Just as Lebron James is the first player to come to mind when thinking about the NBA, Fashion Nova is the first business that comes to mind when thinking about the greatest example of influencer marketing we have seen on Instagram.
A few months ago, we wrote a case study detailing how HiSmile Teeth was able to build a multi-million-dollar brand by using influencers to get their startup off the ground. Although this is an amazing example of influencer marketing, we think there is one company that does it even bigger, and that’s Fashion Nova.
If you’ve been on Instagram, and you don’t live under a rock, you’ve most definitely caught a glimpse of Fashion Nova and their impeccable influencer marketing strategy in action. It’s not uncommon to see someone posing in their new Fashion Nova outfit as you scroll through your explore page, in-fact, it’s become quite normal. Fashion Nova is a fast-fashion brand that’s attracted women with body measurements that don’t always fit the standard sizing.
In 2017, the company was the fourth most googled fashion brand alongside Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Supreme and Chanel. This was all achieved without any runway shows, placements in magazines, or SEO. So how did they do it?
Fashion Nova was started in 2006 by Richard Saghian, but it would be over a decade later when the company would experience explosive growth, over 600 percent in 2017 to be exact, all thanks to their massive network of influencers.
Back in 2013, Instagram was still very new on the scene and customers were posing with their Fashion Nova clothing and tagging Fashion Nova without them having to ask. The company only had around 60,000 followers on their Instagram account at the time, a number that seems tiny compared the nearly 20 million followers they boast today. Although it seems hard to fathom, back in 2013 Fashion Nova didn’t even have a website to sell their clothes, Richard Saghian didn’t feel they were prepared enough to launch it.
Eventually, Saghian bit the bullet and launched the first ever Fashion Nova website, they sold out of everything over the course of a weekend. Although they may have not known it at the time, the fact that people were posting on Instagram and tagging Fashion Nova had a profound effect on their growth early on. As we’ve seen time and time again with brands that followed a similar trajectory, Fashion Nova began by using micro-influencers, the terminology around influencer marketing back then was not nearly as mature, so it is likely that the brand used these micro-influencers without even knowing what a micro-influencer was.
As time progressed, so did sales and traction. Fashion Nova was ready to level up, and they did just that by hiring celebrity influencers to flaunt Fashion Nova’s clothing to millions of followers.
Cardi B was once quoted saying that Fashion Nova offers her $20,000 a month to wear the label and post about it to her followers, a small amount by today’s standards, this undoubtedly had a massive effect on the brand’s growth. Another notable celebrity, Kylie Jenner, was recruited by the brand in 2016 to do the same thing. Saghian once said that a single post from Kylie Jenner would net the company $50,000 in sales.
Things were going great, so great that celebrity influencers who were hired to promote Fashion Nova’s jeans actually ended up creating their own jeans to compete with the company. Khloe Kardashian, who once wore Fashion Nova jeans herself, started manufacturing similar style jeans at her company Good American Denim.
While having thousands of influencers posting about you on Instagram will definitely give you a boost, in order to maximize this effect, it is important to stay consistent with this strategy and engage with your customers.
Fashion Nova did an excellent job at re-using the content created by their influencers, the company held themselves to a strict schedule, posting every 30 minutes on Instagram. Aside from reusing the content, Fashion Nova also engaged their audience by interacting with them on a level that wasn’t too corporate. The social media team would try their best to interact with anyone that had posted a photo of them in their Fashion Nova clothing on Instagram, leaving comments that contained the hashtags #NovaBabes or #NovaStars, a strategy that makes the customer feel as though are part of the team.
It’s apparent that consistency when it came to content was a huge key to Fashion Nova’s success, so much so that you will see the same strategies discussed above are now considered standard for ecommerce companies on social media.
Influencer Marketing Today
While the influencer landscape has drastically changed and matured since the early days of Fashion Nova, the same ideas apply today, and you will see many brands spending big bucks on influencer marketing. Unsurprisingly, as of 2019 Fashion Nova is still amongst the top spenders when it comes to influencer marketing.
For some, this article may be discouraging, as you may be left with a feeling that you missed the boat when it comes to influencer marketing on Instagram. It’s important to remember that while the landscape has changed, it is constantly shifting, making space for smaller businesses to come in and capitalize on the ever-growing influencer marketing industry.
If there has ever been a better time to start planning out an influencer strategy for your business, that time is now. With platforms like TikTok taking the world by storm, it’s just a matter of time before we see the next Fashion Nova being built right in front of our eyes. If you’re looking to get started in the influencer marketing space, consider running your first campaign on Collabstr, we make it easy to discover, manage and pay your influencers all in one place!