It is troubling to see a lot of celebrities and popular accounts on social media claiming to be brand influencers when all they do is post pictures of themselves or repost memes and funny videos. They have no content of their own, no voice or area of expertise.
It is disastrous for a brand not to understand the difference between a celebrity and an influencer; it can lead to a waste of resources. It is even more catastrophic for the person who is only strategising to be a celebrity, hoping to get Influencer jobs.
Do not confuse the two; An influencer is a celebrity but a celebrity is not an Influencer.
An influencer is a celebrity in their niche. They have followers, small or large, and purported expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields. They are an authority in their niche and their followers look up to them for information, reviews, and advice.
A celebrity, on the other hand, is a famous person, usually with a lot of followers. Being famous does not automatically qualify a person as an Influencer because to be an Influencer, one must be able to exert influence.
Consequently, there are two types of celebrities; those that are just famous and those that are famous and can exert influence. These two categories, although similar, have their usefulness in marketing and they are not the same.
Celebrities with a high following can give eyeballs because people are always interested in keeping up with them. A lot of celebrities in entertainment fall into this category. A good example is Paris Hilton, and in Nigeria, DJ Cuppy, the famous daughter of an oil mogul, Femi Otedola. So if a brand’s goal is brand awareness i.e putting their brand in the faces of millions of people, then working with celebrities whose brand and story align with theirs is always a great idea.
On the other hand, if the aim is to change perception, induce trials, and generate sales, the best bet is a brand influencer. A lot of Beauty and Fashion Influencers fall into this category. However, if the aim is to achieve both brand awareness and influence, then a celebrity that is also a brand influencer would be perfect. A good example of a celebrity influencer is Kim Kardashian. She influences the trend in the beauty and fashion world, so does her sister Kylie Jenner, which explains why her cosmetic business was such a huge success.