When selecting a celebrity for a possible brand partnership, it can be easy to get swept up in the moment and the hopes of potential success.
You tell yourself, “This celebrity is huge right now. They have a massive following. Everyone has their eye on them, and they’ll soon be seen endorsing our brand and its products, spreading our message far and wide.” Or, you may want to invest in a celebrity that your brand thinks is going to blow up in the near future (prime example: Under Armour investing in Steph Curry before he became an extremely successful athlete).
Either way, this instinctual excitement around likely success is not entirely wrong; but don’t let ego or general public buzz take hold and blind you to the possible pitfalls and shortcomings.
In order for a brand-celebrity partnership to truly be successful and go bone deep, you must look beyond the surface and towards the trends, numbers, and details — the cold, predictive facts.
Here are 4 things to look at when working to build an effective celebrity partnership:
1. Celebrity Attributes
Beyond looking at the celebrity’s physical appearance and their basic demographic info, you must dig into what attributes they exhibit. Are they a mother or father? Are they stylish? Are they viewed as wholesome or edgy?
Attributes like these ask you to look beyond generalities and will help you to identify a celebrity partner that will allow you to accomplish campaign goals and reach a relevant audience.
2. Celebrity Social Activity
Long before signing a deal with your next celebrity partner, look into their activity levels on social media.
First and foremost, are they even active on social media? If they are active on social, which channels are they active on? How active are they on these channels?
Whether or not they are largely active on social, working with a celebrity still has its benefits. The difference is that by partnering with a celebrity that is active, you will only increase reach and further dispel your brand message and/or campaign to a more engaged audience.
On the flip side, if the celeb isn’t normally very active on social media, it will seem unnatural and disingenuous for them to be sharing posts out of the blue around brand products and messaging (if that is a function of your partnership).
3. Celebrity Audience
You may know that the celebrity you want to work with has a large audience and following, but have you looked deeper at their audience?
Here are just a few audience elements to consider:
- What does the celebrity’s standard follower look like in terms of items such as gender, age, and economic status?
- What do this celebrity’s followers care about? What are their interests on social media?
- How engaged is the celebrity’s audience? Sometimes, the biggest celebrities have low audience engagement rates.
- Have there been any trends or upticks in audience growth? What may have caused this?
Once you’ve developed a larger understanding of the celebrity’s audience, you can see if this audience is who you want to be reaching via a celebrity partnership. Perhaps it’s aligned with your existing target audience, or maybe this an audience you wouldn’t typically target but want to start driving awareness with. See where there’s overlap.
4. Celebrity Buzz
Jump on existing opportunities and identify celebrities for partnership that just released a massive project, whether that’s a new film, a successful new album, and so on. Or, get ahead of the curve and identify celebrities who will be releasing a massive project within the next few months so you can ride that wave.
You should also consider if the celebrity has been in the news as of late and whether that news is positive (was featured in a great interview, recently had a baby) or negative (DUI arrest, domestic dispute issues).
It can also be helpful to do an analysis of sentiment around the celebrity on social media channels like Twitter. You may know that people are talking about them, but what are they actually saying? Is all of this buzz positive or negative? Doing a deep dive and asking yourself questions like this will help you remain on the right side of all of the buzz.
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