This is a guest post from Shilpi Tomar.
Working with fashion bloggers can be tricky. With hundreds of brands online and offline vying for the their attention, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd (especially when you're local).
As a boutique owner, the most important thing to do is to make sure that you have a goal in mind before you reach out to the blogger. Having a laser-focused idea for a promotion is the perfect way to approach them. The less thought the blogger has to put into incorporating your product into their content, the more likely they will proceed to working with you.
That's why coming up with a creative idea is key.
Typical sponsored links, banner ads and product mentions are tried and done. This type of promotion gives less impact on readers now days, as they are smartening up and recognizing the old-school sponsoring methods. But have no fear, theres still a way to stay on top of your game as a fashion or apparel brand and that is to suggest a creative methods to promote your products instead.
Looking for some ways to do it? Here are four ideas you can start implementing right away.
1. Ask the blogger if they can feature your item(s) in an outfit post.
Outfit posts are the easiest way to get your foot in the door with a blogger's audience. Fashion or lifestyle bloggers almost always mention their entire outfit on the bottom of each post. Take a look at the brands they are already featuring.
It's important to make sure your product aligns with their personal brand before you approach the blogger, as they typically start to queue items they will accept to feature.
If the blogger has accepted your product feature and price, be sure to share the post with your networks as well to amplify the impact.
For example, Aimee Song of 'Song of Style' mentions all the brands she is wearing in her posts. The brands she is wearing are mostly for a more luxury-focused audience.
Why not send over some things from your product line? Better yet, create a promotion which pushes them to visit your online or boutique shop.
2. Get Your Product Featured in the Blogger's Next Apartment Tour
Closet and apartment tours have become a hot ticket for fashion bloggers to promote products which are not directly "fashion-related". These videos are heavy hitters, with at least five to six products being promoted at once.
A good way to slip your product in with their next apartment tour is to simply ask if they can mention the brand/site in their photographs or video. Make sure to send over the flashiest, most attention-grabbing product you have in stock to get extra attention on your product.
With re-upholstered chairs from Craigslist, and an awesome stool from Target, Ingrid Nilson of MissGlamorazzi mixes DIY with name brands to give her more than 2.1 million YouTube subscribers an idea of who she is with her apartment. Have a look at the video below:
This is a great opportunity for an independent design/decor brand to donate something to an amazing blogger for his or her next apartment tour.
3. Create a Look Book Featuring the Blogger
Look books are the most flattering way to approach a blogger to work with you, but this method can also become tricky. In this case, you need to make sure your brand aligns with the blogger's style perfectly.
A good way to indicate this is whether or not they've worn your products before, or if someone has mentioned it in their comments. If you have a strong eye, you can tell if your blogger is boho, edgy, high fashion or a vintage-lover (with of course, many sub genres included).
If you're launching your new summer line, include a top local blogger as a model for your photo shoot. Get creative with the storyline, and the blogger's recognized face will obtain more eye balls than your regular 'ol look book.
Top local fashion blogger Jenn Im of 'Clothes Encounters' created her Fall Look Book with clothing from Wasteland boutique. They let Jenn pick out and style amazing outfits from the boutique and share it with her audience.
This is a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship between blogger and boutique, have a look at the video below to see what I mean.
4. Invite The Blogger to an In-Store Party
This is your chance to make a first (or second) impression on the blogger and build a relationship in person. This is also a chance for the blogger to naturally take pictures of themselves in your store.
Bloggers love to be handpicked and invited to exclusive events, so bust out the hors d'vours, champagne and fancy gift bags for them to take home to snap and post on Instagram. Make sure to include a hashtag for your shop or event prior to inviting them!
Local San Francisco store - Azalea boutique hosted an event for their new "Obey" Spring 2014 collection in the store. This was a great way to get their physical shop promoted by top local bloggers. Kathleen Murillo of Inspirafashion wrote about it in her blog:
See? It's not so difficult to promote your boutique with fashion bloggers. It's all about having a goal in mind before approaching the blogger. Whether it's promotion from an outfit post, an apartment tour, a look book or a blogger party, these are all creative ways to have your boutique come through the crowd.
Remember, the less you make the blogger think about how to promote your product, the more likely they are to do it. By having an idea ready, you can make it easy for them to make a decision on whether or not they want to work with you.
If the idea sticks with them then you'll get the green light to showcase your product in a new light. Just make sure your brand aligns with their brand perfectly!
Do you have any creative ways you've promoted your product through a blogger? If so, share it with us in a comment below.
P.S. If you liked this post, you'll love How Online Reviews Impact Local SEO and Why They Matter to Your Bottom Line and Why All Sale Signs Are Red: The Science of Color in Retail
P.P.S. Run your own boutique store? Check out Shopify POS.