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Why Brands Prefer Digital Influencers Over Celebrities
Celebrities have long been a prominent part of the marketing landscape. For decades, brands have tried their best to get the world’s most recognizable stars to be a part of their campaigns, many allocating millions upon millions of dollars to securing the right celebrity endorsement. As social media marketing channels and platforms amassed substantially large user bases (YouTube has over a billion users, Instagram recently broke 400 million monthly active users), brands began looking to digital influencers or social media stars to produce unprecedented levels of social engagement for targeted advertising campaigns online.
In conjunction with Entertainment Weekly's 25th anniversary, the publication celebrated with their EW Fest, which featured a dedicated panel of digital influencers who are changing the face of the Internet. The takeaway? The entire concept of "celebrity" is changing. As EW Fest panelist and Vine star Marcus Johns puts it, “social media has leveled the playing field. There’s this element of ‘Hey, I can be that too.’” Similarly, top entertainment and business publications (including Variety's "Digital Stars Popularity Grows Versus Mainstream Celebrity" and Forbes) have been profiling the massive growth and influence of digital influences over celebrities and, many traditional Hollywood agencies are now securing top digital creators as a mainstay of their talent roster.
Smart marketing managers are taking note of this industry-wide shift. When it comes to campaign strategy and performance, it's difficult to compete with the digital influencers of today in terms of channel reach and audience engagement. Here are a few reasons why brandsprefer working with digital influencers and social media stars over high-profile celebrities:
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