The concept of influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements are often used interchangeably. While there are overlapping strategies between the two, there are also key differences that distinguish one from the other.
We’ve seen brands use celebrities to promote their products for years. From Michael Jordan and Hanes, Ashton Kutcher with Nikon Cameras, and Beyoncé and Pepsi, celebrity endorsements have been used as a marketing and advertising strategy time and time again. Celebrity endorsements attribute a celebrity to a brand or product with the strategy that the association will make a consumer want to buy the product. According to an article on Convince and Convert, the message is meant to be seen and heard but not interacted with. The goal is to reach as many people as possible.
Influencers don’t necessarily have to be celebrities but they do have an online following in a niche community. Think mommy blogs, YouTube beauty gurus, and online gamers. These people are “specialists” and can speak to a particular subject while also engaging with their audience on social media. Digital Strategist Joe Brown notes that in an influencer approach, the brand turns over the control of the message. Influence marketing allows the influencer to create the message that they want to share about the brand or product. Not only does this create a sense of authenticity, but it also helps to reach that specific target audience.
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