Making the Most of Your Celebrity Marketing Campaign

Social media has drastically changed celebrity marketing.

A new type of celebrity has emerged, and its definition has expanded and evolved. In the past, a celebrity was often a famous actor, singer, musician or athlete. Now, there are many other types of stars and influential social media users. Many of them boast millions of followers in their niche.

Though many brands still prefer to partner with traditional celebrities to act as brand ambassadors, social media stars are closing that gap.

A recent report from Econsultancy and Celebrity Intelligence states that although 39 percent of agencies use film actors in their strategies, roughly 45 percent said social media stars were becoming more relevant.

More and more marketers are choosing to work with online “influencers,” the survey shows. Almost three-quarters of agencies in the report said they already work with celebrities, and another 12 percent plan to run celebrity endorsements within the next year.

More brand managers are doing one-off campaigns with social media personalities instead of longer-term collaborations with well-known names. Marketers surveyed attribute the trend to the “Tiger Woods effect”: They worry that the celebrity will suffer sudden loss of popularity or a scandal.

The high cost of influential users

For many brand managers, cost is their biggest hurdle.

Most agencies (83 percent) cited the high cost of talent as their biggest challenge. Perhaps in response to that challenge, 38 percent plan to increase spending moderately next year.

RELATED: Learn new strategies to tell your story with social media, images and video.

Some experts recommend “micro-influencers” as a solution.

Although they might lack the millions of followers famous celebrities possess, they have greater than average reach in their niche and hold substantial sway over their followers’ purchasing decisions.

Wharton School professor Dr. Jonah Berger found that 82 percent of consumers are likely to follow a recommendation of a micro-influencer.

Because these influential users are not obvious celebrities, marketing managers struggle to find them.

Many organizations turn to social media monitoring and measurement tools to identify influencers with active and engaged followers. They also use them to measure the effectiveness of PR and marketing campaigns.

Measurement difficulties

After you’ve identified which celebrities might be a good fit for your brand, it can be challenging to measure the return of working with celebrities and influential users.

Many marketing experts say the lack of measurement is the most significant shortcoming in influencer marketing programs.

On his blog, digital marketer Ben Brausen writes:

The element missing from most influencer marketing agency programs is measurement. Sure, they may be showing the end results of the programs with influencers attached but that’s not enough to prove the value of the added work required for an influencer program. Influencer marketing measurement must show the additional value influencers brought above and beyond what the campaign would have brought without them.

A customized social media measurement service can determine how “influencer marketing” programs perform.

Overcome challenges by using media monitoring tools to identify niche-focused micro-influencers and by employing customized services to measure the results produced by social media influencer marketing programs.

William Comcowich is the chief marketing officer of CyberAlert, a media monitoring and measurement service. A version of this article originally appeared on the CyberAlert blog.

Article written by William Comcowich of Ragan’s PR Daily.