How Brands Use Influencers & Celebrity Marketing to Appeal to Gen Z

The right celebrity will forever remain an authority figure for a brand’s audience.

When the lifestyle of a celebrity ties in well with a brand, it is very simple for the average consumer to trust a brand and its message delivered by a celebrity.

Brands have been able to thrive off of millennial engagement via traditional celebrity endorsement, whether that is with a sports icon or Hollywood starlet. However, as millennials age, the focus shifts to what appeals to Generation Z: those born between 1996 and 2010.

The current 2 billion that make up Gen Z (27% of the world’s population) are the first to grow up with the internet at their fingertips. These are the individuals that trust the everyday person on social media, rather than the apparent celebrity appearance.

With an average attention span of 8 seconds, Gen Z craves transparency and instant connection to a brand. That is a large reason why Snapchat and Instagram have their highest usage from that age category.

Here are three simple influencer marketing tips to help brands thrive:

  1. Use short video clips

With Snapchat and the recent roll out of Instagram Live, it is simple for an influencer to send out a brief message to their following on a very personal level. With a brief, yet impactful influencer video, your brand can tap into an audience that will respond and trust your message.

Social media influencer Logan Paul has provided brands such as Doritos, Dunkin Donuts, Nike, and Verizon all immense success due to short video blasts. His message is concise, exciting, and immediately grabs the audience’s attention without having to stop for brand recognition. Brand recognition becomes instantaneous, because the videos are lively and provide a direct viewer appeal.

Visual content will always remain more appealing than simple text, especially with Gen Z.

  1. Ensure your brands message aligns with influencer personality

Unlike any other portion of social media users, Gen Z has an innate desire for a personalized experience with a brand. That is why the influencer market is so vast. Young people can immediately associate an influencer with an experience they have had or desire to accomplish.

Therefore, your brand’s message must directly align with the influencer chosen. The influencer doesn’t have to be colossal to have peak brand appeal. Micro-influencers, or those who have a niche in the influencer market, will play an integral role for developing brands in 2017.

These individuals are cheap, can instill immediate trust with Gen Z, and can successfully reinforce the niche appeal of certain brands. When a micro-influencer’s niche can match that of a brand, success is imminent.

  1. Store creative trust in the influencer

An influencer is an influencer for a reason. They either have an interesting quirk, style, or persona that appeals to a massive social audience. Brands will have to relinquish a lot of creative control and allow the influencer to take over.

It may be daunting for creatives to accept, but it’s a reality of influencer marketing. After all, it is the creativity of the influencer that granted their widespread appeal and the brand’s interest in the first place.

The more a brand trusts its influencer, the more the consumer will trust the given brand.

photo credit: www.pexels.com

Facebook Commands Live Video for Celebrity Marketing

Periscope may be reborn, but Facebook Live will thrive in 2017.

There is no doubting that Facebook Live remains at the forefront of live streaming content for celebrity marketing entering 2017. Thanks to its user familiarity and instant audience connection, Facebook Live has had the luxury of paying 140 media groups and celebrities a total of $50 million to produce live content.

An overwhelming 78% of businesses that use Facebook Live claim that it is an effective marketing tool.

Moving forward into 2017, Twitter’s live stream extension Periscope has implemented 360 degree video technology that allows a broadcaster to go live and share their entire environment, making the broadcast as immersive as possible. CES’ Hardware Battlefield has already used Periscope 360 to expose their series of events to their 8.3 million following on Twitter. Now considering the Periscope feature is synced with Twitter in a single app, Periscope may possess a threat to Facebook Live.

Brands such as Airbnb, have taken to Periscope 360, allowing to provide potential users a fully immersive experience to a foreign country. The video attracted 455,000 views in a single day. Twitter astoundingly attracted a record  6.8 million viewers for the inauguration via Periscope, but the avenue has yet to reveal the effectiveness with celebrity marketing.

Currently Periscope has 1.9 million daily active users, which is astounding. Yet, when compared to the clout of Facebook’s 1 billion daily users, Periscope is simply dwarfed.

Facebook’s size should not discredit the capabilities of Periscope, as it is an extremely viable option for a current business. Yet, the tool must present itself as user friendly as possible to compete.

To Periscope’s credit, the tool presents itself as business and brand friendly. The live streaming tool enables brands to create a community with how-to videos, allowing those brands to share industry news, mailing lists, and product demos. Periscope is ideal for celebrity branding, but it simply isn’t used at the rate Facebook Live is.

According to a Socialbakers finding, media, celebrity, and brand’s “official pages” have shown preference to Facebook Live over Periscope.

