Global Influencer Spotlight: What’s Working NOW in the UK & Europe

Hannah Monds & Ana Thorsdottir

14 Apr 2020 · 3 min read


As we all navigate the “new normal” of online business, we at Tagger have been looking at the data and unearthing valuable insights about what audiences around the world are craving at the moment.

We’ve decided to embark on a Global Influencer Spotlight Series where we highlight influencers who are successfully pivoting their messaging to fit the current climate, bringing added value to their audience, and giving back to the community as well as the brands they partner with.

For our first piece, we’re looking at creators in the UK and Europe who have successfully adjusted their content to meet the surge of online content consumption in a respectful way.

Here’s what’s working in the UK and European markets right now...

Audiences in the UK and Europe are responding particularly well to creators who deliver content that is actionable (meaning, viewers can actively participate) and altruistic. Looking at the data, it’s abundantly clear that consumers- and, interestingly, particularly Gen Z consumers- are more likely to engage in content that shares a message of social purpose.

1. Joe Wicks “The Nation’s PE Teacher”

UK influencer Joe Wicks- aka “The Body Coach”- is an excellent example of the overwhelmingly positive response to content that encourages active participation. In the absence of Physical Education classes for youth and access to health clubs for adults, Wicks saw a need for community spirit and set out to fulfill it in a creative way. After steadily building an audience of 800K followers over a period of nine years, Wicks landed 1.2 new YouTube subscribers in less than a week after launching his daily video series, “PE With Joe” during the Covid-19 epidemic lockdown.

But where Wicks’ real success lies is in his ability to retain that new audience and keep them coming back. He’s achieving this through consistency (his “PE With Joe” class starts every morning at 9 am) and through charity/using his platform for good. When Wicks publicly announced that proceeds from his PE class would go directly to the National Health Service (NHS), he was able to raise over £100K+ (and counting).

Of course, his kindness, charitable efforts and creativity to serve his audience aren’t going unnoticed by larger enterprises! Wicks has already been approached by television networks, press outlets, and more to create and syndicate content for even bigger audiences.

Another element that makes Wicks particularly loved amongst his 3.5M followers is his attention to the needs and personal circumstances of his audience. After viewers who were less mobile couldn’t participate in his online classes, he launched a special series for senior citizens. Brands looking to pivot their strategies could learn much from the success of “The Nation’s PE Teacher”!

2. Sali Hughes and her “Beauty Banks x #HelpingHands” campaign

Another influencer who brands can look to as an example of using their platform for good in this time is UK beauty influencer, journalist and author Sali Hughes. She pivoted her “Beauty Banks” personal care grassroots movement into an NHS-focused campaign called “#HelpingHands”.

Hughes describes her “Beauty Banks” as “like food banks but with personal care and toiletries instead.” Similar to Wicks, Hughes is finding success with her charity goals in campaigns that elicit active participation from viewers, as well as elements of goodwill and giving. Her efforts also led to an official partnership with the National Health Service and several other brands from her network to provide people living in poverty with the hygiene essentials they need, and NHS frontline workers in hospitals across the country with emergency supplies and self-care goods.

Since launching COVID-19 relief efforts, @thebeautybanks has seen a 20% increase in followers and 10% boost in engagement. Not only that, but the charitable brands who work with Hughes and contribute to Beauty Banks are also seeing significant brand lift as well.

3. Briony May Williams and the “Great British Bake Off” at-home spin-off, 'Lock Down Bake Club'

Another example of participatory content bringing higher engagement and follower loyalty is Great British Bake-off alum Briony May Williams’ “Lockdown Bake Club”. Williams is partnering with other former contestants of the popular reality baking show to hold a weekly baking contest for followers. The results have been a spike in traffic and engagement, both on and off Instagram.

Something important to note is that Williams maintains her tone of positivity that stays true to her authentic personality, adding an element of inclusivity with this online “Bake Off”.

Her weekly contests using the dedicated hashtag #lockdownbakeclub have been enormously popular, bringing in participation from viewers around the globe.

Our key takeaways from the UK data we see on Tagger shows that consumers in Europe and the UK are responding particularly well to influencers who have launched interactive campaigns that keep audiences engaged as well as entertained.

It’s also important to note that the most successful content is rather vocal in acknowledging the Covid-19 crisis. Creators who are actively helping their communities through charitable giving are seeing a much higher engagement, as well as a more positive response all around, than those who are staying mum on the subject.

The main conclusion is that viewers are continuing to support their favorite influencers through this crisis, and are keen to join them in actionable, charitable projects.

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