AMELIA NEATE | August 26, 2021
For many years now, social media influencers and online content creators have been somewhat forced to disclose whether the posts they are sharing are in fact a paid-for advertorial or not.
Just as we see on television and in magazines, it is clear what is an ad, and what is not – so why should things be different across social media?
In today’s world, many would say that social media influencers and the content they share is much more impactful than that of more traditional forms, and so the need to honestly disclose ads becomes even more important.
Which is where the Advertising Standards Authority, also known as the ASA, comes into play.
The ASA is the UK’s advertising regulator, ensuring that ads across UK media stick to the rules put in place. From influencer marketing, to print and broadcast, the ASA monitor it all and everything in between.
And Amelia Neate, senior manager of Midlands-based influencer marketing agency Influencer Matchmaker uncovers why the enforcement of such disclosure is now important as a new era of ‘genuinfluencer’ has arrived.
With the arrival and accessibility of platforms like TikTok and the expansion of content creation from the everyday social media user, there has been a collective shift for generation Z in particular, who have become bored with the celebrity show boater and are more focused on the authenticity and human behind the screen.
Cultural conversations via influencers have caused movements such a Black Lives Mater, MeToo and even more recently the #FreeBritney campaign that set out to understand and remove the conservatorship that Britney Spears was under post her mental health struggle in 2008. While other media platforms like LadBible and ArchBishopofBanterbury have prided themselves on redefining entertainment – often taking ordinary people with relatable circumstances and making them part of the conversation.
Like the above outlets, while they are able to monetise with paid for advertisement ahead of videos, it is imperative that the authenticity still comes across in their storytelling and therefore content from real people, addressing real life situations is imperative to the success of the viewership.
Whilst many popular influencers take pride in appropriately labelling their paid for content, the ASA recently threatened to name and shame influencers failing to stick to the guidelines.
These days, the GenZ demographic are more sustainable, more ethical and more educated. They want full transparency from brands and from social media, with recent research stating that 82% of followers agreed the importance of influencers disclosing their personal use history with the product they are promoting. But with ASA guidelines being regularly updated, some influencers have struggled to keep up.
And, with it not just being a paid-for advertorial or post that needs to be disclosed influencers must consider how the rules can vary dependant on a typical sponsored post vs integrated videos on YouTube, affiliate links, PR products and press discounts.
Previously, when the industry was in its infancy, brands would send out products to their favourite influencers in the hopes that they would be authentically mentioned on their platforms. Whilst this is still the case, such products must be disclosed as ‘PR product’.
To some, this may seem slightly overboard, however in this industry, influencers must be conscious to make their audiences aware of what might qualify as a means of payment in order for the consumer to make an educated decision about the purchase of a product based on that influencers testimonial of a brand. If this is backed by a true and genuine story that equally connects their recommendation, then it will clearly better connect with its audience.
For example, health and fitness influencer Carly Rowena made her mark on the industry because of her love for fitness and nutrition. And, after many years of being recognised for her easy-to-follow workout videos, Instagram posts and blog posts, Carly has teamed up with Halo Fitness to create her very own range of activewear. Because of her genuine love and passion for finding the perfect workout gear for many years, it seemed a natural and obvious choice for Carly to launch such a collection.
In the next year, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget. Instagram is also extending its shopping features, testing its Shop tab, which will allow users to click and view extra product details quicker.
The introduction of these features will certainly be the becoming of new sponsored ad additions for the ASA guidelines and with more consumers demanding such transparency influencers must keep ahead of the curve when it comes to genuine and purposeful content in order to reach a profit. Read More
AMELIA NEATE | April 21, 2021
If the last few years has taught us anything, it’s that sustainability needs to become a focus within all of our lives – and it has, and is continuing to become ever-more prominent.
Everybody is taking more responsibility for the impact they have on the environment, and now, social media influencers are using their platform for the greater good and are encouraging their audiences to take more care, too.
Social media is becoming less focused on materialistic items, and is beginning to turn its attention to making an impact on the things that really matter. And what’s more important than the world we live in?
