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Marketers have long relied on celebrity endorsements to raise brand awareness and boost sales, but with the rise of social media stars, more companies are discovering that brand influencer collaborations are now a more effective method for capturing the attention of consumers. To illustrate why 59% of brand marketers say they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next year, we’ve compiled five compelling reasons why partnerships with brand influencers are better than those with movie stars, pop icons, models, and other traditional celebrities.
A recent survey of 14,000 United States consumers showed that marketing with brand influencers is one of the most effective methods for driving sales. According to a report by ZD Net, marketing research firm Collective Bias found that 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a blogger than a celebrity.
The study also discovered that 70% of Millennials (consumers aged 18 to 34) preferred “peer” endorsements (e.g. those from friends, family members, or social media stars) over recommendations from traditional celebrities.
Because most Millennials grew up in a digital age, this demographic of young consumers are more receptive to and trusting of recommendations from social influencers. A recent survey described by Tech Insider found that 73% of teens and young adults report feeling a genuine connection with a YouTuber (only 45% said the same about a TV or movie star), and ReelSEO reported that 60% of 18- to 24-year-olds would try a product recommended by a YouTuber (compared with less than 50% who would take the same action based on a celebrity endorsement).
Related Post: Why Brands Need Millennial Influencers
According to Fast Company, the availability of information and influx of trusted reviews from digital influencers has made female consumers more skeptical of traditional advertising and celebrity endorsements. A survey of nearly 1,500 women found that 86% of participants put the most trust in recommendations from “real people,” and 58% of women surveyed said they learn about products and services from YouTube brand influencers.
When it comes to fostering a genuine connection/relationship with consumers, brand influencers are viewed as far more relatable, approachable, and knowledgeable than traditional celebrities. Not only are brand influencers more likely to engage with followers, they often occupy a specific niche (e.g. fashion, food, fitness, travel, tech) and are thus considered experts in their respective fields (Huffington Post).
A survey of over 500 marketing industry professionals found that 80% of marketing execs currently work with brand influencers in some capacity, and of the marketers polled, the majority claimed they prefer working with social media stars over collaborating with musicians, sports stars, actors, and models (The Drum).