Pocket Media Group eyes expansion into influencer marketing as former Norwich City footballer Paul McVeigh comes on-board

Pocket Media Group directors. From left to right: Ben Farrin, group managing director, former Norwic

Pocket Media Group directors. From left to right: Ben Farrin, group managing director, former Norwich City footballer and non-executive director Paul McVeigh, non-executive director Mark Clayton and chairman Mark Garner. Picture: Pocket Media Group. - Credit: Pocket Media Group

A Norwich firm is aiming to treble its team as it expands from digital magazines to offer social media management and product endorsement for celebrities and sports stars.

Pocket Media Group, based at Epic Studios, is pushing into e-commerce and influencer marketing to back up its websites for the 16-to-24-year-old demographic.

Group managing director Ben Farrin, who founded The Student Pocket Guide magazine, has been joined on the board by finance director Mark Clayton and former Norwich City footballer Paul McVeigh.

Mr Farrin said he hoped their experience would help the business as it looks to grow from a team of 12 to a team of more than 30 in two years.

He said: 'We have a strong, hungry team here. With Paul's experience as a footballer we are looking at sports management and influencer marketing.

'We could manage footballers' social media profiles, for example, and then link that back to brand and product marketing.

'Influencer marketing is massive: there is a real demand for it.

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Mr Farrin believes the group's younger demographic puts it in a strong position to build that side of the business.

Influencer marketing sees celebrities promote products to their fans via social media channels, with Youtubers particularly benefiting from their sway on youthful fans.

Former Future50 business The Student Pocket Guide, which Mr Farrin set up in 2005, has been joined in the group's stable by marketing agency Digital Boss, which has built a base of 20 clients since launching last year.

E-commerce shop The Travel Pocket Shop will go live before the end of the year, selling products featured in the Travel Pocket Guide, a digital magazine which was first published in early 2017.

Mr Farrin, who also runs record label A6 Records, is already expecting to see growth from the changes and is anticipating turnover to be up to around £350,000 from £250,000 this year.

The firm is planning to launch three more digital magazine titles with online shops attached to them.