The rise of men's fashion influencer marketing
Since the birth of online influencer marketing in 2007, the influencer industry has been disproportionately female. But times are changing, and the men’s style influencer has grown in power. More and more men are sharing their personal style and lifestyles– and looking to others for inspiration.
As menswear brands grow in number, partnering with men’s fashion influencers has become an effective way to spread awareness across social media, strengthen sales, and reach new markets.
In this guide, you will learn how men’s fashion brands can work with male influencers to grow and scale in a measurable way.
What male shoppers are looking for
In general, men are looking for fashion content that resonates with their style and self-expression. When looking for fashion pieces, they’re attracted to influencers for guidance, and stay for content that inspires, entertains, educates, and recommends.
The style-conscious man researches these six things:
Online product information
According to a 2019 First Insight study, men are more likely to be frequent online shoppers, and more likely to shop six or more times a month at retail. These power shoppers need to easily find the right information, whether it’s product features, reviews, inventory, or pricing.
Menswear consumers are looking for brands that prioritize diversity. All races, genders, body shapes, and sizes have a place in men’s fashion and fashion influencer marketing because consumers care about true representation. Work with a diverse mix of influencers who create content our diverse world can relate to.
Levi’s is a great example of incorporating diversity into their content. When it comes to their campaigns, they work with influencers who meet all gender profiles, body types, races and ethnicities.
Men value authenticity and relatability, which is why influencer marketing is so effective in this niche.
Menswear buyers aren’t fooled by typical polished ads anymore. They want to know the real look and feel of a product and trust someone they can relate to.
Influencers in men’s fashion have spent years building authentic connections with their own personal audiences and communities. As experts in their niche, male fashion influencers are on the pulse of what menswear buyers want, so your consumers buy from and relate to your brand.
A convenient way to purchase
With the rise in content consumption and ecommerce, men buy more online and want a smooth, convenient experience. These online buyers are propelled by virtual inspiration and research, so they count on smooth experiences from post, to website, to purchase.
Men want to know exactly what they’re getting for their money. According to a study by daVinci Payments, it takes more than a fancy brand name to lure in male shoppers. First, they look at price, second quality, availability, then the brand name. Male fashion influencers give the skeptical male shopper the confidence to follow through with a purchase he’s been researching.
Rewards for loyalty
According to the same daVinci study, 83 percent of male shoppers would choose a brand with a loyalty program over one without if all other things were equal. Men are loyal to brands they love and continue to purchase what they know.
Who is the male fashion influencer?
The male fashion influencer is unique and speaks to a growing fashion and lifestyle niche. From personal style, to nightly routines, and workout regimes, they connect with real-life men looking to upgrade their lifestyles.
That’s why they can drive amazing results for menswear brands of any style and price range. Many male content creators have loyal, highly engaged audiences, making them perfect for branding and raising brand awareness.
Men’s style influencers:
Menswear influencer content
Influencer content is known for being unpolished, unposed, and breaking through the facade of perfection. Men’s fashion influencer content strikes a balance between quality photography and what still feels raw and authentic. Male influencers have their own unique personal style and theme and tend to have a cult-like following — which is why they are so effective at brand awareness.
To show off their style and creativity, mens fashion content includes:
- Careful, aesthetic composition
- Quality static imagery
- Full outfit photographs
- Eye-catching locations
- Spontaneous video posts
- Live stories and streams
- Tik Tok and Instagram try-ons
- Reels with trending music
- OOTD (outfit of the day)
Fashion influencers have built their business on their own personal styling, so each influencer you include in a campaign brings their own take on how to style your clothes and accessories.
Whether you’re a luxury men’s brand or streetwear, the right mix of men’s fashion influencers can help you scale, drive brand awareness, and increase sales.
In-house influencer marketing programs can suffer from:
With substantial influencer data from an influencer marketing platform, the right men’s fashion influencers can help you regularly reach niche audiences, spread brand awareness, build brand identity, and set your menswear brand apart in the marketplace.
By leveraging an influencer network platform and expert in creator management, you can confidently execute a successful influencer marketing strategy based on unmatched influencer data in the men’s fashion sector.
