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Priscilla Aseye Febiri: Influencer Marketing – challenges and opportunities for Ghanaian fashion space

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Fashion is often a reflection of who we are and what we believe and most of the time we draw inspiration from our environment. These days inspiration is drawn from social media influencers.

According to Forbes (2020), 57% of millennials discovered fashion trends on social media. This comes as no surprise especially considering that most of our time is spent online.

This tells us that fashion brands need to pay more to the digital spaces they occupy to leverage them better.

The Lockdown 2 years ago saw businesses closing physical locations while some struggled to leverage their social media spaces. Many turned to fashion content creators who had already cultivated a community and for those who understood how to leverage influencer marketing, this worked in their favour. This, in itself, birthed new challenges that fashion brands need to pay attention to if they want to continue working with social media influencers.

Social media platforms are constantly changing and with that in mind, fashion brands need to adapt to remain relevant. There is no point in working with a great influencer when your business page still looks like a dinosaur. As a fashion brand, you will need to stay on top of platform changes or additions such as Instagram’s shopping features.

Platform changes are not the only challenges a fashion brand may face, consumer behaviour is also another issue. Brands must understand the behaviours of their target market; where do they like to hang out online? How long do they spend on social media? What kind of content do they like to consume? Answers to these questions will come in handy when you are looking for your ideal influencers.

Knowing your ideal customer is important, especially in the digital space, because you are only one of the thousands of brands trying to get your customer’s attention, so now more than ever fashion brands must work on cutting through the noise.

It’s no longer enough to send an influencer an outfit and hope they post about it, you need to consider your messaging. Know what you want to say, understand and be clear about how you want to say it and where you want to say it (in this case which is a social media platform?).

For instance, a fashion brand that has taken the time to optimise its Instagram page may decide to go into collaboration with a stylist that fits its brand image. The stylist could create an Instagram guide around the products they would use to achieve a particular style. This guide would include products from the brand they are collaborating with.

If the brand has optimised its page to include the shopping feature, once a prospective buyer clicks the influencer’s guide they can immediately access the product on the brands’ account and buy the product with very little navigation. As a fashion brand by optimising your socials, you are not only giving your influencer more room to exert their creativity, you are also making your buyer’s journey easier.

We know instagram has been talking about its shopping features for awhile. While we prepare to take advantage of these opportunities, it is also important for brands to put systems in place to protect against cyber fraud.

It is also not so surprising that fashion brands are having to cut through the noise because while some brands focused their energies on their physical locations, the digital natives took the time to cultivate their online communities through influencers and are now reaping the benefits of this.

You can begin to do this too as a fashion brand by again, leveraging platform changes such as shopping features to make it easier for consumers to access your products and you should also be reusing user-generated content. This is great for community building.

To be able to maximise influencer marketing, fashion brands need to understand these challenges to effectively make influencer marketing decisions

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