Busy business people reading celebrity news is not something you see very often. It's considered a leisure time activity with little to no educational value. Today I'm here to debunk that myth. The name and lifestyle of a celebrity represents their brand. They put a lot of efforts to keep themselves in the eye of the media and fans, having personal marketing teams who go over hundreds of strategies to bring everyone's attention to that particular star. They do all of that to become and stay popular. It is what makes them money. Therefore, a savvy business owner can learn a lot about promoting and advertising their brand from celebrity marketing. Let me save you some research time and give you 4 ways celebrities market themselves and how these can be applied to any business.
Creating Hype on Social Media
The most effective way of keeping in touch with fans (customers) is through social media, because it is easily accessible, convenient and personal. Followers love tapping into the lives of their favourite celebrities, whether it is to get an inspiration or just juicy gossip. In the same way, your ideal customer would love to see more personal content about your brand - how a normal day at your office/workstation goes, what made you start the business you are in, how do you feel about events happening in the world.
Social media has another power, which celebrities have mastered - hype creation. It all started with SnapChat, who were the first to introduce 24-hour posts available to a specific audience. This skyrocketed the feeling of exclusivity for fans and it wasn't long before businesses recognised this as a brilliant marketing strategy and SnapChat ended up expanding the scope of their business services. It was only logical that other social media giants would try everything to not miss out on such a big opportunity and soon after Twitter introduced Periscope and Twitter Live, Facebook came up with Instagram, Messenger and even WhatsApp stories, all following the same concept. SnapChat and Instagram, nonetheless, are the two best performing celebrity social media channels.
The Queen of SnapChat is Kylie Jenner who mostly shares her daily outfits, trips and party nights. Pretty much what any girl in her late teens and early 20s does. Occasionally, the youngest sister of the Kardashian clan uses the platform to promote her cosmetic products.
Instagram continues to be reigned by Selena Gomez, who has 123 million followers and less than 1,500 posts. Most of her content is related to her artistic projects, concerts and red carpet appearances. She rarely posts too personal moments, but lets her fans peek into her life a little, just enough to keep them hooked.
Both celebrities are Millenials and so are their followers. If your business targets similar demographics SnapChat and Instagram should be your best friends always and until something trendier comes up.
Celebrities are also on Twitter and Facebook to influence and make an impact. The most followed Twitter account is Katy Perry's, while the most expensive tweets are the ones of Kim Kardashian - $10,000 a tweet! And then some people say the woman doesn't know how to do business. Facebook's most liked page belongs to world class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and best bilingual fan page is Shakira's.
Other very popular celebrities on social media, like Sofia Bush and Gina Rodriguez, use the platforms to influence movements and empower groups of people by raising awareness of serious issues and supporting specific causes. Businesses adopting similar practices are always seen as more socially engaged and therefore, respectable. Getting involved in charitable or social causes and events also nurtures the consumer-brand bond.
Don't believe everything you see in a celebrity world! One of the oldest and also most successful marketing tricks celebrities have been using for decades is PR stunts. In other words, crazy things that people can't stop talking about. Let's have a look at some.
*Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries
Well, I know that not all vows at the alter are truly kept till death comes in the picture but divorcing somebody who spent an actual fortune on a massive wedding just 72 days later is a bit odd and people will definitely talk. Kim is the ultimate queen of scandalous affairs and she always knows how to pull the media and fan's legs. That moment of her life increased significantly her fame and the amount in her bank account.
*Shia LeBeouf appearing on the red carpet with a bag on his face
If he truly thought that making a statement like this, in the way he did, will make him less famous, he totally got it wrong. But then again, this is another fantastic PR stunt that made the actor and his movie Nymphomaniac the centre of attention.
*Lady Gaga's meat dress
It's been quite a few years since Lady Gaga walked that meat couture at the VMAs but no one can forget it. It was so weird and controversial that she got both immense criticism and applause for creativity and artistic innovation. Most importantly, it made her insanely famous.
*Kanye West snatching the award off Taylor Swift's hand at the VMAs
What a shock that was! Kanye just walking up the stage unannounced at the best moment of Taylor's life at that point and purely ruining it by claiming that the award she holds actually belongs to Beyonce. Poor teen guitar player and singer had no idea how to react. Kanye got a lot of backlash from pretty much everybody, but what counted was the boost in his popularity and as a matter of fact, the one of Taylor Swift.
While in the celebrity world no publicity is bad publicity, when it comes to businesses things are different. PR stunts are a great strategy, but they have to be designed and executed with care because the least of stain on the reputation of a brand can ruin it entirely. A good example of a business PR Stunt master is Virgin's founder Sir Richard Branson who has done more than a dozen jaw-dropping stunts, making his company one of the most recognised in the world.
To stay relevant celebrities have to attend various high profile events. Whether it is fashion shows, product launches, charity events, award ceremonies, movie premieres or just another celebrity's party, their appearance brings them certain credit and it helps both the event organiser and the famous figure. Similarly, good marketing of a brand goes hand in hand with events. Sponsoring an event doesn't have to be expensive. Usually when event planners are looking for sponsors they are not only interested in cash, but also venue, incentives for the guests, entertainment and so on. If you don't want to be a sponsor you should throw your own event to raise awareness of your brand and elevate its profile.
I spoke about celebrity endorsements in the last post and how this benefits marketing products. Let's look at what celebrities get out of the deal. A common misconception is that endorsing a celebrity is something that brands do only for their own promotion and it almost looks like the famous person does a favour to the company. While it is a very effective way of winning more customers for a particular business, it is equally beneficial for the celebrity involved. Many celebrities have received offers to represent different brands after endorsing one, especially if it was a giant like Coca Cola or Calvin Klein. Does it increase their popularity? Of course it does! Customers of the brand who didn't know much about them before would be more interested in their personality and lifestyle following the campaign and loyal fans would want to use the products that their idols are endorsing. It's a perfect symbiosis!
The two brands that take celebrity endorsement very seriously and have used a number of stars from different industries are L'Oreal and Pepsi. They don't need further introduction because everyone knows them. Do you want your brand to look like that? Go ahead, look at the experts and what they do, take notes and implement it in your marketing strategy. May your brand become as famous as a celebrity!