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Influencer-Marketing Guide for Fashion Brands in 2022

Influencer marketing has changed the industry significantly. Since KOLs influence through recommendations which products are stylized as objects of desire and therefore bought by their followers, they are the main players in the digital space. Influencers are especially important for fashion brands, as they dominate the industry. What is there to keep in mind?

Two women are shopping in a showroom
Two women are shopping in a showroom

Key Takeaways

  • The fashion industry is the world’s seventh largest “economy” with estimated global sales of up to 2.5 trillion US dollars annually
  • Instagram and TikTok in particular are popular for influencer marketing by fashion brands
  • Ideas for influencer marketing of fashion brands include the use of branded hashtags, promo codes or excellent storytelling
  • Examples of successful influencer marketing of fashion brands in the fast fashion industry are Gina Tricot, H&M, or NA-KD

Both fast fashion and luxury fashion brands have now discovered the potential of influencer marketing and have also taken advantage of it. Of course, the strategies of the industries differ, which is why this article focuses on the influencer marketing aspects of fast fashion brands.

However, if you’re looking for the top influencers in the luxury industry, you’ll find them on the Kolsquare website. Click here to go to the list of top luxury KOLs or filter our database by social platform, interest, or city. You can also read about the five successful marketing campaigns in the luxury sector on the Kolsquare blog. Marketers in the fashion industry use IM mainly for launching new collections, introducing new products, product upgrades, and other announcements, and events.

Important Data for Influencer Marketing of Fashion Brands

The global value of the fashion industry is increasing globally. In 2021, this will be $3t, while the industry’s e-commerce will reach approximately $668b.

Download the Kolsquare study on influencer marketing for accessory and fashion brands in 2022 for free.

In comparison, the entire influencer marketing industry has grown by $12.3b to a total of $14b in 2021. With this explosive growth in social commerce, influencer marketing is also becoming more important in general.

In terms of nominal GDP, the U.S. (24.67%) and China (17.39%) are the world’s largest economies with the strongest retail markets for apparel in the world. The two heavyweights are followed by Japan, Germany, the UK, India, France, Italy, Canada and South Korea, based on World Bank GDP 2020 data, with China and the US also being the biggest players in international trade. So while China is the largest exporter of clothing, the United States is the second largest importer, according to Statista in March 2022 Fashion United.

Meanwhile, the fashion industry is one of the largest in the world, accounting for an estimated $1.7t to $2.5t in global sales, according to two different research reports, Euromonitor and McKinsey. McKinsey summarizes the scale of the fashion industry in its “State of Fashion 2017 report” as follows:

“The fashion industry is one of the most important industries in the world, driving a significant portion of the global economy. It is one of the most important value-added industries in the global economy. If it were compared to the GDP of individual countries, the global fashion industry would be the seventh largest economy in the world.”

As with so many industries, there was an 18.1% decrease in sales due to the Covid 19 pandemic, bringing the total to $1.45t, resulting in a 20% drop in sales, according to Fashion United.

According to Statista data on Fashion United, the LVMH Group had the highest market capitalization in March 2022. Topping the list is Nike with $150b, followed by Gucci, Louis Vuitton, adidas, Chanel, Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Cartier, and Hermes. This means that Nike has taken the title of the world’s “most valuable” clothing brand for the seventh time in succession and, with a brand value almost twice as high, is well ahead of Gucci.

Table via Fashion United

All this data shows how valuable the fashion industry is and how important it is for brands to invest in marketing for the industry. Influencers are therefore particularly suitable for addressing today’s consumers, as they have grown up primarily in the areas of fashion and lifestyle and these topics consequently define the platforms. The following graphic from Kolsquare shows the high level of engagement of influencers from the industry.

Graphic by Kolsquare

Influencer Marketing Ideas for Fashion Brands

First, brand-related hashtags are recommended so that content related to your brand can be identified and found as such. This is how you can ultimately increase your brand awareness. It’s advisable to take a two-pronged approach: On the one hand, use general hashtags, for example, with the name of the fashion brand. On the other hand, it is recommended to use specific brand hashtags that can possibly even be reused or modified for each influencer marketing campaign. Branded hashtags also increase your brand presence online and can take advantage of user-generated content.

Fashion retailer Gina Tricot, for example, came up with the hashtag #GinaMyWay and can share content created by users and followers on their own profile.

Gina Tricot on Instagram

It can also be recommended to use other hashtags from or for your specific niche. As Kolsquare shows in the previously mentioned study, especially green fashion with hashtags like #diy, #slowfashionmovement or #upcycling is very popular. Self-assuredly, don’t state something which is not true and claim something that does not apply to your brands, yet communicate clearly what you do, for instance for the environment.

Influencer Promo Codes Prompt Purchases

Codes that work well as call-to-actions (CTA) are also a successful option for your influencer marketing campaign in the fashion industry. Often, you give influencers themselves a code that they can use to shop with reductions on your platform. The influencers then pass on this or a similar code to their respective followers, for example, through an Instagram Story. Online retailer NA-KD pursues this strategy very consistently and successfully. KOLs of all sizes, both micro and macro bloggers, show their audience their favorite items from the current NA-KD collection and then give them a code for 20% off the entire online store for the next 48 hours.

NA-KD on Instagram

Storytelling and Events for the Influencer Marketing of Fashion Brands

Important dates in the calendars of fashion brands are of course the Fashion weeks, which take place in different cities mostly for fall/winter and spring/summer. A good story should be told about these events. It is also extremely important to show your own collections to as many street-style icons and influencers as possible. For many fashion lovers, Fashion weeks are a place of longing, because many will never sit in the appropriate shows. Instead, they consume the content that is produced around the fashion world during this time.

For the presentation of AW 22 Retailer H&M has come up with something special: Brasserie Hennes. The collection was said to be inspired by the streets of Paris, where fashion has always been created and celebrated. During fashion week, the entire city transforms into the catwalk and onlookers make themselves comfortable on the chairs of the many cafes and bars for “people watching.” H&M makes this concept his own and invites people to Brasserie Hennes. A story highlight on H&M still shows the content that promises street-style inspiration in retrospect.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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