Who will represent your brand? It’s one of the most important choices you will make in your digital marketing strategy. Once upon a time, a company would have limited its choices to celebrities. The internet has changed that landscape, however, especially with the rise of social media. Now companies have an even more challenging question: Influencer marketing or celebrity endorsements? Which is better?
What’s the Difference Between a Celebrity and an Influencer?
A celebrity is very simply what most of us think of when we think of a famous person. From Michael Jordan to Angelina Jolie, these are people who achieved fame through traditional media. Typically, a celebrity is known for whatever media propelled them to fame. While Michael Jordan starred in the original Space Jam and once pursued a baseball career, he is most famous as a professional basketball player.
An influencer is someone who has achieved a different kind of fame. An influencer is someone who rose to prominence through social media (typically sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube), using charm, wit, and expertise in something to gain a following among people who are interested in whatever that something is. Their expertise may be in food, fashion, or video games. Some influencers while not themselves actors have gained fame for their opinions and analysis of film, television, music, or books.
Knowing what makes an influencer and a celebrity is good. What you really want to know is, which one is right for your brand marketing?
What are the Advantages of a Celebrity Endorsement?
Celebrity endorsements are great for reach and brand recognition. A celebrity has two things that companies want for their product – they have a wide audience of fans and the love and adoration of those fans. A company launching a new product line might use celebrity endorsement to build awareness. Meanwhile, another company might attempt to pick up flagging sales by connecting its image with a beloved movie star. In either case, the company benefits from the broad reach of the celebrity.
In addition to the reach of the celebrity, companies that use celebrity endorsements are in control of the messaging around the brand. The ads and any related public endorsements are planned by professional ad agencies and approved by the company.
What are the Advantages of Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing presents a perfect opportunity for a brand to build trust and loyalty among consumers. Influencers have two things they can offer brands that celebrities often lack – expertise and a niche following. A company that wants to reinforce a certain type of image for its brand might reach out to multiple influencers whose niche matches the product. Another company might team up with an influencer to draw in their loyal followers and turn them into loyal customers.
Because influencers manage their own image – their image is their personal brand – they are typically involved in creating the influencer marketing campaign. While this takes some messaging control out of the hands of a company, it comes with an irreplaceable benefit. When influencers have input in their campaigns, the messaging is more natural and authentic to their followers.
A Combined Approach to Digital Marketing
When it comes to the question of which a company should choose, influencers or celebrities, the answer is both. For companies with a marketing budget to include celebrity endorsement, the reach of fame is valuable. At the same time, building relationships with social media influencers helps shore up loyalty among the types of consumers who will reliably buy their products and services.
How Do I Make My Influencer Marketing Campaign a Success?
Influencers are a key part of a good, diverse digital marketing strategy. Now, how do you make your marketing campaign a success?
- Set a clear goal for your campaign (with a focus on engagement)
- Choose an influencer that matches your brand and product or service
- Take time to research the influencer’s follower base
- Set clear expectations and guidelines for your messaging
- Monitor the influencer’s activity
- Be prepared to adjust mid-campaign to improve engagement
Are you looking for a powerful digital marketing strategy for your company? Contact us today to discuss your needs and goals.