As influencer marketing becomes the defacto tactic fashion and beauty brands are utilizing to create brand awareness and increase conversion, modeling agency Women Management wants to reestablish its roster of models as influencers in their own right.
The 30-year-old agency, which launched the careers of famous faces, like Behati Prinsloo, Jourdan Dunn and Isabeli Fontana, has partnered with 2-year-old influencer marketing platform InfluencerDB to track the engagement, content performance, attributions and audience of said models on its site to help Women maximize potential social brand partnerships. From now until late November, models will be onboarded on to the platform. For its part, InfluencerDB works with many of the brands that Women Management is targeting with its models, including Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Mercedes-Benz.
As magazine placements and traditional advertising campaigns become less relevant in the fashion and beauty industries, brand social partnerships are a way for models to expand their reach. This is apropos: According to eMarketer’s recent company insights report, called “U.S. Social Network Users,” the market research firm found that about 32 percent of the population will use Instagram by the end of the year, a 13 percent increase from 2017.
Within Women Management itself, the InfluencerDB tool will also be used to help the firm’s talent agents and models themselves define content and social strategies, according to the director of digital strategy for Women Management, Tania Debono, who joined the company five months ago. Citing these models’ existing relationships with influential photographers, stylists, and hair and makeup artists, Debono wants to change the perception that models aren’t influencers themselves. “They already have the relationships in the worlds of fashion and beauty, and should be thought of as the first set of thought leaders,” she said.
Currently, InfluencerDB tracks influencers with followings of 15,000 or above — the company estimates that it is tracking 1.7 million influencers globally of Instagram’s audience of 1 billion — InfluencerDB said that while Instagram’s audience is incredibly large, only a small amount of influencers have the reach brands are looking for. Global senior vice president of InfluencerDB Jonathan Chanti said models are missing, but obvious, pieces within the influencer ecosystem currently.
“They are the most influential people when you look at the fashion, beauty, lifestyle and luxury industries, and not because of the amount of followers they have, but because of who they are connected to,” said Chanti. “Because of the natures of their careers, they have reach to people like Justin Timberlake, Nick Jonas and Mario Testino, and if a brand wanted to work with any of those people, the cost might be prohibitive. These models already have the access to other influential celebrities and musicians driving conversations, so models, in a way, represent a link.”
A quick search on InfluencerDB for Dunn, for instance, proves that: The platform shows that the Women Management model, who has 2.3 million followers, interacted organically with brands like Off White and Burberry on Instagram.
Both Debono and Chanti think this deep-dive information will be useful to other fashion, beauty and luxury brands interested in working with models like Dunn. “We’re trying to be ahead of what brands are asking for, because brands aren’t always sure of what influencer marketing can do,” said Chanti. “Through tools like this, we are showing how powerful models like Jourdan can be.”
Hyper-targeting will be available for the Women Model Management roster through the InfluencerDB tool. Interested brands can work with models with large engaged audiences like Dunn and Prinsloo, based on specific segments of the market, such as men, women, millennials and international reach.
While other modeling agencies like One Management and Next Management have chosen to recruit influencers as part of their model rosters — Next, for instance, currently has Rumi Neely, with 683,000 Instagram followers, signed — this partnership and strategy allows Women to focus on its primary purpose: cultivating model talent.
“We want to remind brands of the immense power these models have and how engaged their audiences already are — these aren’t people who got hot overnight for something going viral, they are proven entities with measurable results,” said Chanti.