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Thanks to the evolution of social media, the online fashion landscape is busier than ever. Brand awareness is no longer monitored with simple store numbers and advertising space, and instead, your company needs to be in the public eye and accessible to its customers at all times. But how can smaller brands compete with household names? What makes someone choose you over everyone else?

One of the best ways for brands to promote themselves is to get active in the fashion blogosphere with an event. Bloggers are fast becoming influential forces in the fashion industry, cultivating online audiences of thousands, sometimes even millions, through blogs, tweets, and Instagram posts. Hosting a blogger meet and greet can lead to extremely fruitful relationships and grow your brand’s visibility with a massive return on investment.

You don’t need to break the bank to host an effective blogger event; you simply need to arrange a day of activities that put your brand’s values at the heart of proceedings. Are you promoting cocktail dresses? Host a cocktail party! Focussing on winter coats? Arrange a photoshoot for bloggers to show off their style outdoors.

Just a few mentions of your brand in a correctly timed post can gain you massive attention online. Here are four ways blogger events can help promote your brand:

Taking you offline
Many small businesses start online and take years to reach the high street, if they ever do. This can be difficult for fashion brands in particular, as it means potential customers are unable to try clothing on before they buy, which can impact uncertain shoppers. A blogger event gives your brand a true physical presence and brings your products to life in everything on offer – from a beautifully decorated venue to the activities you organise. By setting a theme for your event you can highlight a particular product range, and bloggers wearing those products provide your brand with a natural form of advertisement.

Social interaction
Competing with major brands can be incredibly difficult when it comes to social media. How do you cut through the noise and make sure potential customers are listening to you? By hosting an event, you can concentrate and co-ordinate social interactions with your brand to make them more effective. For example, events run with dedicated hashtags can drum up posts before, during, and after the event takes place to the point where the hashtag starts trending. Once this happens, not only does your brand become more visible on social media, it can also attract the attention of other bloggers you could potentially invite to your next event.

Creating brand ambassadors
The best people to champion your brand are those who wear your products and can encourage others to enjoy them as well. Many bloggers build huge online followings and post to them regularly through multiple channels, including Twitter and Instagram. Therefore, building a relationship with bloggers through an event can mean your brand becomes part of that regular communication. Whether it be a particular garment, accessory, or a gift given to them at your event, bloggers are likely to post about them (and therefore promote your brand) over and over again.

Real endorsements
Customers know the difference between a promotional advertisement and the authentic enthusiasm of someone who wears, and loves, a brand. Successful brands are relatable and personal, encouraging genuine endorsements from bloggers that act as glowing reviews. Nothing is more personal than taking time out of your day to treat others and truly get to know them, making blogger events your opportunity to create an experience they want to share with others. Bloggers work hard to give their following genuine and exciting content every time they read, so you know an endorsement by them is truly heart-felt.

Bloggers are a massively influential network of people who develop themselves as personal brands and grow large online followings. Developing relationships with them can show potential new customers a personal side that other companies may lack – it all starts with dedicating the time to really get to know them and an event of any size shows that you care. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party for a room full of people, or treating a select few to a photoshoot, blogger events can boost your brand’s visibility and can create a wealth of future endorsement opportunities.

Written by Kirsty Rockliff, Online Campaign Manager for fashion retailer bonprix, part of Freeman Grattan Holdings. With over six years of marketing experience, Kirsty manages and co-ordinates strategies to help bonprix grow in the world of fashion online.

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