Of the top 500 celebrity accounts on Facebook and Twitter, celebrities are opting to use Facebook Live at a 40% higher rate than the Periscope tool.

33% of companies were using Periscope compared to Facebook Live, but by the end of the year, preference had shifted to 47% preferring Facebook Live to Periscope.

Ultimately, Facebook is proving itself as an unstoppable live streaming force, due to its size and accessibility. Periscope may possess unique business features to effectively track celebrity engagement, but currently the comfortability of Facebook Live will help the platform remain in its own live streaming class for celebrity marketers.

photo credit: www.flickr.com

4 Live Streaming Platforms for Celebrity Marketing

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Exponentially increase traffic and engagement using four similar, yet different platforms.

Video content is becoming one of the best ways to share information online, as video is unparalleled in engaging an audience and getting their attention. When content is shared live, it only increases the benefits of video marketing.

Statistics show live video dramatically increases both traffic and engagement to a brand’s content. With video, organic traffic increases by 157%, and consumers become 85% more likely to buy a product and 46% more likely to seek out information about your brand. Live video is a great way to make your brand more personable and engaging.

In utilizing celebrities who are already bringing in a large, engaging audience on these platforms, your brand can expand its reach and create an even more unique experience for fans and consumers. You just have to make sure you’re picking the right platform for your brand.

1. Periscope was one of the first widely-used live streaming platforms, highlighting its ability to take audiences to places not shown to the public, such as music festivals, concerts or personal events. The app offers a couple ways for audiences to engage with the platform, such as live comments and giving ‘hearts’ to show appreciation. Since the app is owned by Twitter, it makes it easy for multi-platform sharing, reaching audiences on both Periscope and Twitter. These videos can be kept on the platform forever or deleted after 24 hours, whichever you prefer.

2. Facebook Live makes it easy to connect with Facebook audiences, as Facebook controls the reach of these live videos using the same algorithm it uses for regular posts. One unique thing about Facebook Live is that users can stream for up to four hours at a time, and videos remain on the platform to be retrieved or re-purposed for later use. Facebook Live is a great platform for celebrity marketing, as celebrity pages on Facebook often outperform brand pages, and Facebook recently signed deals with multiple media companies and celebrities to grow the platform’s popularity even further.

3. YouTube Live claims to be the fastest and most reliable live streaming platform, and was notably the first to offer 360-degree streaming. Since then, brands such as GoPro, Nike and Lionsgate have experimented with it. This platform is great to use with YouTube influencers, as they can broadcast directly to their subscribers, and the stream is made available immediately after the broadcast on the influencer’s channel and in subscription boxes. It is similar to creating a regular YouTube video, but with the added bonus of live engagement from the audience through comment features.

4. Snapchat, with its 150 million daily active users, is a unique type of live streaming platform. The app has been used by brands in a variety of ways, including celebrity takeovers, product placement and revealing exclusive content. The quick, ten-second clips and 24-hour lifespan of these videos allows for urgent and exclusive interactions with an audience. Plus, many celebrities already have their own accounts and large followings on this platform.

No matter the platform, live streaming and celebrity marketing together are a great way for your brand to create exciting and engaging video content. Whether it’s special promotions, VIP access or every day moments, live streaming is great for brands to engage an audience in a new exciting way.

Resources for Celebrity Marketing: Part Two

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Confirm your “gut instincts” with quantitative data from those who matter most.

As mentioned in Part One, the process of choosing a celebrity for a marketing campaign is not simple. The Burns Celebrity Vault allows us to put together a list of viable celebrities, but once this list is created, we need a way to determine which celebrity may be best for a marketing campaign. In doing so, we can help to make sure the heavy price tag does not get wasted on someone who is relatively unfavorable or disliked.

An E-Score is a way to measure the relative marketing effectiveness of an individual celebrity. Essentially, this score allows us to determine how marketable a celebrity may be based on how he/she is viewed by the general public. Each celebrity is given a number based on their appeal, awareness and up to 46 different attributes. In using this number, we are able to compare a list of celebrities and see which is the most marketable.

First, a celebrity is measured based on their awareness. This is first divided between male, female and both, which allows you to see the difference in awareness based on gender. This could be extremely important if your campaign is directed towards a specific group of people.

Awareness is then further broken down into name, face and total. So for example, if you want to know how many males recognize Justin Bieber based solely on his face, E-Score can give you an exact percentage.

