This post is a recap of an interview with Branden Hampton. The video can be seen here.
(Q) How effective is the celebrity endorsement in the social space?
Nothing’s changed from the old days where you pay an influencer, whether it’s relative or not.
Take Michael Jordan for shoes, for example. It was so successful that it turned into his own line.
Or it could be Michael Jordan for Hanes, where tee shirts really have nothing to do with Michael Jordan, but just for the fact of Michael Jordan sporting Hanes, it can have a tremendous impact.
That’s the influence. It’s the respect that people have for him, and it probably initiated more buys and more brand awareness.
The same thing holds true today.
For brand awareness, it’s always going to work because celebrities and influencers have such a massive reach.
And it’s all about visibility for brand awareness.
Conversion wise, it’s going to vary.
If somebody is not as relevant as they were five or six years ago, maybe you’re not going to have that good of a conversion ratio. You’re just going to get the reach.
So there are two components to it. There’s the brand awareness play, which is just getting a massive amount of visibility. And then, of course, you can use the celebrity’s name on your press releases, and it’s good for your brand in an overall state.
And then for conversions, we’re seeing that the modern-day celebrity, which is the social media influencer, is not only more cost-effective in terms of price points for doing paid and sponsored posts, but also more influential because it’s very specific.
Example Case Study: Somebody has a million followers for fitness vs Paris Hilton who has 10 million followers for being Paris Hilton.
For Paris Hilton, you don’t really know how well the audience will convert. The audiences and the demographics are such a grab bag with these types of influencers.
But if you get somebody in a specific sector who has influence (fitness, beauty, etc.), you know why they’re influential, and you know who their audience is.
(Q) Is it really an endorsement as in selling your product to their followers as well? Or is it simply kind of a branding thing where when you work with a celebrity, they just hold forward a book or a product and say, “Hey, I like this”, and then you can leverage that image?
We always try to make it organic as possible. We don’t do the typical brand stuff where somebody’s saying drink Gatorade, buy a Ford and get 10% off.
We’re not trying to do the spammy, commercial type stuff from the 90s.
We’re doing more product integration.
In a campaign, for example: If you see somebody who’s influential in the fitness space, who’s holding up a water bottle that says a certain word, maybe it’s paid, maybe it’s not.
We can go to a company like Gatorade and say “Hey, our influencer is going to go for a run today, after her run she’s going to be holding some sort of beverage, is it going to be you, or is it going to be Powerade, or is it going to be the Under Armour drink?”
We can go out and we can do these organic things that just place a product in somebody of influences’ hands, and just integrate it into their normal posts, so in most cases you can’t even tell if it’s a paid post or not.
This is known as native content.
Now, with regulations, most influencers do state that it’s a sponsored post. Fortunately, Instagram has built-in features that make it a bit more seamless so that the content and caption remains native.
(Q) Is there real value in doing product placements? Do people notice that granular detail of what celebrities are doing?
In most cases, yes. That’s the power of influence.
The best part about it for a social influencer, again, is their audience. People are following this influencer for a certain reason.
If they follow you for fitness and they appreciate, and they look up to you as a mentor in that space. They want to work out how you’re working out.
They want to drink what you drink. They want to eat what you eat. They want to wear what you wear.
They idolize that person for a specific reason.
Again, it goes back to them having an influence over a certain category instead of just being generally popular.
So, absolutely yes, for that reason.
Because again, they want to imitate the little things that you’re doing in hopes that they’ll have the same success.
Author: Branden Hampton