenced by, artists, athletes, actors and with such reverence, should be mindful of what they wear. And she’s right. Fashion needs influences. It could even be suggested that the whole concept of fashion is reliant on fashion influencers to set trends. A fashion trend, simply stated, is a diversion of purchasing towards a particular design style. The direction of those diversions is reliant upon influencers. Now the influence may formulate at the top of the ladder in the form of a designer, or at the bottom with a blogger. Whoever it is, it’s clear that the fashion industry needs personalities to survive.

The marriage of social media and the fashion influencer was one destined for long-life. What social media offered influencers was a medium of character expression that was otherwise unavailable. They were afforded a channel to which they could express their taste and style to a commercial end. If fashion is dependant on personalities and public figures to set trends, the exposure to character that social media allows serves only to benefit both brand and influencer when acting in conjunction. Influencer marketing agencies have now formulated and act as a medium between influencer and brand to help steer public perception towards a product.

If utilised correctly, fashion influencers can be transformative tools for brands that bring entirely new dimensions to marketing strategy. A new era of fashion is on the horizon and it’s lead by the devices in the palm of our hands.


3 female tech influencers to look out for

2018 has seen influencer marketing continue to transform traditional methods. The old ways of channelling products to consumers is dying and social media is at the forefront of a new age. In this new age, technology continues its instrumental positioning within pop-culture with Apple and Silicon Valley still towering over all industry.

Now, when the phrase technology influencer is mentioned you quite likely picture a male. A modestly dressed individual with an anorak and a youtube channel, maybe?

And you’d be right to make that assumption as there are many that fit that mould however, there are also a plethora of women that use their technical know-how and abilities in social persuasion to steer public opinion and perception towards brands.

Below are 3 female technology influencers that have made their mark in 2018.

  1. @codergirl

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There is much debate about what produces the best product engagement within influencer marketing. Is it being more broad in your target marketing, using influencers with a vaster reach across the tech-consumer sector? Or a more defined approach, utilising movers and shakers with less of a following that are thought to drive more impactful engagement but to a smaller audience? If it’s the latter then @codergirl aka Laura Medalia may be the perfect fit for your brand.

The popular Instagrammer is a software engineer by day and a social-steerer by lunch. One that earned her media stripes from a strong, consistent tech-fashion instagram aesthetic. Boasting a 50k following, she is neither a micro-influencer nor a powerhouse of the same vein. She bobs gently in the middle of social media influence and is one to look out for in 2019.

  2. @lolrileeelliott

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Founder of Future Sight AR, Lori-Lee Emshey is a travel-tech influencer hybrid. Born in New Zealand, brought-up in Canada, and now splitting her time between Houston and L.A, the young-entrepreneur frequently blogs of her expeditions around Europe and the rest of the world. Fashion and travel, however, only act in secondary conjunction to her one true love of technology. A love which is harnessed and wielded to the benefit of commercial brands. Of the three, Lori-Lee has the more conservative follower counts, however, is likely to drive more direct engagement with those followers thrusting brands into a more refined and targetable tech-travel audience.


3. @estefannie

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Estefannie is a Texas based software engineer revered for her quirky sense of humour and alternative insight into the environment of a female computer scientist. Her flippantly comedic posts have seen her develop a strong following of nearly 60k on instagram. Not bad for a 22 year-old.




Changing The Target Group of a Product; in the Case of Jarlsberg

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Jarlsberg® has consistently been one of the most popular brands of cheese in Norway, and most of its exports go mainly to the UK, US and Ireland. However, its popularity in the US has for the most part been amongst groups of an older age; perhaps some would say it’s known as ‘an old persons’ cheese. In response to its demographics Jarlsbergs exporter TINE decided to launch a multi-faceted marketing campaign in 2017, and it is still ongoing and evolving. This was an attempt to increase sales and appeal to a younger consumer base. The brand built its new marketing direction around the experience that might accompany consuming Jarlsberg cheese, applying it to all experiences one might have whilst consuming its product. Hence, its campaign evolved around the slogan “Life’s Best Served With Jarlsberg”.

