Celebrities and film stars advertising a product on television seem an ancient concept since the arrival of the new breed of stars aka ‘Influencers’ in town. Just a few years ago, a well-groomed Ranveer or a breathtakingly beautiful Deepika would’ve piqued our interest. Now, we switch channels showing such endorsements with the same nonchalance as we do when nothing worth watching is on the television.
There’s a new crop of stars who everyone’s following these days– they are called ‘social media influencers’.
Celebrities create ‘make-believe’ scenarios
All our celebrities are consumers of high-end gourmet food and the most top-end designers. All of a sudden, you see a buff action hero busy munching trans-fat loaded chips while lounging on the sofa in pajamas. The current favorite actress is shopping online during a sale to avail drop-dead prices. How believable is this?
Celebrities scream affluence and so does the bomb price at which they agree to endorse brands. Making a celebrity a ‘face’ for the brand is a costly affair. Big celebs mean big bucks and if they can’t connect with the consumers at a realistic level, what’s the point in showering crores on endorsements? Celebrities seem to have no filter when it comes to selecting the brands to endorse.
Another drawback of celebrity endorsements is the fact that they are not constant and consumers know this. As soon as a celebrity’s contract is up, brands look for a ‘new face’ to endorse their brand. When a brand can’t assure commitment, consumers don’t feel any attachment to it either. If you’re trying to get regular people buy your product, you’ll need someone more believable, real and trustworthy.
Influencers – ‘normal’ people with the correct brand connect with ‘normal’ people
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have social media influencers who aren’t attending the glitzy events, but they have their own circle of people following their every move. They are like bees buzzing around on all social media platforms, actively participating, talking, sharing and creating a buzz around their favorite things to do. They have expertise in their respective fields of interest like fashion, travel, food, etc and keep themselves up to date with the latest trends. Hence, they become the go-to person the next time you want to buy a new mobile phone or a new fashion accessory.
Social media platforms have a plethora of blogs and videos like makeup tutorials, gadget comparisons, movie reviews and just vlogs for comedic relief. These are painstakingly created and uploaded for other people to see. A good referral by any one of these self-made stars can do wonders for brands. Believable and relatable – these are the two factors celebrities don’t exactly possess but influencers do.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
In the years to come, we’ll see brands trying their best to build a sense of trust among its influencers. There will be new tools to aid influencers. More and more of the younger millennials will turn into influencers to impact the purchasing habits, likes and dislikes of the consumers. Last of all, UGC (user-generated content) is critical for a brand’s success and it will stay on top of the priority list for digital marketers for the decades to come.
Moreover, brands will move from influencers with a huge base to ‘nano-influencers’ to target a more apt audience for their products and to avoid losing their message amongst a horde of other brands vying to get the users’ attention.