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Social Media Influencers Changing the Rules in Footwear Marketing

Celebrity endorsements still play a large role in how brands entice consumers, but a new report claims that another force is even more influential.

With their scores of followers on Instagram and other platforms, social media influencers were cited in a new report by Celebrity Intelligence as the “most relevant” to future projects by brands and marketing agencies.

To be sure, traditional celebrity endorsements remained relevant. In the report, 74 percent of agency respondents and 69 percent of companies (representative of in-house marketers) cited in the study reported they are currently working with celebrities, with film actors described as the “most desirable” celebrity endorsement.

However, 43 percent of company respondents and 46 percent of agencies claim social media talent would be “most relevant” to future projects they have in the pipeline, and even where celebrities are concerned, social media promotion was cited as the most important promotional outlet.

Footwear big guns Adidas and Puma have social media heavy hitters Kanye West and Rihanna at their disposal, for instance, harnessing their celebrity cache and the power of their ravenous fan bases to create online hype.

A total of 79 percent of company respondents and 75 percent of agencies said they are currently working with celebrities in this context, and an impressive 100 percent of agency respondents say it’s a strategy that is “highly effective” or “quite effective” for them, and 98 percent of companies agreed.

At the same time, campaign-specific contracts are also on the rise. As many as 40 percent of the agencies questioned and 22 percent of company respondents are choosing to engage celebrities on a campaign-specific basis, rather than a long-term contract. Spend on a campaign-specific social media contract can be significant, with 54 percent of agency respondents spending anywhere between $15,000-$150,000.

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“Findings from the report underscore the shifting celebrity landscape as rising social media talent attach itself to the celebrity endorsement space – changing the rules of engagement as we know it,” said Katharine Plunkett, Centaur Marketing Portfolio managing director, of which Celebrity Intelligence is a part. “The report confirms that in the next 12 months, we will see increased investments in this space, as more marketers blend the best of what traditional celebrities and social media stars have to offer. I am delighted that Celebrity Intelligence has continued to evolve by providing market-leading tools and insights that enable global organizations to deliver successful celebrity campaigns in the digital age.”