When It Comes to Influencer Marketing, Authenticity Matters

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Influencer marketing is one of the most authentic and cost-effective ways retailers can promote their brands to get in front of new audiences. As your business grows, it’s important to scale not only your technology but also your marketing efforts. There are constantly emerging new marketing platforms and customer acquisition channels that retailers need to leverage in order to grow.

We spoke with Meggan Morehead, a blogger on the popular fashion site Somewhere, Lately, for tips on how retailers can get started with influencer marketing.

When were you first approached about influencer marketing? Did you reach out to a brand or retailer, or did they come to you?

When we first started our blog, we were the ones doing most of the reach out. We sent introductory emails to build rapport and start a relationship and hoped they would check out our site. Once we started to get a steady following, more brands started reaching out to us.

I know you work with large brands, but do you work with smaller brands who are trying to build their reputation by leveraging influencer marketing?

Yes! We work with brands we genuinely love (big or small) and want other people to know about.

What advice do you have for a smaller brand reaching out to a prominent blogger or influencer?

Let the blogger know why you think your product or brand is a good fit for them and their audience. There is nothing worse then getting an email from a company asking you to promote them for free, with no offer of free product or payment. There is nothing in it for the blogger and it’s not authentic at all!

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What do brands expect from you in return for free products? What do you expect from them in return for promoting their products?

Most expect the product to be featured on the blog or on our social channels. We will only feature a product if we truly love it and can work it into a post naturally. If we email a brand and ask for free product, we always feature it on the blog (sometimes in its own post) and on social media. We recently featured workout bags from MZ Wallace; we reached out to them and they gifted us the product but they aren't paying for the post. It was so nice of them to gift us the product we asked for,  plus, we really love the bags!

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Do you worry that sponsorships may alienate your readership by prompting them to question the authenticity of your blog?

We are affiliated with rewardStyle and that's how we get most of our sponsored posts from clothing and accessory brands. These are larger companies like Nordstrom, Sephora, Nike, Macy's, etc. that we already shop with, so they are pretty authentic to us. Our sponsored posts from rewardStyle have outlines and some requirements but we have control over most of the campaign so we can ensure the products we feature and the way we feature them aligns with our blog and readers. We turn down most sponsorships that don't seem organic. For example, we just turned down a campaign for a product that we would never think to promote naturally, so it would have felt really forced and therefore appear disingenuous to our readership.

Do you have visibility into how you drive growth for brands and retailers?

We have an analytics page through rewardStyle that tracks results like average page views and clicks. As these go up, so do our requests to collaborate with more brands and retailers. In terms of percentage growth or direct revenue we’re driving, we don’t see those numbers. 

What’s your favorite part about collaborating with retailers?

As an avid fashion lover, it’s been so fun to discover new brands and feel like I get to play a part in helping increase their visibility to their target audience. It truly is a mutually beneficial relationship so it’s great to have a work experience that consistently feels win/win.

To learn more about influencer marketing and how Flash Tattoos has used similar tactics to scale their business from a small side project to an accessories powerhouse, register here for Stitch’s webinar, How Flash Tattoos Struck Marketing Gold Without Breaking the Bank.

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