- EBags, the online luggage and backpack retailer that was bought this year by Samsonite for $105 million, is working with social influencers on a campaign that showcases the most popular backpacks for the 2017 back-to-school season, the company said in a statement.
- Brands like Fjallraven, JanSport and The North Face will be highlighted by select YouTubers that have a combined audience of more than 20 million.
- EBags also aims to appeal to moms who have the final say on purchases for their children, even as 65% of back-to-school shoppers say their purchases are direct results of their children's influence. The company also enlisted mommy bloggers to provide product recommendations.
As the back-to-school season hits, it makes sense that an online retailer like eBags would tap bloggers and influencers, whose word-of-mouth power is almost entirely through online and social media channels.
Influencer marketing on social media is still a relatively new tactic, but it's quickly becoming an invaluable component to social strategies for brands like eBags that have jumped in. Research from Bloglovin found that 32% of marketers using influencers see the tactic as essential to their overall marketing strategy, and 41% reported more success with influencer campaigns than with traditional advertising. Sixty-three percent of those using influencers planned on increasing that budget this year, according to Bloglovin.
Social influencers like the ones eBags enlisted are trusted sources for product information, and their affinity with a brand must be authentic to be effective, according to a survey by influencer marketing agency Clever. Nine out of 10 social influencers said they must like a brand to accept its sponsorship, and that the connection they have with one is often more important than money.
Back-to-school and back-to-college spending are estimated to rise 10% this year to $83.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. The increased spending is partially the result of improvements in the labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 16-year low of 4.3%, but wage growth has been paltry since the financial crisis of 2008.