Footballers, Social Media / Public Figures or TV reality stars? The question every brand is asking.


Gone are the days where brands would question why they should partner with people who hold significant clout in their target markets. They have all realised the power of using influencers and spokespeople for their brand and products. PR is dead they say in some digital agencies. Well, traditional PR, yes. But digital PR is the new age. The new mass marketing tool.

We’ve seen ITV drop their TV advert space pricing during peak hours due to the lack of TV ad money being spent by brands. They are all now looking toward video advertising through social media channels. And not only their own channels. We now see brands actively pushing sponsored / promoted tweets of their influencers/ambassadors as their own content to amplify their marketing messages.

So which “influencers” should you be using? Every marketing team has these debates before launching a campaign. Lets break it down into 3 pain categories:

  • The “Public Figure” / Blogger / Vlogger / General social media influencer
  • TV Reality star
  • Footballer / Athlete

So what is a “social media influencer”?

Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic engaged people who pay close attention to their views.

  • The “Public Figure” / Blogger / Vlogger / General social media influencer

Many individuals took to social media around 2010 time to express their passions and hobbies through vlogs, imagery and videos. The audiences latched on and loved the content from beauty, travel, fashion and many other industry influencers.

Large majority of this category have spent numerous hours of their day capturing content of their lives and passions to build an organic audience. No cheap tactics were used in the early periods as most of the users were in it for the educational and awareness rather than the commercial aspects of the business.

During this period many brands started to send free gifting items to the social media influencers as a free marketing tool. However those at the beginning now have developed functional and sustainable businesses from this. The rise of eSports is the best example. Gamers who previously spent hours capturing content for YouTube have now formed eSports teams who showcase their skillsets to millions live across the world through Twitch streams.

However, we’ve come to see a number of public figures start to use the old SEO tactics of click farms and fake users. From our personal experience in using influencers to amplify brand campaigns, we’ve seen a number of promised clicks from insta stories.

  • Reality TV stars

Reality TV stars have also attracted a lot of attention from brands from 2012 on. Due to their huge viewership on TV channels and thus created significantly large following on social media channels. Their peak periods are during the air time of their particular TV series / show. During these periods we see the individuals on the show partaking in numerous brand campaigns. Their feeds are full of self-brand promotion (either their own image, or their own brand label they have launched), appearances at various clubs etc, or paid for post promotions. This creates a cluttered social media feed, with a number of promotional messages being posted in a short period of time.

The positives for female focused brands are, these influencers whether they are male or female hold a large portion of female followers. When asking to see the breakdown of demographics we’ve seen some male reality TV stars have on average 75% female followers, 25% male followers.

This poses a problem for male market focused brands who may look at the following numbers of the reality TV and fail to realise the large proportion of their following are not actually their target consumer.

Another problem which brands will face is the lack of engagement on reality TV stars social profiles outside of the series air time. You can see a large drop off in interest with the profiles of reality TV stars as soon as the series ends. To give you an example, a reality TV Star will experience on average 5% engagement during the TV series period. As soon as the series ends, engagement drops to below 1% on average.

  • Footballers

Footballers have developed their following based on their ability to entertain millions across the globe through the most watched sport in the world. Billions watch football matches every year, creating culture and tribal following from generation to generation. Idolised amongst children, teenagers and adults, every football fanatic has a number of idolised footballers who they carry through their lives.

Footballers tend to have far cleaner and slower moving content on their social channels. Their following grows at a rapid rate when considering the amount of output they post on a monthly basis. This allows for brands to have more eyes on brand and the standout factor when a player posts about their brand. The content sits on their social feeds for a greater amount of time also in comparison to other social influencers who post multiple times per day, the algorithms then treat content differently and favour the athletes.

When comparing engagement figures and demographics to other social influencers it far outweighs them. On average a footballer can hit up to 15% engagement and their following is heavily male dominated with on average an 85 15 split of male to female.

To summarise we’d recommend using either a social influencer or footballer who is highly regarded within the target industry with a strong engagement with your target audience.

Although this is hard to find a cost effective social influencer option in the current market, when partnered with the right concept and activation to motivate the influencer, they can work extremely well.

To work with a targeted audience, whether it be a nation, city/region then football is the way forward. Footballers develop highly targeted and engaged audiences through their club and national teams. Those that are a able to develop highly engaged audiences beyond their club/nation and sport are invaluable to brands. They hold clout amongst various different industries and audiences, something which reality TV stars and social influencers cannot do.



Stay in touch and find out more about what's going on

* indicates required

Please tick here to confirm you are happy to receive emails from B-engaged:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.