From fashion to food and travel, social media influencers are the voice of Gen-Z, and with Earth Day approaching on April 22, the theme is Restore Our Earth, which is the mission of many online influencers.
Here, Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Influencer Matchmaker, shares a few influencers that will help you in your journey to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.
Fashion is an industry that is traditionally known for not being all that economical or sustainable, however times are changing, and so are brands and their consumers, as #sustainablefashion has been used more than 10.5 million times on Instagram alone.
Fashion influencers such as Em Sheldon and Charlie Irons are investing in timeless classics and wardrobe staples as opposed to trend-driven pieces that will only be worn for one season of the year.
Whilst more expensive, these items are made and bought to last – for decades. Particularly for items such as coats, shoes and outerwear – all of which are often designed with durability and versatility in mind.
So, it is great to see influencers such as Em and Charlie using their large followings to promote a more positive and sustainable way of enjoying fashion.
Upon first thought, travel isn’t the most sustainable of industries, however there are a few things we can do minimise the impact it can have on the environment as well as reducing our carbon footprint elsewhere.
Parenting and travel bloggers Travel Mad Mum Karen, and Travel Mad Dad Shaun, understand how their travelling can be the cause of carbon concern.
To balance out their air miles and emissions released by road trips, as a family they eat sustainably, reduce waste and ensure that they recycle and reuse all they can.
In a previous campaign, Karen partnered with travel guidance brand ABTA to give her audience advice on making holidays greener. From educating children on recycling, through to combined travel such as taking trains or cycling, Karen and her family work hard to promote a sustainable, circular economy.
Food waste is a huge problem on a global scale, so it is incredible to see social media influencers encouraging their followers to lead a zero-waste lifestyle.
Matt, from Daddy Cooks Food and Bintu, from Recipes From a Pantry are two food influencers who are keen limit food waste and help contribute to a circular food economy.
Regularly sharing organic and sustainable food products and services, both Matt and Bintu are making a green and sustainable contribution to the world we live in.
Brands are also making a change
It isn’t just social media influencers who are using their influential power and social media status to make a change, but brands, too.
Brands are becoming increasingly aware of the everchanging needs of their consumers, many of which revolve around leading more sustainable lifestyles – starting with making conscious decisions when it comes to shopping habits.
Consumers are now seeking multi-purpose packaging, reduced waste and environmentally-friendly materials and Robert Lockyer, founder of Delta Global, a sustainable packaging solutions provider for luxury fashion brands, explains how brands can achieve just that.
“Whilst many brands are working hard to ensure their products are sustainable, many are forgetting to do the same for their packaging.
“The packaging of the products is the first thing a consumer will see, and it is important for the packaging to uphold the same ethos and values as the products and the rest of the brand.”
Robert also explains that removing plastic from packaging and reusing recycled materials is a great first step in the right direction.
He says, “Gone are the days when parcels arrived full of single-use plastic. Whilst it’s no longer acceptable, it is also completely unnecessary as there are a variety of other materials that brands can use to keep products safe.
“And where plastic is used, brands should ensure that it can be reused, repurposed and recycled.”
So, this Earth Day, we urge brands and influencers alike to restore our planet; one post and one purchase at a time. Read More
AMELIA NEATE | March 24, 2021
Who would have thought one-year ago that popular high-street stores would now be closing their doors for good? Or, that some of the country’s biggest brands would decide to focus solely on ecommerce?
Well, neither did we. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that is exactly what has happened for many businesses, particularly within the fashion industry.
Now, we are living in a world completely dominated by social media and ecommerce, but what exactly does the future hold?
Here, we speak to Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at influencer marketing agency, Influencer Matchmaker, where she shares her predictions for the future of shoppable social media and social commerce.
The rise of ecommerce
As we have seen throughout the last 12 months or so, there has been a huge influx in the number of ecommerce businesses coming to the forefront of their respective industries. And this probably wouldn’t have happened without Covid-19. In fact, it definitely wouldn’t have.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have had a tremendous impact on several industries and sectors, many of which have been negative. However, it has accelerated the growth of ecommerce by approximately four to six years.
