Selling Authenticity with Celebrity Marketing

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Brands prove successful when trustworthy celebrities endorse their products.

Brands work tirelessly to create strong emotional and truthful connections with their audience. Because consumers connect well with celebrities on an emotional level, brands should select celebrities who carry a recognizable, authentic and credible demeanor.

As social media continues to become a window into the lives of celebrities, brands must work diligently to ensure that their celebrity partner promotes the same authenticity as the brand. Consumers frequently hold the expectation that brands will do more than simply sell a product, but rather work hard to create a trusting atmosphere.

To establish that trusting atmosphere, brands should partner with the right celebrities who can help promote products in the most natural and truthful way.

For instance, blatant and obvious brand advertisements posted on celebrities’ social media accounts do not create strong emotional ties. Consumers see right through these branded endorsements and keep scrolling. However, celebrity postings that integrate a brand’s product organically and convincingly will catch consumers’ attention.

For example, professional basketball player, Kevin Durant, built his relationship with Sparkling Ice on authenticity. Durant, a real life consumer of the zero-calorie carbonated water, was interested in a partnership with the company. As soon as Sparkling Ice caught wind of the Durant’s inquiry, they knew their sponsorship relationship would be a success because their bond was built on genuine, demonstrated interest.

Celebrity and influencer marketing has been rated as the fastest-growing way to grab online customers. Despite this success, marketers need to continually ask questions as the consumer landscape evolves.

What does our consumer base care about? How should we align the brand with those causes? What channels will have the strongest influence?

Although the answers to these three questions are not the same, all three answers address the same topic of authenticity. As brands have the opportunity to connect with consumers, they need to invest in the celebrity who best matches their beliefs as well as their audience.

In adopting the use of celebrity marketing, authenticity and transparency are critical. As information is more readily available in today’s social media landscape, consumers are not afraid to look beneath the surface and confirm that brands are using celebrities with credibility.

photo credit: geralt via Pixabay.com

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Celebrity Marketing at Sporting Events

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When it comes to sporting events, celebrities and social media are the major players driving social engagement before, during, and after the game.

The impact of celebrities on audience engagement at sporting events is real. The impact of social media on audience engagement is just as real. Combined, these two influential forces and sporting events become one dynamite hotspot for brands to connect with fans.

Linking popular marketing campaigns to high-profile sporting events is not a new idea. However, the rise of social media adds a valuable, new element to the marketing mix. When social platforms work hand-in-hand with celebrity marketing campaigns featured at major sporting events, audience engagement will increase.

Brands that are able to generate creative and compelling videos can drive social engagement surrounding sporting events. Using the power of social media, these videos may become viral and generate buzz around the event. Similarly, brands featuring celebrities within their marketing campaigns at sporting events can achieve higher levels of engagement.

Beyond simply creating buzz, well-known sports teams and their social channels have found a way to engage with sports fans during the actual event.

A few professional sports teams have figured out how to draw attention away from personal phone screens and attract fans to the only screen that matters, the jumbotron. The Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Sounders and San Francisco Giants use technology powered by Tagboard that shows their Instagram stories on massive displays inside the stadium. These teams have found the way to grow their social media followings and also keep the focus on the field.

Combining celebrity title with social media, these sports teams engage fans, while still promoting their brand. As teams recognize this potential for branding, they discover ways to monetize content.

In addition, these massive displays take fan engagement another step further by featuring user-generated content. This keeps fans involved in the action on the field, while simultaneously becoming the focus of the screen. Furthermore, Tagboard created a tool that makes it easier to search content across keyboards, phrases, accounts and hashtags.

Tagboard has put a new spin on advertising during sporting events. Brands that want to get a leg up and connect with sports fans must recognize the influence of celebrity marketing and in turn, create captivating video content for social media platforms that will get fans involved.

photo credit: Pexels via Pixabay.com

Tailoring Celebrity Marketing to Individual Social Platforms

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Social media is not one-size-fits all.

Joining the social media bandwagon just for a presence on social media does not work. A casual Facebook page or basic ad on Instagram is not enough. Each social platform has its own nuances that distinguish one channel from another.

Granted, any company wanting to spread its message to as wide as an audience as possible should be on multiple social platforms. However, it is important to recognize each social channel’s unique audience. From there, brands must creatively reach users by differentiating between these platforms and determining which and what type of celebrity influence is going to be most successful.

Brands need to determine content that will perform best on each platform factoring in the celebrity that will best enhance the campaign.

For instance, what does well on Instagram may not do well on Snapchat, and what works for Facebook may not work for Twitter. Each social media platform has its own tone and language. For example, Twitter’s 140-character limit, encourages users to keep their messages concise. In contrast, Instagram emphasizes the power of pictures to express its social content. Whenever creating social content, it is always important to remember that it should match the platform’s community and norms.

Likewise, individual social media platforms take on different roles. Whereas Snapchat is well-suited for raising brand awareness among millennials and Generation Z, Twitter frequently responds to customer complaints.

