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What Gymshark Teaches Social Marketers about Influencer Marketing

There’s no question about the rise of influencer marketing. In fact, according to our 2017 State of Social Marketing Report, over half of brands say that they either strongly agree or agree that influencers play a vital role in the success of social.

There are, however, a lot of questions about what needs to be done to create a strong influencer marketing program.

Here are three lessons that social marketers can take from Gymshark when it comes to working with influencers.

1. Authenticity Is Key

Not every person is going to love every single part of your product. It’s important that you have influencers who will share it all—what they absolutely love and what they don’t agree with or were surprised by.

You don’t want to be in a situation where your influencer talks up your product and doesn’t point out product features they were surprised by. The review will come off as disingenuous. Your influencer will start losing followers, or their followers will begin to gloss over any posts featuring your brand. If your influencer was surprised by a product feature, chances are good that some of your prospective customers will be surprised by it, too.

For example, when Gymshark released their seamless clothing line, Whitney Simmons put together a product review. She shared what she loved about the line, and compared it to other Gymshark collections.

She also calls our attention to a feature that doesn’t normally come with leggings—built-in underwear. She shares that when she first got the pair of leggings, she was beyond excited.

Then Whitney went to try the leggings on, and saw that there was already underwear in the leggings. She shared her confusion, told viewers she cut the underwear out, and found out that the reason the underwear is built in is so that they 100% know the leggings are “squat-proof.”

She also says that, without the underwear, she thinks the leggings are squat-proof, but that the built-in underwear is there to provide security for people who might be extremely self-conscious about it.

Whitney ends by saying that the feature wasn’t for her. She found a solution by cutting out the underwear, and she loves the leggings. The reason she pointed out this feature is because she thinks it could be a selling point for others and that she wanted to be sure people were aware of this product feature so that they weren’t caught off guard.

Whitney’s review, though it wasn’t totally glowing, benefited Gymshark in a few ways. They were able to:

  • Voice the purpose of the feature (to make them squat-proof)
  • Avoid some returns because Whitney’s viewers already know that if they get the leggings and end up not liking the feature, they can do what Whitney did and cut it out
  • Receive feedback from their influencer and anyone who shared their thoughts in the comment section of the video, which can be applied to future products

2. Non-Exclusivity Is Actually Your Best Friend

Maybe this isn’t what you want in a romantic relationship, but in a brand-to-influencer relationship, it’s just right.

  • Brands need influencers to give good, honest reviews so that consumers will learn about and buy their products.
  • In order for influencers to actually have an influence on their audience, they need to establish trust.
  • To establish trust, consumers need influencers to give good, honest reviews so they can make the best purchasing decision.

For example, take a look at the photo above. It’s a screenshot of a workout clothing review YouTube video by one of Gymshark’s ambassadors, Whitney Simmons. From the summary, we can see that she’s not just talking about Gymshark. She’s also reviewing clothing from Adidas and Lululemon.

Because Gymshark doesn’t stop Whitney from talking about other workout clothing brands, she can compare and contrast the pros and cons of each brand, while bringing Gymshark awareness in a likely-to-buy audience.

3. Influencers IRL

We’re all familiar with the importance of showing the faces behind the brand—it lets consumers get to know the people behind a product or brand, which creates trust. In our most recent webinar, How to Reach Your Target Audience on Instagram, we learned that some brands do this with Instagram Live.

Other brands use Twitter chats to build a community by sharing tips and tactics on specific topics on a consistent basis.

One way Gymshark shows the faces behind its brand is by having pop-up shops and turning them into meet-and-greets with their influencers.

Here, we see Steve Cook (right) posing with a fan at a Gymshark Event

There are so many factors that make this event a MUST-attend:

  • Limited Time and Special Edition. A pop-up shop means it will only be available for a short period of time. To make this more special, the LA event (pictured above) is where Gymshark launched a new clothing line featuring one of their influencers.
  • You get to see and feel the products before buying. Gymshark clothing is usually only purchased online. A pop-up shop is a great way to introduce the quality of their products to first-time buyers who are hesitant to purchase workout clothes online—every legging needs to pass the squat test, because there’s nothing worse than finding out your leggings are see-through when you’re working out.
  • It’s also a meet-and-greet with their influencers. Let me tell you, if Gymshark had a pop-up shop in Seattle and I got to meet Whitney Simmons, I’d be the first one in line— and my years of experience standing in line for Gonzaga Basketball games have prepared me for it.

Want to learn more about Gymshark’s social strategy? Check out this video.

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love all things wellness, coffee, watercolor, and travel.

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