By Emily Davies
With the highly anticipated Love Island final set to take place in less than a week, 3.3 million of us (myself included) have been tuning into ITV2 every night at 9pm. We’ve been watching the contestants navigate relationships and friendships, whilst residing in a luxurious villa in rural Mallorca – whether in attempt to find love, win the £50K cash prize or, as is increasingly the case, secure sponsorship deals and influencer contracts with global brands.
Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the last decade, with market analysts predicting that the industry will be worth north of $15 billion by 2022 – a rise from $8 billion in 2019. Influencer marketing offers brands a route to successfully reach new and target audiences via credible individuals with a dedicated following, who endorse their product or service.
The term influencer often gets thrown around loosely but according to Sara McCorquodale, founder of influencer database CORQ, one of the key attributes of influencers is that they do not hold celebrity or model status. Their popularity and influence on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, relies on the premise that they are relatable and their lifestyle seemingly achievable. Influencers’ knowledge within their niche helps to create a level of authority. Endorsed by brands and products they have expressed loyalty towards, they are able to build trust with their follower base.
The demand for influencers within the consumer marketing industry has never been greater. According to research by DoubleVerify, in the past year – partly as a result of the pandemic – consumers have spent more time online, giving influencers a larger, more engaged fanbase. As a result, the value of influencers is being recognised by brands more and more.
Despite it being a relatively new concept within the property world, we’ve spent the last year keeping busy and securing partnerships; hosting live Q&A sessions with notable influencers to educate on the property market, recording podcasts with authors and bloggers that showcase a location’s key USPs, as well as working with interior designers to form an integral part of designing a show apartment – all with a central goal to help drive awareness of a development or area to ultimately help sales.
Influencers are subject to a somewhat unfair reputation. Echoes of doubts of credibility, reports of irresponsible behaviour and often negative perceptions of these entrepreneurs are often reported in the news. Nevertheless, recognition of the power of influencer work is showcased by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who appointed Love Island contestant Dr Alex George (aka Dr Alex from 2018’s Love Island series) as the Youth Mental Health Ambassador. The move to appoint a medical influencer to advise the government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, not only showcases the high demand for influencers across a range of industries, but also suggests the value they hold and the potential they offer.