Influencer marketing is a big deal. If you have a blog and you can cultivate the right community within your niche, you can have a big impact on your market, as Vogue and Neiman Marcus know and are fighting against:
In a published chat among editors reflecting back on the just-wrapped Milan Fashion Week, they called the phenomenon of fashion bloggers posing for street-style pictures out front of shows “horrible,” “pathetic,” and “ridiculous,” among other things.
“Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop,” wrote Sally Singer, Vogue’s creative digital director. “Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.”
While Vogue and Neiman Marcus may be rallying against the bloggers, the actual brands think otherwise. They are paying these fashion bloggers to wear their clothes and taking advantage of the best type of marketing there is – peer to peer or word of mouth marketing.
Fashion bloggers can have large online followings that give them a lot of influence, which is why many are simply called “influencers.” It’s why brands often pay them to wear—and be photographed—in their clothes. Several of Vogue’s editors have clearly had enough of that.
Forget the gatekeepers. They no longer hold sway over the market. Social networking through sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook level the playing field.
The gatekeepers of fashion aren’t who they used to be. Now everyone is out there, jockeying for followers and influence, and sharing images by the dozen. That means the fashion world that Vogue has been the primary chronicler of can’t exist in an elite bubble, and also that purveyors of luxury fashion like Neiman Marcus are left scrambling to satisfy customers’ demand for social-media-fueled instant gratification.
Although this is an example in the fashion industry, it applies to all industries. Anyone with a blog and a wifi connection can change the dynamics of an industry by going straight to the end user and cultivating a strong community through their blog and social media. It’s the community that bloggers build that gives them their influence.
This feud between Vogue/Neiman Marcus and the top fashion bloggers is a great example of why blogging isn’t dead.