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IFB's Ask the Brand Series: Arrojo's Digital Marketing Strategy

Originally posted on Independent Fashion Blogger’s ‘Ask the Brand’ series.  For more information about digital media, marketing and technology, visit IFB.

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In the past brands would dictate trends, spending millions pushing these (hopeful) trends on the masses. Blogging truly puts the consumer in the driver seat, and allows them to clearly state ‘this is what we want’. - Arrojo

Tell us ARROJO’s overall thoughts on social media in the fashion industry.

We’ve always believed trends are influenced by the street. One great thing about social media is that it is ubiquitous –– anyone can do it. It’s actually giving even more power to the street. The communication of bloggers and influencers –– with new looks and new ideas posted every day –– creates a dialogue between communities and individuals that pushes out new trends. More and more, fashion designers are looking at this movement and using it as inspiration for the runway. User-generated content is leading us into a world where the woman or man on the street influences the direction of fashion. We think it is brilliant because we see ARROJO as part of this movement. For example, in early 2011, we instigated a new drive to bring bloggers into the salon. Many opted for ombre hair color –– for which we were one of the pioneers –– and then we saw the trend take off. It gave us an elevated sense of connection to the fashion industry.

At what point in your marketing strategy do you incorporate Social Media – is it considered from the beginning, or do you find ways to fit it in later?

It is part of the big picture of building the ARROJO brand. Everything we do –– from promoting salon appointments to announcing a new product launch to working fashion & trade shows to connecting with fellow professionals –– is pushed out through our social media channels.

How big is your social media team?

In-house we have one full-time social media employee. However, as part of the brand strategy, the whole creative team is involved in developing our presence and success online. We also work with Socialyte, a social media consultant.

What are the daily activities of the ARROJO’s social media team?

Updating our social networks with the most relevant news. Tracking & growing influence. Maintaining and growing our hair inspiration blog, Stylenoted.com. Working on bringing fashion and beauty bloggers and social influencers into our ARROJO studio salon. Organizing events with bloggers and social influencers.

In what capacity do you work with bloggers?

We invite bloggers into the salon for hair services. Depending on the bloggers’ level of influence and/or commitment to talking about the brand, we offer complimentary and discounted appointments to them. It’s all about creating a mutually beneficial relationship. They want to look great, and coming to us guarantees great hair. We want to expand our brand recognition, and working with bloggers guarantees quick and direct exposure to a hip young crowd.

We have used top bloggers like Trop Rouge as models for our fashion shows. This helps to promote the events as the bloggers talk about it online.

We also gift product to bloggers. Again, this instigates online conversations about our product line. We hold events with bloggers to strengthen relationships and bring new people into our space. For example, last Christmas Holiday we hosted a Woman In Need Charity event which was managed by Keiko Lynn. Sponsors like Coach got involved and we had a trendy young crowd spending the day in our facility, while taking part in a good deed.

How do you select bloggers to work with?

We base it on their level of influence and the commitment to the ARROJO brand.

What value do you think blogger collaborations have to a brand, as compared to traditional marketing?

In our work with Socialyte.Co we’ve discovered that bloggers are better aligned as media properties with large followings. Their influence is measurable and the return on investment is quickly apparent. Building relationships with these influencers has given ARROJO a better understanding of the market, where social media is heading, and how to really be a step ahead of the competition.

Bloggers are the epicenter of social. They are the key individuals who influence the tastes and preferences of millions of individuals, who in turn influence the taste and preferences of millions of less connected individuals. In the past brands would dictate trends, spending millions pushing these (hopeful) trends on the masses. Blogging truly puts the consumer in the driver seat, and allows them to clearly state ‘this is what we want’.

In the end it basically mitigates risk of launching a multi-million dollar initiative that may fall flat. It is the ultimate combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, advertising, near real-time data mining, and even POS marketing if integrated properly with a brands e-commerce.

How do you measure the overall value of bloggers and social media?

There is no set value of an influencer. A blogger who speaks to a niche market can be of much higher value to ‘X’ brand that in may be for ‘Y’ brand.

Through Socialyte.Co, we have access to bloggers who are selected using a proprietary algorithm that blends art and technology. Using a combination of several third party analytical tools, outward facing numbers (facebook, tumblr, twitter, bloglovin, lookbook, etc), and analyzing engagement on those mediums, we are able to create a comprehensive snapshot of visitors, demographics, location of readers, and engagement, and how they fit in with the brands goals and objectives.

The big question is how valuable is a blogger with 500,000 unique visitors and low engagement vs a blogger with 10,000 unique visitors and high engagement, and how that individual influencer fits in with the portfolio of bloggers we are working with for said campaign to maximize impressions, clicks, and conversions.

Those types of influencers are most valuable to the ARROJO brand and we actively pursue opportunities to connect and work with them.

Do you have any tips for bloggers looking to engage with brands? How can they make themselves more attractive to brands?

Work with professionals, and be professional. Respond to e-mail, don’t make excuses, and try new things. Use common sense and don’t step on any toes.

As we a forge a path in this new and exciting industry, the core values of high integrity, professionalism, and business ethics should be in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Brands are taking a chance in a new space by working with you. The harder you work to support and achieve the goals and objectives of that brand, the more likely they will be to contact you for future campaigns, and your reputation will grow within the industry.

When working with professionals, professionalism is attractive.

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me a note.