The second factor taken to account when calculating an E-Score is appeal, or how the respondent generally feels about the celebrity. This is broken down into six categories: like a lot, like, like somewhat, dislike somewhat, dislike and dislike a lot. Similarly to awareness, these are further broken down by name, face and total.

Through an algorithm, the awareness and appeal scores are weighted and then set against other celebrities to create the E-Score. In this way, the E-Score works like a percentage. If a celebrity has an E-Score of 98, they are in the 98th percentile.

E-Score also factors in attributes for each celebrity. Each respondent is given 46 different attributes and asked to choose any that relate to the celebrity in question. From there, we are able to get a better, more specific picture of how the celebrity is viewed.

For example, Taylor Swift’s top five attributes are talented, attractive, stylish, over-exposed and beautiful. Each attribute is given as a percentage to tell us how many respondents felt the celebrity possessed that attribute.

E-Scores should be used for two purposes: to confirm your formal list of viable celebrities and to guarantee your first choice will be agreeable to an audience and good to promote your brand. E-Score is a guideline to determine how people relate to the celebrity and whether or not this aligns with what your brand is trying to accomplish with the campaign.

While E-Scores can be extremely helpful, they are limited if you miss identifying ALL the potential celebrities within your budget. In many cases, a celebrity with a slightly lower score may be a better fit with your brand than one with an extremely high score. Just because a celebrity has a lower awareness or appeal does not necessarily mean they would be the wrong choice.

Photo credit: Epollresearch.com 

Pop-Up Events Driven by Celebrity Marketing Create Unique Brand Experiences

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The fear of missing out in today’s social media age is greater than ever, and companies are capitalizing on this trend by using short-lived events.

Pop-up events are short-lived experiences that connect people together, and a celebrity can help take it to the next level.

The goal of a pop-up event is to create an experience that is unique and exclusive. This creates urgency for the audience, encouraging them to take part because if they miss it, it will be gone forever.

Hosting a pop-up event builds excitement and urgency around your brand in three important ways. Incorporating a celebrity helps increase interest and audience reach, creating a more unique and memorable experience.

1. Increase audience reach

Most pop-up shops or events gain momentum from social media, and celebrities’ big and loyal followings can help promote the event, garner social interactions and ultimately bring more awareness to the experience.

Celebrities bring their followers to everything they do, which brings the potential for your brand’s social following and interactions to increase as well. A good execution of a brand boosting their awareness and reach is when Adidas got Pharrell to live stream the launch event of his own Adidas Originals line to the brand’s Snapchat channel.

Adidas gave fans an inside look at the event through Pharrell’s perspective, along with showing off the new Adidas products. The brand’s Snapchat following boomed, and in 24 hours the story garnered 3.4 million views and 4,000 screenshots that people later went and shared on their social accounts.

2. Boost brand image

Partnering with a celebrity for a pop-up event could also create interest and boost brand image. There might be people who aren’t familiar with your brand or products, but when the partnered celebrity brings their audience, the chance of their fans checking out the brand increases.

A great example is when Samsung partnered with Kanye West and Jay-Z for a secret show at South by Southwest. In order to get tickets to the show, fans had to own a Samsung Galaxy phone. Samsung’s traffic to their tent at the festival increased, as well as the buzz around the brand, all because people were excited about the concert with Kanye and Jay-Z.

3. Create a more unique experience

Including a celebrity at your brand’s pop-up event can also make the experience and atmosphere more memorable for the audience. People want to be a part of something special and unique that they can tell their friends about and post to their social feeds.

Events could include a meet-and-greet with the celebrity for a quick chat and photo session. Also, selling a unique product or giving away a memento at the event could further increase the urgency and experience.

Angry Birds and YouTube teamed up with YouTube star Rosanna Pansino for a pop-up bake shop in New York City. Rosanna created and gave away special Angry Birds-themed cupcakes as they introduced a new character, as well as decorating the bake shop with her style intertwined with Angry Birds and YouTube. She also greeted and took pictures with fans as they left the shop, creating a special memory for those who attended.

Brands are using pop-up events to grab attention, build awareness and create buzz more than ever before. Could a pop-up event be in your brand’s future?

Photo credit: Google

The Ins and Outs of Music Licensing

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Licensing a piece of music can be difficult and complex. Here’s what you need to know to make it easy and manageable.

Music licensing is a multi-step process that involves determining what permissions are needed, ascertaining and contacting the owners of the music, negotiating the appropriate license and administering written agreements in order to use a song in your production.

The process can be complicated because many people are involved in the creation of one piece of music, therefore it is necessary to get every individual’s permission. Whether you are using an entire song or just a small snippet, the following steps must be followed.

