Dating back to the modern era of the 1930s when gladiators in Ancient Rome endorsed products; influencer marketing has a long history of being one of the most effective marketing techniques. Even with this old history, the word “influencer” did not find its way into the modern lexicon until the past decade. And was only officially added to the English dictionary in 2019. 

One of the first widely recognized “influencer” collaborations happened in 1760, when Wedgwood made a tea set for the wife of King George III. Since the tea set was fit for use by the royal family, Wedgwood marketed his brand with the royal status. Till date, the brand is still considered fit for a King or Queen today. The term influencer marketing is fast gaining recognition in the Nigerian fashion space; with several brands reaching new audience with their collaborations with influencers. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing has become one of the most preferred marketing methods of the 21st century. It involves using influencers to deliver marketing and communication messages on behalf of brands, firms, and corporations. In this case, they serve as the link between the brand and its target audience. 

Influencer Marketing
There are certain facts about the relationship triangle between Nigerian fashion brands and influencers:
  • Brands request the help of influencers to convey favorable branded narratives about the brand
  • The influencer has a dedicated and loyal group of audience. Due to the trust in the influencer’s abilities, the audience expects the influencer to; always convey and provide exclusive, genuine, and interesting content on the influencer’s niche- might be fashion, business, or finance.
  • As indicated above, the audience of an influencer are loyal fans. With time, these fans become influencers who carry out branded word-of-mouth marketing by; liking, commenting, and sharing the content posted by the influencer. 

The influencer form of marketing serves the fashion business more than other consumer goods categories. According to Business of Fashion Professional, this is because of the visual nature of social platforms like Instagram and YouTube, with a direct connection to the younger generation of the audience on TikTok, this has led to a redirection of the dollars (as the case may be) brands spend on other forms of advertising. 

Influencer Marketing
Key Insights
  • When considering an influencer for your fashion brand, the number of followers should not be the only deciding factor. Instead, the amount of engagement they generate on their platforms. 
  • According to Business Insider Intelligence estimates; the influencer marketing industry is projected to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022. This foresees a massive increase from $8 billion in 2019.
  • Although every social platform attracts influencers, Instagram is the gold standard for this industry. Four out of every five (79%) brands tap Instagram for influencer campaigns; compared to Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), and Twitter (24%). 
  • Social media influencers can be categorized into two major groups: Niche and Reach. Fashion brands use niche influencers to reach an intentional target audience. 

Cover image credit: BeNaya Clothing Brand.

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