And, following the closure of numerous brands within Arcadia Group and physical stores in the form of Debenhams, it is proof that brands must ensure they stay relevant and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their consumers.
Social commerce: why is it so important?
Not only has ecommerce taken a front seat recently, but we have now welcomed a new industry trend aboard. A similar concept to ecommerce, social commerce consists of the buying and selling of a product or service within a social media platform.
With the number of social media users continuing to rise, and with 53 million active social media users in the UK alone, it is no surprises that brands and businesses have implemented a brand-new strategy to help boost sales.
And, with 75% of businesses intending to dedicate an entire budget to influencer marketing throughout 2021, it makes perfect sense for them to be targeting their consumers more directly - which is exactly what social commerce does.
Social commerce was well on its way to success in 2019, way before the pandemic had even hit, having generated an impressive $22 billion in the US alone. Social media is no longer simply a place to be confronted with tailored and personalised ads, but is a destination to shop and make purchases, too.
Currently, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) have a shoppable feature within their apps. This allows brands, businesses, and anyone else with a business account to link directly to a product within their image, taking consumers straight to the product page of their website.
What’s more, they are able to do all of that without even leaving the app they were originally on! Brands such as Zara and John Lewis are just two of the huge names that are utilising the apps and their new shoppable features.
In doing so, this allows consumers to shop and purchase products without having to sacrifice their time on social media.
We are all familiar with the likes of Instagram Stories and their popular swipe-up links. Well, this is taking it just that little bit further, and I don’t think it is going to stop there.
The future of social commerce
Shoppable social media is only going to become more widely used, and before we know it, we will be able to purchase an item with just one click – making it even more streamlined than it is currently.
With features such as IGTV, Guides and Reels becoming increasingly popular on Instagram, it won’t be long before we are replacing hyperlinks with direct purchase links here, too.
It comes as no surprise that currently, video is the preferred way to consume content, so just how long will it be until such features are integrated into the likes of YouTube and TikTiok?
My thoughts? It will happen sooner than we think.
Brands are continuing to steer away from traditional marketing methods and are working hard to build relationships with social media influencers to focus their budgets and campaigns on influencer marketing.
This is just the beginning for shoppable content and social commerce, and I for one, can’t wait to see where it takes us. Read More
AMELIA NEATE | February 25, 2021
We’re now living in a world dominated by technology and digitisation. Whatever the business or industry may be, technology is sure to be at the heart of it, and if it isn’t already, it will be very soon.
Thanks to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire world has been thrust into upping the ante when it comes to living much more digitally and often, virtually.
Not only are our usual get togethers being replaced by Zoom and FaceTime calls, but we are finding ourselves surrounded by technology in all aspects of life, and this will only continue.
Social media influencers kept the entire nation entertained throughout each and every lockdown, but now we’re seeing an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds, too.
Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Influencer Matchmaker explains the role of AI within the influencer marketing industry and what we can expect from it, both now and in the future.
The rise of artificial intelligence
With the influencer marketing industry set to grow by 15% on a global scale, it is important for brands, agencies and influencers alike to adapt to the current times in order to see progression and boost sales.
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t something we would necessarily associate with influencer marketing, but it is fast becoming a crucial aspect of many industries and businesses. And with that in mind, it is something we must utilise and understand, rather than shy away from.
Thanks to the effects of 2020, we have been forced to completely digitise our businesses quicker than we could have thought possible – but we did it, as did everybody else.
And with an influx of technologies becoming available to us, we’re able to develop our businesses and industries even further.
Although an unlikely partnership, AI-powered tools and influencer marketing could become quite the powerhouse, changing the landscape entirely.
AI and influencer marketing agencies
The relationship between artificial intelligence and influencer marketing has the potential to be quite literally, ground-breaking.
If used correctly, AI can be used to streamline the jobs of marketers and agencies, allowing them to focus on the human elements within influencer marketing.
Artificial intelligence can home in on problem-solving, data analysis and research, leaving the influencer marketing strategies to us, the experts.