The first step of the music licensing process involves determining who to contact in order to get licensing permission. This will most likely include both the label and the publisher. The label owns the actual sound recording, and represents the people who recorded the song, including the singer, musicians and back-up vocalists. The publisher represents the song’s composer and/or songwriter, who own the actual copyrights for the song. In order to determine the writers and/or composers, resources such as BMI and ASCAP can be extremely helpful.

The next step involves contacting the individuals to gain both publishing rights and master rights to the song. Publishing rights are the rights that the writers hold, and you may have to contact multiple publishers if the song has multiple writers.

For example, EMI could own 33.3%, Warner Chappel could own 33.3% and Sony could own the final 33.3%. All publishers will require a separate license, and they must all agree on the same terms and fee, which is then split based on what percentage of the song each writer owns.

Next, unless you plan to re-record the song, you will also need to get master rights. Master rights are the rights held by the label, and covers the actual recording of the song. Often one song is associated with many labels, so it is important to make sure you are licensing the correct master that the client wants to use.

All labels are under parent companies, as well. For example, Atlantic and Rhino are owned by Warner. Once you find the correct label, they will have all the information on where and when the song was recorded, and who all the vocalists are.

The last step of the music licensing process, and possibly the most complicated, involves negotiating and making sure every party agrees to the same set of terms. When it comes to licensing a piece of music, there is not much room for negotiations. It is also important to know that most publishers and labels will not agree to exclusivity for internet. However, be sure to add exclusivity to your request, as getting a ballpark fee is very important.

When licensing music, there are steps and potential issues that you can run into. But if you understand the process, you can significantly decrease your chances of a potential problem. Although there are many potential roadblocks in music licensing, including the recent skyrocketing of prices, there are also ways to decrease the cost, avoid the pitfalls and obtain the rights to the perfect piece of music for your campaign.

Photo credit: Flickr.com

Celebrities in Character for Celebrity Marketing

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When looking for the right celebrity to capture the identity of a brand, sometimes a character is a better fit than an actor.

In general celebrities, but especially actors, have a higher awareness than their character counterparts, however some characters are more recognizable and appealing than their actors, and could be a perfect choice when they better fit the brand’s identity or campaign.

There are a few situations where it may be better to use a character, such as when the character is more recognizable, reaches a different demographic or has a higher appeal.

E-Poll is a great resource when determining the appeal, awareness, or any other demographic information about characters or their actors. This information includes 46 attributes, such as talented, stylish or rude, which can be attributed to any celebrity or character.

E-Scores allow marketers to understand how the celebrity or character resonates with a target market, and by using it we can determine how a character matches up to his/her actor.

One case where it may be better to use a character is if the character is more well-known or recognizable than the actor. There are instances where characters will have more exposure than actors.

For example, Harry Potter, Karate Kid and Kramer from Seinfeld are all more recognizable than Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Macchio and Michael Richards.

This heightened exposure often occurs with television characters or exceptionally popular, character-driven films. Most often, characters will have a similar level of awareness with their actors.

The actor’s image awareness drives up the total awareness of both, yet characters score more consistently with name and image recognition.

It is also possible that a character reaches a different audience or demographic than his/her actor, and thus may be a better fit for your brand. An obvious example would be that Joy, the animated character from Disney’s Inside Out, would be better to target children than Amy Poehler.

However, it is not always such a clear choice. Most characters don’t score as high on awareness and appeal than actors, but they can score higher on certain attributes.

For example, both Han Solo and Indiana Jones score higher on “approachable” than Harrison Ford. If specific characteristics are important in a celebrity for a campaign, some characters may score quite a bit higher than their actors.

Finally, the character may have a higher appeal than the actor. While this is not often the case, it does happen if a character is done well. For example, Ron Burgundy, Walter White, Jason Bourne and Carrie Bradshaw all have higher appeal than Will Ferrell, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Often characters who have higher awareness will also have higher appeal, such as Harry Potter, Karate Kid, Kramer and Gandalf. In this case, it could be better to use these characters, as they are often viewed as more likeable and have higher scores for “want to see more” among audiences and fans.

It can be difficult to decide whether to use a television or movie character for a campaign, but there are instances where the character is a better fit, while he/she also has higher appeal and/or awareness.

There are many cases of successful campaigns that used celebrities in character, and it is a great way to tie-in popular TV and film characters to your brand.

Photo credit: blastr.com

Thanks to Randy Parker, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at E-Poll Market Research, for helping with this post.