It has been proven by many influencer marketing experts Influencer Marketing and Celebrity Endorsement are two very different options for brands to include in their marketing campaign and that the two do not operate or function the same and both options result in very different results.
“I’ve actually learned first-hand that brand advocates and micro – influencers have the potential to recruit long-term brand advocates into your brand, which (surprise-surprise) is much more powerful than generating a one-off sale” – Philip Brown (hyperlink to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/theres-something-you-need-know-influencer-marketing-philip-brown-1), Head of Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy
But what’s the difference and how will your brand benefit the most from one or both?
Celebrity Influencers and endorsements
It is no surprise that celebrities have more followers than influencers but just because your favourite celebrity posted about the newest perfume you must be wearing or music festival that you just HAVE to attend, that it is credible or a genuine post from them.
Brands continue to throw money at them, most recently the failed Fyre Festival, where models and celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski, were paid $250 000 to endorse the event, while other high-profile Instagram users were paid $10 000 per post shared on the platform, failing to disclose to the public that these were paid posts, all against the Federal Trade Commission. These influencers had legal action taken against them citing “Social Media ‘influencers’ made no attempt to disclose to consumers that they were being compensated for promoting the Fyre Festival. Instead these influencers gave the impression that the guest list was full of the Social Elite and other celebrities.”
In other instances, these endorsements have been found out by the celebrities themselves, sharing more than what they should – remember when Scott Disick shared the notes from the brand on his Instagram and Twitter?
It might be an exciting way to get people interested in your product or event, but the repercussions to your brand could far outweigh the benefits. Often the content of this paid endorsement or post come across as forced and unauthentic but there is light at the end of the tunnel if your brand wants to go down this route. Work with the celebrities to ensure that it sounds like the celebrity, let them tell it in their own brand voice and when their audience is naturally engaging with the celebrity.
Influencers and bloggers
An exciting new area for brands to explore in communicating their messaging is with smaller and at times, slightly more unknown influencers and bloggers. There is an emerging market in using micro influencers over macro influencers. By using these influencers and bloggers, brands can communicate through real people, in an authentic voice.
There are two types of influencers – macro and micro. Macro influencers are not that different to your celebrities, besides the celebrity title. These influencers have large audiences that they can push your message and brand out to, often at a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, the engagement of macro influencers posts are on the lower end, but if you are looking for reach on your post then you’ll be in good hands.
Micro influencers, however, have a smaller following than that of a macro influencer or celebrity, between 1000 and 90 000 followers. Their audience is more engaged in the content that they post which makes these up and coming influencers and bloggers more attractive to brands. These types of content creators are in it for the long haul and want to leverage off your brand as much as you want to leverage off their following.
There is something to be said for bringing in influencers and bloggers for a long-term brand affiliation, rather than just paying them one off. You can together, create bespoke messaging and content, as well as ensuring a complete buy-in from the blogger or influencer which in turn translates into engaging content on their platforms for their followers and your future followers and customers.
There is no right or wrong way forward for your brand, just make sure that the celebrity, blogger or influencer is right for YOUR brand, that they can communicate your vision and objective without sounding forced or fake and your campaign will always win.
Author: Nelisiwe Zuma
Editor: Erin Crous