Brand management jobs are now even more difficult since social media was added to the marketing mix. The number of digital advertising options rises daily, and keeping up with what will actually engage the consumer is a hard trick to master – especially with a younger workforce that is already extremely adept at navigating the social landscape and ready to move up the career ladder.
The first step a brand manager makes is to decide what the best platform to concentrate an earned social media program on, and which is best for paid advertising support to increase fan base and loyalty. Social media today for brands require dollars being spent and cannot solely rely on hopes of organic likes and shares. Regardless if Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or… is chosen, the most important question the brand manager should next ask is: What is the best way to stand out from competition and actually get noticed on this platform?
One sure-fire tool to gain notice is through well thought-out social media celebrity partnerships, which not only catch targeted consumers notice and attention through differentiation and relevance, but also uses the influence factor to increase sales and truly engage the consumer.
With consumers spending an average of 4.4 hours of leisure time daily actively engaged in content on their many screens, paying celebrities to post a shout out on social media or interact through video or contests is now a mainstay of brand marketing.
Here are 6 tips to successfully create a successful celebrity-based social media campaign including social media posts:
- Trusted Source & Authentic
Word-of-mouth recommendations are the most trusted form of advertising, and combined with the fact that celebrities are highly influential amongst consumers, the organic appeal of celebrity posts offers a multitude of benefits to brands. With a celebrity influencer behind a brand posting about a product, there is not only an aspirational element, but the post is more trusted amongst consumers.
In fact, Nielsen found that not only do an overwhelming 70 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their favorite celebrities, celebrity followers are more likely to engage, reshare, and recall than an average adult user.
The goal is for the brand to choose a celebrity who is trusted already and who is genuine to who they are as an individual. This should extend to being an authentic brand fit. Without this fit the campaign is doomed to fail from the start.
- Targeted Reach
A sponsored advertising post is typically not received well and often seen as an invasion to the consumer’s newsfeed. Inversely, a brand message embedded in a celebrity post is delivered in that celebrity’s voice, and in the hundreds of thousands or millions of newsfeeds of users who have personally opted to follow that celebrity. The way the post enters the consumer’s social media feed – from someone they follow such as a celebrity makes the engagement possible. This celebrity following tends to be very large and made up of very enthusiastic consumers who are the most likely to engage and interact with brands.
The goal is to partner with a celebrity who fits the brand and whose fan base naturally aligns with the brand’s target market. The message will then be delivered to a receptive consumer and by someone the consumer has personally opted to follow.
At times it is blatantly clear that a celebrity post has been paid for by a brand. Unless it is clearly listed as part of the post, consumers are not always able to discern between what celebrities have been paid to endorse, versus a mere personal recommendation. The Federal Trade Commission in fact has begun to mandate that transparency should exist with celebrity posts that appear in follower’s newsfeeds in order to avoid deception. Regardless, consumers are aware that celebrities are brand spokespeople, who participate in brand advertising platforms of all types. The influence factor is not negated nor engagement reduced when a celebrity’s post includes notation that it is indeed a paid post. What is important to consumers is an authentic fit between the brand and the celebrity that speaks to a realism of probability. The consumer believes that if the brand is a ‘bad brand’, it is unlikely the favored celebrity would choose to support it. Regardless if that is true or not.
The goal is to work with the celebrity to create the right scripting that supports the authenticity of the partnership, regardless if the post has a disclaimer that is brand supported. Most still don’t…
- Who To Choose
Based on the budget and who the core consumer is, consider choosing from the broad array of celebrity influencers available, ranging from A-List actors to reality stars to lesser known YouTube celebrities who still pack a punch with large followings, and everything in between. The most important thing to keep in mind? That the celebrity is the right fit for the brand.
Don’t knock non A-Listers – their names often have a stronger affinity to a brand’s core demographic – as who they are seems more attainable than the aspirational world of high celebrity. Brands should not bypass all reality stars, who have often earned an unfair point of view. While the last season of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” had 1.9 million 18 to 49 year old viewers per episode, Kim Kardashian alone has more than 10 x that in Twitter followers. A $10,000 fee to have Kim post to her account may be well worth the cost to a brand if it is an authentic fit. Reality stars often have a higher kinship and ability to be relatable to a brand’s core demographic as their lifestyle appears more attainable than blockbuster A-list celebrity with the perfect life and style.
The goal is to see who resonates well with the desired demographic – be it sports figure, actor, musician or personality – and be someone who is open to working with the brand versus just taking money and quickly creating a single social media post. The ideal is to find a partner for the campaign in the truest sense of the word.
- The Fee
Paid celebrity posts differ from a traditional paid digital ad campaign where max budgets are established based on follow or click rate. A flat fee is paid, and is based on three factors – the celebrity’s caliber (A-list will always be sky high and not necessarily the right fit), the celebrity’s fan base reach which is typically determined by how active they are on each social media platform, and by what the brand wants the celebrity to do with the post and how many posts are part of the campaign.
Depending on the product and the caliber of the celebrity, fees can be negotiated from simple trade out up to $20,000 per post, or even a six figure social media campaign.
The goal for the brand manager is to truly understand the desired outcome in order to determine what budget is worth putting against the campaign. Too low and the entire campaign may be a miss, too high and it may be too overpowering for what is realistically needed to push consumers into purchasing mode.
- The Offer
After the budget range has been determined, research who are appropriate celebrity brand ambassador options, and then the brand manager can reach out to the talent with an offer letter. What is asked of the celebrity will be what determines the fee, and all of those asks need to be presented up front. Celebrities are notorious for not adding on more without raising the budget if a request comes in later – even on items that may have been easily included if included in the first offer.
The goal is for the brand manager to create a well thought-out short document to send that details the entire ask of the celebrity, the budget willing to be paid, and any special requests needed – including even the signed photo for the boss. And then… get the agreement in writing! Make sure any deal you negotiate is papered outlining every term.
The ideal social media practice is to create an integrated campaign using traditional paid complimented by an occasional celebrity partnership that fits the brand, both of which are layered over an earned media plan that offers daily interaction with followers.
The best option for brand managers to create a successful partnership utilizing celebrities for social media? Work with an entertainment agency to research the options and guide the processes. Ensure the agency has strong relationships and excellent knowledge of Hollywood. The agency will know what extras can be negotiated, saving the brand dollars along with time, and crafting a successful social media campaign utilizing the right celebrity that meets both the budget and consumer target.