In addition, brands should think about the length of its content. Although Snapchat is no longer limited to 10 second videos, millennials respond best to ads that are short. So, when thinking about what advertising content to post next, keep in mind that the shorter the ad the better.

Moreover, visual style of brand content varies per platform. Content on Snapchat and Instagram are encouraged to be vertical, restricting the way brands create advertisements.

Tailoring content and identifying the right celebrity fit for each social media platform demonstrates that a company understands social media and has a solid strategy in place.

Ultimately, brands must learn the tricks of the trade if they are going to effectively advertise and market. Celebrity marketing is an excellent way of engaging users on social media, but if done incorrectly, brands will pay the price.

photo credit: TeroVesalainen via Pixabay.com 

Who Wins for Brands – Digital Influencers or Traditional Celebrity Marketing?

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Four ways how digital influencers compete with traditional celebrities’ reach in marketing campaigns.

Influencer marketing works and brands are on board. With the increased presence of digital influencers, the role of traditional celebrities as a marketing tool is put into question. As consumers look for the latest trends and products, more companies are recognizing a shift in these consumer behaviors. As a result, brands are turning to digital influencers as the face of their campaigns.

Previously, traditional celebrities were able to influence purchasing decisions based in large part on their name recognition. However, the digital influencers’ increased social media traffic has granted them a larger piece of the marketing pie.

Over the past decade, social media channels and platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, have accumulated large user bases. With this immense growth, brands are looking at digital influencers and social media stars as a valuable form of social engagement for online advertising campaigns.

The popularity of digital influencers has changed the definition of “celebrity,” forcing brands to rethink their traditional approach to working with celebrities. Listed below are four key insights as to why brands may prefer working with digital influencers.

1. Social Media Presence

Digital influencers have a strong following on social media. While traditional celebrities also have billions of followers across various social media channels, they don’t present the same authenticity as digital influencers. Digital influencers are seen as “regular people,” potentially with a greater online reach than idolized celebrities.  Because of this authenticity and accessibility on social media, digital influencers have a greater appeal to today’s audiences.

2. Price Point

Most often, celebrity endorsements are more expensive than partnerships with digital influencers. Extensive experience and previous track record add to the cost of using traditional celebrities.

3. More Tailored Audience

Followers of digital influencers pay close attention. They are a self-selected, very specific audience seeking advice and inspiration. By choosing specific digital influencers, brands narrow their audience.

4. Credible Third Party Endorsement

Whereas celebrities can provide exposure for a product, digital influencers can provide a certain level of understanding and connection to that product. A Twitter study found that social media users trust influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends. With that level of trust, a brand can benefit from the unique perspective influencers have on a campaign.

photo credit: Blogtrepreneur via Flickr

 

Celebrity, Influencer Marketing and Shoppable Ads a Powerful Combination for Increasing Ecommerce

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Brands with a bottom line goal of converting social media users into customers, shoppable ads with influencers and celebrities are a great option.

Combining the effectiveness of celebrity marketing with the quick and easy conversion allowed by shoppable ads creates a dynamic marketing opportunity for brands.

By reducing the amount of steps consumers need to take to buy a product featured in a post with their favorite celebrity or influencer, brands are seeing increased sales and using the tactic more frequently.

Shoppable influencer ads are not only leading to higher conversion rates, they are also giving brand marketers a clearer way to measure return on investment (ROI). They can determine what ads are performing the best and how well they are performing.

Links on social posts across the major platforms enable tracking sales from social media efforts. Purchases made can be traced back to the source to determine how many sales can be attributed to the ad.

Here are a few brands leading the way in shoppable influencer ads:

The clothing brand Loft partnered with actress Busy Philipps to produce a shoppable video ad campaign on Instagram. The campaign included a series of longer videos cut down into several clips and posted on the brand’s account.

Using the Like2Buy platform, consumers were able to view the ad and then use the link to visit the brand’s ecommerce site and see the items Busy had picked as her favorites.

Celebrity and Influencer ads on Snapchat are being revived since the platform recently debuted the ability for brands to link right to their websites.

Teva Women’s Health partnered with actress Sophia Bush to work on a campaign generating awareness about alternative birth control options. The #NoHormonesPLZ campaign included a ten second Snapchat video ad with Sophia instructing viewers to swipe up to learn more.

Users were able to go to the website for the campaign and sign up to enter the sweepstakes right through Snapchat.

The organization was able to get more entries by making the link closer to consumers and requiring less action to participate.

MikMak is a company that creates, measures and distributes shoppable ads on behalf of brands. Through their attach feature, brands are able to attach links to their ecommerce sites within their Snapchat ads or Instagram Stories.

Several brands began testing out the beta version of the service in spring 2017. GoPro, Birchbox and Dr. Brandt skincare are among those who have encountered success with the feature.

Birchbox created a series of shoppable video ads for their Mother’s Day campaign. Dr. Brandt Skincare saw a huge ROI, with a 500 percent increase in sales from Instagram for facemasks over a span of 10 days.

