Legislate had the pleasure of working with Charlotte Ashworth again, a property influencer who specialises in single lets and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Charlotte opened her Instagram page, the Property Investment Geeks, last year after starting her property journey eight years ago. Through building her portfolio of 31 residential lets (and growing) and having completed a series of courses, Charlotte is established in the property market, sharing what she does and providing education tips for property investors via her Instagram channel. In this article, Charlotte explains to us what is means to be an influencer, what makes influencer marketing different, why businesses should consider adopting influencer marketing and how influencer marketing might change over the next few years.
What makes Influencer Marketing different?
Charlotte considered that influencer marketing provides the opportunity to have more of an educational element more than other forms of marketing. For Charlotte, showing her life and journey through property on Instagram is a key part in being recognisable and authentic but without combining this with an educational element, there is no real differentiating factor between you and other users that should make them want to trust you more than other accounts. Charlotte, for example, ensures that every third post is a piece of educational content relevant to her market. In this sense, influencer marketing has the ability to generate unique trust and encourages followers to have confidence in the opinions and recommendations of influencers.
Why should businesses use influencers as part of their marketing strategy?
Charlotte considered that influencer marketing provides users with a journey that more traditional marketing cannot achieve. Following a person’s account is very different from traditional advertising, or going on a company’s website. Whilst the latter options might be informative they lack the authenticity that comes with social media influencing. When one discovers an influencer, they have, to put it in a business sense, an audit trial of that person’s journey; it makes them likeable and relatable. If that influencer is therefore choosing to promote a particular product or company we can verify whether or not they do truly endorse it by reference to their previous posts. Influencers should therefore form a part of a business’ marketing strategy as they provide credibility for the end user or customer that cannot so easily be replicated by internal efforts.
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How will influencer marketing develop? Do you think the industry might change?
Charlotte explained how her influencing sector of property investment is naturally a very niche market compared to, for example, clothing and fashion. Over the past 12 to 18 months, Charlotte has recalled how she has seen new accounts popping up in the industry. As this continues to grow, and these accounts begin to gain wide audiences, Charlotte hopes and believes that the influencer market will continue to expand. A more collaborative approach between companies and influencers to endorse their products and brands would mean greater opportunities for both individuals. Charlotte previously did a post with Victoria Plum, a bathstore company, showing how their space saving bathrooms were ideal for HMOs where space is quite the premium. The expansion of endorsements such as these to proactively advertise what property influencers are putting in their properties would be a natural development from this growing base and provide a wealth of opportunity for both influencer and businesses.
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