Influencers Vs. Celebrities: Which is the Better Marketing Strategy?

Businesses have been getting personalities to market their brands for the longest time, from prominent Hollywood actors, like Angelina Jolie and George Clooney, to “famous for being famous” celebrities, like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. Getting a famous person — whether an actress, athlete, or artist — to represent your business is one of the many ways to get consumers to take notice of your brand.

The rise of social media influencers

As more and more people gained access to the internet, a new wave of personalities populated the marketing field: influencers. Using their social media profiles, influencers or content creators can advertise the different brands they use.

Seven out of ten Americans use social media to connect with other people, share and gather information, keep up with the news, and entertain themselves. Since social media has become a permanent part of the average American’s life, influencers in this digital space have been getting a lot of traction. Ninety-four percent of marketers attest to the effectiveness of influencer marketing, saying that it can generate up to 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising.

The appeal of influencer marketing

Despite the relatively lower popularity of social media influencers, some companies prefer this marketing technique over the traditional because of their authenticity.

Take for example, YouTube stars. A survey by Variety reveals that millennials identify better with YouTube and other digital-based content because they find these more genuine and relatable. When American teenagers ranked 20 popular personalities based on their perceived influence, YouTube influencers occupied the top 5 spots, beating Hollywood stars, like Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep.

This is because YouTube content creators are better at building relationships with their viewers. They stay true to their own personalities, which makes them appear independent and not driven by the limitations or identity of the brand they’re advertising.

Social media influencers also appear more approachable. Because they’re mainly on social media platforms, their followers can freely send them messages or leave comments on their posts, and they have the avenue to respond to their fans.

Apart from social media, the rise of connected TV services allowed the public to become more exposed to over-the-top (OTT) or internet-sourced content. Consumers now have more platforms to stream videos of their favorite YouTube stars, which adds to their reach.

The relevance of celebrity marketing today

Celebrity walking on the red carpetAlthough influencer marketing is quickly becoming predominant today, celebrity marketing still has its strengths. If the goal is to create as much noise and exposure as possible, a mainstream celebrity can do the job better. Influencers tend to stick to their niche or target demographic so Hollywood stars are capable of capturing more attention.

Celebrities are also better at delivering on-brand messages. Movie and TV stars can easily shift between different personalities so they can adapt according to the identity of your business.

Although both drive engagement, influencer and celebrity marketing each have their own strengths. Consider your brand identity, your target market, and the purpose of your marketing campaign so you know which strategy will help you achieve your goals better.