H&M has launched an employee ambassador program, H&M Insiders, to build on its external influencer program. Each H&M Insider has their own personal page with a brief bio and shoppable photos of their ensemble.
H&M Insiders is launching with 15 employees from stores and offices across the U.S., who were chosen based on their content, personality, location, brand values and style. The year-long program will show off how ambassadors incorporate H&M into their everyday lives, from their outfits to home decorating.
The use of influencer marketing is on the rise: 65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2019, according to Big Commerce. Smaller can be better despite growing budgets: 82% of shoppers say they would follow a suggestion made by a micro-influencer like an H&M Insider, according to 99 Firms.
The benefits are particularly notable among the youngest shoppers: 70% of teens trust influencers more than celebrities, and six out of 10 teens follow their advice, according to The Digital Marketing Institute. Teens generally share a positive opinion of influencers, according to data from Fullscreen and Shareablee:
- 62% feel they are honest about their beliefs and opinions;
- 57% believe they seem knowledgeable about the topics they discuss;
- 57% think they share the same passions and interests; and
- 52% say they feel real and authentic in the way they communicate.
Driving additional interest from teens could help H&M maintain positive sales growth, which rose 11% in Q2 2019 and 10% during Q1 2019. The retailer has been pursuing a turnaround strategy that reduces its reliance on promotions and boosts investments in e-Commerce.