In a surprising turn of events, social media has become the catalyst for digital marketing. The use of a celebrity for a brand’s campaign or as a product pusher is dwindling. Today, it’s clear what consumers are more likely to buy into, as the online world of advertising changes, so does the consumer’s expectations. It’s surreal to think that your regular, everyday person bought a camera from Argos and built their empire with it; their name becomes a house-hold word, comparable to the likes of Justin Bieber.
I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg ever imagined his idea changing the online world, or if he dreamt that it would revolutionise advertising? I doubt that Hurley, Chen and Karim ever imagined YouTube would provide users with employment, or allow big brands to platform their campaigns to millions of people. With the rise of these social media stars, your typical consumer is more likely to pay attention and take advice from the more relatable option. It’s these people that the public choose to put their faith in, they are credible, likeable and accessible, unlike celebrities who appear godly and aloof.
There is a clear definitive reason as to why digital marketing has carved this path, why celebrities have taken a back seat and why social starlets have stood up. Celebrities are no longer as persuasive; consumers have a desire for a personal connection and interaction, they want to sense honesty and a relationship. Whilst these celebs still have their die-hard fan base, social media presence packs more punch. Celebrities rarely reply or interact with their fans, there is no relatability for us with the A-Listers.
Social media stars such as YouTubers have built a solid, trustworthy and loving relationship with their viewers; people click on the video solely for that person. It is a conscious choice to follow and show interest in particular YouTubers. This causes any brand they promote or use to instantly become more credible, as it’s much more likely you would trust your best friend’s review of a product rather than a stranger on the street who got paid to hand out information about it – similar to that of the celebrity-social media complex.
“YouTubers boost not only their exposure, but credibility and interest”
What makes them so appealing is their relatability; no one thinks of Taylor Swift and imagines her life could be theirs overnight. But bloggers, YouTubers or Instagrams star gives off the attraction that they were once normal people who just gained a large following online. This explosive exposure is happening to everyday people, making their personalities and lives attractive to you and me. It connotes a mind-set of ‘that could be me’ and big brands were the first to recognise this; they know how the consumer thinks and feels, and they know that by using a social media influencer, their brand will gain not only exposure, but credibility and interest.
If your favourite YouTubers, who only ever gives honest reviews on products they genuinely like, reviewed a product or raved about a new lipstick in their make-up routine, wouldn’t you be inclined to try it? And if it’s readily available in your local Boots or Debenhams, next time you’re there shopping, you connect that YouTuber to the brand. Next thing you know it’s in your shopping basket, and social media influencing has done its job.