LONDON, United Kingdom — Influencers continue to grow in popularity as a way for brands to appeal to their customer and attract new audiences. However, some fashion brands have been more successful than others, with Fashion Nova, Zara, KKW Beauty and H&M taking the lead in the first half of 2018, according to data from InfluencerDB, an influencer marketing platform.

In the first five months of the year, the top 20 brands created $659,882,860 of earned media value (EMV) — the equivalent cost of traditional advertising that would garner the same exposure as the mentions of a brand or campaign — on Instagram, with 11,000 paid influencers generating content about these brands. Among them are fashion companies like Puma, Calvin Klein and H&M, beauty giants KKW Beauty and Maybelline, and jewellery brand Tiffany & Co.

“You can’t buy your way to the top,” Robert Levenhagen, chief executive of InfluencerDB, told BoF. “The most successful strategies are where you consider the influencer marketing industry like a pyramid,” where the influencers with the most followers aren’t necessarily right for the brand, whereas micro-influencers may be more effective.

“If you consolidate that in a smart way you create a lot of organic growth and organic media value.” Fashion Nova has led the way. While a relatively new brand when compared to the rest, its collaborations with strategic influencers have led to its rapid rise.

Rapper Cardi B, who began partnering with the brand before she became a signed artist, was highlighted as a driving force, each of her posts delivering $128,198 earned media value on average for Fashion Nova’s total EMV of over $125 million from both paid and organic mentions. Meanwhile, Zara, which came in third with $59 million EMV, achieved most of this through organic mentions, with paid collaborations accounting for only 1 percent of the total EMV. Read more from…

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