The world of marketing, advertising and media has undergone an enormous power shift in recent years, driven by consumers’ demand for more authenticity from brands. The rise of digital influencers and celebrity influencers has gone through the roof. This area is of great interest to me personally as I set up The Handbook VIP which allows users to connect with thousands of celebrities providing details of their full agent, manager and publicist. Recently, things have shifted and there has been an enormous interest in digital influencers, and this area has become huge for us . People come to our site for influencers’ insights now almost as much as celebrities. As well as providing the influencers’ contact details, users are now equally interested in the demographic data which allows companies to determine the digital influencers that are right for their brand. You might think a set influencer is perfectly suited to your business, but actually what is key is how relevant their audience is to you, so, providing the user with clear data on the interests of the audience, their location, their spending habits and social status is of equal importance.
So what is an influencer exactly? Well we are all pretty familiar with the word celebrity, most of us had disillusioned fantasies of becoming one since we were small, (don’t even try to deny it) but what exactly is a digital influencer? Unfortunately, this is a subject that confuses many. If someone asked us if we knew what a digital influencer was most of us would nod our heads knowingly. If we were asked to define it, we might be stuck for words. Clue: It’s not a member of the IT Crowd, sitting in a dark basement manipulating digital software.
Digital influence is the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviours, and drive hopefully measurable outcomes online. Digital influence is largely a phenomenon of social networking. The everyday internet user is subject to a barrage of noise and content. Many digital influencers are famous for just being themselves, documenting their lives as normal people. In a sense being famous for not being famous. Or at least this is what it looks like on the surface. Wrong! Nobody is an overnight success, they just weren’t famous before. It takes years to create a successful brand and following. Unlike traditional celebrities, they may not have a team of people behind the face that makes it all happen.
Celebrities don’t necessarily have to be experts in the type of products they’re promoting. You may see pop stars like Justin Bieber promoting Calvin Klein underwear, or Selena Gomez promoting Adidas Neo. They aren’t fashion designers, and have no involvement in developing those products, but their endorsements still work because they have mass appeal. Millions of fans look up to them and may be willing to try anything they endorse.
However influencer marketing works mainly because the influencer has a certain expertise in the type of products they’re promoting. For example beauty vloggers like Lisa Eldridge will often be seen promoting a new line of beauty products, or fashion bloggers like Aimee Song (Song of Style) promoting a new fashion line. Their endorsements are considered trustworthy and relevant because they’re considered experts in their respective niches. Influencers will also often be seen using the products and giving demonstrations with them, as Lisa Eldridge does in her make up tutorials, but this sort of promotion rarely happens with celebrity endorsement.
Another notable difference between celebrities and influencers is the level of engagement, the influencer engages much more with their audience and followers than a celebrity may. Often when an influencer is promoting a product they engage with their audience in a two way communication process about the product, using comments and responding to questions their followers have asked, this is generally something a celebrity rarely does. However, the celebrity endorsement in general is often far more memorable; we all remember, for example, which celebrities are the faces of certain brands, like when Jennifer Aniston was the face of L’oreal or Beyonce as the champion of Pepsi.
Another key difference between celebrities and influencers is that influencers are content creators, but when celebrity endorsements are arranged between brands and marketing agencies, the marketing agency will generally come up with an idea and storyline for promoting the product.
Most digital influencers are experts in their respective field and participate in creating the promotional content and can even control the message. Brands may give them a few guidelines on what they need from the campaign, leaving the influencer in charge of the voice and tone of the content. However this means the brand often has less power and control than when everything is carefully planned between the brand and the agent, as happens with celebrity endorsements.
It’s generally accepted that a digital influencer is someone who is famous purely for their social brand, whereas a celebrity is famous for something more than just being famous. But a successful influencer can bridge the gap and break the celebrity boundary simply on the merit of the brand they have built. So in many ways digital influencers are now subset within the celebrity bracket.
This muddied divide between digital influencers and celebrities is attracting big brands, who are actively taking advantage of it. This is clear in areas such as product placement, digital influencers were among the top brand endorsers of 2016, and the numbers are rising. Brands are branching out beyond traditional celebrities.
Digital influencers are a force for building meaningful relationships with consumers, especially a younger demographic. However choosing the correct brand ambassador is a calculated process, individuals are analysed and scrutinised as to why they would make the most relevant, and lucrative, ambassador. They must be a perfect fit for a particular brand and if not then brands risk ruining their reputation.
Brands need to consider if a potential ambassador is likely to actually appreciate the product, the endorsement will be ten times more effective if the influencer personally supports the product. People aren’t stupid and can usually tell when someone is just being paid to say something or is genuinely excited about what they are promoting. The happier an influencer is to represent the product or brand the more successful the endorsement will be. Don’t ask Connor Macgregor to endorse your new Jojoba and Honeysuckle anti-aging eye cream. He won’t care about it, and nor will his followers.
It’s important to note, too, that it’s not just who the influencer or celebrity is, but who their followers are that will guarantee the success of an effective campaign. Here influencers have the advantage of familiarity, as their audience tends to connect on a personal level, while celebrities trade on their iconic status. Either way, according to recent research in the US, influencer campaigns earn, on average, $6.85 for every dollar invested.