The clear applicability of the campaign shows that it is trying to establish its brand as convenient for a younger consumer base than previously, like families with children and millennials. Within those categories also comes the trends of the current; Instagrammable food. Developing this theme, it has incorporated food bloggers to use Jarlsberg cheese in it’s recipes and post on it’s social media sites.

In addition to its campaign posts, it has set up a pop-up shop in NYC which hands out samples you can get with its digital coupons. There are chefs creating delicious treats, and many Instagram friendly set ups where people can take their photo and use the hashtag #JarlsbergNYC or tag @jarlsberg. In addition, it has invited food-bloggers to come and visit and generate interest toward the pop-up, and it will be having cheese board making classes for anyone who wants to join. Thatcheeseplate (@thatcheeseplate), an Instagram dedicated to cheese boards, has been advertising through Instagram with examples of the 6 different cheese boards it will be making at the pop-up.

Its digital marketing campaign has proven successful. TINE, the Norwegian supplier of Jarlsberg, writes in their annual report[1] form 2017 that it’s digital marketing campaign in the US was proven successful in stopping their sales and interest in sinking. They point out that there is a significant difference in the sales of Jarlsberg between the US and the rest of their export countries like the UK and Australia. In fact, they estimate that it’s marketing tactics have and will continue to positively affect Norseland Inc. sales and its position as the leading speciality cheese distributor in the US.

The #Life’sBestServedWithJarlsberg is a great example of a brand that is currently trying to become more accessible in consumers’ mind and establish itself in the marketplace through the use of digital and influencer marketing by jump-starting a social media buzz.

It is clear that wherever and whenever you get your hands on some Jarlsberg, you’ve adopted a lifestyle of appreciation for the atmosphere and memories that accompany it - so let's have a nibble!


Jarlsberg pop-up in New York

How to know when an Influencer has fake followers?

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In a world where you can click your mouse a few times and legally buy yourself the title of Lord or Lady, it’s no wonder Instagram users have succumb to utilising virtual fakery to boost their egos and, more audaciously, their brand deals.

Fake followers, likes and comments are on the rise in the Instagram space, with brands often losing out to influencers claiming they have a larger following than they actually do. Often purchasing them in their thousands, an influencer or a brand has the opportunity to increase their ‘audience’ with little more than a direct debit. With Instagram attempting to clamp down on those providing these fraudulent marketing schemes, brands are increasingly savvy when it comes to identifying those faking it. For those less in the know, there are some easy ways to spot the authenticity of a user’s followers:

Engagement rates

Despite a large following, a user’s posts might not be receiving the likes and comments you would expect for someone of their size. The reason? Their followers might not even exist! Engagement rate is simply the average number of engagements an influencer gets per post, divided by their number of followers, and multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. If this number is less than 1%, you can almost guarantee that a portion of their followers are bought bots.

Comments

Ever see photos spammed with emojis and generic comments such as ‘cool pic’ or ‘love this’? This is a tell-tale sign that the remarks are automated and are not posted by genuine followers. Fake engagers aren’t paid to make the comments sound authentic and personal – they’re designed to increase the popularity of a photo by creating a sense of buzz around it. As technology develops, companies, such as US based Dovetale, are helping businesses identify these types of bots and shut pages down. However, the boost in awareness surrounding this type of fraudulence is helping everyday users recognise it themselves.

Growth in their following

If followers are purchased, the non-organic growth of a page is easy to identify as it will highlight itself as a spike in their data, whereas genuine growth will run on a consistent trend line. There are a few exceptions to this, for example, if an influencer was involved in a viral piece of content this may rapidly increase their following, but more often than not, growth will be steady.

Follower location

Although this information can be difficult to source, follower location can be a huge giveaway when it comes to fake followers. If a UK-based influencer has their largest audience in the Middle East, the misalignment could well be a revealing piece of demographical data. Understanding a brand’s target audience in relation to their product or brand message helps identify followers that would not be invested in a user’s content.

While the short-term gain of brand deals and momentary popularity might seem appealing to some Instagram users, it clearly undermines their genuine influence and authenticity. While you might not be able to identify every faker out there, be sure to have a quick read of their comments to suss out anyone trying to pull a fast one!