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Influencer vs Influential - What's The Difference?

Although celebrity endorsements can generate a lot of awareness for your brand, here's why it might not be as effective as influencer marketing in 2022.


Within the ever-changing world of social media, new social media stars are starting to get more popular than traditional celebrities because they have an audience that doesn't follow them on TV or in print and all funneled into one place. Instead of gaining fame from being a star with millions of fans all over the world, these influencers build their following one social media post at time- which can be as simple and consistent as posting outfit inspirations or conceptualizing dance challenges.


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The rise of influencers is due largely thanks its similarities not just technologically but also stylistically---in both cases we're talking about capitalizing off their own personal brand via various platforms such has Instagram, TikTok, or Youtube. Not sure if an influencer or a celebrity might be the best fit for your next campaign? Working with specialized agencies such as Kommune could save you time, effort, and money by finding you the perfect fit.



"But aren't celebrities also influencers?"


In short - yes, they can be. Depending on your marketing objectives (and budget!), celebrity endorsements are a powerful tool due to the brand association benefits that they provide. Celebrity endorsements are a huge market within Thailand, especially via traditional marketing channels because Thais have a fascinating obsessions over celebrities that is usually associated with their works, wealth, or status. When was the last time you were drove through Bangkok and did not see Nadech or Yaya's face?


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Celebrities are usually successful and talented people who've captured the public's imagination, and have a mass appeal to a variety of audiences. There isn't just one group of fans for celebrities; several different types will find themselves drawn by various points in fame history and this is why brands want to work with them. However, being influential and being an influencer are totally different.



the 3 major differences

1. Audience


There's a big difference between celebrities and influencers when it comes to their audiences. Celebrities have a diverse audience, while influencers have a niche audience. This distinction is important for businesses to understand when deciding who to partner with for marketing purposes.


For example, if a business wants to target a subset group of millennials to increase sales, they would be better off partnering with an influencer rather than a celebrity. Celebrities generally don't attract Thai millennials because they're not the typical demographic for most brands. However, influencers are perfect for reaching this target market because they understand them and share their interests. Celebrities and influencers have different relationships with their followers. Celebrities tend to be distant and aloof, while influencers are usually 'regular' individuals and more relatable. Celebrities often don’t have much connection with their fans, while influencers build relationships with their followers.



2. Expertise

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When it comes to promoting a brand, celebrities have been the go-to choice for many Thai marketers. However, as 79% of Thais actively use Facebook, so too has the use of influencers. Unlike celebrities, who may not have any expertise in the product or service they are advertising, influencers often have a personal connection to their followers and can be more credible sources of information.


Great influencers also know that honesty is the best policy. No matter the platform, the commonality between all successful influencers is that not only do they advertise, but they also provide some type of thought leadership that adds substance to their content. They've usually built a community of their own in their niche area. Social media users also tend to appreciate honest feedback and reviews, but they also respect when you're open and transparent about your experiences - whether good or bad. This is why 80% of Thai millennials and 66% of Thai Gen Z respectively are likely to trust a brand following its recommendation by an influencer they trust.



3. Objective

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When it comes to digital marketing, celebrities and influencers both have a place in the industry; however, the two roles are not interchangeable, and it's important to understand the difference between them. Depending on what your campaign goals or priorities are, celebrities can help with brand awareness, while influencers can help with sales and conversions.


During the marketing planning and conceptualization process, celebrities are generally not involved in the process of the marketing campaign. On the other hand, Influencers are usually involved from end-to-end of the campaigns they collaborate with and take part in the creative area as well strategic planning of going live as they know their audiences best. As a result, businesses that partner with the right influencer can see huge success in terms of trust, engagement, and conversions.



4. Pricing

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It's no secret that celebrities are often paid more than influencers to promote a product or service. But what may come as a surprise is just how much more they're typically paid. According to recent data, the average celebrity endorsement costs nearly six times more than an influencer endorsement. So what's driving this difference in price when on average, influencers tend to create higher quality content than celebrities?


Because celebrities tend to have other forms of income other than social media, as well as a team of managers and reps, you can expect higher price points for basic posts and deliverables across the board. Influencers tend to have open budgets and take into consideration a number of different factors like the brand, brief, and barter. As influencers also need material to create organic content for their page, some would be do the work for free!



The Right Influencer > A famous influencer

So, should your business work with a celebrity or an influencer? The answer is – it depends. There are pros and cons to both choices and what works best for one company might not be the best option for another. What’s most important is that you test and measure the results of these collaborations to see what gives you the biggest return on investment. If you want to learn more about how partnering with celebrities or influencers can benefit your brand, contact us today. We’re happy to help!


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