AI-powered platforms can help agencies and brands identify fake followers, inauthentic engagement and unreliable social media influencers.
As well as this, AI is able to process and detect relevant and valuable content, and with the help of machine learning (MI) and natural language processing (NLP), can revolutionise the way brands and agencies conduct the way in which they work.
With the ability to generate likes, industries, demographics and interests of the influencer’s following, AI is not only beneficial for brands seeking to create collaborative campaigns, but also for influencers who are looking to understand their audience that little bit more.
By developing a better understanding of their audience and social media followers, influencers are able to ensure the content they put out is relevant and useful. This in turn, helps brands decide who they should work with.
Measuring success with AI
Not only can AI, MI and NLP help with the start of an influencer marketing campaign, but they also have the ability to collect data, analyse results and measure the levels of success.
Monitoring the results and performance of an influencer marketing campaign can be quite the task, and by using AI-powered tools, we are able to measure its success and more importantly, the return on investment (ROI).
Analysing a creator’s content and metrics, artificial intelligence is also able to examine the likes, comments, engagements rates and even conversion rates of a post, in whatever format.
AI has the power to predict ROI through performance benchmarking and forecasts, providing both influencers and brands with an estimated result based on their desired objectives.
A vision for the future
As we continue to see a rise in the use of artificial intelligence within the influencer marketing industry, we can also expect to see an influx in the number of virtual influencers filling our social media feeds.
Yes, you read that right – virtual influencers are becoming a force to be reckoned with, competing against the likes of real-life influencers.
Despite the fact that they don’t really exist, these influencers have most definitely made their mark on the industry, some of which have even worked with global brands such as Nike and Fenty Beauty.
This new wave of CGI influencer is fictional and generated by computers, however they have very realistic characteristics as well as the personalities of humans, and what’s more, brands are lining up to work with them.
It isn’t just virtual influencers that are becoming much more prominent as we enter a new decade of influencer marketing, though. Virtual assistants are now a part of the influencer marketing industry, too.
Whilst we may not typically associate Amazon’s Alexa or it's Google competitor with influencer marketing, they are in fact, influencers in a whole new form.
Now, consumers use their virtual assistants to ask for advice, or for product recommendations and for those that have one at home, they become a live-in influencer.
Supporting brands and businesses within the retail industry in particular, just how much more will we see of virtual assistants as influencers? Only time will tell, and we can’t wait to find out.
Whilst it may seem like AI can take over the roles of us as humans, it simply cannot replace the work we do, but rather, enhance it.
If influencer marketing agencies utilise the tools available to us in the form of artificial intelligence, it allows us to streamline our processes, work closely with other people and focus on what we do best - building long-lasting relationships and partnerships whilst creating innovative and impactful campaigns. Read More
AMELIA NEATE | February 12, 2021
The past year has transformed a number of industries, and although the influencer marketing industry has continued to flourish, it hasn’t been without its changes and adaptations.
And over the last year, one thing that has become even more apparent is the need to create the perfect match between brands and influencers.
Brand love is pivotal to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, as is building trust and creating an honest and organic relationship between everyone involved.
And to help brands find the perfect match, Amelia Neate, senior manager at Influencer Matchmaker, explains how to do exactly that.
Finding the right influencer to collaborate with can be a pretty daunting task. It isn’t quite as simple as choosing somebody with a large following. Gathering data, conducting research and developing a relationship with an influencer is all part of the task in hand.
Unless, as a brand, you have access to industry insights and invaluable data, it can be difficult to find your dream match. However, by working with an influencer marketing agency, all of the hard work is done for you.
Here at Influencer Matchmaker, we have access to industry data and insights which can help aid your search in finding the right influencer. Rest assured that everything will be taken into consideration – from social media platforms, engagement rates and niche to helping form trusting relationships, an influencer marketing agency can do it all.
Brand love is pivotal
When working with a social media influencer, it is important to decide on your main goals and objectives and what it is you hope to achieve by working with an online creator.
