We can’t deny the selling power social media influencers and bloggers have. Their ability to create content which can influence the purchases their followers make, is immense and has become incredibly valuable to brands and in particular fashion brands. They can make brands’ products sell out in a matter of hours or days.

Today’s fashion blogs challenge (we won’t say substitute…yet) the most influential fashion magazines, Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar; and so fashion and beauty brands have tried to harness the power of the influencers. They are investing a lot more money and man power than ever before on influencer marketing to boost their presence and sales.

Using influencers has become a crucial advertising tool in the fashion industry. From the biggest brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Swarovski wanting to boost sales to smaller and upcoming brands like Ego, AQAQ, and NA KD wanting to amplify their presence, and get noticed in the plethora of brands out there.

Poling over 300 marketing professionals in the US and the UK, research by the Fashion Monitor showed that they will be increasing their influencer marketing budgets up to 59% this year. Over half of the study’s participants claimed that their companies have already implemented influencer marketing, and already work closely and spend much of their marketing budget on partnering with influencers. The respondents who claimed they didn’t have an influencer marketing scheme in place plan on creating one within the year.

In the vast majority of bloggers, fashion and beauty brands find it difficult to identify the perfect influencers to represent their brand. In their search of the perfect influencer marketers should look at the Influencers reach, level engagement but also the demographics of their audience. Whether the influencers following match the brands target market. Other things to consider include the quality and style of the influencer’s content, and the actual content itself. It’s important to look into any previous collaborations, as much as the influencer may seem like the perfect match, it’ll be good to steer away if the influencer has worked with a competitor. Most importantly the influencer needs to know, like and understand the brand.

Simply throwing cash at any influencer who has a huge following is not an effective strategy. In fact it’s not a strategy at all. Finding the right influencers is time consuming and an ongoing challenge which was also reported by 73% of the companies polled for the study by Fashion Monitor. And with the top influencers’ rates rising, as gifting for compensation fails to cut it anymore; fashion brands are stretching their influencer marketing budgets even more.

ZINE helps speed up the influencer search process. It’s the best resource to find, bloggers, social media influencers and micro-influencers. Brands are able to browse through influencers’ media kits which hold all the necessary information, including number of followers, engagement levels, audience demographics, style of the influencer’s social media, feel of the blog and also previous collaborations. Brands are able to know if the influencer is right for them in a matter of seconds, and message them directly to negotiate for sponsored posts.

Fashion brands may be expanding their budgets, but platforms like ZINE make it all that much quicker, simpler and cost effective