Brands and fashion bloggers

Aug. 20, 2012 | by jo-ann.fortune

Collaborating with fashion bloggers has become bread and butter work for many brands and digital agencies looking to hit both brand and SEO objectives for their retail clients. But what does this influence look like, and how do bloggers want to work with brands?

To help answer these questions, we thought it best to go straight to the horse’s mouth, surveying fashion bloggers for their advice and insight.

The web of influence

The 55 fashion bloggers who responded to our survey, of which 85% were 30 or younger, ranged from leisure bloggers to those who blog full-time, but all were agreed on one thing: they had made purchases influenced by items they’d seen on other fashion blogs.

The question “who do fashion bloggers influence?” is one commonly asked by our clients – at the very least it would seem that they hold strong sway within their own network. And with fashion bloggers regularly writing about, styling and photographing their purchases, their influence has legs.

“Many micro-trends start on blogs,” says Kristabel Plummer of www.iwantyoutoknow.com, naming statement studded Jeffery Campbell ‘Lita’ shoes, detachable collars and ‘dip-dyed’ ombre hair as just a few.

The influence top fashion bloggers hold now extends beyond their corner of the web, with many appearing among celebrities and models in the street style, fashion inspiration and advice pages of glossy magazines and being paid to create content for brands. Indeed, one third of bloggers we asked had appeared in traditional press over the past year, with 29% having been commissioned to write for a third-party site.

It’s all about the win-win

Brand partnerships on blogger sites have become even more common, with 64% of respondents saying they had worked with a brand directly or through a PR representative over the past year: 45% creating sponsored posts, 38% hosting adverts and 12% being commissioned to write on a freelance basis. Some 3% had also been employed as consultants and 2% as freelance photographers.

This all supports blogger Jen Holmes’ assertion that “in the last six months brands have started thinking more creatively about how to work with fashion bloggers and how it can be beneficial for both parties”.

When working with the top fashion bloggers, promises of “exposure” just won’t cut it – after all, it’s the exposure that they can award your brand that should be weighted more heavily – and the appetite for more creative partnerships is there. A significant proportion of bloggers we surveyed expressed an interest in working with brands above and beyond reviews and straight sponsorship.

Yet with 27% saying that they’d had a bad experience with a PR representative or agency over the past year, it seems that basic ways of working still need to be ironed out. Common blogger complaints included being sent generic releases bearing no relevance to their site, favouritism of a few bloggers, lack of flexibility and short deadlines for projects, empty promises and being expected to produce work for a brand for free.

The future of fashion blogging

So what does the future hold for fashion bloggers? Going on their answers, it looks like it’s full steam ahead. Many envisage their blog growing as they do, to reflect their interests at different life stages, and most are keen to increase their readerships.

Many fashion bloggers are also prolific social networkers. Of those we asked, 86% were supporting their blog through Twitter, 61% with Facebook and 45% via Instagram. Nearly half (43%) were also on Pinterest, which given that the platform has been touted as a top traffic driver for retailers, opens up opportunities for new ways of working with bloggers.

Building meaningful relationships with fashion bloggers could secure long-term brand and SEO benefits, with the right project affording access to their social networks, where much of the engagement and sharing of content takes place. Just be sure to ask ‘what’s in it for them?’.

To find out more about how brands can work with fashion bloggers, request your free copy of the iCrossing eBook now.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Comment (1)

    • Lovely

      Great feature and very informative. I am surprised it isn't 100% that use Twitter though! For me blogging seems to not longer be about people diarising their thoughts online but has become another publishing medium just like magazines - and this is a good thing. Some PRs 'get it' but many others stlll have a lot to learn. Interesting times. Love Lovely x lovelysvintageemporium.comAug 22, 2012 10:14 am

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

    Post a comment

    SUBSCRIBE