The aim of the game is to build brand love, right? And the best, most organic way to do so, is by teaming up with somebody who already knows and loves your brand.
Influencers spend their time engaging with their audience, garnering all-important trust and respect.
If an influencer has previously spoken about your brand organically, then their audience are much more likely to positively reciprocate paid-for campaigns and collaborations.
Explaining that influencer marketing is more effective than the blanket approach of traditional advertising, Liam Chilvers, founder and managing director of OP Talent also says, “They [influencers] have to be relatable. The people watching them largely share the same interests, and if people are watching a YouTube channel, they are there for the creator.”
And so, by utilising the power of influencers and their loyal following, brands and business are able to build brand love and more importantly, trust.
How to utilise influencers and their content
It is no longer viable to simply send an influencer a product in return for free press and content creation.
Time, effort and expertise goes into delivering such high-quality content and brands must begin to decipher where they’d like this content to sit.
Content can be created and shared across an influencer’s social media platforms in order to raise brand awareness, but it can also be utilised on the brand’s channels, too. In this way, influencers can act as a brand advocate as well as allowing the brand to offer their audiences a friendly and relatable human element, as opposed to using social media as a hard sales tool.
When it comes to working on collaborative content, it is crucial to ensure you are not only working with the right influencer, but with the right platforms, too.
Just because a social media platform is proving to be particularly popular, doesn’t mean that it will generate positive results for your brand.
It is important to ensure that your niche, goals, audience and social media platforms all align in order to achieve the best results. Find out what works for you and if you don’t know, then an influencer marketing agency will be able to do so for you.
And not only that, but influencers have wider ties to all aspects of media, too. They are innovative creators, storytellers, advice givers and as 2020 has shown, an influencer’s genuine personality and interests are what sets them apart from the rest.
Think outside of the box
In the early days of influencer marketing, it was all about promoting a new product and its launch. But today, it is so much more than that.
Influencers can be used to raise brand awareness, generate sales, attend events and create an honest and authentic relationship between brands and potential consumers.
For example, we recently partnered Celebs Go Dating with a number of popular influencers including Mark Ferris and Rachel Leary. The objective of the campaign was to raise awareness of the TV show ahead of the new series.
This is a fine example of combining the efforts of modern and digital media with its more traditional forms, too.
It must also be said, that just because an influencer specialises in a certain industry or has a particular niche, it doesn’t mean that that’s all they are capable of.
Former SAS: Who Dares Wins Star Ollie Ollerton, for example, is renowned for his efforts within the health and fitness industry. However, he also has a passion for motorcycles, which is another area in which he is able to create interesting and compelling content for brands.
Consider influencers who not only share the same interests, but the same values, ethos and end-goals, too.
This will make all the difference.
So, are you ready to find the perfect match? Read More
AMELIA NEATE | January 18, 2021
We may have entered a New Year, but we are still living in a world filled with lockdowns and restrictions. Still unable to hug our loved ones, online companionship is quite possibly, more important than ever before.
The last 12 months has shown online communities come together with social media influencers becoming the ultimate lockdown companions.
Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Influencer Matchmaker explains why companionship is still big on the radar for 2021 and why she thinks it is here to stay.
Since March of last year, most of the population have found themselves spending more time indoors, whether that’s due to lockdown, working from home, furlough or maybe they have been shielding.
But because of that, human interaction has been limited and it doesn’t seem to be on the cards for anytime soon, either. And with a quarter of UK adults saying that lockdown has made them feel lonely, many have turned to social media influencers in a bid to feel less alone.
Helping each other out
Online companionship is much more than simply a one-way street. Whilst it primarily benefits consumers, social media followers and audiences, it also provides rapport for the influencers and brands, too.
Many influencers felt a responsibility to uplift their audiences, keep them company and deliver some much-needed entertainment during a time filled with such despair and crisis.
This, in turn, allowed social media influencers to create a deeper connection with their followers, and the feeling of responsibility provided them with something to focus on and strive for whilst they too, found themselves living a life under restriction.
