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UK beauty tech brand CurrentBody: “Influencer marketing in the UK is not as easy as it was five years ago. You can easily waste a lot of time and money”

CurrentBody Senior Partnerships Manager Andra Dorolti says the sheer volume of UK creators makes navigating the UK market more challenging for marketers than it was five years ago. 

CurrentBody Senior Partnerships Manager Andra Dorolti
CurrentBody Senior Partnerships Manager Andra Dorolti

UK beauty tech brand CurrentBody is building its international business on the back of cutting-edge technology and a robust influencer marketing strategy. With nearly a decade’s experience in influencer marketing, CurrentBody Senior Partnerships Manager Andra Dorolti manages an international team across the UK, US and Australia, and leverages 200+ creators each month in the UK alone. In this interview with Kolsquare, Dorolti outlines CurrentBody’s influencer marketing strategy and discusses the key challenges facing influencer marketers in the UK. 

What is driving growth in the UK influencer marketing industry? 

Influencer marketing is here to stay, it will only grow bigger. It's so big, it's so unregulated and everyone wants to be an influencer, so it's quite difficult to find who is authentic and who has the right audience. It's not as easy as it was five years ago, when those who were on YouTube were there because they really loved to be on it. Now you can clearly tell that a lot of people want to be influencers because they think it's easy. It's a blessing in disguise. You have all these opportunities, millions of influencers and a lot of people that you can work with, but you can easily waste a lot of money and time because you work with the wrong people. 

Is that particular to the UK market due to the enormous number of influencers?  

I think so, the US will probably be the same. Definitely for the UK, if you look at a class of those finishing university this year, almost everyone has at least a thousand followers on TikTok. How many of these are genuine influencers and take the job seriously? You get a lot of people that just go in for the views, so then how authentic is the audience? It's harder and harder to see that.

Tools like Kolsquare make it easier to understand. If you know who your target audience is and then go with specific keywords, a specific age range or something that you’re really looking for, tools can definitely help. But on top of that, you need experience in the field to get that personal touch. To get to know people and what kind of strategy will work with the influencer.

Given the inflationary context, what kind of strategies are you focusing on at CurrentBody? 

For the UK there's two categories that work for us. You have that budget-focused audience and a lot of influencers talk a lot about the cost of living crisis, which is obviously a big topic in the UK. For those people, it is all focusing a lot on value for money. Our product has quite a high price point, and the way we present it through these influencers is with the message that yes, you spend a lot now, but it lasts for years. 

The other approach that we find works the best is to focus on what it does for you. What value it brings to you. We use a lot of content that shows before and after, the benefits to the skin. That is number one, because even if the economy is bad and you're struggling, if you find the solution to something that really bothers you, you will invest in it. That means making sure we work with the influencers who are open to talking about progress and showing their skin. It's important to work with content creators who are not afraid to show unfiltered images. 

What’s your approach to choosing creators to work with? 

We want to work with everyone, no matter how many followers they have. We work with both female and male influencers because our product is unisex. We work on a mix of different types of collaborations. I love working long term with as many people as we can, but sometimes when we start a collaboration with someone new, we'll do a test first. About 70% of our content is long term bundles of pieces of content. It’s important for their audience to show they're using the product more than just once. It just looks more authentic. We use a mix of gifting, offering commission or payment for certain contracts. There are different tiers. 

Many markets are seeing audience fatigue with influencer content and influencer fatigue with posting; is it the same in the UK?  

100%. You see all of it. In the UK, because it's so established, the British influencers have been doing it for so long, so it's even more so. But then I think people got used to it, they accept it. I see with the other European territories that influencers get more negativity when they do paid content. In the UK, it's more accepted, even though it's oversaturated.

 What’s interesting to see is that we work with some of the first influencers, the first to be big on YouTube; and then you work with someone who has just grown a TikTok for the past six months. Sometimes the TikTok will drive more revenue than the older influencer because they're just fresh and hot and people are interested. So it definitely plays a role in how relevant they are. 

A lot of people still don't realize influencer content is a paid ad, even though it is marked as a paid ad. Then there are other people who think everything is a paid ad and don't believe anything, but that's a very small percentage. After all these years and all the oversaturation, you still have people that don't see it, even though it's clearly labeled and it's a promocode. 

People are accepting of it, especially with the younger influencers. Everyone wants to be like them, they want to do the same, no matter if it's an ad or not. 

What is the impact of the growth of TikTok? 

We are everywhere. We work with traditional blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. We've noticed TikTok has grown a lot over the past six months, you can clearly tell revenue participation is going up. Everything else stays the same. It shows the market change and how a lot of the consumers are younger and shopping through the TikTok. 

Most of the revenue that we see on TikTok is through our own influencers [with tracking links and promocodes]. We use TikTok Shop but it doesn't work as well for us because of the price point. 

On TikTok, when a video goes viral, it goes viral across multiple territories. It impacts you on a global perspective, whereas Instagram is very much territory heavy. On TikTok, even if most of followers are UK based, if the video goes viral, we see a lot of connection between the US, UK and Europe, it's harder to control. 

How do you view the regulatory environment for influencer marketing in the UK?

It's very tough both for companies and for influencers. Influencers are good with marking when it's a paid campaign, but it's still very difficult for followers to process all the time. Or, they'll post a Reel about a collaboration but two months after if they show the product in organic content, they still have to declare it. 

From the influencer perspective, there's no rules on payments, on how much something worth. It's always very hard to explain to some influencers or agents that different campaigns will have different budgets depending on if they are for awareness or performance and ROI.

There's so many layers to influencer marketing and a lot of people still don't understand what they want. A lot of companies don't understand what they want from it, they don't really know what to do and they waste a lot of money. 

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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