Social Influencer marketing has evolved rapidly. Whether it’s food, fashion, beauty or fitness, brands are collaborating with influencers to amplify their message and resonate with their target audience. Over the last few years we’ve seen brands collaborate with celebrities with huge online followings, like the Kardashians. But consumers are starting to lose their trust in big names who advertise anything and everything on social media for huge sums of money. A great example of this is the Fyre Festival scandal and the resulting backlash against celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.
Consumers are looking for authenticity and we’re now seeing a shift towards collaboration with micro-influencers. These influencers usually have between 5k and 50k followers, are more relatable to their online community and their endorsements seen as more genuine than those coming from celebrities.
We’ve taken a look at 3 fitness brands collaborating with micro-influencers to understand just how impactful this strategy can be…
Social influencer marketing: Why choose micro-influencers?
People are getting irritated by seeing advertising that’s irrelevant to them across social media. Consumers are looking for more authenticity and transparency. They’re more likely to follow the recommendations of an influencer who has expertise and passion for the product he/she is advertising. Micro-influencers are experts in their niche – and although they are still getting paid, are seen as honest, relatable and trustworthy.
Collaborating with famous influencers and superstars may seem like the right strategy for brands. Of course the number of followers they have is huge. But this doesn’t always equate to a high engagement rate. If you’re a fitness brand and decide to work with Cardi B, you may see less engagement as her audience is broad and won’t necessarily be interested in your products. Whereas if you’re a fitness brand and collaborate with a smaller influecer, who only posts about fitness and healthy living to their loyal followers, your audience is likely to be more receptive.
3 Fitness brands leveraging micro influencing
The yoga-focused brand has a unique approach when it comes to influencer partnerships. Unlike other big brands who chose big names, Lululemon focuses on smaller influencers and local communities. With their Ambassador program, Lululemon manages to create engaged communities around their stores. Their mission is to build “authentic relationships” with ambassadors, who can either apply through the website or are spotted by the brand. These ambassadors have to be “inspiring leaders, storytellers, and doers from around the world.” By partnering with the brand, they have to engage with the community, provide feedback, and participate in social impact programs with Lululemon.
The athleisure brand founded by Kate Hudson is relatively new. It was founded in 2013, but has become an established brand thanks to successful marketing. The brand focus mostly on influencer marketing and social media ads. They first partnered with celebrities like Demi Lovato and then shifted towards micro-influencers. Similarly to Lululemon, Fabletics also has an influencer program. Anyone can apply through the brand’s website by disclosing their social media pages. Fabletics then review their application and choose ambassadors. The brand has widely benefited from this method, expanding globally and reaching more than a million followers on Instagram.
Another athleisure brand which successfully partners with micro-influencers. Sweaty Betty is not new, yet has managed to renew its brand image to become a more trendy fitness brand. On top of their partnership with fitness influencers, Sweaty Betty created an affiliate program. This program targets blogs and websites focused on fitness and healthy living. Same as Lululemon and Fabletics, applications go through their website. Those who get selected have to promote the brand on their blogs by publishing content or displaying banners. They receive a 12% commission, clothing, and other rewards.
How to spot the right influencers?
To target the right community, it’s essential to work with the most relevant influencers. Indeed, the most receptive fanbase could potentially turn into customers. With our social listening tool, we’ve created a dashboard to look at these three brands. Thanks to our Publishers widget, brands can identify the people who mention them most often. They can track and identify potential ambassadors to collaborate with. Our dashboard shows that each of these brands should collaborate with influencers with less than 50k followers. These seem to gain the most interactions on their posts and have a high reach level – meaning that most of their followers engage with their content. For example, Neen Williams who recently became a Lululemon ambassador appears in the top 3 most influential accounts on our dashboard. His account has 16k interactions on average on his Lululemon posts which means he was indeed a good choice for the brand.
With our Publishers widget, brands can also track influencers according to each social media type. For example, some are more active on Instagram while others focus on Youtube. Moreover, brands can also use audience insights tools like Profiler to find out the interests of their customers. They’ll be able to uncover which influencers, celebrities, and athletes they follow and determine which partnerships would be the most valuable.