Since the massive success of Kate Moss’ collaboration with Topshop in 2007, brands of all shapes and sizes want to get a celebrity name involved in their marketing beyond simply sending them free products in the hope they’ll get snapped by the paparazzi wearing them.
The list of celebrity endorsements and collaborations is endless, and smaller businesses couldn’t be blamed for thinking that there’s nothing they can do to compete. However, thanks to some celebs going the extra mile and producing content as well as providing their faces on advertisements, there are several important lessons that can be learned from them.
Celebrities are celebrities because they’re really rather brilliant at marketing themselves, and much like the rest of the world they’ve learnt that content is a vital part of any marketing campaign. Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who are producing brilliant content and what a lot of companies can take away from them without needing a celebrity-sized budget.
While the general public either seem to love or loathe this TV presenter, radio DJ and designer, there’s a lot to be learned from the content that Fearne Cotton produces. With homeware and fashion collaborations with Very.co.uk and a beauty range with Boots, it would be very easy for Fearne to fall into the trap of over-advertising herself, but somehow she manages to find a balance.
Some of the success of her content comes from taking note of what actual consumers and customers are producing. Everyone and their dog have a blog these days and to stand out, beauty and fashion bloggers have created new and exciting means by which to advertise themselves.
The’ selfie’ is the simplest way to promote clothing and beauty products, but on its own a picture can feel a little simplistic, not to mention over-indulgent. Along with photographs, the most successful bloggers have taken to YouTube to create tutorials that actually provide useful content to their followers and reach an incredibly wide audience.
The likes of Vivianna Does Beauty show how versatile video is and how, when complimented with a traditional, written piece of content, can give a professional and editorial style of content that is easy and relatively low-cost.
Fearne has noticed this and used the video feature on Instagram to create mini-tutorials showing how to use her beauty products. The main appeal of doing this, of course, is learning how to achieve Fearne’s look from the woman herself, but there’s a greater lesson to be learned by all businesses in this.
Listening to your audience and taking note of the content trends and methods they use can help all brands develop a conversation with customers that a simple blog post just cannot achieve. Fearne’s methods highlight the importance of researching an audience and communicating with them in a method that they really enjoy and find entertaining. Talk to and with your customers, not at them.
Perhaps lesser known on this side of the Atlantic, Mindy Kaling is best recognised for The US Office and The Mindy Project. As a funny and relatable woman, she has gained an international fan base that enjoys her open honesty and cutting sense of humour.
Anyone who has taken a look at her Instagram account can instantly see that she loves fashion and that major designers love her back. However, all companies and businesses of any nature can take note of the means by which she communicates with her audience and helps brands make a pretty penny from sending her products.
Humour is an essential tool in a modern market and Mindy finds the balance with expert precision, both entertaining her audience along with promoting and advertising brands to a potential market.
All companies can learn from the tone she uses about brands she is passionate about. Humorous and unendingly witty, companies should not be afraid to take themselves a little less seriously, especially when producing the kind of products that are intended to make their customers’ lives more fun, adventurous and happy.
It’s no surprise that designers are clamouring to work with Rihanna. One of the world’s most recognisable pop stars; she has more collaborations and advertising contracts than any other working musician today.
Discussing the likes of a superstar like Rihanna may seem a little redundant for any but the most exclusive designers, but the means by which she showcases her collaborative work can teach many companies a lesson or two.
It can be incredibly tempting to simply discuss only the products that are exclusive to your business, but that is not how real customers live. People are not devoted to one brand alone and so any content that implies that they should be will only alienate and exclude a potential target market.
Rihanna has recently collaborated with MAC Cosmetics, producing a range in which some products sold out almost instantly upon release. Her marketing for the products included showing the products in action, working with other products and being a part of life.
Brands can learn from this not to fear a separate company and instead take advantage of products of other companies to flatter their own. According to ZMOT, consumers check out 10.4 resources before making a purchase and by showing them how your product can work in real life, you’ve got a much greater chance of being there at the right time of their buying cycle. Blogs are the ideal place in which to do this, whether you choose to create your own from scratch on the likes of WordPress or take a simpler but still arguably as effective Tumblr account.
The ideal celebrity endorsement will both entertain and persuade in the only way that a celebrity’s face along with a seeming insight into their personal lives can.
But what if you can’t get a celebrity onboard? If your brand can’t collaborate with a celebrity, there are still ways to create entertaining and persuasive content. Your ‘celebrity’ doesn’t have to be world famous.
Teaming up with an authority in the field of your product can do a lot to encourage customers, as it will help to build a community and create reassurance. Guest blogging is a great way to do this, as is social network interaction on a range of different networks, while building the authority of your own bloggers will help to make them into influential authors that are ultimately representing your brand in the best possible light. Remember, after the success of Kate Moss’ Topshop collection, the Sir Phillip Green didn’t stop selling Topshop products.
The ultimate takeaway from celebrity collaborations and endorsements, however, is not to catch yourself any old singer that walks your way. Instead, the greater lessons can be learnt from the fantastic content that some celebrities are already producing.
- Take note of the types of content your audience is producing off their own backs and see how this could work for you;
- Understand the voice of your audience and speak to them in their language;
- Show your products in action without fear of other brands being used to flatter the products that you produce.
A celebrity can make or break content, but content can make or break you with or without a celebrity.