Notre revue de presse de la semaine passée : Du 5 au 9 avril 2021
Switzerland follows the trend : Brand advertising through fashion blogs
Bloggers are the new journalists and as more and more content migrates online, their influence is becoming an essential marketing tool.
The Los Angeles Times recently called bloggers more influential than traditional media, given their ability to publish news and trends at a speed unparalleled by newspapers and magazines. Information is quickly available on blogs and easily syndicated via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as StumbleUpon. From then on, it is freely shared around the internet by others.
While every fashion magazine is different, they all tend to present a wide range of products. Blogs, on the other hand, tend to be more specific in terms of style, content and price range. For fashion blogs to make an impact, they need to find a unique take on fashion, making it their own to distinguish themselves from the masses. In order for this to happen, they need to find a niche market that has yet to be addressed. New blogs like Wear Wild have been able to amass 10 000 visits within just over a month, by finding their own specific appeal. Switzerland has its own share of trailblazing fashion bloggers like The Tall Blonde and Tiphaine’s Diary, who both publish in French and English, and each have hundreds of dedicated followers.
As many bloggers reach niche markets, brands can advertise to specific types of consumers through these third party platforms. This is known as affiliate marketing. Bloggers endorse a company’s products using various techniques and in turn, receive a cut of the sales generated through their websites. Affiliate marketing has become very popular recently, as it is a mutually beneficial system. For retailers, it is a method of driving sales to specific demographics. For bloggers, it drives website traffic and offers an income on commission, known as costs per click (CPC). Traffic relayed to retailers’ websites from blog links runs on 30-day cookies, which makes it possible to track transactions made on the sites for up to 30 days. If a purchase is made within that timeframe, the blogger will be credited between 4%-12% of the value of each sale, depending on the brand awareness of the retailer. Lesser known brands will have to offer higher incentives to bloggers, but it can be worth their while. Affiliate marketing can account for as high as a 25% increase in sales, once the affiliate marketing programme is in place.
Bloggers can easily become brand ambassadors once they establish themselves, and for brands, it can be like having a personal sales team. Given the potential increase in revenue, affiliate marketing is highly cost effective. Fashion brands will usually advertise on blogs with 10 000 visitors or more per month, because it allows them to reach a larger audience. But smaller blogs with less traffic, may have a more fervent following and thus, still be viable advertising opportunities. Many companies, like American Apparel, have found that blogs directed to smaller niche markets had better returns in terms of CPC campaigns. When bloggers have cult-like followings, they exercise a huge influence on their visitors, which is a huge appeal to brands that fall within this market.
It is essential for bloggers to maintain credibility with their audience to have continued marketing appeal. Once they have found their point of view, they must remain consistent. If a blog on accessories suddenly reviews nothing but dresses, the blog loses credibility and visitors will start looking elsewhere. Bloggers also need to maintain a presence on their platforms to keep their audiences engaged. In general, active bloggers post 3-4 times a week. This consistency is a guarantee to advertisers that a blogger is committed to their work and thus, not a risky investment. Also, active bloggers are more likely to advertise proactively in more engaging ways.
Affiliate advertising can be integrated into blogs in a number of ways. Banners are easily added to the top of a page, where visitors can click directly through to a brand’s website. However, banners are common, easily overlooked and are getting lower and lower click through rates each year. Another method is text links. Blogs like Peace Love Shea, for instance, often feature links to purchase items online directly in the text of the blog itself, with the item displayed in photo shoots above. Visitors can admire the product placement in the pictures and when reading the text, click straight through to purchase the item themselves. Other affiliate marketing possibilities include adding links to emails and newsletters, sharing links through social media, promotional contests and giveaways and also native advertising (example: having sections dedicated to coupons, trends or favourite sites).
New technologies are making audiences less and less receptive to the print ads of yesteryear, but methods like affiliate advertising are making it easier for companies to reach their target demographics. All it takes is a little teamwork.