A perfect combination of a brand with a famous actor or musician can instantly attract the attention of millions of consumers. The growth of Influencer Marketing and the Creator Economy are opening new opportunities in all kinds of society.
Let’s define: Creator Economy or “The creator’s economy”, in other words it would be the ability of any person who can make a living building a business of any kind around an audience that they have without any type of restriction.
These types of people started as a hobby creating content on social channels but now they see it as a business, where they earn money.
If you own or work on a growing brand with appeal to a large audience, celebrity endorsements can be a valuable addition to your influencer marketing strategy.
What is a famous influencer?
A celebrity influencer is anyone who is widely known within your geographic area or globally. Celebrities typically have millions of followers on social media and can also be classified as mega or macro influencers.
In Spain, some of the top celebrities include:
Movie or television stars
The world of celebrity has expanded in recent years, largely thanks to the rise of social media. Many digital creators have taken advantage of this to gain millions of followers, especially by having a presence on major social channels such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
The history of celebrity endorsements
In the old days, European merchants looked to kings, queens, princes, and princesses for their approval, and once they got it, that merchant had the undivided attention of buyers. This acceptance was like a guarantee that equated to the highest quality offered by the merchant.
Those who had money to spend on the best products took those endorsements seriously, and the brands benefited.
Royals currently don’t have much influence on the consumption of certain products, but the endorsement of the rich and famous is alive and well. Celebrity sponsorship has grown exponentially in recent years and has become the largest influencer marketing industry in the world.
What are celebrity endorsements like these days?
Nowadays, consumers are used to seeing collaborations between brands and celebrities, it has become very common. Until recently, most celebrity endorsements took place in television commercials and print advertisements (newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc.).
Social networks and online broadcasts have dominated media consumption in the last 20 years. As a result, most celebrity endorsements now appear on places like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In recent years the collaboration of brands and celebrities has become very vibrant as more celebrities are emerging within the creator economy.
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Do celebrity endorsements work?
Definitely yes, that’s why we see many brands collaborating with celebrities and very influential people today.
But like any marketing approach, it all comes down to the brand’s audience and goals. Additionally, some companies are better than others at building strong relationships with their brand partners, further enhancing a campaign’s authenticity in the eyes of consumers.
People see their favorite celebrities as someone familiar and trustworthy or a role model. This is especially true if the person endorses a relevant brand, such as a model associated with a cosmetics brand or an athlete endorsing performance apparel.
Celebrities vs. Creators: Which is Better for Your Brand?
What does it mean to be famous? So far, fame is on a spectrum. Micro influencers are famous among niche audiences of 100,000 followers or less. But we may not call them celebrities in the same way that we might call them celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi.
And while creators can become celebrities and some celebrities do become creators, the two are not quite the same thing.
In influencer marketing, celebrities often have more than 1 million followers. Their voice generates the attention of most people in the world.
Content creators tend to foster much smaller online communities than most celebrities. But those communities tend to be more engaged. Creators often do a better job of engaging their audience about a specific cause or something.
Creators and celebrities have their strengths. Choosing the right person for your brand depends on certain factors:
- The audience
- Where does the audience like to participate?
- The goals
Who is your audience?
Depending on your ideal buyer or customer profile, your audience is more likely to respond positively to an endorsement from a celebrity or content creator. Finding out about the audience is a great way to find out which one will work best for the brand.
Where do your prospects like to engage?
If a large percentage of the audience is interested in a recent Netflix series, such as Money Heist, you might consider partnering with a famous actor from the show.
The more information one gets about where online shoppers spend their time, the easier it will be to decide if celebrities or creators are the best fit for a given campaign.
What is your budget?
Celebrities don’t come cheap, but the profits can be plentiful for the brands that take advantage of them. While creators are more affordable for businesses, they may not have a big enough impact on what the brand expects.
It’s important to know how much you can reasonably spend and the kind of return you expect to get on that investment. Smaller brands do well to invest in nano and micro influencers early on before trying celebrities. Larger brands with huge marketing budgets can often accomplish much more with a celebrity endorsement than with 100 lesser-known creators. The return is much more effective.
What do you want your celebrity or creator to accomplish for your brand?
The bigger the name, the more marketing goals at the top of the funnel (brand awareness) that persona will help you reach. For bottom-of-the-funnel goals (conversions), creators with smaller, more engaged audiences generally do better.
Ideally, creators and influencers should be leveraged at all stages of your funnel. As you examine each campaign, the goal will determine which persona is the best fit for the brand.
How do brands benefit from using celebrities as part of an influencer marketing campaign?
