Why brands prefer social media influencers over celebrities?

Experts believe that unlike celebrities, these influencers are giving brands a greater reach at affordable rates

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Aug 12, 2019 8:43 AM


Socia Media Influencers

Social media influencers are biting off a big chunk of celebrities’ endorsements pie. Experts believe that unlike celebrities, these influencers are giving brands a better deal at affordable rates and are enjoying huge popularity in return.

According to Dr Kirti Sharma, assistant professor, marketing at MDI, influencer marketing has seen a 52 per cent growth over the years. When it comes to the fastest growing online customer acquisition method, Sharma reveals, that influencer marketing has grown 31 per cent faster than any other marketing method.  

"Humans tend to follow experts and hence brands are taking the influencer-marketing route to connect to their target consumers," Sharma adds. In this era of social media, brands don't market their products directly, instead they create life-like stories to connect to the emotional chords of consumers, she explains.

Ashvaree Das, an expert on Mass Media from Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, reveals that 40 per cent of Twitter users have purchased a product after an influencer tweeted about it. For the best return on investment, a brand should employ a combination of micro-influencers and some celebrity endorsers, adds Das.

According to her, it is the micro-influencers who are stealing the actual show on social media. They often have high engagement with followers and have a niche audience. We can find them in almost any sector.

Rahul Aggarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest, says that in “just six years our brand has come a long way without any celebrity face.” Aggarwal believes that they are doing well with social media influencers and have no plans to hire any big face from the film industry in the near future.

Not only new or small brands but various well-established brands are also employing multiple influencers for their advertisements.

Samsung for instance, chose Prajakata Koli, a popular social media influencer, over any Bollywood star. Similarly, Airtel used real faces instead of stars to showcase themselves as a people’s brand. Woodland too employs only influencers in the adventure gear sector to bring out the real picture of the brand.  

While talking to exchange4media, Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Aero Club (makers and traders of Woodland), explains, Woodland is doing wonderful in the market without any celebrity face.

"As marketers, we seek to reach for our marketing communication pieces and it’s the social media that has the maximum to offer," says Singh. Despite being new, social media has built a very strong platform for the masses. This strong medium has generated a host of opportunities for the people who are socially very active, have a sense of fashion or lifestyle and have the potential to lead the masses, adds Singh. “Being a part of an open, two-way communication medium, social media influencers are indeed easily accessible and affordable too since this is a new stream in which people are learning as well as earning while experimenting with a host of influencing opportunities."

Talking about Woodland's marketing strategy, Singh explains, “For us, our product is the real hero that empowers the explorers for safe exploration. Instead of adding a Bollywood celebrity, we believe in storytelling through our real heroes and social media influencers.”

Not only fashion or lifestyle brands, but tourism is also finding its way through social media influencers. Taiwan Tourism Bureau launched a new campaign with Sumeet Vyas who shot to fame after the hugely successful web series ‘Permanent Roommates’ created by The Viral Fever and actor Sapna Pabbi.

Dr Trust Lin, Director, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Singapore, explained their motive behind hiring social media stars instead of other big celebrities. Lin said that the campaign was an extension of a TV campaign. “We are partnering with the Times TV Network. Vyas had expressed interest in spending his honeymoon in Taiwan and he will share glimpses on his personal social media account, which will help us in promoting Taiwan as a tourist destination.”

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