Celebrities and film stars seem dated since the arrival of the new breed of stars aka Influencers 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 Aishwarya 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 one may ask, if the page 3 celebs are not getting eyeballs, who’s getting all the attention. 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 favorite actress is shopping online during a sale to avail 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 irrespective 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 extraordinary power of influence
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the social media influencers who probably aren’t walking the red carpet, 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. They’re believable and relatable – Two factors celebrities don’t exactly possess.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
The end 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 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.
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