Influencer marketing is far from a new concept.
Online fashion and beauty retailer Revolve has spent nearly a decade building a massive influencer marketing program, eventually creating an in-house team dedicated to influencer strategy. For Raissa Gerona, Revolve’s chief brand officer, it’s exciting that the rest of the retail world is beginning to catch up.
“To talk about [our influencer and experiential marketing] and share the story, it’s always so flattering, but also like, ‘Oh people think this is a new way of marketing?'” said Gerona. “It is, but I think because we’ve been doing it for so long and I live it every single day, it’s nice to step away and really share some of the key moments that have really fueled the growth of the company.”
On this week’s episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Gerona live at Shoptalk 2019 to discuss how Revolve built its brand through influencers, why Snapchat isn’t for the company and what untapped potential remains in the influencer marketing space. Edited highlights below.
Influencer marketing as a brand foundation
“In terms of driving traffic and getting new customers, there’s definitely a relationship with influencer marketing. But for us, the one thing we did and continue to do differently is really just treat influencer marketing as another type of media buy, and not force the ROI on it immediately. Now retailers, and anyone who’s trying to do influencer marketing, are so caught up in this concept of immediate sales attribution. For us, it was, ‘Let’s build the brand first through this new way of marketing, and sales are the cherry on top.'”
Focusing on Instagram
“For the last few years, we’ve really been looking at where our customers are, and the fact is that they’re still spending so much time on Instagram. They just are. There was a point where we were exploring doing things on Snapchat, for instance, but the reality was that our customer wasn’t there. So we were producing content and killing ourselves over this content strategy that no one was watching. Our customer just spends more time on Instagram than on any other platform. Instagram Stories have become incredibly important for us and our brand, because unlike the homepage or email, it’s something you can do so quickly, multiple times a day, that the customer truly loves engaging with.”
Influencer marketing has a long way to go
“I do think about influencer fatigue often, because I have to. But I still feel like we’re in the early stages, even though it’s been such a hot buzzword for the last couple of years. Now what I’m seeing more and more is that the influencers who are really big are continuing to evolve and grow. That, to me, is the most impressive thing. For us, it’s exciting to see who comes up at the top, and then figure out what we can do with them on a deeper level, aside from just having them attend our events. We want to build a deeper relationship with them — which can include creating a product together — to continue to create and grow each other’s brand. I still definitely think we’re in the early innings, and there’s definitely some solid years to come.”