In 2016, the U.S. fashion industry generated $72.1 billion in revenue through online sales. With that number projected to rise to a massive $116.3 billion as soon as 2021, it’s evident that Americans aren’t shy about purchasing apparel and accessories from web-based storefronts.
Currently, eight in 10 U.S citizens buy online each week, and as many as one-third of shoppers are likely to make purchases through social networks. In order to reach potential customers on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms, top fashion brands are now adjusting their advertising focus.
In the following case study, we’ll take a look at fashion advertising campaigns by Nordstrom, Calvin Klein, Levi’s and other brands to see how partnering with top fashion YouTubers created exposure and drove results.
In collaboration with Nordstrom, Whitney created one sponsored video, entitled “10 Things From Nordstrom You Need!” The video is structured like others on Whitney’s channel, where her bright personality doles out fashion advice in the form of numbered lists.
Whitney is well positioned to reach Nordstrom’s consumer base. Her subscribers tune in multiple times a week to hear her fashion advice and styling tips. In the sponsored video, Whitney highlights her favorite Nordstrom items through the tried-and-true format her audience has come to expect and appreciate.
Lauren Luthringshausen, better known as Lauren Elizabeth, is a Los Angeles-based YouTuber with 1.2 million subscribers. Whether in the form of vlogs, ”favorites videos”, or recipe tutorials, Elizabeth keeps viewers up to date on all things beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.
Elizabeth partnered with Calvin Klein to help market its women’s underwear and clothing line on YouTube. Utilizing dry humor and slick editing techniques, Elizabeth walks viewers through her morning routine to showcase her favorite Calvin Klein pieces.
The success of the sponsored video stemmed, in part, from Elizabeth’s ability to integrate the Calvin Klein items into recurring themes on her channel. Elizabeth consistently exposes her viewers to products of all types and the partnership with Calvin Klein was a seamless addition to her valued library of content.
Im created one video in partnership with Levi’s to showcase the brand’s diverse line of denim jackets. With more than two million subscribers, Im is in a great position to help Levi’s reach a targeted audience of fashionistas.
Im presented the brand integration by giving users applicable advice on how to style a denim jacket. She also emphasized a personal connection to the Levi’s brand by saying, “I’ve been rocking Levi’s since I was a little kid,” which served to subtly accentuate the timelessness and enduring relevance of the Levi’s brand to viewers.
In collaboration with the fashion reseller ThredUP, April posted one sponsored video. Since she’s known for creating content in the second-hand fashion niche, working with a resale brand like ThredUP was a natural fit.
Presented like many of her unsponsored haul videos, which showcase her trying on her clothing purchases, April was successful in connecting ThredUP with her viewers in a stylish, organic manner.
Nguyen posts highly cinematic videos with text overlays and no dialogue. Adopting a similar strategy for her Designer Shoe Warehouse collaboration, she created one video to advertise DSW’s top shoes for Spring.
Featuring five unique styles, Nguyen demonstrated a different Spring trend for each shoe, while advertising their wearability and durability in various New York City environments. The emphasis on both fashion and functionality is something that speaks to Nguyen’s viewers, while also servicing DSW’s marketing goals.
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Summer Mckeen is a California-based fashion YouTuber known for makeup and clothing tutorials, as well as her lifestyle content. Mckeen boasts nearly one million subscribers, keeping her audience entertained with multiple videos each week.
Mckeen created one video in partnership with Timberland, integrating a pair of their boots into her “Day in My Life” vlog. Following her candid format, Mckeen spends time with friends, cutting to different parts of her day, while wearing the Timberland brand boots. Mckeen’s substantial subscriber base allowed Timberland to reach hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Notably, Mckeen and Nguyen both advertised footwear, but each influencer used a drastically different style of content. Nguyen’s dedicated DSW video directly highlights specific products. Mckeen’s video, on the other hand, showcases Timberland boots through a vlog integration which focusses less on product details and more on how her footwear choice fits in with her lifestyle.