So if you’re a brand, where do you go from here? Firstly, it’s worth seriously considering working with a celebrity or influencer. If you’re not linking your business to either you are literally ignoring one of the most significant trends of media, advertising and social of all time. One effective tool are services like The Handbook’s VIP service, which allows you to connect with any global celebrity and influencer in seconds and provides extensive insights on every conceivable influencer and celebrity. Users not only will you get their full contact details, but will be able to quickly identify their social worth, and followers, but also who their audience is.
Here’s our list of the top ten celebrities and social influencers right now. With this data you can clearly see that the more followers an individual has on Instagram the more they can charge for a sponsored post.
1. Selena Gomez – 122 million followers – $550,000 per post
2. Kim Kardashian – 100 million followers – $500,000 per post
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 104 million followers – $400,000 per post
4. Kylie Jenner – 95 million followers – $400,000 per post
5. Kendall Jenner – 81.7 million followers – $370,000 per post
6. Huda Kattan – 20.5 million followers – $18,000 per post
7. Cameron Dallas – 19.8 million followers – $17,000 per post
8. Jen Selter – 11.3 million followers – $15,000 per post
9. Zoella – 11.1 million followers – $14,000 per post
10. Nash Grier – 10.2 million followers – $13,000 per post
Although other influencers worth knowing include:
But if you’re feeling bamboozled by the money don’t worry. You don’t need thousands of pounds to get a celebrity or digital influencer to support and endorse your product. Getting a celebrity on your side can cost as little as a £100, or 15 minutes of your time sending a carefully worded email to the right contact. My platform provides email template examples for emails that sell and get you the response you’re after. We also numerous guides, tips and webinars on getting celebrities and influencers working with you .
It is important to build a relationship with the celebrity, and like any successful relationship, you must woo your amour to score. An affordable way of getting celebrities and influencers to endorse your brand and promote your products is gifting. With our directory, you can bypass the complicated avenues that cost you time and money and get straight through to the agents and individuals that can make things happen. When something is personalised it’s unique, and often means far more to the celebrity or influencer, if you can create a connection or emote feelings and a positive vibe between your product and your celebrity they are far more likely to promote your product or service.
As ever, first impressions count, so take the time to understand the person you’re approaching, the manner in which you communicate with them will set the tone for the business partnership. Honesty matters when discussing what you are offering and what you expect in return, though do not immediately go on the attack but rather try and create a long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnership. Slowly slowly catch-ey monkey.
How to find the right influencer or celebrity for your brand?
The key thing is to identify the celebrities and influencers that are likely to be most suited to your brand. The Handbook VIP allows you to identify the celebrities that fit with your brand through allowing you to search by profession but also to identify the celebrities audience, who are these people that are searching for a ‘set celebrity’ what are their interests, where do they live. If for example you are a travel business or travel brand, and you are interested in a set influencer you ensure that influencers audience is also interested in travel. The Handbook VIP gives you this detailed break down by key demographics
Put together a list of a minimum of 10-20 celebrities and influencers that could be suitable for your requirements, so that you increase your chances of a good response. In most instances, there will be various celebrities and influencers that can support your cause or endorse your brand.
The more celebrities and influencers you write to, the better your chance of a productive outcome. If you have not heard back, you can always follow up – doing this via phone conversation or even a handwritten letter generally yields the best results. Remember that celebrities and their agents are being constantly bombarded with products and letters, so do not despair if you do not immediately get a response.
Check their social media feeds
This is one of the key things I would always suggest anyone does when gifting to a celebrity or influencer. Actually get to know what the celebrity likes and the sort of things they are likely to promote. As well as what they like, look at what their problems are and how your brand can solve them. When Estée Lauder rst started out she gifted celebrities – the company is now worth $5 billion with Kendall Jenner the current face of it. Other smaller brands, such as Rodial, gifted to Kylie Jenner. She Instagrammed the product to her millions of followers, and sales went through the roof, from just the cost of one product.
We’ve just launched a really unique tool where you can compare the social following of different celebrities, in the form of growth charts, so you can see which celebrities have risen the most that week in terms of following. You can also compare celebrities in terms of social rank and brand influence.
Digital Influencers now represents new opportunities for brands to reach consumers through channels that they trust. Consumers attitudes have changed. However the celebrity pull is also still strong and represents some of the most memorable campaigns and adverts. I believe both areas need to be explored , there is no set rule as to which is more effective, as they both do different things and will create different results amongst different businesses. The key is in identifying the correct ambassadors and endorsers for you your business.
I really hope that instead of feeling overwhelmed, you’re excited to get started reaching out to celebrities and influencers, which will become an incredible vehicle for growth in your business. For those that are serious about exponential growth from celebrities or influencers, I encourage you to try our recently launched Handbook PRO which allows you to reach thousands of celebrities and influencers very quickly through targeted campaigns.
Contact any celebrity or influencer now click here
For the professional user check out our PRO access click here