In The Tonic Comms Blog

As part of the marketing mix, influencer engagement often flies under the radar. Consumers can scroll and scroll through Instagram looking at sponsored photo after sponsored photo, and unless they’re looking for the ‘ad’ disclaimer in the caption, it’s easy to assume they’re authentic posts.

Bordering on subliminal advertising, influencer marketing is this decade’s way of pushing product under people’s noses without them appreciating the ad spend, influencer sponsorship or brand partnership that is driving it.

But, what if intermittent sponsored posts by a few influencers aren’t enough? Brands may fail to reap the expected rewards – perhaps they paid £350 or more for an influencer to share a photo, which ended up being blurry and the caption was riddled with typos.

A new influencer marketing trend making an impact on Instagram is entire accounts dedicated to promoting one brand. Retail giants like Marks and Spencer and ASOS have created ‘insider’ accounts that to the untrained eye seem like a typical blogger. An example is customer assistant Jess from Shrewsbury. Her posts appear similar to any other fashion blogger chasing the ‘insta famous’ dream, however when you take a closer look at the account it becomes clear her entire feed is sponsored by M&S. If the username @marksandspencer_jess didn’t give it away, she’s a self-proclaimed ‘Percy Pig muncher’. Her descriptor as a ‘Personal blog’ might be a bit of a Percy porky though, right? With product numbers provided for each clothing item and Sparks’ PR account liking every photo, the illusion that she’s a regular ‘Jess Bloggs’ (get it?) is shattered.

But does this actually work for brands? While in its infancy, te account has already racked up almost 4k followers with good levels of engagements on posts – the most popular achieving over 600 likes. A quick search on Instagram reveals nine other ‘insider’ accounts for the multinational retailer, and other brands have also caught on, with ASOS currently supporting several influencers. If you prefer numbers for proof, Influencer Marketing Hub’s recent survey revealed 92% thought influencer marketing was effective and the market investment backs this, with the trend expected to become a $10million industry by 2020.

So, what are you waiting for? Ask us how Tonic can build an effective social media campaign for your brand and achieve that engagement you’ve been looking for.