Are Celebrities Really the Best Influencers for Your Business?

Ten years ago, if your business was one of the companies to land Shaq as your next endorser, you would’ve thought that your marketing had reached its peak. Flash forward to today, and the social media revolution has dramatically transformed people’s understanding of how influencer marketing works. As you look for ways to build brand awareness and communicate the value of your company to the masses, consider how you can use modern lessons about influencer marketing to your advantage.

Redefining the Term “Influencer”

Before social media changed advertising and communication, influencers were movie stars, athletes, and television personalities. Because of the sheer power of influence that celebrities had—and still do have—in society, advertisers fought tooth and nail to get celebrities to endorse their companies on television and billboards. While many advertisers still do find some success in getting celebrity endorsers, your company may want to consider going a different route.

Consumers are increasingly looking to people they follow on social media for influence rather than celebrities that have massive star power. While the star power factor certainly grabs attention, it doesn’t necessarily build trust in the brand. Movie stars and professional athletes have adoring fans who love them for what made them famous, but there are plenty of social media influencers out there who have gained substantial followings by demonstrating expertise in more real-world niches. You can find people on social media who have huge followings for being experts in makeup, animal care, technology, and much more. Also known as “micro-influencers,” these modern day influencers are more accessible to their followers than celebrities and have often demonstrated they are an authority in a specific niche. 

Modern Day Influencers Are More Effective

Celebrities have always earned attention whenever they endorse a product, but what marketers are finding is this type of endorsement leads to low levels of engagement. Even if a website or social media page gains more viewers, users don’t necessarily interact and sales often don’t substantially grow. This of course is a major problem if you’re choosing a celebrity endorser since they don’t exactly come cheap. Even though it certainly adds to the cool factor to have a celebrity eating your sandwich on a billboard, it won’t help your business if your sales don’t grow as a result. 

Modern day influencers who have built a following by being experts in their field are much more effective when it comes to engagement and higher sales. The reason for this is pretty simple: consumers have more of a reason to trust them. Social media users have chosen to follow them because they care deeply enough about their area of expertise to seek them out. They also are likely to feel a deeper sense of attachment to that influencer than they would a person they saw on television or at the movies. 

When you’re looking to engage in influencer marketing that will truly optimize your ROI, skip the email to Tom Cruise’s agent and find people who represent your product or service and resonate more with your target market.