Before the relatively recent explosion of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, celebrity advertising was considered to be the main path towards reaching and influencing potential customers.
If your brand or business was attempting to market sports apparel, for example, reaching out to certain NBA stars with an aggressive advertising campaign was probably the best way to influence your potential customers and convince them of the value of your product.
With the rise of social media, however, the world of influencer marketing has changed dramatically. Today, there are thousands of micro-influencers who successfully have used social media channels to build a solid group of followers and admirers.
So, if reaching out to Lebron James or Kevin Durant to give a shout out to your product or brand seems like a long shot, finding a micro-influencer active in the fitness industry might be a good alternative. There are dozens of self-professed fitness gurus with YouTube channels that have tens of thousands of followers. Not only will these types of influencers put you in contact with people who will naturally gravitate towards a sports or fitness related product or brand, but they will also most likely be much more affordable.
Micro influencers have emerged in almost every major industry, from fashion and makeup “experts” with massive numbers of Instagram accounts following every piece of advice they offer, to travel bloggers who offer detailed advice on the best places to travel on a budget.
While micro influencers certainly add another facet to the world of publicity and advertising, their emergence certainly does not mean that celebrity influencers are a thing of the past.
On the contrary, celebrity influencers have also taken advantage of the platforms offered by social media to diversify the types of products that they advertise. While micro influencers will usually have followers ranging from anywhere between 5,000 to 20,000 people, celebrity influencers will obviously garner much more attention.
Below, we take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of both micro influencers and celebrity influencers for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to launch a successful advertising campaign. We then offer a few guidelines on which type of campaign might be best for your own particular business or brand.
Pros and Cons of Micro Influencers
- Micro influencers are usually a cheaper option for your influencer campaign. Of course, it is possible to get a spontaneous mention of your product or brand from a celebrity who received a product you sent to them through their agent. However, if you are thinking of offering payment for a social media mention of your product or brand, celebrities, and their agents will almost always have a higher price tag.
- Celebrity influencers often times have more engaged followers who actively participate in their social media feeds. If you are one of the millions of people who follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter, chances are that you aren’t completely engrossed in every detail of every tweet that she shares. If you follow a micro influencer who specializes in identifying the latest trends in women’s footwear, however, there is a better chance that your attention level will be higher when following the suggestions and recommendations that he or she makes through their social media posts.
- Micro influencers also allow you to better target a specific audience or type of customer, whereas some celebrities will have a larger and broader appeal. Micro influencers are almost always connected to a specific market niche which makes it easier to identify a micro influencer that would be beneficial to your advertising campaign. It is worth mentioning, however, that several celebrities also are identified with certain market niches.
- Micro influencers have a much smaller following and will thus reduce the market reach of any advertising campaign.
- Working with several micro-influencers will probably require greater management skills as you will have to work with various micro-influencers at the same time to be able to have the impact you are hoping to have.
- Micro-influencers lack the authoritative voice that celebrities often bring to the table. Because of the weight of pop culture in our society, people do tend to put increased value on celebrity endorsements.
- You will most likely have less control over the output of the social media post as micro influencers may want to maintain more control over the type of social media post that they share.
- With an advertising campaign focused on micro influencers, it can be hard to determine your actual return on investment.
Pros and Cons of Celebrity Influencers
- Working with celebrity influencers will most likely position your brand or company in front of millions of prospective clients or customers. This will obviously get you much more exposure.
- You should have more control over a celebrity influencer campaign for two main reasons. First, you will be able to choose a specific celebrity that matches the market niche you are targeting. Secondly, the celebrity representative you contact will most likely ask you to send along the specifics that you want to be included in the mention. This means that you can handcraft a caption to be included with the picture posted of your brand or product on a celebrity’s social media profile.
- Lastly, it is relatively easy to determine your return on investment with celebrity influencers because you will be able to closely monitor the number of views and likes and subsequently follow the numbers.
- Obviously, it will be much more expensive to work with celebrity influencers if you are planning on offering a paid endorsement. While the actual numbers will obviously vary depending on the celebrity and your marketing goals, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 to $50,000 for a social media mention of your product or your brand.
- Another potential disadvantage is that it can be a bit harder to contact celebrities for a social media marketing campaign. As celebrities are virtually bombarded with hundreds of marketing offers, you will have to know how to work through their representatives.
- There is always a small risk that a celebrity influencer campaign might come across as inauthentic. Getting Vin Diesel to endorse a line of baby clothing that you are taking to market will probably be seen by your potential clients as an unsuccessful marketing ploy. You will want to carefully choose a celebrity who identifies with your brand or product to make their social media mention come across as legitimate and genuine.
So, which type of campaign is right for you?
Like almost all aspects of running a successful business, choosing between micro influencers and celebrity influencers will largely depend on where your business is at, what your immediate and long term goals are, and the advertising budget your company or brand operates on.
If you feel like you have an absolutely fantastic and innovative product or brand that could capture a large share of the market with the right exposure, celebrity influencers might be the best option for you. They will position your brand or product in front of millions of people almost overnight and allow your brand to take off from the outset. To get the most out of your sizeable investment, do your homework to make sure that there is a good fit between the celebrity’s personality, ideals, etc. and your brand.
Obviously, you need to have the budget (and the bravery) to invest a sizeable chunk of change in a onetime advertising campaign. You will also need to have the organizational capability to capitalize on that sudden moment of market exposure. If your company or brand doesn’t have a solid plan for taking advantage of your moment in the limelight and pushing your product forward, the money spent on celebrity influencers could end up going to waste.
For brands or businesses who are focused on a slower, more measured and lengthier advertising campaign, micro influencers might be a better option as they will allow you to spread your budget over a longer period and more specifically target potential customers. Micro influencer advertising strategies will allow you to slowly but surely gain market exposure as you attempt to carve out a name for yourself in an otherwise competitive market.
Both celebrity and micro influencers are great resources to help any business or brand run a successful marketing campaign. Knowing the pros and cons of each type of influencer and clearly determining the goals and ambitions of your business or brand will help you choose which option is right for you.
Guest author: Billy Bones is the founder of Booking Agent Info and Moda Database. Booking Agent Info provides businesses with the contact info for the official agents, managers, and publicists of celebrities and influencers. Moda Database provides brands with data on celebrity stylists, including who they work with and their contact information.