If you watched the Super Bowl last night (what a game!) you may have noticed that many of the commercials took a new approach to marketing. Not only did we see a lot of patriotism and ads that pulled at our heart strings, but there were also numerous ads that used celebrities in unique ways. For example, the Sprite ad featuring LeBron James wasn’t just a big-time celebrity telling you to drink Sprite, in fact it was the opposite. LeBron made a point throughout the commercial to say he was not going to tell you to drink Sprite, but basically wanted viewers and fans alike to make that decision for themselves, which shows us that the tides have turned and there is a new form of influencer marketing in town. Gone are the days of brands using celebrities to tell you how cool something is and that you too should drink Sprite, buy Almay makeup products, or shop at Target. Today’s influencers are taking a more realistic approach to the brands they are behind, which is a step in the right direction.
The Changing Role of Celebrities
Many of us are blind when it comes to celebrities and will take their opinion as truth, even though they aren’t experts on the subject or product. This is something many brands are realizing and starting to tap into. Instead of using recognizable celebrities to tell viewers how great their brand is and how much they love it in exchange for a few million, many brands are changing their tune and using these influencers in a much more effective way. These days we are grappling with ‘alternative facts’ and trying to determine what is truth and what is not. With this in mind, people are looking for trustworthy reviews and information that is real, not just some scripted dialogue your favorite actor is reading in exchange for money.
If you choose to use an influencer, it is imperative you keep this in mind and use them in a way that will actually engage viewers and help them feel connected to your brand. Americans are tired of getting the wool pulled over their eyes and are far more likely to support a brand that tells it how it is and doesn’t hide behind a celebrity. Customers are becoming increasingly savvy and are able to discern whether an influencer is genuine, or has a hidden agenda.
What’s Next for Digital Marketing?
Not only is the role of the influencer changing, but research indicates that brands can benefit from using the money they would spend on a mainstream influencer to instead create unique, informative content that tells the truth. As we have discussed in the past, content is king, and this remains the name of the game. Pay attention to what other brands are doing and listen to your audience/fans, then adjust your digital marketing plan accordingly. Use the money you would throw at a celebrity to reach a wider audience base who are actually interested in what you offer and provide you with direct, measureable results. Interact with your audience, provide them with unbeatable products, and don’t simply use a celebrity to push your product because you can. Consumers are smarter than that and are tired of being lied to. This is not to say you can’t use an influencer, just make sure your intentions are in the right place and you are using them strategically for the better of your brand – and your consumers. To learn more about the changing face of digital marketing and the new role of the influencer, contact Tech-Critic today.