Celebrities and film stars seem dated since the arrival of the new breed of stars in town. It seems that the appeal and limelight that celebrities used to wield before has diminished a bit. Just a few years ago, a Katrina or an Aishwariya decked up in breath-takingly beautiful jewellery would’ve piqued our interest. Now, we just seem to change the channel or totally sweep past an endorsed advertisement.
So if the page 3 celebs are not getting eyeballs, who’s getting all the attention, one may ask. There’s a new crop of stars who everyone’s following these days– they are called ‘social media influencers’.
Celebrities Offer Paper-Thin Fantasies
A buff action hero is busy munching trans-fat loaded chips while lounging on the sofa in pajamas. The current favourite actress IS shopping online during a sale to avail of the drop dead prices. Don’t we all get a sense of disbelief? Clearly the King of Bollywood would not order online grocery by himself, one would wonder! How believable are these scenarios?
Celebrities definitely scream ‘lavish’ and so does the whopping price at which they agree to endorse brands. Making a celebrity a ‘face’ for the brand is definitely 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 be endorsing anything that comes their way whether they actually use or like the brand.
Another drawback to 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 – Ordinary People with Power
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the social media influencers who probably aren’t walking the red carpet, but they have millions 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 favourite brands. 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 your brand. They’re believable and relatable – Two factors celebrities don’t exactly possess.
Fashion bloggers are known and admired by people for their aesthetic mixing and matching of different pieces to create a trendy ensemble. Women around the world look at them for fashion advice and inspiration and not the A-listers walking the red carpet in their surreal, extravagant gowns. If your brand could be advocated by any of these bloggers, needless to say, you’d definitely be getting a whole lot of visibility along with new customers waiting to try out your brand.
Influencers can definitely make some good money by advocating a brand they’re close to, but the amount that brands need to shell out on them is almost next to nothing compared to the obnoxious rates that celebrities demand for a mere 20 second endorsement.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
The close of 2015 saw the rise of two big trends: How marketers across industry verticals are advertising on popular YouTube channels and how mainstream, traditional entertainment is getting a chunk of online social traffic by featuring prominent digital influencers in the mainstream media.
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 millenials will turn into influencers to impact our purchasing habits, likes and dislikes. Last of all, UGC (user generated content) will rule.