1 in 9 of the world's population is now on Instagram, with over 800 million active users every month. Needless to say it is one of the most powerful platforms for brands to reach their target audiences. Brands themselves build most of their identity on the platform, as their Instagram feed will influence purchase of their product or service, particularly amongst the millennials bracket. People under 25 now spend on average 32 minutes per day on the social platform! Major brands boast audiences that are higher than some countries' entire population, like Louis Vuitton and Gucci ( both on 23M followers), Nike (77M followers) or Victoria's Secret (59M followers).
However a new generation of powerful digital publishers who have even greater following than these brands and major fashion magazines has taken over Instagram - fashion models. Their influence is undeniable, as they are the first to share what's trending on the runway or sharing their off-duty style to their audiences.
1. Models are the 2nd most followed account type
Models are the second most followed account category on Instagram after music artists and are therefore the go-to instant inspiration for followers engaged in the fashion community. They are trend-setters, reliable for their style, lifestyle, discovering where the hottest hang-out locations are and are highly engaged because of this.
Models are indeed the new power publishers and whilst some may have larger audiences than brands or traditional magazines, most importantly they also have higher engagement. This new generation of social media savvy supermodels want to constantly present their public personas but also post off-duty looks and real life posts that audiences can connect with better than with celebrities. Storm model management alone has talent with larger distribution than all of Conde Nast. So now that talent is a key distributor of the messages then the talent becomes a media buy that really is the most powerful form of influencing.
2. Models use Instagram as their modern portfolio
The modern model knows that Instagram can successfully boost their career instantly, gaining the attention of major fashion brands, scouts and casting directors. Instagram has changed modelling forever but also how models themselves approach the app. Before they are booked for a shoot, casters will first look at their Instagram, sometimes even before their portfolio. Their Instagram is, therefore, the representation of their professional career and how they portray themselves as their own brand.
If a model decides to work with your brand, it's because they genuinely want to put it up on their feed. Models understand more than ever the power of endorsement relationships and how they can be a turning point for their career.
Models are now lifestyle ambassadors for brands to collaborate with, showing that this new generation of publishers has the knowledge and power to present advertising in a whole new environment through digital communication. Each model has his or her own style as a reflection of their identity and wants to work with brands who will help develop this.
3. Models shoot content on a daily basis
On average a model will be shooting content over 2,500 times a year for various modelling jobs - now that is some serious content creation skills! They work with the industry's top photographers, stylists and industry professionals, on-boarding their professional advice for their own photos for their feed. If models are not on a shoot with a renowned photographer capturing their next billboard campaign, then they are producing their own content for their Instagram feed, which they must constantly keep updated. They therefore know how to pose and make something look good immediately!
As a consequent part of modelling also involves travel, this opportunity provides models with the ability to create content in the world's most stunning, Instagrammable locations. Imagine your next influencer campaign's content being created in the world's most beautiful spots, without you even having to move from your office chair!
4. From runway to off-duty, models are owning Instagram
Models are now the forefront focus of content creation in the fashion community, sparking interest from their followers as they share behind the scenes moments and unique industry insight. Instagram is now a daily, global destination for the fashion community to experience a new source of interactivity as fashion models and Instagram now become intrinsically linked.
For example, during Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 over 143 million people turned to Instagram alone to discover, share and discuss the newest trends during Fashion Month. With models providing the forefront focus to share an international source of inspiration both on-and-off the catwalk "Instagram is the favourite new tool of fashion" as models are now able to share a seamless, unique experience that is at the centre of visual inspiration for the fashion community on Instagram, especially with features such as Instagram Stories.
5. Models have credibility outside social media
As people spend more time on their mobile devices, consumers are constantly online searching for the latest product recommendations and venues they want to discover.
Models are constantly surrounded by the best hairdressers, stylists, makeup artists and industry creatives, so consumers, as a result, rely on the advice they share because they know it comes from these reliable sources they can't necessarily connect with themselves. Models' followers engage with them because they want to know these top tips and industry insight they provide, creating a sense of proximity with the fashion industry.
When a model is not shooting with the industry's most talented teams behind her, she is relaxing off-duty in the world's top venues, restaurants and fitness locations. Models are therefore able to set trends very easily with their influence. Venues constantly host these models in their establishments, pampering them and offering them premium service, as they understand the value models can bring by recommending them to their audience.
Many models have even used their influence further, to create clothing collections (like Leomie Anderson and her LAPP The Brand), beauty lines (like Miranda Kerr with her KORA Organics skincare range) that go beyond their modelling career. Many even use their voices to raise awareness about a certain cause close to their hearts (Adwoa Aboah and Gurls Talk).
Image Header Credits: Harpers Bazaar