As marketing has evolved with social media, it has become almost essential for large brands to build relationships with celebrities and influencers.
Capitalizing on this viewership is not a new marketing concept at all, there’s been celebrity endorsements since the dawn of Hollywood, but what has changed is how brands are using these influencers, and evidently, what constitutes as a social media influencer.
These lines are very blurry as we move into 2017, especially with the likes of social giants such as Instagram and Snapchat becoming ever more prominent on the social scene. Brands are now targeting influencers with large audiences to get their messages to the masses.
Below we shed light on a few prime examples of social media endorsements from brand influencers – soon we might not be able to tell an endorsement from an authentic post.
Chevrolet and a host of celebrities, including Ian Somerholder, Nikki Reed and Alec Baldwin:
Multiple videos and social posts were created as part of Chevrolet’s #BestDayEver campaign, the ingenious part being that these posts came directly from the influencers and many fans would not have been able to distinguish them as endorsements because they came across extremely genuine. The only identifiable endorsement characteristic being the hashtag #BestDayEver linking these posts with the overall campaign. Ian Somerholder and Nikki Reed taught a business course at Emroy University, and Alec Baldwin dressed up as Abraham Lincoln arrived on Occidental College campus as a substitute teacher for a U.S. history class. Within 24 hours, the social media posts attracted 1.5 million organic likes and shares.
Taco Bell and Shaun McBride:
This is someone you might not have heard of, Snapchat celebrity Shaun McBride has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform – which seems impossible to comprehend, even for digital marketers like us. Last year McBride was part of an ad campaign promoting Taco Bell’s Cap’n Crunch Berry Delights.
Taco Bell allowed the influencer to take over their Snapchat account and the result was hilarious. Although it’s hard to know the exact results from this campaign, we do know that Taco Bell continued to engage with McBride and asked him to promote a launch of a new menu item for the 2016 Super Bowl, resulting in 40,000 pre-orders.
The subtle, niche-brand social media endorsements:
Forget about the obvious celebrity endorsement on social media for awhile, because in fact, the future of brand endorsements is in niche influencer markets. THe rise of the social media influencer has seen everyday individuals make a name for themselves online and brand are reaching out to these young digital natives to reach an audience that’s best known by that influencer.
This is where brands are able to reach an ever-evolving online community, by asking an influencer who is actually within this community to do the endorsements for them. It’s a very clever tactic that’s only going to become more beneficial for brand moving forward. Take NYC blogger @rachmartino for instance – she’s by no means a celebrity, or even the largest online influencer, but her audience is important. Hallmark recognised this and paid the instagramer to share a picture of one of their greeting cards with her online community. Resulting in thousands of likes and views, this is by no means a huge outcome, but it’s niche, and that’s where it counts in the current online climate.