Can you put a price on an Instagram #ad? How many hours do you spend on your phone compared to say, flicking through a magazine? I can tell you that inside Waitrose magazine this week, there are several adverts for booze, including Piper-Heidsieck on the back cover, but I couldn’t tell you what else is in there. We see what we are interested in, just as we do on Instagram now, thanks to algorithms we can’t even attempt to keep up with. And yet, head over to Twitter (this isn’t a prescription) and I can guarantee there will be someone with no understanding of hashtags, slamming any brand that so brazenly decides to work with an ‘influencer’. Especially, on #winetwitter where most recently we had ‘The Incurable Plague of Wine Influencers’ written by someone I can’t even find on Instagram but has decided, ‘influencers added little value to the wine industry.’
Instagram and social media in general are platforms for content creation, and content is what sells. Content is king, everyone who knows anything about marketing knows that. In the world we currently reside in, we can’t do very much of anything for the time being so good content has reigned. But it hasn’t been easy to create, photoshoots are pretty much off the cards for the time being and we can’t travel. So what do you do when you can’t go out and do a photoshoot? You seek out ‘User Generated Content’. In 2020, 39% of brands spent over 20% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing and brands in the US and Canada spent $1.35 billion on influencer marketing in 2019, with Fashion Nova alone spending $40 million. Seems like a lot to spend doesn’t it? Fashion Nova turned over $400 million in 2019.
The wine world is no where near as broad as the world of fashion, but it’s growing and it’s time it started marketing to a younger audience and that’s going to take a little bit of bravery. For example, The Wine Society experimented with gifting to influencers around Christmas time and some of their archaic members were outraged. For a general idea of the type of people we’re dealing with, the majority of the outraged members reside on forums and will have definitely already had their Covid-19 vaccine. Want to look at a brand that nails marketing to a younger audience? Check out Whispering Angel, Château d’Esclans little money maker with an annual production of 360,000 cases which will only keep growing with the partnership with LVMH.
When you’re investing in influencer marketing, you are doing a few things. Firstly, you can expect, or request, some top notch content that you can then use on your own channels. By content you can ask for videos, photos, even blog posts, all of which is great for SEO and means you don’t have to employ someone to do this for you. Influencers, by default, are experts at content production. Secondly, you are raising awareness of your brand, product or whatever it is you’re putting out there. What you aren’t doing directly, is selling. Is that a weird statement to make? Maybe, but it’s true. An influencers role is to create content, we’re back at square one. The sale is out of their control and a number of factors come into this; the price, the website, the company ethos, the delivery charges, the weather, everything. So there you have it, while influencers can start a journey, they can’t force a sale so make sure you’ve done a full MOT on your company first.