The Great Influencer Shakeout | Intelligence, BoF Professional – The Business of Fashion

NEW YORK, United States — For its latest campaign, Bandier tapped Julie Sariñana, an influencer known to her 5.5 million Instagram followers as Sincerely Jules.

The fashion blogger’s ability to sell California-inspired tank tops and dresses was only part of her appeal to the fitness retailer. What sealed the deal was the fact that Sariñana styles, shoots and edits her own post — no small thing for Bandier, which is trying to keep costs low while its stores are closed.

“You want people who can drive awareness and revenue, but you’re also looking for a robust skillset,” said chief marketing officer Natalie McGrath. “Because the old way of doing high-end shoots, where there was a volume of people keeping it on the tracks, has gone out the window.”

Many brands, hit by plunging sales during the pandemic, have halted the social media marketing campaigns that once funded lavish lifestyles for thousands of Instagram stars. Sponsored content in April was down 85 percent on Instagram, according to Shareablee, a marketing analytics company.

The global death toll from Covid-19 and the record level of unemployment in the US has created a different mood for consumers on social media — one that doesn’t include the sort of glamorous content that brands like Revolve or Dior lean on. Vacation shoots have been replaced by “relatable” quarantine content. Sponsored posts these days more closely resemble ads, complete with prominent click-to-shop buttons, rather than magazine spreads.

Sariñana, who has spent a decade