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Fashion & Beauty: The Influencer Ecosystem

We take a look at the way different influencer segments behave, and take a deep dive into how content was shared around London Fashion Week. 

The New Influencer Ecosystem

The Importance of Influencer Marketing is Growing

In the last 60 seconds Facebook received 4 million likes, 2 million Instagram hearts turned red, 7 million Snapchat videos have been watched, and nearly 300 hours-worth of video has been uploaded to YouTube. Increasingly consumers are turning to someone in the know to help narrow down content and information which will have the highest level of relevance to them– they are turning to influencers. Marketers are not far behind.

According to a 2016 report by Econsultancy almost 81% of fashion and beauty brands were pursuing an influencer marketing strategy. The default starting place for an influencer marketing strategy is often social media stars, but 59% of marketers say getting an influencer’s attention and being able to engage them is an ongoing challenge.

Magnetic wanted to take a fresh look at influencers to understand what makes a successful influencer. We’ve looked at this from multiple angles pulling together five separate data sources exploring influencer marketing from the consumer and content perspectives whilst considering both digital and offline channels.

Shakers vs Makers: The Case for Deep Connections

Not all influencers are created equal. It might seem a logical statement but historically size has been used as an interchangeable proxy for connection. As our understanding of influencer marketing grows it is becoming increasingly clear that driving consumer action relies on deeper, more meaningful connections between influencers and followers.

Our quest to better understand the value of influencers was inspired by recent Time Out work, 'Insights from the New Influence Economy', which showed that some influencers have significantly more impact on changing other people’s opinions and behaviour and identified two key types of influencers that operate across multiple categories, the 'Shakers' and the 'Makers'.

Makers are More Likely to Drive Action than Shakers

It’s the knowledge and expertise of Makers that is supercharging their impact. Expertise significantly outperformed other traits when it comes to defining these types of influencers. Makers are 48 times more likely to consider themselves expert. Nick Southgate, the Behavioural Scientist who worked on the project with Time Out, sums their appeal succinctly in this video:

Fashion Insiders: The Key Micro Influencers

In order to take the Time Out work further, and develop how these expert influencers manifest in the context of the fashion and beauty industry, Magnetic worked with Starcount to develop our knowledge further. Starcount's fashion segmentation is based on social media analysis of over half a million UK women. It identifies 10 distinct fashion and beauty audience’s. We were keen to identify which of these 10 audiences were most likely to be the key influencers in the field.

Fashion Insiders are micro level influencers, many of whom are working in the fashion and beauty world. This is the group where we are most likely to find those everyday influencers, with deep connections rooted in expertise that drive action.

They are key for high street and luxury brands. Just as many Fashion Insiders follow the likes of ASOS and TOPSHOP as they do NET-A-PORTER. They are characterised by a passion for creativity and style.

The New Influencer Ecosystem

Fashion Insiders are Keen Magazine Media Followers

We examined in more detail what interests Fashion Insiders and who they are likely to follow. Interestingly unlike a lot of the other segments who are more likely to follow celebrities (music and TV stars for example) ‘Fashion Insiders’ are more likely to follow content and brands, including magazine content.

Magazine Media can Influence Fashion Buzz at Scale 

We have conclusive evidence that magazine media and its editors are a key audience when it comes to influencing fashion insiders, but we also wanted to understand the role that it plays in driving buzz at large scale. In order to do so, Magnetic worked with 2CV to conduct analysis to understand the key chatter drivers behind London Fashion week.

Whilst it is true that bloggers originated more posts than magazine brands over that period, in terms of reach magazine posts connected with just as many people. Magazine content was more likely to be shared than that of bloggers, achieving on average eight interactions per post compared to two for bloggers.

Grazia Jan 17

Magazines Continue to be Influential Offline

In the face of technology advancement and new ways of communication emerging seemingly daily, it is important to remind ourselves that the tried and tested means of influencing specific target audiences at scale remains intact. Our final piece of work used TGI to measure the enduring influence that printed magazines continue to hold in the fashion arena, supplemented by new evidence from Australia which showcases the value of advertising in the medium.

Conclusion

It’s clear that magazine channels are often where influencers are sourcing their information and acquiring knowledge. If you want to influence the influencer, magazine brands offer you access to that audience as well as the type of content that is fuelling their passion and desire for knowledge.

For any further information on this research, or if you'd like us to come in and present the work please contact insight@magnetic.media