We’ve all been there — it’s one in the morning, you’re scrolling through Instagram, and then there it is: the shirt you’ve been waiting your whole life for worn by your favorite blogger. So you go on the all-too-familiar quest, Googling every type of description you can create in your head, “black v-neck with dots shirt…black dotted v-neck top…” Nothing. That’s when Like to Know It steps in, a revolutionary business concept (and now reality) that lets you, “Shop your favorite Instagrams, from your favorite Instagrammers.” A solution to both content creators and consumers, Like To Know It is a branch from the larger rewardStyle corporation, founded by Amber Venz Box, which made $280M just in 2014 according to a study done by the Harvard Business School. With affiliations with over 4,000 retailers, 200k brands, and 9,000 influencers (with about 1,000 a day applying), Like to Know It has the most expansive network of any social media monetization tool.
The Harvard Business School case study defined the purpose Like to Know It in three concise statements:
“The business model of Like to Know It is based on stewarding three key relationships: (1) allow fashion bloggers to show styles to consumers in an attractive and user friendly way, (2) partner with leading designer brands to negotiate pay-per-click rates for consumers viewing and purchasing content from the fashion blogger’s link, and (3) connect consumers directly to the designer’s website from fashion blogger posts.”
For influencers the appeal is simple: they post a picture on Instagram with a coded liketoknow.it link and hashtag #ltk (or any variation, #ltksale or #ltkunder50 are among the most popular), and for every purchase generated through that link rewardStyle and the influencer get a certain commission from the retailer. It is a clean and easy way to monetize their posts, and the brands get free advertising and perhaps some sales while they are at it. Fashionista states it is, “Undeniably the preferred affiliate marketer amongst fashion bloggers,” with celebrity stylist’s blog The Zoe Report calling it a blogger’s best friend.
For consumers, this feature is a blessing because it will never again have us asking, “Where’d they get that?” which is a priceless gift (my fashion people know what I’m talking about). And, in this case it truly is priceless, because it costs nothing to sign up, and the mode of discovery is quite convenient (with a great video to help those who really need it). The user signs up with their Instagram information to allow Like to Know It access, and each time they like a photo which features the Like to Know It link, an email will be sent to them with all pieces featured in the post with links to buy them. This is the epitome of seamless integration — the user was most likely already going to like the post, so no further effort is needed on their part. Plus, the majority of online shopping is done through promotional emails anyway, so the two go hand in hand.
Making money with the click of a button seemed like a gross exaggeration of what online influencers do, but with Like to Know It, it is truly one of the most important ways they do. The concept is pure genius, and the numbers back it up. Social media influencers are making millions of dollars from their posts on Instagram, and Like to Know It is more than happy (and able) to be the bridge between that gap.
Iphone image: Wokandapix
Fashion blogger image: Maria Morri