Before the Internet 2.0, you only needed to be talented at one of three things to be considered a celebrity. Your ability to sing, dance or act were often the main reason you became a widely celebrated individual. These days, all you need is an opinion or talent, a digital device and internet access.
This article will focus more on those often referred to as “influencers,” and their preferred media as opposed to those who eventually achieve traditional stardom by using the internet to showcase their artistic talent.
An influencer or digital celebrity is a person who uses the web and a chosen platform/platforms to share information and distribute mostly original digital content.
What sets them apart from any other internet or social media user is the fact that they have amassed a large following or fan base because of what they do, what they have to say or their sense of style. An influencer is seen as more of a real person than a celebrity because audiences find these people more relatable.
Their followers look to them for inspiration and to see what the latest trends or “it” products are.
Those audiences then translate into income for them because a large captive audience that has built a relationship or connection with an influencer is a great, and often more effective, way to generate sales from marketing.
This can result in a partnership with a digital advertising agency that sees an influencer getting paid to post about whatever the agency is trying to market.
Mediakix.com reports that “many brands now partner with key, high-reach social media influencers to launch products, drive brand awareness, and/or host events.”
The kind of influencer your digital agency may suggest depends on what it is you are trying to market as well as what medium you prefer. Digital celebrities can be categorized based on which medium or social media platform they prefer. Each medium is best suited to a different kind of topic.
These are people who specifically say what they want to say in the form of video – usually on YouTube – as opposed to compiling a post made up of images and text.
Image credit: msn.com
This is the preferred medium for make-up artists, hairdressers and other industry professionals who shoot DIY tutorials for their followers. Opinionated and animated personalities who aren’t too shy to speak publically also love to use video platforms to get their message across. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also included longer length video options of their own to compete with YouTube’s monopoly.
These are influencers who use a multimedia approach to get their message across. They often double as Instagrammers and Twelebs due to their large following carrying over to their social media accounts.
These digital celebrities communicate mainly through images. Their accounts are usually more aesthetically pleasing than the average account and they have the discipline to follow a theme with the layout of their images. They also tend to post very high quality images.
Image credit: influencers-magazine.com
Although this type of influencer is often the punchline of a joke, they still enjoy a large following online and generate revenue through promoting brands to their followers. Instagram models are commonly women who gain a large following because they are pretty and have a nice body and they post pictures of themselves regularly. This type of influencer is best for promoting beauty, hair, fitness and weight loss products.
The term Tweleb (Twitter celebrity) describes someone, most likely an average Joe, with something pertinent to say about everything and, as a result, has managed to gain a large amount of followers. Their followers place a large amount of stock in the opinion of these individuals. The thought leaders of the web dominate in this space.
Image credit: cirullo.it
The best digital agency has insight into the power of the digital celebrity as well as how to leverage their influence for the benefit of their clients.
This is not to say that celebrity endorsements should be neglected all-together. Influencers just provide a different kind of reach that might offer more of an ROI in terms of audience engagement. Celebrities can get your brand name out there but influencers, working in partnership with digital agencies south Africa, actually encourage people to try them out.
Main image credit: cassiepastorfide.com