With the temporary closure of retail alongside many other industries, social media has supplied brands and businesses with an opportunity to establish a brand-new relationship with customers that they may not have had otherwise.
Brands have been able to understand exactly what their customers want by spending more time communicating with them and getting them involved with the content they create and the brands they choose to work with.
As well as this, brands have been able to work closely (albeit virtually) with influencers to provide them with just that.
It isn’t just the relationship between brands, influencers and their audiences, though. Brands have used this time to build relationships with other brands, particularly through the use of social media.
Smaller, local, independent businesses of a similar vein have teamed up with one another to create bespoke packages, combining their products and services as a way to build brand awareness and help gain recognition.
Influencers have also been doing something very similar. ‘Follow Fridays’ have made a triumphant return to Instagram, with many influencers dedicating their time to promoting fellow content creators and sharing their work.
A sense of community
Influencers have worked hard to adapt their content to meet the newfound needs of their audience and to build a community.
The last year has seen an influx in the number of virtual book clubs, Facebook groups and podcasts, many of which have been created as a way to tackle boredom and loneliness - for both the creators and users.
With people forced to embrace daily Zoom calls with work as well as weekend catchups with family members, many have been seeking a distraction that isn’t too far from their norm.
Book clubs such as ‘Beth’s Book Club', founded by Beth Sandland, have blossomed during the coronavirus pandemic. Going from simply reading one book a month, this particular online community has upped the ante and has become a place to discuss their favourite reads and create new friends.
As well as the usual monthly discussion, this book club often features virtual get togethers, Q&A’s with popular authors and even yoga sessions, regularly providing members with something to look forward to.
Such communities have also been welcomed with open arms by royalty. The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, has also launched her very own Instagram book club. The Reading Room features conversations with authors and connects like-minded book lovers.
Facebook groups have also proven to be a popular source of escapism, with many celebrities and social media influencers creating members-only groups for their followers to join.
X-Factor star Sam Bailey created a ‘buddy up’ campaign via her Facebook group, Bailey’s Cuppa Crew. Aiming to help her fans combat loneliness, Sam encouraged them to make friends and even paired people up who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone, providing them with a way to enjoy their festive dinner over Zoom.
Influencers Lily Pebbles and The Anna Edit use a Facebook group to help with their ongoing podcast, ‘At Home With...’. The group enables listeners of the podcast to truly get involved, by sharing detailed feedback and requesting topics for episodes which really places them at the very heart of the podcast.
Similarly, health and fitness app Battle Ready 360, founded by Ollie Ollerton also have a members-only group, allowing users of the app to compete in friendly challenges, make friends and take some time for themselves.
Throughout the entirety of this pandemic, influencers have provided their followers with nothing but positivity, hope and a little inspiration.
A thought for the future
An end is in sight, although it may be a little further away than we initially thought.
But one thing that the pandemic has taught us, is the importance of companionship and the true power of social media influencers.
They are much more than online creators and entertainers, but friends, supporters and advocates for all that we believe in.
And with that being said, I firmly believe that the act of online companionship is something that will stick around, throughout 2021 and beyond. Read More
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AMELIA NEATE | January 12, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted brands and businesses in ways that we’d never have expected, but with everyone forced to adapt, it has left business owners with no choice but to rationalise and re-think their budgets.
Whether they’ve had to cut down, or change their focus, almost all companies will have been affected by the current economic influence of the world we are finding ourselves living in.
And Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at midlands-based influencer marketing agency, Influencer Matchmaker, explains where brands should be focusing their budgets and finances, and the positive impact this will generate.
Economic influence in 2021
As we enter lockdown 3.0, brands and businesses will once again be forced to adapt to new government guidelines and change the ways in which they operate.
And this economic influence has encouraged brands to re-think their finances and how to better spend their budgets.
Although it has been a difficult time for many, the pandemic has enabled brands to think more cautiously, allowed them to stay relevant and has thrust them into a digital-first world, which is the only way to move forwards.
Throughout 2020, it was proved just how important social media and online influencers really are. When the rest of the world stood still, the digital world kept on moving, and more importantly, earning.
