Adding the United Kingdom into the list with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and the United States, we looked at the 100 Top British influencers on Instagram and their marketing performances. In this research, we used an advanced influencer analytics tool and some good ol manual searching. They have a combined reach of over 82.9 million, much of their audience is presumably overlapping or possibly attracting foreign followers (given UK’s population is 67.6 million as of October 2019).
In markets like the US and UK, influencers tend less to flood their feed with branded posts. This is because they want to keep a good balance between commercial value and brand authenticity, hence, maintaining a good relationship with fans (a.k.a. engagement). Although we also know many influencers archive branded posts.
Like previously, we broke the profiles down to five influencer groups based on their follower count:
- Type A: 1.5m – 6m
- Type B: 201k – 1.5m
- Type C: 101k – 200k
- Type D: 61k – 100k
- Type E: 30k – 60k
Average post frequency across all influencer types are about 3-4 posts a week (less than the US and APAC countries we have looked at) with Type C influencers posting the most frequent with an average of 5 posts per week. In the same week, influencers across all categories are seen to be posting about 1-2 branded posts.
The lower post frequency is likely due to the rising consumption trend of video content with 75% of Gen Z and 68% of Millennials in the UK watching Instagram Stories. As of 2018, over 63% of Instagram and Snapchat users watch Stories on both platforms daily which we expect the number to continue growing as video content continues to dominate mainstream media. Marketers may also consider having a mix of posts and stories in their content plan when working with influencers as stories are generally more cost-efficient than the usual postings.
Like most Western markets, influencers post less branded posts compared to their APAC counterparts. It is important to note that branded posts frequency differs depending on the influencer category. For example, beauty influencers have a higher average of 59% branded posts while fitness influencers only 13% respectively. However, incorrect tagging of branded posts seems to be a global phenomenon with an average of 47% of postings tagged incorrectly across all influencer types.
Similar to the US market, Type B has the highest Audience Quality Score (AQS) (a score from 0 to 100) which takes into account Engagement Rate, active audience type, growth and comments authenticity. The higher the AQS score, the more likely the audience is going to engage with the influencer’s content which increases the chance for conversions. AQS is a useful guide for marketers as a simple scorecard for audience authenticity and engagement. Interestingly, AQS scores across Type A, D and E have shown little difference even though Type A followers are significantly higher than those in Type D and E.
The average Engagement Rate of United Kingdom’s Top 100 influencers on Instagram is 3.42%. This is a great measure to take as a benchmark when planning for your next influencer campaign with British influencers. Top British influencers generate considerable engagement as the global average Engagement Rate for Instagram is only 1.66%. The highest-quality reach to Engagement Rate is with 201k – 1.5m (Type B) at 3.83% Engagement Rate (more than 1.3x vs Type A), followed by Type E with a lower reach but has the highest Engagement Rate at 4.64% (1.7x more than Type A’s engagement rate).
Different from all the markets we’ve looked at in the past, Type E influencers garnered the highest Engagement Rate amongst the five influencer types. This is unique as Type B (in the United States and Australia) and Type C (in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) has historically been the most engaging influencer Types.
How to choose the best influencers for your next campaign?
It is important to note that influencers with a large number of followers do not necessarily mean that they can engage their audience and drive conversions. From our list of UK influencers, only two Type A influencers were amongst the top 10 most engaging influencers.
Other than quantifiable factors like followers, Engagement Rates and conversions, marketers should also take great precautions in reviewing the content of influencers, their personas and their followers’ interest to evaluate brand fit.
It is also common for influencer’s branded engagement to be lower than their general Engagement Rate. Interestingly, UK influencers have a similar Engagement Rate of 3.42% for both branded engagement and general engagement.
British influencers scored 3.42% in average Engagement Rates, lagging behind Australia (5.48%), the United States (5.09%) and Indonesia (4.62%) but is still higher than Malaysia (2.48%) and Singapore (2.65%). Similar to US influencers, UK influencers in Type A and B are generally full-time content creators across various categories including parenting, gaming and fashion. Many of these influencers also have their own podcasts and Twitch channels. In contrast, most engaging influencers (on Instagram) are likely not Type A as many Type A influencers tend to invest more time on YouTube and Twitch, instead, most engaging influencers generally have a smaller following like those from Type E and D.
