Celebrity advice is a powerful incentive for consumers to act.
That’s because the former serves as an arbiter of public opinion, style and taste on a global scale.
We’re talking about celebrities ranging from A-listers like George Clooney to reality TV stars, born in shows like Big Brother, The X Factor, etc.
Brands realize that it’s impossible for consumers to escape celebrity influence. That’s why in the last few years they’ve capitalized on celebrities’ power to create engaging campaigns.
Example: H&M partnered with Miranda Kerr in 2014. The brand announced on Twitter that she will be the face of H&M. The tweet had 2600 favorites and became the most engaging Twitter post for the brand in that year.
All of this begs the question – can celebrities benefit from influencer marketing themselves?
You see, celebrities themselves are powerful influencers, so it’s worth exploring if someone who has strong influence over others would benefit from someone else’s influence.
How Celebrities Promote/Market Themselves
It’s important to gain knowledge about the tools and platforms celebrities use to promote themselves as it will help determine whether or not they would benefit from influencer marketing. Mentioned below are the tactics they commonly utilize.
- Appear in morning talks, reality shows, etc.
- Hire smart PR managers promote claims/statements
- Use social media to promote their name/brand
The last tactic on the list needs to be covered in detail because celebrities have been using social media smartly. What they’re doing these days is mixing posts that make them relatable to their audience with promotional content to gain traction on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and other platforms.
For instance, Jessica Alba combines life in a common setting (that fans would relate to) with business promotion (movies, perfume line, etc.) on her Instagram account. The engagement on her posts portray that fans appreciate a glimpse into her “ordinary self” that is unassociated with the glitz and glamor of celebrity stardom.
For instance, this image shows the star having fun with one of her good friends in Paris without any promotional message.
Celebrities will also use humor to engage their fans as well as ask questions to spark conversations.
Influencer Marketing Can Benefit Celebrities
Because celebrities are using the same platforms for marketing as different influencers do to voice their opinions and engage their followers, they can definitely benefit from influencer marketing. The stars out there can leverage the influence of the following two groups.
- People in Their Own Industry (Showbiz/Entertainment Industry)
Celebrities can benefit from shout outs, cross promotions, and recommendations by people who’re similar to them. The ideal scenario would involve a celebrity working as an influencer for another celebrity.
The promotion may come naturally, but it’s always possible for celebs to ask a good friend or a recent cast colleague to promote their name/brand.
Usually, any form of compensation other than exchange of good words or expression of gratitude won’t be necessary when other celebs are acting as influencers.
Here is an example.
In this Instagram post, Dwayne Johnson is acting as an influencer for Mark Wahlberg and Kate Hudson. He has also given a shout out to the director.
This post has 407,000 likes and 1879 comments. It’s likely that a lot of people went to the cinema to watch Deepwater Horizon just because of his tweet.
In return, the mentioned stars can express their gratitude by saying thanks to Dwayne, though not necessary.
Celebs, therefore, just need the right people (those with good star power) to mention them; this is the strongest form of promotion they could ask for. Dwayne is a fan favorite, so you can imagine the impact of his post.
- Long-Tail Influencers
The rise of long-tail influencers has been swift in the marketing arena. Social networks have worked well in their favor because the platforms have exacerbated the reach of word-of-mouth messaging, even beyond the target audiences’ peers.
Today, celebrities can leverage the influence of subject matter experts/ long-tail influencers who have a solid relationship with their followers to improve their bottom line. Yes, stars realize that mini has become the mighty.
Indeed, mentions or shout outs from household names can give a celebrity a lot of credibility. Imagine a 20-something software engineer listening how good Chris Hemsworth is on screen from a trusted neighbor or best friend. The strong worth-of-mouth will do more favors to the Aussie bloke than if the software engineer had read about his acting skills in a newspaper or a magazine.
Mostly, celebs don’t reach out to long-tail influencers, the latter just mentions them because they admire the star’s work.
However, if celebs start compensating long-tail influencers in some way – such as by going out for lunch/dinner with them, spending a day with them, or just mentioning them on social media – their credibility would increase manifold. Even a retweet would do.
This is an example of a tweet from a long-tail influencer. He has said positive things about the movie and included the name in a hashtag, so it should tempt his peers and those who respect his work to go and watch the movie.
Others on Twitter have given a shout out to Mark Wahlberg for fine acting and included his Twitter handle apart from mentioning the hashtag #deepwaterhorizon.
Mentions like these benefit the celebrity as well as his/her work of art (singing, acting, dancing, etc.). The high appropriateness and emotional effect of long tail influencers’ words results in monetary as well as non-monetary benefits for the celebrity.
The arguments and examples make it evident that influencer marketing does benefit celebrities. Any type of celeb can communicate with people in their industry through mutual connections and leverage robust influencer marketing solutions to connect with long-tail influencers. If mentions and shout outs don’t come naturally, there’s always the option to reach out and get promoted.Fabrizio Perrone
Fabrizio is CEO and Co-Founder at Buzzoole. Serial startupper since 2007, he founded Fan Media in 2008. In 2010, among the first in Italy to deal with Buzz Marketing. Get in touch with him at @fabrlzio