Summer wouldn't be summer without Love Island. Dominating ITV for the last 4 years Love Island is hard to escape. Fan or not its everywhere and comes with it is a whole new shipment of 'influencers'.
Now the show is done for this year, the spin-off reunion just aired a few days ago, it's safe to say the champagne was poured and the ‘what are your plans now?’ conversations arose. And without a doubt there'll be probably be a potential book deal on offer for someone in their 20s to divulge in a ‘tell all’, a collaboration with a clothing line and probably some sort of hair vitamins that also make your nails grow, but who can blame these companies for taking advantage of the ‘Love Island effect’? With the popularity of previous series ‘Inthestyle’ clothing company, who have just a mere 2 million Instagram followers, coupled up with 2018 winner Dani Dyer and created a clothing line which was showcased to her 3.5 million Instagram followers for weeks before launching and ultimately selling out on its release week. This is just one example of a brand capitalising on the instant popularity of a contestant to reach a bigger audience than they alone would be capable of exposing their products to (without bigger budgets). This not only improves their awareness but likely repeat business as if customers were satisfied with the products.
As most of the islanders are already branded as ‘social media influencers’ even before entering the show, their popularity online only grows as they appear on every television across the country 7 nights a week. Which is why it makes sense as to when competitors leave the villa that they are approached instantly by brands to become ‘ambassadors’ or to sponsor their products. Now more than ever, companies and brands can reach their whole audience by a simple click of a button due to the growing use of social media. For the first time this year contestants were given a 'survival kit' by the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure they are not breaking any rules when it comes to promoting brands on their social media.
Marketing as we know, has significantly changed and no longer buying ad space in a newspaper or a 20 second slot between EastEnders and Coronation Street the way to go anymore, nowadays apps such as Instagram and Facebook are flooded by new products being promoted on account holders’ newsfeeds predominately by ‘reality stars’ or ‘influencers the cost of which is less but still pricey. A post from a Love Island contestant can be up to £7k!*
Influencer marketing is a key feature now for companies when promoting products as these people treat their ‘followers’ like friends. Constant posts on social media platforms allow the public to see a snapshot of the luxurious life that these influencers live unlike the more private approach by traditional celebrities. Many of these influencers have built their careers by revealing everything to the public, this has given those who followed their careers the feeling that they are relatable and normal. Leaving consumers asking themselves: “if they love that product, that must mean I will too?”
So, should you use an influencer in your marketing strategy? Well, like anything there are pros and cons, they do; target an audience, build trust, and drive engagement with a few posts but how sustainable is it? How long will they be 'popular' and what if they do something wrong? There is most definitely a place for it but you do need to tread carefully and ensure who you pick is right for your brand.