Love Island Influencer Value

What to expect after the winter season

The point of Love Island is for contestants to find the love of their lives and secure a £50k cash prize for doing so. However, with only one winning couple the best way other contestants find success is through advertising partnerships once outside the villa.

The majority of these partnerships are with clothing brands like Boohoo, I Saw It First and In the Style, so we thought we would trawl through the data and see what we could find out about former contestants’ value to brands and what we can expect for the latest crop of hopefuls battling it out in the villa.

Overview: Key Takeaways

  • Value for money is low across the board, with every islander showing a more than 90% drop between engagement value and overall earnings
  • Islander with best value for money is Greg
  • Number of sponsored posts doesn’t correlate to best value – Greg has highest % of follower engagement (& above-average value per post) with lowest paid partnerships, India has highest no. sponsored posts with lower than average value per post
  • Molly-Mae dwarfed the other competitors, earning almost double that of winner Amber and bringing in more than double the overall value in engagement

Which contestant should brands look to work with after the show?

Key Takeaways

  • Fairly even gender split at the top
  • Molly-Mae was best for number of likes on sponsored posts
  • Greg has the best rate of engagement on sponsored posts despite posting the fewest

Highest Value - Sponsored & Natural

Islander Natural Post Value Sponsored Post Value
Molly-Mae Hague £1,540.49 £903.63
Amber Gill £1,171.08 £519.74
Tommy Fury £949.05 £466.97
Maura Higgins £797.24 £465.28
Ovie Soko £440.30 £375.00

The top 5 for average engagement value for both natural and sponsored posts was the same, with all 5 coming from couples who placed in the top 4.

Greg placed 6th for his sponsored post engagement despite being the male winner of the show. His partner Amber was second, despite also winning, suggesting that brands shouldn’t always go straight for the winner to see the best coverage.

However, Amber ranked above Tommy, who has over 100,000 more followers, showing that being the winner is still a big draw for brands.

Lowest Value - Natural

  1. Amy – £180.22
  2. Anton – £196.84
  3. Anna – £202.32
  4. Curtis – £240.97
  5. Michael – £242.40

Lowest Value - Sponsored

  1. Curtis – £79.83
  2. Anton – £103.92
  3. Michael – £130.43
  4. Amy – £135.06
  5. Belle – £156.62

On the other end of the scale, more boys than girls ranked the lowest for value on both natural and sponsored posts. Curtis had the most significant drop in engagement and had the lowest overall value to brands across his sponsored posts since last July.

Anna was also the only one whose sponsored engagement drew her out of the bottom 5, showing a loyal following who were happy to support her paid partnerships almost as much as her own posts.

The difference in value between natural & paid posts

Key Takeaways

  • Average % change between natural and paid is -38.25%
  • Greg had the lowest number of ads but highest level of engagement
  • The top 3 islanders with the most sponsored posts had lower than average estimated value per post

While every islander has posted at least 10 sponsored posts since leaving last year, many also share posts which mention clothing brands, hotel chains and restaurants which aren’t paid for by the brand. These pics count as natural posts but are able to draw more engagement on average, most likely due to increasing resistance to influencer marketing.

By comparing the two post types, brands could discover that natural coverage via strategies like gifting without the expectation of a dedicated post in return could be way more valuable than an arranged shot. 

The top 5 for natural and sponsored value is the same but looking at the % change in follower engagement shows a different picture.

Lowest % Engagement Difference Between Sponsored & Natural

Islander Natural Post Engagement Sponsored Post Engagement % Difference
Ovie Soko 6.06% 5.17% -14.83%
Greg O'Shea 9.82% 8.03% -18.22%
Anna Vakili 4.72% 3.75% -20.47%
Amy Hart 4.20% 3.15% -25.06%
India Reynolds 8.28% 5.66% -31.67%

The top 2 spots are taken by men, suggesting that followers of the male contestants are more likely to engage with their product placements than those advertised by the girls. Greg also had the lowest number of ad posts and was in the top 5 for engagement for both natural and paid posts. This could show a link between post integrity and engagement levels, so brands should be aware of how often their islander posts ads and what this could mean for their return on investment.

