Taking Advantage Of Influencers As The New Celebrity Spokespeople – Forbes

Cole Mason is co-founder and CEO of creator collaboration platform Pearpop.

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This year was no exception with how star-studded Super Bowl ads were. Michelob Ultra’s commercial alone featured enough big-name actors and athletes to warrant its own red carpet event. While beloved celebrity icons like Steve Buscemi, Serena Williams and Peyton Manning will always have a place in advertising, we’ve reached a cultural and technological inflection point where we must look at the relative value of such pricey endorsements. After all, the top ten influencers can now reach more people (paywall) than the top ten broadcast channels including Jimmy Fallon, Ellen Degeneres and ABC News.

Brands need to shake up their marketing strategies in 2022 and put social at the forefront for the first time ever. Too often, influencer marketing is an afterthought. First comes the Super Bowl commercial with A-list spokespeople, then comes the ancillary social media promotion. There’s now an entirely new playbook for building awareness, credibility and advocacy that I don’t think most brands are taking advantage of. By looking at social as a strategic part of the entire marketing plan, brands can create their own Super Bowl scale moments. Here’s how.

Go beyond brand endorsements.

Influencing audiences means doing more than a few hashtagged, sponsored posts with major creators. This was the first wave of social marketing, but it’s lost a lot of its magic; people have come to expect the same set of cliched content, and many creators get mocked for this kind of content. The best brands create movements, not sponsored ads. They tap into their larger base of fans and advocates to create something bigger and more authentic.

For example, when Netflix released Don’t Look Up, they challenged fans to use a memorable quote from the movie in their own posts. The result was hundreds of new posts on TikTok from everyday creators that felt genuine, which led to 7 million views and 395,000 likes among engaged, authentic communities.

Act fast on cultural moments.

Rather than developing social strategies around other marketing campaigns or manufactured moments, the best brands keep up with culture and act on relevant moments in real time. By capitalizing on topics and trends that are already popular, brands can insert themselves into a movement and garner more attention than otherwise possible. For example, rather than starting from scratch, a client my company works with recently inserted itself in the TikTok hair flip challenge and encouraged creators to infuse their hair product brand into the viral sensation.

Tap into emerging creators.

A study from RealEyes found brands that worked with creators that have up to a million followers on TikTok performed much better than partnerships with “top tier” creators that have over 50 million followers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When you’re an emerging creator, there’s more flexibility to build authentic connections and trust with your followers. The larger a creator gets, the more the relationship transforms into a traditional and more removed celebrity and fan dynamic. Brands must recognize that Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae aren’t the only creators who can drive influence.

Create a movement that extends beyond the platforms.

Brands must spend less time thinking about an approach for each platform and more time thinking about a holistic strategy. If your company has one person managing TikTok and another in charge of Instagram, and they rarely speak, this is an issue. A majority of creators have a presence on multiple platforms, so companies should first spend time thinking about who they want to reach before they consider where they want to reach them. The best strategies often involve touchpoints across multiple platforms to achieve a singular goal.

There are growing opportunities.

Today’s growing creator economy means brands have countless opportunities to prioritize the social aspect and reach more audiences than ever before through influencers’ unique content. Gone are the days when you had to rely on spending large budgets on ad campaigns with commercials; there are now alternatives and opportunities to collaborate with creators who align with your brand’s mission and values. With consistency, you can reach your followers and establish a relationship with them naturally.


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