From major retail stores like Bloomingdales to online fashion gurus like ModCloth, almost every fashion brand has at least dabbled in blogger outreach by now.
One of the wonderful things about a good blogger outreach strategy is that this type of marketing can adapt to any budget. For fashions brands who are just starting out, marketers can partner with just a few mid-level bloggers and trade product for posts. For brands who have a budget, they can hijack hashtags and score thousands of views in one day from a blogger outreach campaign. Like most marketing—you get what you give, and even a little can be celebrated.
The primary reason that fashion brands love partnering with bloggers is because bloggers are able to authentically reach audiences that a brand simply cannot reach on its own.
Because posts are so visually driven and bloggers have a presence on a variety of social channels, fashion brands can send bloggers anything from a free outfit to a shopping spree and work with the bloggers to reach new consumers.
Consumers can relate to and trust a blogger that they follow on a regular basis more than they can relate to a celebrity or the brand itself.
How Many Bloggers to Make a Bang?
Now that blogger outreach has been a mainstream tactic for a few years, many trends have emerged. One of which is that great blogger outreach focuses on quality, not quantity. Meaning, brands and publishers can work with a small number of bloggers—on average—five to twenty bloggers is ideal.
One of my favorite examples is a campaign Lucky magazine ran and partnered with only three bloggers. The bloggers were featured in the magazine which prompted a ton of shares.
Department store Bergdorf Goodman recently paired with five bloggers to showcase their new shoe line and were happy with the results.
These two examples show marketers that we can be selective in finding the bloggers whose image and content fits like a glove with our brand because we only need to partner with a few.
Finding the Right Angle
Blogger outreach is most effective when part of a story. Instead of sponsoring a blogger to talk about the brand, the best strategies incorporate creativity and help bloggers use the brand as part of their story. Here are some examples of what I mean.
- Be part of a style guide. Ask the blogger to pick out their favorite things from your upcoming summer line to include in an outfit or style guide they are planning.
- Send them a surprise. Surprise bloggers you’ve worked with in the past with a package of clothing in their size.
- Let them own your social. For a day, let the bloggers run your Twitter or Instagram.
- Name a dress after them. If possible, name a piece of clothing after your favorite bloggers in your next catalog.
- Bloggers only events. Whether it’s an online bloggers only catalogue or a bloggers only event at a retail location, provide things that are exclusive.
Does it Fit?
Just like you want the fashion item to look great on and fit the bloggers, you want the bloggers to be a great fit with the brand.
As I mentioned before, less is more so a thorough vetting process needs to be in place.
First of all, consult your buyer personas. What types of bloggers are they following and looking up to for fashion advice? Are you a budget friendly apparel shop or a luxury jewelry store? This makes a drastic difference in terms of which bloggers fit best with your brand.
Start with the fashion vertical but then always go deeper based on contextual relevance to find the bloggers who will lift your brand higher.
Examples of niches within the fashion vertical that I’ve seen fashion brands have success with include:
- Budget fashion
- Green fashion
- Luxury fashion
- Vintage inspiration
- Red carpet style
- Men’s fashion
Another way that fashion brands organically incorporate their product into a blogger’s lifestyle and messaging is to find ways to work with them on their strengths. Casual clothing lines do great with travel bloggers and have them pack their items on trips. Women’s clothing has seen a lot of success with mom bloggers. Catch my drift?
To wrap it up, if you’re a fashion brand wanting to successfully implement blogger outreach, print out or write down this check list on a sticky note! It will keep you on the right blogger outreach path!
- Work with a manageable number of bloggers
- Find a way to work with your bloggers for more than one post
- Focus on a content fit over numerical numbers like followers
- Choose a niche within the fashion vertical that fits
- Help the bloggers create a story
- Find a way for your bloggers to organically integrate your brand into their content
If you like my content on blogger outreach you should definitely come to an online conference I’m hosting on April 28th! There will be plenty of blogger outreach case studies and advice floating around! Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or via Twitter!