In today’s age of social media, both celebrities and influencers have direct access to a considerable portion of society. As such public figures, in many cases, their opinions carry a lot of weight with their audiences. Including those stars as core members of a marketing campaign seems like a good idea on the surface -- their broad reach and appeal might do wonders for the product in question.
But before choosing one of those individuals to become the face of a campaign, you need to make sure you won’t regret that decision down the road. Though not the norm, there are cases where influencers or celebrities turned out to be a curse rather than a blessing for some companies. And is having a celebrity or influencer endorsement the best way forward for your brand?
To help you make the right choice, these experts from Ad Age Collective dissect the crucial questions that must come into play before deciding to hire a celeb or influencer for a marketing campaign, and why those questions are so vital to the campaign's success.
1. How would this campaign drive desired results?
Strong marketing strategies start with your business goal. Influencer campaigns can drive brand lift or conversions, but if the plan is not clearly defined to achieve the desired results, you'll come up flat. Establish goals before choosing influencers and you can match based on historical success. A clear communication and execution plan ensures the influencer and their content strategy drive results. - Kerry Curran, Catalyst
2. Is there authentic brand alignment?
Influencer marketing partnerships are strategic investments. They have the potential to do as much harm as good. Our clients have seen influencers immediately drive thousands of visits or other brand actions they seek. When the right influencer truly believes in a brand and drives the right audience and actions for the right reasons, it's great. Otherwise, it's a lose-lose-lose. - Lana McGilvray, Purpose Worldwide
3. Do we have similar values?
Working with the most popular influencer with the largest follower base is not the only consideration a brand should have. The influencer's core values also need to align with your business's values or you stand to dilute your brand values and image. Spend time researching the influencer and their audience to understand whether they are a good fit before working with them. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
4. Where in the funnel are we?
If we are building awareness, then the celebrity needs to be generally of interest to our target customers. If we are aiming to build purchase intent, it is more important for the celebrity to have a relevant connection to our value proposition. Sometimes you can get both in one person. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
5. Who is listening?
The question needs to be about the audience and how they will embrace, follow and react to the celebrity involvement. If the celebrity does not authentically fit with the brand, strays from the brand purpose or has a diluted image due to too many brand affiliations, your audience will tune out. So first think about who is listening and who they want to hear from. - Maggie O'Neill, Peppercomm
6. Will they help grow customer trust?
The key parameter for using an influencer is whether they will contribute to the consumer trusting you more than if you were to put out the message as a brand. This is important because, with the right influencer, you will be able to leapfrog ahead in the mind of a consumer as a "trusted brand," thus driving corresponding ROI and revenue as a result of the influencer collaboration. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap