Are Influencers taking over Celebrities?

Are Influencers taking over Celebrities?

By HimanshuGoel, Influencer Marketing Specialist at Top Social India

Did you know that according to a recent Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) survey, "a whopping 85 % people said that they would not buy a product if endorsed by a drug-tainted celebrity"?

The recent drug controversy seems to have rocked Bollywood, with big celebrity names tumbling down. Celebrities have had their share of negative publicity, but this, very public, NCB enquiry poses a very crucial question: Does this have an impact on their professions? And if yes, who will the brands turn to?

The answer is our very own social media leader, influencers.

Influencer Marketing: The Superhero of Marketing

Even before the Bollywood scandal, influencer marketing was the knight and shining armour of marketing.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, brands have leveraged social media influencers through channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for promotion as ad production and shoots were put on hold. Global Web Index survey found that over 80% of consumers say they've consumed more content during COVID-19.

This has been a good opportunity for brands and influencers to engage with their audiences with impactful messaging. The void created by both COVID and the recent Bollywood scandal was filled by the influencers.

1. Fitness based influencers have seen a spike since June- July

2. Some of these home trainers have seen around 15,000 increase in follower count

3. People are more attracted to how they can make most of their time at home

4. Food blogger, cooking shows have seen a remarkable increase in their engagement among audiences in these tough times

5. Influencers are switching to opening their brands and start up their own businesses as their collaborations seem to come to a stop

It can be a cost-effective alternative to the use of influencers by production firms since they are their own production and creative houses and have a variety of content ready for marketers to use. Many content creators also have advanced equipment and have the ability to create TV-worthy content.

But what was the impact on the Brands and Social Media?

1. Fashion designers to showcase their new collection are making fashion and beauty influencers as a part of their campaign

2. Brands are trying to connect to the audience more on an emotional and a personal level through influencers. They are playing around people's thoughts of being stuck at home and leveraging it for their products

3. Instagram is now at its peak with its sponsored content with Brands. Live and stories have seen a considerable hike in the recent months - out of 1 billion people using Instagram, 500 million use Instagram stories to engage with their followers

4. Brand on an average post 2.5 stories per week - How-to tutorials are the form of most popular Instagram content

5. Content creators have now started focusing on engaging on the basis of health, sanitisation, and have started taking an emotional approach

Celebrities vs Influencer: The Best Bet for Brands?

Brands of yesteryear trusted the conventional types of advertisement for their products/services, such as celebrity endorsements. However, creative strategies are currently being discovered on a regular basis in order to tackle fierce market rivalry. 'Influencer marketing' is one such marketing solution that catches up with big and small brands alike.

1. Social Media Champs

Influencers or new-age celebrities drive a lot more social equity compared to celebrities, with the growth of social and mobile-first viewers. For example, an influencer like Bhuvan Bam of BB Ki Vines or CarryMinati has a stronger connect with the social and mobile audience, than a TV celebrity.

2. Who drives the purchase?

It's not hidden that influencers drive purchases. A new study of 14,000 U.S. consumers found that one of the most productive strategies for driving sales is marketing through brand influencers. Marketing research firm Collective Bias found that 30 per cent of customers are more likely to buy a product endorsed by a blogger than a celebrity, according to a survey by ZD Net.

3. The Chosen One

That's not it, social influencers also appeal to the millennials and if you have millennials on your side, you are the chosen one. Since most millennials grew up in the digital era, as consumers, they are more open to trusting the advice of social influencers in this group. According to Tech Insider survey, "73 per cent of adolescents and young adults report feeling a genuine connection with a YouTuber (only 45 per cent said the same about a TV or movie star)". According to ReelSEO, "an estimate of 60 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds would try a YouTuber-recommended product (compared to less than 50 per cent who would take the same action based on a celebrity endorsement)".

4. Who do I relate to?

Brand influencers are also seen as much more relatable, open, and insightful than conventional celebrities when it comes to promoting a genuine connection with customers. According to Huffington Post, in addition to being more likely to engage with supporters, influencers often fill a particular niche (e.g. fashion, food, health, travel, tech) and are thus considered experts in their respective fields.

To sum up, these important variables highlight the fact that this is an upcoming trend with a bright future on how online influencers are pitching for a better deal in the marketing industry today. This natural humanistic approach, in fact, appeals to people at large who are attracted to the brand by them. There is no doubt about the fact that high-paying celebrities slowly and gradually lose the game to their peers, namely online influencers, in their own dominated fields. And the icing on the cake is the NCB inquiry.

About HimanshuGoel, Influencer Marketing Specialist at TopSocial India

HimanshuGoel is the Influencer Marketing Specialist at TopSocial India. A marketing professional from MICA Ahmedabad, he has worked on influencer marketing campaigns across several categories such as smartphone, Internet business, automotive and more.He's an influencer and author himself, and currently has 66,000 followers on his Instagram Profile.

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