When fashion week comes around, what I’m interested in is not the outfits that come down the runway but what the bloggers and influencers are wearing outside on the street. What bloggers have been able to do so well is to bring the looks of high-end designers to life by adding their own personal flare and that’s something that consumers feel most connected to.
In the article, “From Blogger to Powerhouse Advocate: How digital influencers changed the Fashion World”, Holly Hamann states that readers are unable to connect with celebrities, but are able to do so with bloggers because they appear to be more “real”. She states, “The digital generation doesn’t identify with mannequins and models as deeply as it does with real people. In fashion, that translates into powerful photos of designer shoes on an everyday fashion blogger’s Instagram, not an unreachable model on a recent runway shoot”. Since bloggers are more like “everyday people” in comparison to celebrities, consumers are more trusting in their opinions because they seem more personable. Unlike famous singers, like Rihanna, who have to walk around with bodyguards, it is quite easy and likely that you can see a well-known blogger like Chiara Ferragni on the street.
When brands began to notice the relationships that bloggers have with their followers, they took advantage of their influence by hiring them to market products. Nowadays, it isn’t necessary for a popular brand to have a large marketing team when they have such a huge platform like Instagram, where millions of people can view their work at any time of the day. And it becomes increasingly effective when brands bring on famous bloggers on their team in order to market their work for them. Hamann says, “Consumers now look to the opinions and experiences of everyday people to guide their purchase decisions. In the process of devoting their attention to blogs and social media, these digital influencers carry tremendous weight”.
To illustrate this in the photo below, Danielle from WeWoreWhat is wearing Shutz Shoes on her Instagram and blog. With 1.5 million Instagram followers Danielle becomes a great brand rep for Shutz shoes by getting paid to wear the shoes on her Instagram and in turn 1.5 million people are exposed to the brand!
This is not only a great way for brands to market their products but also a fabulous way for the consumer to see the product on a real person, instead of just seeing a photo of the shoes.
However, from the blogger’s perspective, it is vital that they are authentic to their brand and what they represent because it is often times clear when bloggers are only wearing products because they are getting paid to do so. A great way to stay authentic snd honest to their followers is to use hashtags to notify them that the photo might be an sponsored post. For example, you could use #ad or as Luana did in the photo below #brandambassador.
Since these marketing strategies, so to speak, are relatively new, it is going to be interesting to see if bloggers are soon going to be held in the same regard as traditional celebrities. Although celebrities also have instagram accounts and we do feel somewhat closer to them now, there is still a stark difference in relationship between them and bloggers. Will consumers start to see bloggers as fake runway models that have no voice? Or will bloggers be able to stay true to their sense of style and hold on to the communities that they have built?