What influencers want from men’s fashion brands
To uphold their personal brand as they give recommendations, male influencers expect the best from brands they work with. They want to work with a brand that is a good collaboration partner, providing stock level updates, content inspiration, and clear communication.
Here are the top qualities men’s style influencers want in fashion brands:
Brands that make sense for their audience
To remain authentic to their dedicated followers, male fashion influencers partner with brands that make sense for their personal aesthetic, beliefs (sustainable brand vs. fast fashion), and lifestyle.
If they lose authenticity, they lose followers, and you don’t get results. Working with an expert in influencer management helps you sift through the sea of influencers for best-fit casting from the start.
Quality products at their price point
Product value is important to the male fashion consumer, so it’s just as important to the male fashion influencer.
While the male fashion buyer checks price first, they aren’t opposed to spending for quality. Influencers help convey that quality and value for a confident purchasing decision.
Freedom to imagine and create
Male fashion influencers are passionate and savvy content creators.
As you partner with influencers, trust the relationship they have with their audience. Allow them to interpret campaigns to create content that balances brand identity with their personal brand. For successful content that engages their followers, provide a defined brief for your partnership but avoid micromanaging.
Diversity and inclusion
As the fashion community seeks diversity and inclusion, influencers want to work with brands that promote representation and operate by high moral and ethical standards in their business, messaging, and their visual content. Influencers in men’s fashion come in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and ethnicities, and they want the brands they work with to embrace model diversity and positive change. Diversity and inclusion is an important part of a successful influencer strategy.
Clear contractual terms and conditions
Your contract is the start of a collaborative partnership — hopefully one that lasts. Provide your influencers talking points, brand information, and helpful tips for deliverables without being too prescriptive. Get help facilitating communication and creating an influencer proposal template with an expert enabled by the most advanced influencer marketing software.
Best practices for casting men’s fashion influencers
Casting influencers is a complex process.
As you’re searching for the best men’s style influencers for your brand, remember these best practices.
1. Do some brand introspection
Ask yourself a few questions: How do you view your own brand? Who is your target audience? What is important to them? And what is the main message you want an influencer to convey to them? In order to get to the right set of influencers, you need a deep understanding of your brand, consumers, and goals. Here are a few things for fashion brands to consider:
- If you’re high-end luxury, do you prefer influencers who mix high-end with low-end? Or do you prefer only luxury influencers?
- If you’re a sustainable brand, will you want to work with influencers who feature fast fashion 50% of the time?
- Are you looking to target Gen Z? Or are you focused on an older demographic? Or both?
2. Bring in female fashion influencers
It’s a common mistake for brands targeting men to use only male influencers. But incorporating female content creators can be highly successful, too. Our decade of influencer data is clear: With many women as household decision-makers, female influencers can reach women, educate them about men’s products, and drive positive ROAs for men’s fashion brands. Casting female fashion creators to feature their male significant others in their content can drive conversions and meet your revenue goals.
Bonobos, for example, successfully used social media influencers to raise brand awareness and revenue. LTK recommended incorporating female influencers into their campaign to promote male products to their audience.
3. Cast micro-influencers
The micro-influencer is someone who has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. While they’re often underestimated by brands, they’re often highly effective in their niche. While a mega influencer with 1M+ followers may have low engagement and few conversions, a nano influencer with 10,000 or fewer followers may have higher engagement for their niche, and stronger influence for conversion.
Micro-influencers also appeal to Gen Z, which now makes up 40% of global consumers and has $143 billion in spending power according to McKinsey research. Whether it’s a TikTok try-on haul or an Instagram live review, micro-influencers serve as modern-day best friends and deepen trust in the path from product post to purchase.
4. Take the guesswork out of payment
Determining influencer pay has always been a challenge for brands. Do they base dollar values on impressions, engagement, followers, or other metrics?
Brands need visibility into audience worth and a deeper understanding of metrics and attribution to make payment decisions. Gain the highest level of influencer transparency by working with an influencer marketing management platform.
5. Consider user-generated content
Find fashion influencers who inspire followers to repost, share, and tag content. This social proof creates a steady flow of organic content that validates your brand in the eyes of the male fashion buyer.
Which fashion brands benefit from influencer marketing?