The excitement and fame of a celebrity can spill over into the brands they promote. This is known as the Halo Effect.
The definition of the halo effect is a tendency to define the whole image of a person, based on one of their features, for example if they are attractive, if they are a celebrity as in this case. To a certain extent, it is a kind of confirmation bias, since we judge people as it is our impression or opinion of them.
Similarly, celebrities who agree to a collaboration with a brand acknowledge that they are leveraging their reputation to endorse a particular product. Ultimately, the quality of the relationship nurtured between the brand and the celebrity becomes the ultimate component that elevates a brand in the marketplace.
The benefits of working with celebrities
A positive mention of a brand by a celebrity means instant recognition. This type of brand mention can increase web traffic, increased social media following, sales, and many other benefits.
This type of recognition accomplishes the following for brands:
- You can quickly bring a declining brand to the top of its industry.
- It can enter new markets, both national and international
- Inspires change or motivation for a particular cause
- It differs from the rest of the competitors, marking distance.
- Drive sales of new product lines
- Build trust.
The drawbacks of working with celebrities
Some marketers say that the personal brand of celebrities benefits more than the commercial brand. This problem is easily fixed through strong, collaborative relationships where the celebrity has a genuine love for the brand and its products.
Second, celebrity endorsements don’t come cheap. Before prospecting a group of celebrities, you must have an adequate budget for such a campaign.
The most important thing is to remember that celebrities are people who are capable of establishing prosperous relationships that inspire confidence in the public and can also become true fans of the brand.
If the chosen celebrity does not guarantee us a certain temporary exclusivity and is dedicated to selling their image to other brands, it can be very risky because the public can be confused and not know what brand they identify with. A prior agreement must be reached.
What is it like working with a celebrity manager?
Celebrities receive collaboration offers from many brands all the time. That’s why most hire a manager or an agency to help manage those deals.
The functions of celebrity managers
The main role of celebrity managers is to make sure that their client, the celebrity, gets the best possible deal. Your job as a marketer is to foster strong relationships early on with brands.
Most celebrities have an official website with the contact information of their agent or manager visible for the public or brands to contact. Which account is managed by the manager.
A celebrity manager should always introduce themselves with a professional and concise email about who they are and who they represent, indicating the type of endorsement deal they are seeking. If you don’t get a response after a couple of business days, no response at all, you should follow up until you wait for a response.
The celebrity manager profile
Being a celebrity agent or manager is hard work as they must review all endorsement requests and manage a proper schedule with their clients to accommodate the celebrity’s daily work and brand deals.
Agents usually receive between 10% and 20% of what their client receives, in this case the celebrity, depending on the sponsorship. This is standard business practice and will take your celebrity’s costs into account.
Access to more celebrities
The better your relationship with celebrity managers, the more access you have to other celebrities in the future. For this reason, long-term links must be built with the right agents. It’s critical to your brand if you have celebrity support and endorsement, as long as it’s a key part of your marketing strategy.
How to get celebrity endorsements through influencer marketing
- Consider your audience.
The celebrity you choose must be important to the people you want to reach. You must know your audience and to know it, you need to use platforms that generate reports such as consumer insights.
- Identify your budget.
What you can afford greatly influences who you can count on to work with the brand.
- Plan to work through a talent agent or manager.
There is no point in trying to contact a celebrity directly. Even if you’re lucky enough to get their personal email or phone number, most celebrities find cold-messaging highly inappropriate.
Large celebrity endorsement deals go through celebrity agents or managers. In the early stages of recruiting, working with an agent is the closest thing to working directly with the celebrity.
It is important to distinguish between talent agents and influencer networks. Influencer networks simply facilitate transactions between brands and influencers. Rather, agents represent their clients exclusively because the celebrity does not have time to respond to all the brand’s offers.
- Find celebrities who are a good fit for the brand.
A brand’s mission, vision and values should be the first thing to consider when looking to partner with a celebrity. Working with like-minded people ensures that your audience knows exactly who you are and what you stand for.
- Make everything “very clear.”
To build rapport, you need to know what you want the celebrity to do, how long the collaboration will last, the products you want to showcase, and what the trade-off would be. “Clear accounts, long friendships.”
- Maintain clear communication with your contact.
Whether your point of contact is an agent or a celebrity, open communication should always be maintained. In the end, mutual trust must be paramount, that will lead to a successful relationship and teamwork.
Celebrity endorsements are among the most profitable strategies of influencer marketing campaigns today. But like any strategy, authenticity is the key to everything. This can be achieved if you have the right celebrity, who knows the audience very well, who achieves a mutual connection and who is clear about where they want to go with the campaign.