Fashion week season in New York proved once again that influencer marketing is becoming a top priority for the industry. Even though influencers, who attended the event, posted ‚only‘ 7% of the analyzed social media content, they generated more than 55% of the overall engagement. Looking at those influencers, especially on Instagram, and their brands cooperations as a whole, we have identified three categories of influencers, that were used for different purposes.
1. Top ranking models who influence
One of the brand’s best weapons can be professional models who are also influencers. These social media users have a particular follower base, that is hungry for fashion & beauty topics, and moreover fashion events content – therefore the engagement is assured.
An example from Hadid sisters Bella & Gigi, can only confirm this. During the New York Fashion Week they posted 18 posts for different brands and generated more than 10,47 Mio. interactions.
Especially close was the cooperation between Prabal Gurung and the dynamic duo. They created two carousel posts (of seven images in total) for the brand and these alone generated over 1,45 Mio. interactions. While the brand in total with its 28 posts generated only 95k interactions.
2. Celebrities who revolutionize social media
Off-runway influencers were another trend cooperation that we noticed during the past fashion week season. These influencers were mainly attendees of the events, sitting in the front row, such as actors, musicians and others with a high share of voice. They in particular have a very broad and mixed follower base, that can be used in order to create and grow awareness around the globe.
Blake Lively, as an example, cooperated with Michael Kors exclusively and generated an engagement of 4.5 Mio. interactions with her four posts during New York Fashion Week. The brand on the other hand posted 24 posts in total and only generated a total engagement of 636k interactions.
3. Niche influencers
While a lot of brands cooperate with well-known influencers, some, with more focused goals, cooperated with so called niche influencers. These influencers generate very focused content and do not have a particularly high number of followers. However, they generate above average engagement rates, as their target groups expect exactly that content.
We have noticed that trend for German designer Philipp Plein’s fashion show, for which not only designs, but also the event were reaching out to a more segmented audience. He cooperated for example with Tamara Kalinic, who is known for focused cooperations with luxury brands. She attended the event and shared the experience with her 591k followers. Even though her followers base is ‘only’ 30% bigger than the brand’s one, her followers engage on average ten times more often.
Also, Bottega Veneta had a similar strategy and cooperated with niche influencers, that were sitting in the front row in order to share the experience with their followers. Kyoko Hasewaga, one of the attendees re-shared an image posted by the brand and generated 172% more engagement than the brand itself.
Even though the coverage by influencers during the New York Fashion Week seemed to be minimal compared to the brands‘ activity, the engagement sparked by these opinion leaders. Digital hero brands realized that through the right mix of own and influencer content they reach a much broader audience then solely relying on their own channels.
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