On Monday 5th March 2018, we organised and hosted Influencers Unhooked. The Manchester influencer marketing event was held at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation for PRs, digital marketers, SEOs, brands and bloggers.
Influencer marketing and blogger outreach in Manchester
Whether you work in PR, marketing, digital, SEO or an influencer marketing agency in Manchester, there are loads of exciting businesses and opportunities for people in the marketing and creative industries in this city.
According to some statistics, there are 7,500-8,000 digital and creative businesses within Greater Manchester. These businesses employ over 45,000 people. And they generate £2 billion in economic output, making the region the largest digital and creative hotspots outside of London.
Unhooked Communications is keen to bring together people working in these industries to learn from each other, inspire new ideas and look at ways to improve practices.
Influencer marketing is a topic that keeps coming up and making the headlines, often for all the wrong reasons (read our last post What is influencer marketing and why is it so controversial here). So it seemed like the perfect topic for the first official Unhooked Communications event.
Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept
From brands showering celebrities with freebies to politicians buddying up with pop stars, influencer marketing is a concept that has been used for decades by companies and individuals. By doing this they can align themselves with certain values, messages and audiences to help sell and promote products and ideas.
But although influencer marketing isn’t a new concept, what is new is technology and. how people use it. Thanks to smartphones and social media, we now have the rise of the non-celebrity influencer. If brands are able to build effective relationships and collaborate with bloggers in a creative way, it can have huge benefits for their business.
According to influencer marketing agency, Collective Bias, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people – even ones they don’t know – over branded content. Research from the company also shows non-celebrity influencers are 10 times more likely to drive in-store purchases, and influencer content is viewed 7x longer than the average digital ad.
But because this new wave of influencer marketing – using non-celebrity influencers, bloggers and content creators – is rapidly changing, it’s facing a few challenges.
Influencers Unhooked: The event
Kate Baxter (Fabric of my Life), Fiona Newsam (A Mum Track Mind), Katie Portman (Pouting in Heels), Holly Wood (Holly Goes Lightly and We Blog North) joined us for the panel discussion. Between them they have decades of experience blogging and have worked with brands such as Clarins, P&O, Selfridges, Boden, Cosatto, Malmaison, Ikea, Asda, Huggies and John Lewis.
Some of the key discussions points included:
- How to approach bloggers and content creators and the benefits of building relationships over time, rather than looking for quick wins.
- Different creative ways to work with bloggers and influencers and why taking a collaborative approach can get the best results.
- Why it’s vital to evaluate and measure the success of campaigns – and how a surprising number of brands aren’t even covering a basic level of reporting.
- The importance for both brands and bloggers to work in an ethical, responsible and transparent way – especially while legislation is struggling to keep up with this rapidly evolving marketing field.
Influencer marketing can have such a great impact on your brand if approached in the right way. If you want to talk about how influencer marketing and blogger outreach could help your business, contact us for an informal discussion.
Thank you to the speakers, photographer Alexander Ward, videographer Daniel Kenyon from Slant Media, all the team at The Anthony Burgess Foundation and everyone who came to the event. Also thank you to Ritter Sport, Living Ventures and The Hut Group for the generous products for the goody bags.