Influencer marketing vs. celebrity endorsements: What marketers need to know

SponsorPulse Staff
  • August 11, 2022
  • SponsorPulse Staff
Compare influencer marketing and celebrity endorsement & find out how you can measure the potential impact of your investment to decide which is right for your business.
Influencer marketing and celebrity endorsement are often mistaken for one another. But, the two advertising strategies serve distinct purposes. In this blog, we’ll unpack the key differentiators between the two powerful marketing methods and how they can help brands generate brand awareness, boost sales, and increase conversions.

Influencer Marketing 

We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling your feed when you notice an image that compels you to stop. The people in the picture are using, consuming, or wearing a product that you’re interested in and you tap to find out more. Through the post, you’re directed to the sponsoring company’s page, which funnels you to their website. Within ten minutes, you’ve got a full shopping cart ready to ship to your house, tomorrow. Need we say more?

In recent years, influencer sponcon has had a profound impact on the ad industry. So why do companies choose to invest in it over traditional celebrity endorsement? 

Similar to celebrities, influencers are trusted public figures with loyal followings. Influencers, however, operate in niche communities. An influencer is able to capitalize on their interest in a topic, like wine, and use their content creation skills to encourage followers to purchase the brands they promote, all while getting free products in return.

Influencers often work for themselves as content creators, teaming up with brands and producing effective content independently. The better the influencer, the more followers they amass, and the more monetary value they provide their partners. The creative process of an influencer allows for their posts to feel authentic, enticing their followers to listen to them instead of turning them away with phony ad-taglines. 

Since influencers engage with their community for a living, their followers develop a strong parasocial bond with them. This enables influencers to earn the trust of their followers like a friend would, making it easy for companies to earn consumer trust by proxy of their relationship to the influencer. 

Celebrity Endorsement

It’s no secret that our society puts celebrities on a pedestal. The power of celebrity is so palpable that a famous person simply appearing in an advertisement can have a tremendous impact on a brand's sales.

According to a Marketwatch claim in Social Media Week, just one endorsement can spell an increase in sales by 4%, almost immediately. When a celebrity signs an endorsement deal with a product, an element of legitimacy is suddenly present in the company due to the name backing the product up. 

Just look at Nike. The fitness brand is the reigning champion of celebrity endorsement, and has built an entire brand around athletic partnerships. But while Nike is certainly hitting in the endorsement big leagues, the marketing strategy can take many forms. For instance, smaller companies, like jewelry designers, often send their products to stars for free in the hopes that they will wear them out and about on their daily pap walk. 

Measuring your Celebrity + Influencer Investments

At the end of the day, celebrity endorsement and influencer marketing are powerful tools to leverage when seeking to humanize your brand. At SponsorPulse, we understand that successful celebrity and influencer endorsement decisions require transparency. 

For that reason, we’re rolling out a new celebrity and influencer measurement product that will enable you to build sustainable customer relationships through the power of endorsement.

Download our Celebrity and Influencer Marketing Report for more celebrity scorecards and insights.

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