Nordstrom transforms its influencer marketing strategy into awareness campaigns
- Nordstrom’s annual Anniversary Sale promotion has set the benchmark for influencer campaigns.
- Some influencers are even said to have earned most of their annual revenue from event commissions.
- But the company is now adjusting its influencer spending by investing more in flat fees.
Nordstrom was an early adopter of influencer marketing, especially among large corporations.
Its annual anniversary sale (or what’s casually called “NSale”) has, until recently, been dubbed the “Super Bowl of swipe-ups” on Instagram. Every year, social media followers look forward to the event to get the inside scoop on the latest sales, and Adweek has reported that some influencers even make the bulk of their income from it.
This year, however, the company appears to be adjusting its strategy and spending around fashion Instagram marketing. A spokesperson for Nordstrom told Insider it will focus more on “awareness” campaigns than it has in previous years, and beyond the commission-based deals it is known for. .
The spokesperson said the company is looking to invest more in outreach tactics than it has in recent years, which means more fixed costs (vs. commissions).
Nordstrom is also investing in new types of influencers on apps beyond Instagram.
The Recent Controversy and Nordstrom’s Changing Strategy, Which is Driving Some Fashion Instagrammers to Walk Away
Last month at the NSale 2022 event, reports surfaced that the company had cut influencer commission rates this year. Business of Fashion reported that Nordstrom’s rate on LTK, a popular commerce platform, was reduced to 3.5% from 7% last year.
Some influencers have even started speaking publicly about the issue on their own Instagram accounts. Insider reached out to several users who made these public statements, but they declined to speak officially.
A spokesperson for LTK disputed Business of Fashion’s figures, but did not provide any figures on record.
“We continue to see an increase in brand investment in influencer marketing,” the LTK spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “This year represents the biggest investment for almost any brand on LTK, including Nordstrom. In the second quarter alone, we saw an over 50% year-over-year increase in spend with creators LTK of brands.”
Asked about the issue by Insider last month, a Nordstrom spokesperson declined to elaborate on the rates, but said the anniversary sale’s commission rates have come down slightly this year. They also pointed out that the company’s overall investment in influencers has increased.
Influencers have been integral to the success of not just NSale, but the brand as a whole. Nordstrom has historically used its network of online personalities to send all sorts of messages to its customers. Last year, it invited influencers to come to its physical stores to document and share their new COVID-safe shopping features.
A Nordstrom spokesperson said in a statement that the company still values affiliate influencer partnerships, but will continue to reassess and restructure those partnerships.
“Affiliate Partners are some of our most valued associates, and we regularly evaluate our offerings to create mutually beneficial partnership models,” the spokesperson said.
And even before this year, some influencers had grown tired of the NSale event, and understandably started to walk away. Last year, some influencers told BuzzFeed News they had seen diminishing returns over time, citing feelings of oversaturation.