These influencers have some of the highest Engagement Rates we saw:
Jace Ingham with an average Engagement Rate of 26.65%
Theo Thomas with an average Engagement Rate of 12.10%
Jack Dean with an average Engagement Rate of 10.40%
What about Type A, B and D influencers?
With the United Kingdom having a relatively large population, it is less common to find A list (Type A & A+) influencers such as ksi and Zoë Sugg being based in the country. As many major British influencers often move to the United States to expand their careers. This is a general trend across influencers from English-speaking countries looking to make it big. Generally, Type A influencers are selective and understand the ramifications of a bad brand partnership. This means marketers would need to present a value proposition that is worthwhile for the influencer and their audience.
Marketers should consider Type B (highest AQS) and Type D influencers when planning for an engagement campaign or campaigns targeted to niche audiences; with a focus on the influencer, brand fit and content collaboration. Otherwise, A list influencers can still be great partners for awareness campaigns.
Brands and British influencers
British influencers across the Type A to E are almost equally commercial with an average of 29% branded posts overall. This can serve as a good starting point when planning your next influencer campaign.
We narrowed in on a couple of brands that gained high branded Engagement Rates (BER), close to or even more than the influencers’ average unbranded Engagement Rates (ER). Comparing ER vs. BER can often give us an understanding of the capabilities influencers have when it comes to working with brands.
Outfits or 🍑? Typical of most major fashion brands, partnering with brand ambassadors like Type A influencer, Molly-Mae with the goal to reach as many eyes on the internet as possible, doesn’t necessarily guarantee high nor consistent engagements and sales. An example of inconsistency in ER (seen below) with a difference of 7.36% between the two posts – may be due to various factors like the time posted, bum 🍑shots, outfits, occasions, captions and more (algorithm might play a part in this but we can’t say for sure).
For a good cause
Moreover, PrettyLittleThing also leveraged the crowd to generate share of voice by launching their International Women’s Day campaign, #everyBODYinPLT featuring influencers like the transgender model, Giuliana Farfalla, DJ and refugee activist, Mari Malek. #everyBODYinPLT was mentioned over 7.9K times since the launch – gaining organic posts from fans. We also saw The Body Shop partnering with body positivity influencer, @bodyposipanda to launch the #ImDreamingOf campaign aimed to inspire girls to dream big. So why is this important? Consumers favor brands that advocate for social causes that they believe in, hence, marketers should evaluate, communicate and align their brand’s stance on social issues with both their audience and partners to nurture customer advocacy.
The marrying of content and online persona
The Melrose Avenue of the UK, Regent Street, partnered with @cubicle and @levanterman for the launch of #regentstreet200 to celebrate their 200 years anniversary. It was clear that Regent Street carefully selected online personas that match Regent Street’s high-end, luxury and artistic-style. Marketers should emulate Regent Street’s example of a well-curated partnership, especially if the campaign is highly dependant on content.
- British influencers had an average of 3.42% Engagement Rate.
- Across all influencer types, they post 3-4 times per week with an average of 1-2 branded posts.
- Type B influencers had the highest AQS score, followed by Type C.
- The highest-quality reach to Engagement Rate is with 201k – 1.5m (Type B) at 3.83% Engagement Rate (more than 1.3x vs Type A), followed by Type E with a lower reach but has the highest Engagement Rate at 4.64% (1.7x more than Type A’s engagement rate).
- British influencers score below Australian (5.48%), US (5.09%) and Indonesian (4.62%) influencers in average Engagement Rates but are still higher than Malaysia (2.48%) and Singapore (2.65%).
- Similar to the United States, most influencers in Type A and B are platform agnostic and oftentimes, full-time YouTubers and Twitchers across different categories like parenting, gaming and fashion.
- In the UK, cause-based marketing (brands and/or campaigns supporting social causes like inclusivity, LGBTQA+, body positivity) is noticeably more common and in some cases, expected by consumers compared to other countries. Examples include #everyBODYinPLT and #ImDreamingOf.
- Type A and A+ influencers are less common in the UK compared to the US which might be due to the trend of British influencers (general influencers from English-speaking nations) moving to the United States to expand their careers.
- Type A influencers are still important for awareness campaigns but Type B influencers have the best reach and Engagement Rate ratio followed closely by Type E which has the highest Engagement Rate across all influencer Type.
- But if Type A is not an option, Type E should be considered next for engagement campaigns and niche products and services.
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