The short answer: all fashion brands. From streetwear to high-street, and luxury to fitness, successful brands use influencer marketing to reach their consumers.
In 2021, streetwear and fitness brands are the biggest trends, as many people work from home.
Influencer marketing for smaller men’s fashion brands
Influencer marketing can put a small brand on the map by spreading brand awareness across social media. In particular, small fashion brands with great products and the right price point can gain huge wins using the right mix of influencers who have historically driven revenue for that vertical.
It happens all the time: a highly engaged influencer features a product from a small fashion brand, and their audience latches on.
Influencer marketing has helped some brands reach audiences in different parts of the country or the world, or even led to discovery by multi-brand retailers.
Don’t have the budget for a full influencer campaign? LTK offers other placements at lower flat fees to help spread brand awareness.
Helping large men’s fashion brands scale
Influencer marketing can help larger fashion brands scale their approach and keep them relevant. To stay competitive in today’s saturated market, even larger, reputable brands must be consistently engaging with consumers through influencers.
Larger fashion brands, like Urban Outfitters, work with us to develop a layered, full-funnel approach to scale their influencer marketing program with new influencers, test new channels and verticals, and create different multi-channel campaign strategies.
Be smart about budget
Allocate enough of a budget that will allow you to meet your campaign goals. Stretching a small budget across too many goals will not yield a successful campaign. If your campaign has various goals, such as increased traffic to site, content creation, and branding, make sure your budget is enough to secure influencers geared to each goal.
Help your influencers incentivize
Give your influencers something unique, like a promo code, that will incentivize their audience to try this product out for less of a cost to them.
If that isn’t an option, be as generous as possible with gifting, especially if your brand is new to the influencer. This allows the influencer to test multiple items to determine things like fit and quality, so they can give a complete and honest review or a haul that shows tons of options.
Set your expectations upfront
Be direct with your influencers about what you expect from the campaign. It’s critical to set expectations up front and be explicit about anything your brand does and does not want included in content. This keeps the relationship healthy and collaborative and the content on-brand.
Use branded hashtags
Branded hashtags are valuable for all fashion brands, especially newer ones. They help spread the word about your business while making it easy to find content created by you, your influencers, and your followers.
When managing your influencer marketing campaign, return on ad spend and results don’t always happen instantly. Influence and reputation, just like with other marketing media, is built over time with male fashion influencers.
The LTK team goes above and beyond to identify progress and areas for improvement to GROW (Gather, Reach, Optimize and Win!) your influence. The LTK Score™ provides insights into how your brand’s influence ranks and best opportunities to improve.
Influencer marketing is most effective when it adheres to the LTK Influencer Tenants of Success.
At LTK, we help you and all of your departments every step of the way and amplify your in-house efforts. As an influencer marketing platform designed for creator management, we help you do it all in-house, so you have the influencer intelligence to run effective influencer marketing campaigns without completely outsourcing to an agency.
Where to start your influencer marketing campaign
If you’re new to influencer marketing and aren’t sure where to start for your brand, you’re not alone. Start with a test campaign, guided by performance data to get a strategy going strong. As the leading influencer marketing hub for the 10 years, LTK has solved influencer marketing challenges through:
- Amplified distribution through the largest creator shopping channel: shopLTK.com with 8M+ shoppers
- Full-service creator programs that deliver on your unique objectives
- Strategic planning based on historical brand performance data
- Expert brand consulting, planning, executing, and reporting
- End-to-end campaign execution and influencer casting
- Access to the most successful influencer platform in the world
- Licensed imagery from premium creators for your own marketing channels
- Conference and event integration to build long-term relationships
- Access to real-time measurable results on the top influencer campaign management software
Use your test campaign as an opportunity to discover best-match fashion influencers who convert. As you think longer-term strategy down the road, our influencer marketing platform will help you secure influencers as your ambassadors.
GROW with the LTK Score™
LTK Score™ is an industry-first benchmark to show where brands are with influence amongst peers and the best strategy to GROW influence.
Gather the right curated creators with Advanced Audience Insights
Reach with automated influencer management tools and payments
Optimize with simplified creator communication and integrations for better execution
Win! Advanced Audience Campaign Reporting to achieve better result