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Marketing Academy.

Endorsement Marketing in 7 steps: the Ultimate Guide

Let's address a key concept in modern marketing: endorsement. It's a powerful but often misunderstood technique that can make a big difference to your business if applied the right way.

Translated as simply as possible, an endorsement is a positive statement about a product, service, or brand by a public figure, industry authority, or influencer. These "endorsements" ; public information can increase the credibility and authority of a brand in the eyes of consumers.

1 / Why endorsements work

Endorsements work for a simple reason: we humans are strongly influenced by the opinions and experiences of others. When someone we trust recommends something, we're more likely to try it ourselves.

In marketing and sales this translates into increased consideration and conversion. If I see that an industry expert or a celebrity I admire promotes a certain product, I will be more inclined to buy it.The best endorsements always come from people we trust, be they close friends or real acquaintances or or virtual. Let's take a closer look at the types.

Trusted person
The best persuasion comes from people who are reliable and close to us, virtually or otherwise

2 / What are the types of Endorsement

There are various ways to obtain endorsement for your business:

  1. Testimonials and celebrities: Famous people who promote a brand in a commercial or in a post on social media or on TV.

  2. Influencer marketing: collaborations with influencers from specific market segments who talk about your brand to their followers.

  3. Expert reviews: Articles, videos or podcasts where authorities in your industry recommend your products. Very effective especially in the B2B sector.

  4. Customer references: positive testimonials from satisfied customers, perhaps collected in videos or case studies.

Each endorsement has a different degree of credibility and authority in the eyes of the public. It's up to you to figure out which type works best for your brand and industry. A marketing agency or a PR expert can certainly advise you on the best way to optimize your budget and avoid glaring mistakes and risks of own goals.

3 / How to exploit endorsements in marketing

Now that we have clarified what the endorsement is and why it is effective, let's see how you can use it concretely for your business. In this specific case we will see how to build an endorsement strategy through celebrities and influencers, step by step.

A) Identify the influencers and authorities in your sector

The first step is to understand who the key figures are that your audience listens to and follows when making a purchasing decision. They could be bloggers, YouTubers, industry experts or professional associations.

Do thorough research to discover the names and channels where these influencers are most active.

The more passionate and user of media material in your market you are, the easier it will be for you to get to know the most prominent people. Be careful not to make the catastrophic marketing mistake: attributing your personal opinions and preferences to your own customers. Always try to distance yourself and don't forget to ask your network of contacts for some references.

B) Get in touch and propose a collaboration

Once you've identified your target influencers, it's time to reach out to them. Tell them who you are and why you appreciate their work. Then, propose a partnership: for example you can offer them products in exchange for an honest review. It is not necessarily necessary to pay them, especially if you are a respected brand.

Be sure to customize each proposal based on each influencer's content and style.

C) Provide products, access and resources

If an influencer agrees to collaborate, be ready to provide them with everything they need to create quality content about your brand. Don't hold back. Don't be too moderate in sharing. Do not be afraid. Remember that the character will become your partner.

Please, to avoid making a fool of yourself: leave the NDAs alone! They do a lot of novice startuppers. They should only be used for much more serious things.

Give them access to preview products, services and events. Offer them data, stories, images and other resources to help them create accurate and engaging content.

The more you help them, the better the results will be!

D) Share and promote content

When influencers or celebrities publish their content endorsing your brand, share it on all your social channels. Embed videos on your website and links in your newsletters.

Promoting this content is essential to maximize its reach and therefore its impact on brand awareness and sales. Don't just hope that the character's audience is sufficient. Use your own audience as a sounding board.

E) Measure the results

Finally, monitor metrics closely to understand whether endorsements are actually moving the needle.

Track site visits, leads generated and sales to see if there is an increase after publishing content. Ask influencers for reach and engagement data. The more data you have, the better. This way you will be able to understand broad general trends and not fall into giving too much weight to spurious or statistically little relevant data.

So you will understand which collaborations work best and how to optimize them for the future.

Influencer with makeup
Influencers and Celebrities need brands like we need them

4 / Examples of success in endorsement

Endorsements from influencers, celebrities and experts can have a significant impact on consumer attitudes, message retention and behavioral response. According to many scientific evidences the highly credible endorsers tend to be more effective than less credible, albeit more famous ones. The effectiveness of endorsements by social media influencers tends to be greater than that of traditional celebrities, as the influencers' experience increases their perceived credibility.