So, if nothing else came from last year, the rapid decline in traditional advertising and the focus on social media and all thing’s digital, is enough to see exactly how 2021 will go.
Measuring the impact
Set to become a $15 billion industry by 2022, the influencer marketing industry is showing no signs of slowing down.
And with 63% of marketers intending to increase their influencer marketing budget for 2021, this proves just how successful this means of marketing really is.
Although slightly tricky when it comes to measuring metrics upon face value, influencer marketing is incredibly successful and creates truly impactful results.
By working with an influencer marketing agency, brands are able to be paired with an influencer that best suits their product, service and goals.
Influencer marketing allows brands to present their product or service to a targeted audience and in a more direct manner, too.
Not only that, but the results of all campaigns and activities are easy to track and monitor through the use of social media analytics. This allows brands, agencies and influencers to document the number of swipe up links, purchases made, views, likes, shares and other forms of impressions and engagement.
ROI (Return on Investment)
Influencers can generate impressive ROI (return on investment) for brands, whatever it is they may be trying to achieve. From increasing brand awareness and generating sales, to growing social media followings and reach, social media influencers are fully equipped to do just that.
And with industry expertise, experience and insight, an agency is likely to have access to the all-important data you need to ensure you are paired with the perfect influencer and receive the desired results.
Many business owners aren’t entirely sure where they should be spending their budgets, or even how to rationalise them, and by working with an agency, they will receive expert advice on where to spend their money to ensure effective results.
Although brands should specify what they would like to focus on in terms of ROI, when working with an influencer, brands will naturally benefit from a variety of other aspects, too – making it more cost effective than traditional advertising methods.
Customer retention and loyalty are huge benefits of working with an influencer. When done effectively, marketing campaigns can make consumers brand loyal, putting brands in great stead against competitors.
For example, many consumers are loyal to Hello Fresh. And whilst they effectively do the same, or similar job to that of a supermarket, it is their marketing efforts that put them one step ahead. By providing their customers with recipe cards, precise ingredients which limit food waste, and information on cost-per-person per meal, this is much more appealing and suits the needs of many.
And with that being said, many consumers are now striving towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. So, when presented with opportunities to limit waste, in any capacity, this will usually be taken without much further thought – which is why brands such as Hello Fresh have done so well.
Similarly, sustainability is another factor that has contributed to the decline in print advertising and the rise in digital consumption, as consumers are now able to receive the same information online without any damaging effects to the environment.
Now, more than ever before, brands and businesses are making a more conscious effort to spend their money wisely. And understandably, want to use the most cost-effective methods available to them.
2020 proved the worth of social media influencers and just how beneficial they can be for brands.
And with traditional advertising methods becoming more and more outdated, it has also become apparent that they are often more costly, too.
Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the cost of influencer marketing, it does prove to be extremely cost effective, with research showing that businesses make an estimated 600% return for every £1 spent on influencer marketing.
The art of storytelling and human-to-human interaction
With influencer marketing, it is much more than simply selling a product. Influencers have spent years building trust and creating a tribe with the community that follows them.
Social media influencers are a new branch of storytellers, implementing an element of human-to-human interaction, as opposed to human-to-brand.
Matt Hayes, Managing Director of midlands-based brand agency Champions (UK) plc, is a firm believer in building brand love and brand trust and explains that emotion should be at the heart of every campaign.
He said, “We’re living in an era that is centred around emotion and building connections, and that shouldn’t be any different when it comes to creating a campaign.
When buying into a product or service, consumers simply look for a connection and a sense of relatability. And by utilising the power of emotion, brands will achieve trust and form that all-important bond.
Without that, brands are nothing more than a commodity, competing on price alone. And influencer marketing holds the power to unlock all of this, and more.”
With social media usage on the rise and with research showing that approximately 82% of users have increased their social media consumption since the beginning of the pandemic, this shows no signs of slowing down just yet.
And with brands seeking to find new ways to become digital-first, many are finding it hard to stay relevant and keep up.
