While it may be true that the Internet and modern technology has changed the marketing industry, some things never changed.
Word of mouth remains to be one of the most powerful traditional marketing strategies out there. A lot of things may have changed but the effect of endorsements remain true. And unlike other conventional tactics that almost went obsolete, its potential was further strengthened by social media. As a matter of fact, the internet took the idea of word of mouth to an entire level.
If you’re one of the sports brands are wondering when is the best time to get in touch with a famous person, now’s the perfect time! But before anything else, let’s first answer the question: what is endorsement marketing.
What is Endorsements?
Endorsements is a form of marketing that uses famous personalities or celebrities that command a high degree of recognition, trust, respect and awareness among a target audience. A brand will choose a celebrity or an athlete endorser that their target market looks up to so that they can support their products or services. This can be achieved through television advertisements, launch event appearances or online marketing campaigns.
The strategy of celebrity endorsement marketing have been in the industry for a while and has been proven to improve both brand image as well as brand awareness. Not only can sportswear giants Nike and Adidas attest to its effectivity, science can actually back this up.
Given the social nature of humans, we often look up to other people for guidance on what we should do and what we should purchase. We would ask our close friends and experts for help while sometimes we look up to influential people to ensure great services.
This concept of marketing was then further expanded when digital marketing and social media came in.
Celebrity Testimonials and Influencer Testimonials
Celebrity testimonials or celebrity endorsements is one of the most popular forms of marketing in the industry. While it may be true that it already has cemented itself as one of the most productive traditional marketing tactics, the advent of the Internet and social media changed things.
There is now a new way of endorsements taking over the world; influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing is, fundamentally, is a type of social media marketing that makes use of endorsements and product mentions from influencers — people who have their own fan bases and are seen as experts in their fields.
Unlike celebrities or athletes like Michael Jordan and Justin Bieber, influencers gained their following by consistently publishing content through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They strengthen their relationships with their fans by communicating with them.
While it’s easy to set apart influencers from celebrities, newly established marketing management might have a hard time identifying which one is better.
Celebrities or Influencers?
Traditional endorsements have been proven to be one of the best ways sports brands can increase their sales. Some of the great examples for celebrity endorsements include Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign.
The apparel brand launched its campaign early in 2014 with the aim of promoting its underwear line. The chosen hashtag was created in reference to its previous endorsements ad from 1981 that featured American actress and model Brooke Shields. Furthermore, the 2014 campaign also recreated the iconic black-and-white 1992 print ad of Mark Wahlberg and model Kate Moss by inviting musician Justin Bieber and model Lara Stone.
Aside from this, sports brands can take a look at the different Super Bowl endorsements launched in the previous years.
For the 21st century marketers, it’s important to figure out whether or not the campaign features a well-known celebrity like the old days. Hence, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of choosing a celebrity or an influencer for endorsements.
Undoubtedly, well-known stars have the power to launch your sports brand to success in no time. They have undeniable appeal adored by the masses and while influencers have proven their abilities to cultivate credibility on their own, celebrities have the advantage of versatility. Not only can they handle traditional channels like TV, radio and print — they have started to take over the internet!
While it may be true that celebrities are influential enough to attract thousands of possible leads, their service does not come for free. Celebrity endorsements are, admittedly, expensive. And just like everything in business, hiring them comes with high risk as their misbehavior can reflect badly on the sports brand.
Brands must remember to get to know celebrities well enough before hiring them for endorsements.
Before discussing the disadvantages and advantages of influencer endorsements, let’s first talk about its two kinds — macro and micro!
Macro Influencers have almost celebrity status — for instance, the Kardashian-Jenner clan. These influencers have millions of following on almost every social media platform out there and often comes with costly rate. Despite this, sports brands hoping to reach more people would ask them to endorse their products.
On the other hand, Micro Influencers are those that represent the expanding market. Though they might have a smaller audience in comparison to macro influencers, their following hangs on every word they say and enjoy communicating with them.
One great advantage influencers have is targeted posts. Influencers are often considered experts for a single field. With this in mind, brands will have an easier time connecting with the right people.
Another key point to remember is that they are creators. They are not just people who love spending their time online, they are creatives that can help you implement your campaign! You and your influencers can brainstorm content ideas for endorsements that work best with your audiences.
However, some brands still struggle grasping the main idea. Being the new strategy it is, influencer marketing is not perfect. Some processes may still be a bit messy and its overall workflow still needs some fine tuning. Aside from this, finding the perfect influencer can be a bit hard.
Admittedly, brands can both benefit from celebrity endorsement and influencer marketing. It’s only a matter of identifying the goals your brand should focus on for the campaign. If you remain to be unsure of which one will work best for the needs of your sports brand, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for help from marketing experts.
How to Get Started
Once you’ve chosen between a celebrity or an influencer, the next step is to think about your audience.
Just like with every other marketing campaign, a brand should first think about their audience! Who do they look up to? What other interests outside of using your products do you think they have?
When the long list of well-known figures have been narrowed down, you can start choosing your endorser! And with this in mind, we’ve listed some important notes to keep in mind.
Who Do You Want Representing You?
Athletes, actors, singers, and other influencers who have a great online presence are the best people to look for. But these people need to be the type that would already use your products. It’s easier for a celebrity to endorse your brand if they really like the products you make.
If your business operates on the national level, you’ll want to look for influencers that have a national audience. But if you’re working in a tighter local demographic, try to find local influencers..
Don’t Get Carried Away
Once you see traction from an endorsement campaign, it’s easy to get carried away but you shouldn’t be. Instead, be strategic. Choose your influencers carefully, and maintain your other marketing efforts to keep your brand growing in the long-term.