For authenticity, fashion brands are tapping micro-influencers – BusinessWorld

PIXABAY 

Fashion brands such as Aldo are tapping micro-influencers because they lend a “more personal touch” to campaigns. 

“We hire influencers to give real-life examples,” said Vijay GT, head of information technology and e-commerce of Singapore’s Jay Gee Group, a branded lifestyle company that carries the brands Aldo and Converse Kids, among others.   

Jay Gee Group, Mr. GT said, enlists agencies that hire micro-influencers such as college students and blog writers for product launches and related campaigns.  

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“Marketing is all about the different touchpoints in the funnel [a term for the journey customers go through from purchasing products to becoming loyal brand advocates], and influencers are one of those touchpoints,” he said at an Aug. 24 webinar on content creation organized by Adobe, a computer software company.  

Followers may not immediately buy a product used by an influencer, he said, but the image gets embedded in their minds. “You go on your way, see the product again one day, and then say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen this before. I want to buy it,’” Mr. GT told the webinar audience.   

Micro-influencers, as defined by marketing software developer HubSpot, are individuals who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on social media, are well-known in their area of interest, and have very high rates of engagement from their audiences.   

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Maryel B. Price, Adobe’s manager for digital customer experience and commercial marketing in the Asia Pacific, said this category of influencers tends to be more relatable too. “People follow micro-influencers that match their profile,” she added. “Sometimes, with the other influencers, everything’s so curated.”  

In 2019, Southeast Asia’s influencer marketing industry was worth $638 million. It is estimated to quadruple within five years to reach $2.59 billion by 2024.  

Influencer rates are based on their follower count, engagement rate, star power, and/or access to a niche audience. Engagement rates, for instance, are a more suitable metric for a brand that aims for conversion, according to Hootsuite, a social media management platform. Conversion, in marketing parlance, is when a visitor who visits a website completes a desired goal, such as a purchase.  

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“The reality is that whenever brands partner with an influencer, they are paying for access to their audience,” said Arthur Altounian, Asia Pacific client development director at INCA, a content production and media strategy firm, in a July interview with Adobo magazine. He added that an influencer’s credentials need to be vetted to combat influencer fraud and ensure brand safety.   

Apart from influencer fraud, relevance is also a crucial point for when mounting campaigns.  

HubSpot, in an October 2019 post, noted that some products and platforms are a more suitable match for micro-influencers than others.   

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“While micro-influence works well on Instagram with visual products, such as a bright can of sparkling water or an eye-catching outfit, this [strategy] might not be the best for promoting complicated software or other technology,” it said.  

Creating a compelling customer experience boils down to choosing the right content, said Ms. Price said at the webinar. “You can build trust by having consistency across all your channels and content.” — Patricia B. Mirasol

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