If you’re looking to rationalise your budget and remain at the forefront of consumer’s minds, then influencer marketing could be for you. Read More
AMELIA NEATE | December 24, 2020
The effects of this year have seen the influencer marketing industry ramp up, and by a significant amount, too.
Our Instagram feeds are filled with more ADs than before and the battle is on for brands to secure long-lasting, authentic collaborations with their favourite influencers. But how can brands transition influencers into ambassadors for 2021?
Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at agency Influencer Matchmaker, explains how brands should be looking to consider ambassadors as part of their influencer marketing strategy for the new year.
The rise of influencer marketing
Fast approaching a market size of $10 billion, the influencer marketing industry has seen an estimated growth of at least 50% each year since 2016. And over the last year alone, the industry has increased by approximately $3 billion.
The coronavirus pandemic has simply sped up changes that were already underway and has allowed creators and agencies within the industry to understand the need to adapt to consumer needs.
And if this year has taught us anything, it’s that trust, and authenticity are pivotal. So, with that being said, we believe that brands should be looking to transition influencers into ambassadors in order to promote collaborative, long-term partnerships.
One-off campaigns vs long-term partnerships
This is not a case of one being better than the other. They both offer incredible benefits to brands, however here at Influencer Matchmaker, we wanted to inform brands how they can turn the influencers they work with into ambassadors and long-term partners.
Influencers are a great way for brands to reach a brand-new audience, providing them with the ability to target potential consumers.
With large and loyal followings, influencers are able to promote a brand, along with their products and services, creating rather impactful results, however many influencer relationships are short-term.
And whilst this is incredibly effective, some brands may prefer to work with influencers as part of an ambassadorship and work on a number of campaigns with them over a longer period of time.
Influencers, as part of both short-term and long-term campaigns, will create and share content about the brand and its products.
However, brand ambassadors will actively and regularly use the products and will share the same values as both the brand and their target audience. This, in turn, creates an authentic and honest relationship between the ambassador and their following.
Consider an ambassador a cheerleader for your brand. They become a representative and maintain an ongoing relationship, earning the trust and loyalty of their followers.
Often, when brands form a partnership with an ambassador, they can post a variety of content, as opposed to one-off posts or stand-alone images. They are able to get involved in press events, offer discount codes and so much more.
Long-term collaborations and ambassadorships usually take part over the course of three months or longer.
How to transition an influencer into an ambassador
Brands should look for influencers who are already fans of their brand and products, and actively uses them.
This may seem odd - why pay somebody to promote your brand when they already talk about it to their audience?
If an influencer already uses your product or has previously discussed your brand, then they already have an audience that is interested and engaged, meaning they are likely to receive any long-term campaigns and collaborations extremely well.
This also increases the level of trust between the brand, the influencer and the target audience. The audience will recognise the authenticity of the collaboration, resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI) for the brand.
As well as this, more recently, brands have been collaborating with ambassadors in a different way and one that is proving to be extremely effective.
Ambassadors have been creating their very own collections with brands, as well as selecting their own edits. This has allowed brands to collaborate with ambassadors in a much more personal manner, creating an even deeper connection with their audience and potential consumers.
Popular influencers have been collaborating with well-known retailors to do exactly that. Victoria Magrath, founder of InTheFrow, recently teamed up with luxury jewellery brand Edge of Ember to create her very own collection. And fellow luxury fashion influencer Lydia Millen has also partnered with Karen Millen.
Similarly, Emma Willis and Marvin Humes have formed a long-term partnership with well-known high-street brand, Next. They both create seasonal fashion edits and collections, which are incredibly well-received by their audiences.
In The Style is an online retailer which is recognised for its long-term collaborations with a number of successful social media influencers. Getting the likes of Jacqueline Jossa, Olivia Bowen and Billie Shepherd on board to create their very own clothing ranges has made the brand one of the most successful online fashion stores.
Transitioning an influencer into an ambassador is a sure-fire way to create successful campaigns. And now more than ever, consumers are seeking creative and authentic partnerships, and what better way to do that than with a brand ambassador? Read More