Celebrities, Brand Endorsement, Product Placement… the power of Influencer Marketing
Let me start with a question: Do you also have the impression that celebrities on Social Media apear more often than in the beginning of the whole network hype?
To me, frankly, it seems that way. I can remember a time, when my timeline was filled up with stupid stuff my friends were posting. Now there’s advertisement and famous faces everywhere. Just to name a few: Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Chiara Ferragni… Sure some of those people are models and work in advertisement to make a living, therefore I shouldn’t be suprised to see their faces connected to certain brands and products. But I am thinking about something else actually…
If I check out those people’s “private” Instagram account, I can see a lot of Product Placement as well… is this some kind of new marketing strategy? That’s more what I am interested in. So I read through some articles on Medium and I found some fascinating facts! There were two articles that I found the most useful in understanding this whole change in social media use and the power those “Influencers” actually have.
The first article is written by David King. Here’s the link: https://medium.com/@davidcreates/understand-celebrity-endorsements-time-to-meet-influencer-marketing-a6718da219e4
First, let’s define “Influencer”. Those people are mostly celebrities, or in general people who have a large audience group. You can think at the term “instagramer”, it has become a real profession nowadays. The influencers get paid by the company to share content that contains info on their new products. The strategy, that the company should follow is therefore to chose a person who represents the product best, and whose audience group is the right target group. It’s a great symbiosis because the company offers money to a person who always has the audience group and the reach. The work, posting content online, requires fairly few action, what counts are the numbers of followers and the quality of the “community” behind a certain influencer. The company brings the money an the product to the influencer, in exchange he brings a highly interested target group — what a great deal! Infact, the consulting group Nielsen discovered: “Consumers are 92% more likely to trust an individual over a brand, even if they don’t know that person.”
Still, for those influencers it isn’t enough to have a large number of followers. Brand endorsement further means dedication, time and a certain expertise in the field of social media marketing.
A difference of Influencer Marketing vs. traditional mass media advertising is therefore to reach a more engaged niche audience, which nevertheless brings more interest in the product than the mass popularity.
The last quote by David King gives a good final thought: “Influencers and Ambassadors reach thousands, sometimes millions of people with a single post, but make them a part of your overall marketing platform ant it will dividends beyond reach.”
The second article by Sandy Chen is also very interesting: https://medium.com/@yijunsandy/how-celebrity-endorsement-really-work-45a3cb62716f
She is explaining also the whole story behind celebrity endorsement, even more detailed. One quote I really like is: “These celebrity endorsed ‘advertisements’ tend to create a sense of confusion among consumers as to whether the celebrity is genuinely pleased with the product, or rather merely being paid to advertise it.” Actually, I have asked me this question many times. I guess that’s what makes Influencer marketing is so nifty. It’s so new, people don’t know how to react. Infact, that’s what makes the strategy work, and why in the end the people chose to buy the product.
Chen also talks about the audience group. She claims the main target are the so-called Millenials — the digital natives, those are expected to see the advertisement through social media, because those are the people who use it the most. So that also reflects the change in the whole marketing and advertisement world. And also, Chen thinks that mass publicity, so classical advertisement, gets replaced by this new model. As said before people are more likely to trust an individual over a brand, that’s why influencer marketing works. Here I found some parallels to what Anna Quinz was talking about in class, mostly also related to identiy marketing, which those celebrities certainly do, but by being influencer they “incorporate” a brand and product which they also want to sell — killed two birds with one stone.
The two articles explain the concept behind Influence marketing very well, and the change that happens in the field of marketing became clearer to me.
A final thought, taken from the Chen article: “As the years go by, people who wish to capitalise on the potential profits behind celebrity endorsements must also follow the trends which society goes by.” It reflects how dynamic our society is, and that there will always be new trends and trendsetters. But more importantly: with every new technological device or application, the whole frame for marketing can be shaped. So it is always important to adjust the strategies to profit most. Some strategies are still undiscoverd, I guess. Marketing is also a dynamic field. We should take a step back from the traditional models and open our minds towards new methods and potential targets.