On the other hand, India posted the most ads and was also in the top 5 for lowest engagement change, though this could be due to the number of ads blurring the line between actual post and paid partnership.

Highest % Engagement Difference Between Sponsored & Natural

Islander Natural Post Engagement Sponsored Post Engagement % Difference
Curtis Pritchard 4.56% 1.51% -66.87%
Amber Gill 12.67% 5.62% -55.62%
Tommy Fury 9.92% 4.88% -50.80%
Anton Danyluk 4.97% 2.62% -47.21%
Michael Griffiths 6.12% 3.29% -46.19%

At the other end of the scale, winner Amber placed 2nd for highest percent difference between sponsored and natural posts. Though one of the highest earners, this could mean that the winner’s followers don’t follow her for her role as an influencer. Tommy and Anton also have a higher percentage of sponsored posts in comparison with Ovie and Greg which could be why their engagement rates are so different.

Is winning everything for the islanders?

Key Takeaways

  • Amber & Greg aren’t 1st for value or earnings since leaving – Greg is last for earnings
  • Greg has the highest level of sponsored engagement
  • Molly-Mae and Tommy have more followers than Amber and Greg

Despite winning the show, neither Amber or Greg takes the top spot for followers, earnings or value on Instagram. Amber has the highest percentage of sponsored posts but her engagement is much lower than Molly-Mae’s. On the other hand, Greg has posted the fewest ads but has the highest engagement.

Molly-Mae’s estimated earnings from each of her posts is almost double Amber’s, but Molly-Mae was already an influencer before entering the villa. Former beauty therapist Amber has still been able to garner the third highest number of followers and third highest estimated earning from her brand partnerships.

Sponsored post fatigue

With sponsored posts now plaguing Instagram and more than 500,000 influencers operating on the platform, many marketing experts have already theorised about the decline of value in paid ads. Not a single one of the islanders with over 1m followers from last year have shown an equal or greater engagement level on their sponsored posts, showing that regardless of follower count, many Instagram users are wiser to the tactics of advertising professionals.

For any future Love Island contestants, it’s clear that working as an influencer can still be highly lucrative but brands will need to stay alert to the real return on investment that their partnerships can provide.

Last year’s winner Greg suggests that fewer sponsored posts suggests more alignment between the influencer and the product’s ethos, meaning more followers are willing to engage and the estimated value of each post is above-average. However, on the other end, 3rd place India shows that having the most sponsored posts may result in a higher-than-average engagement rate but a value lower than the average for each post.

What can we expect from the new islanders?

It’s clear from the results of last year that, regardless of what stage of the show they reach, the winter contestants will have plenty of paid partnership opportunities on Instagram. Whether they reach Molly-Mae levels of influencer-dom or Greg-level loyal followers, their careers as post-villa brand ambassadors are pretty much certain.

However, as the law of diminishing returns dictates, it’s likely that engagement levels from their followers will continue to drop when it comes to paid advertising, so brands will have to be even more careful to choose a representative who truly fits with their ethos.

At the time of publishing, Shaughna Phillips has the highest number of followers of the remaining contestants – will her post-villa career echo current it-girl Molly-Mae?

Final 5 couples rankings

Islander Follower Count
Paige Turley 931k
Siannise Fudge 626k
Finley Tapp 614k
Luke Mabbott 521k
Luke Trotman 449k

History repeats itself in this final five as the couples with the best odds to win are Siannise and Luke T but the girl with the highest follower count is Paige, echoing the differences between last year’s Amber and Molly-Mae.

However, it could all be changed by the people’s winner Shaugna who, despite not making it to the final, has already topped 1.2m followers. This further goes to show that winning isn’t everything and on social media, personality is key.

Full Sponsored Post Statistics

Methodology

We used estimate influencer costs from marketing research company Emarketer and data from Instagram to estimate the value of sponsored and unsponsored posts shared by the 2019 Love Island cast since leaving the show.

By equating the value of 1 follower to 1 like, we were able to estimate the value of each post to determine who has the most return on investment for partnering brands.

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