We have two words for you… Gerry. Lavz.
This blog takeover is going to focus on Influencer Marketing with the one and only Gerard Lavery. If you don’t know who Gerry is already, he creates original, authentic content for social media channels – specifically his Instagram which has accumulated more than 20,000 followers. His passion for content creation shines through in his posts, with each strategically planned look and grid theme meticulously executed. When Gerry isn’t creating content for his feed, he can be found hosting events like the LMD Big Beauty Blast or attending various other events – needless to say, Gerry’s vivacious personality speaks for itself! As if this wasn’t enough, Gerry creates weekly Wednesday polls on Instagram and is always on hand for the latest Love Island update or Kardashian drama.
We sat down with Gerry to ask him some questions about Influencer Marketing and his take on the social media sphere, here’s what he had to say:
How did you become an influencer?
It is funny you ask that, because I personally would never have regarded myself as an influencer, as that was never my goal.
I used Instagram mainly to post photographs of paintings I would have completed and other art projects. Instagram for me was purely a hobby & then I slowly began to gain recognition for my work, and for my personality. The rest really is history, however I think I started it at a time period where Influencers weren’t mainstream. Meanwhile now, influence marketing is so popular, and people recognise its worth, so it definitely has become a more popular path to go down.
What makes you so passionate about producing content for social media?
For me it has never been about ‘social media’, but just about creating content. I would be pretty eccentric, and my mind never shuts off with fun, quirky, and creative ideas. Whether it be creating entertaining videos, weekly questionnaires to engage with my audience or aesthetically pleasing photographs. I love the freedom Social Media provides to project my creativity.
I think as a creator, it is important to never become co-dependent on the ‘platform’ you use to project your work. Instagram very much is the trend at the moment, however that might not always be the case. So it is important to always evolve and adapt, that’s what keeps it refreshing!
What’s the most difficult thing about being an influencer?
I think the most difficult thing about being an influencer or having a Social Media presence is always fighting the battle to justify its worth. Due to the popularity of Social Media Influencing, it has become very saturated and a lot of people are more concerned about the lifestyle, instead of producing creative content. Sadly it is these pages produce a negative stigma surrounding the influencer industry.
Influencer marketing is incredibly effective, but it’s imperative that a brand does their research. The key is to do your homework and not to be fooled by numbers. As an industry, influencing it can be very competitive but there is nothing wrong with this competition as long as it is healthy.
Would you change anything about the influencer world?
If I am being honest I wouldn’t change much about social media as platforms. I would say what I would love to change is brands/businesses outlook on Influence Marketing. I pride myself in creating very honest, organic and authentic content, which not only can be influential but informative. Being so open on social media, can sadly have consequences which may not help your brand approachability. What I would love to change is brands perceptions on Influence marketing, to not be afraid to work with someone who perhaps is quite ‘eccentric’. No effective Marketing campaign was ever played safely.
What are the benefits of working with brands?
Despite blogging for 2/3 years now. 2019 has been the year I began to achieve brand recognition, which I am so grateful for. For me personally, it has always been quality over quantity. It has always been important for me to work with a brand I personally look up to or believe in. Recently becoming a brand ambassador for Iconic Bronze has been huge for me, especially as I am a male raising the brand awareness of a product in a female dominated market. It is all about breaking down any stigmas for me, and the brand have gave me so many amazing opportunities, including a recent product photoshoot in Ibiza.
So overall the benefits for me, are working alongside creatives who share the same vision I do in content creation, and trust my authenticity.
Your top 3 favourite Instagram influencers?
There are so many I personally love, and I am thankful to be acquainted with. Northern Ireland has some incredible talent. It nearly feels impossible to pick only three but if I had to narrow it down I would say:
1) Fiona McCartan – @glutenfreefi – Her page not only is informative to anyone who may be Coeliac. This doesn’t make her page specified, as her quirk content, and witty humour, makes her page informative, creative with imagery, but also very entertaining.
2) Sinead Hegarty – @sineadheg – I absolutely adore Sinead. I have been following her journey for over 2 years now, and it is so refreshing to see how much she has grown. Similar to Fiona, Sinead also creates content that is entertaining and informative. It is raw, unfiltered, with so many layers of depth. Her page isn’t fuelled by ego, her sole purpose is to help others.
3) Ciara McKeown – @ciaciaxo – Ciara is one of the most talented Make Up Artists in Northern Ireland. The attention to detail in her looks is immaculate which is what makes her one of the strongest content creators NI has to offer. She pushes herself out of her comfort zone. It isn’t about social media for Ciara. It is about executing an artistic expression through make up.
What would you say to someone beginning to produce content for social media/wanting to become an influencer?
If I had to give advice, I would say to make sure that your content is either informative, creative, or entertaining. As a content creator, it is important to remember that although your page is about you, it has to serve relevance to your audience so they can take something away from it.
Finding a purpose to your page is the most difficult stage. However once you find your brand identity, creating content will feel effortless.
Influencer Marketing can be a tough gig, but when it’s done right, it can be absolute gold. Rapid Marketing are dedicated to making all forms of marketing accessible for businesses of all sizes in Northern Ireland. If you like what you’re hearing and want to know a little bit more about us you can DM us on Instagram or give us a buzz via our website!
A huge thank you to Gerry for his input in this blog takeover! You can follow Gerry on Instagram for his latest content and the day-to-day antics on his stories – we promise you won’t regret it! If you’re interested in collaborating with us on another blog takeover, be sure to give us a message.
Rapid Agency – Digital Marketing in Belfast