Seeing as all of these brands have used influencer marketing in the past, it will be important to keep an eye out for how they capitalize on the early adoption of tools like these to combine celebrity marketing with shoppable ads.

photo credit: Justyre / 27 images via Pixabay

How to Reach Multiple Demographics with the Same Campaign through Influencer Marketing

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Big brands have led the way in using a wide range of micro-influencers to reach a variety of consumers.

Having a single campaign activated across numerous influencers allows brands to access more than just the typical, narrow target market. Strategically using influencers that impact a variety of populations can allow campaigns to reach far beyond the usual scope.

Rather than using a large number of influencers who have followings with similar characteristics, brands can use influencers with extensively different backgrounds whose followings are diverse. This allows brands to use the same central campaign to connect with a larger sphere of people.

Here are a few brands who have successfully executed this approach.

Walmart

In spring 2017, Walmart launched its “Fight Hunger Spark Change” campaign in partnership with Feeding America. Their goal was as many donations as possible to secure meals for hungry Americans. Walmart used 7 influencers on Instagram to spread awareness for the cause and increase donations.

A charitable cause as broad as this one could be taken up by a massive array of people from all different backgrounds. Walmart mimicked this through their use of a mixture of influencers. From professional soccer player Sydney Leroux to YouTube personality and cook Rosanna Pansino to professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, Walmart covered a broad spectrum of influencers.

The result was a huge engagement rate of 23% and raised $1.5 million.

Axe

Axe partnered with 30 male influencers for their “Find Your Magic”campaign with a goal to break the cycle of toxic masculinity and support men in destroying stereotypes and using hair products.

The Haircare VP of Unilever (the company that owns Axe), Piyush Jain, was quoted in AdWeek saying “this is the first time male influencers from all different walks of life are coming together to inspire guys to start styling.”

Amongst the 30 were actor Josh Peck, cooking channel star Josh Elkin and video gamer Joshua Ovenshire. With just these three celebrities, Axe was able to reach men with disparate interests by involving influencers with an assortment of personalities and fan bases who openly used Axe products on their social channels.

Gap

For their “Styld.by” campaign, Gap partnered with multiple prominent influencers across several categories. They enlisted photographers, writers, singers, models and bloggers amongst others, spanning different cultural backgrounds, races, genders and stages in life.

Each of these influencers posed for photos wearing Gap clothing mixed in with their own pieces showing how they incorporated the brand into their own styles.

The material was posted on several platforms, including Gap’s social channels, the influencers’ personal channels and the online community dedicated to the campaign.  

Using influencer marketing allows brands to extend their target market on a budget and/or create multiple campaigns.

photo credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Updates to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat: What Brands Need to Know for Their Celebrity Marketing

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Big changes are taking place across the major social channels as they compete to one up each other and rise above the rest.

Brands and marketers need to stay up to date and adapt their campaigns based on updates. Social and digital trends change quickly. In order to lead the pack and get the most out of a campaign, brands must stay current and be ready for more change.

Social Media has become an integral part of nearly all marketing campaigns.

Here is what the major social channels are doing next, along with some insight on how these features affect influencer and celebrity marketing.

Facebook

Facebook announced that they’ll be releasing an app for influencers to create videos. The feature will operate with Facebook Live and only be accessible to celebrities, journalists and internet influencers, or any other verified accounts.

Brands can integrate themselves with celebrities in an entirely new way through this feature. Current celebrity endorsement avenues include celebrities posting on their Facebook pages or influencers mentioning products or brands in their YouTube videos. The video creation app combines both, creating a new opportunity for brand and celebrity partnerships.

Snapchat

After receiving a lot of criticism from marketers and advertisers who want to use metrics to assess campaigns, Snapchat has tried to match the other social channels in terms of data and analytics. They released the paperclip tool which allows links to be attached to snaps.

This provides brands opportunity to drive more traffic to their websites and measure how much traffic comes from the ads’ placement on Snapchat specifically. When promoting a brand on Snapchat, celebrities can now include a link to whatever the brand chooses right within the snap.

Instagram

In an attempt to help brands follow the endorsement rules put forth by the FTC, Instagram launched a “paid partnerships” feature. It allows celebrities to clearly mark the posts that feature the partnerships they have with brands.

This feature allows brands to be clear and transparent about endorsements. Using this tool on Instagram will keep brands out of conflict with the FTC.

Social Overall

Across all social media platforms, more tools for data and analytics are being developed. Social channels are accommodating brands’ demands for better marketing outlets and striving to provide the best place for ads.

Using these tools as they are released gives brand marketers opportunity to showcase their campaigns and provides helpful insight for planning future campaigns.

Facebook and Twitter are among channels focusing on live streaming events. This trend is another to follow as it develops. With the decline of TV, this is another potential format for celebrity marketing campaigns to flourish.

 
photo credit: Anthony Quintano via Flickr