  1. Justin Bieber for Calvin Klein: Although he is not a designer, his popularity has helped promote Calvin Klein underwear thanks to his vast fan following.

  2. Selena Gomez for Adidas Neo: Similar to Bieber, Selena Gomez is not a fashion designer, but her endorsement has helped promote the Adidas Neo brand thanks to her image and popularity. p>

  3. Huda Kattan for Wishful skincare: the beauty influencer Huda Kattan launched her Wishful skincare brand in 2020. Thanks to her expertise in the beauty sector and her following of over 47 million followers on Instagram, the launch was a success with products sold-out in just a few hours.

  4. MrBeast for Honey: the famous YouTuber MrBeast, with over 105 million subscribers, collaborated with Honey (cashback and discount app) in a series of sponsored videos that brought over 200 thousand downloads of the app in just one day.

  5. Ninja for Adidas: Gamer Ninja collaborated with Adidas to launch the Ninja ZX 8000 sneakers. Thanks to his following of gamers and credibility as a gaming expert, the shoes went sold-out in a few minutes.

  6. Benedetta Rossi for Bosch: the food influencer and star of "Fatto in casa da Benedetta" collaborated with Bosch promoting their kitchen appliances. Given her expertise in the food sector, Benedetta's endorsement was very effective.

  7. GialloZafferano for Parmigiano Reggiano: the recipe site has promoted Parmigiano Reggiano in numerous editorial content and video recipes. The association with such an authoritative food brand has benefited the DOP cheese.

  8. Khaby Lame for Vodafone: the tiktoker with over 150 million followers has been chosen as Vodafone's international brand ambassador. Its global popularity on TikTok has brought great visibility to the brand.

We note how sui generis the endorsement can also be:

  1. Dollar Shave Club: Viral video campaign with a marketing budget of just $4,500 that brought this men's razor startup to success. Co-founder Michael Dubin's humorous video went viral, bringing a lot of attention to the brand. In this case therefore the "celebrity" it's the same CEO.

  2. GoPro: Used user-generated content to promote its wearable sports cameras. By sharing spectacular videos shot with GoPro, users effectively advertised the brand. We therefore note a strategy based on the endorsement of a plethora of actors, mostly satisfied customers with a large following and great creative abilities.

5 / Differences between Influencers and Celebrities

We often notice a certain confusion between the two terms and the different types of endorsement. Let's try to clarify the differences between influencers and celebrities:

Experts vs. Popularity: Influencers understood as Content Creators are often experts in their field and this makes them particularly effective in influencing the purchasing behavior of their followers. Celebrities, on the other hand, may not be experts in the products they promote, but they have mass appeal that can be leveraged to reach large audiences.

Engagement: Influencers have the ability to start conversations with their followers and maintain a certain level of interaction, which can keep the audience engaged and talking about the promoted product.

Content Creation: In celebrity endorsement, the brand or marketing agency develops the idea and story to promote the product, while the celebrity plays his role. Influencers, on the other hand, often create original content that resonates better with their audience.

Celebrities on the red carpet
Influencers and VIPs (celebrities) are not the same people, and have different goals for a marketer

6 / What mistakes to avoid in Endorsement if you are an SME

There are several common mistakes that small and medium-sized businesses should avoid in endorsement campaigns. We often see them unfold before our eyes in the market, they are often classic marketing errors:

  • Not understanding the customer's needs: before starting an endorsement campaign, it is essential to understand what the customer wants not only as a target market, but also as an individual. Every client has different needs, so it's important to do research before approaching them.

  • Not having a clear marketing strategy: in a broad sense, without a clear marketing strategy, endorsement campaigns can be ineffective. It is important to create a marketing plan based on market research, customer feedback and competitor analysis.

  • Ignoring your online presence: in an increasingly digital world, ignoring your online presence can be a serious mistake. Endorsement campaigns should include a strong online presence to reach a wider audience.

  • Not listening to customer feedback: Customer comments and opinions can provide valuable information that can help improve your products or services, marketing messages, and customer experience. Ignoring this feedback can lead to ineffective endorsement campaigns.

  • Setting unrealistic goals: It is important to have realistic goals that can be implemented in a timely manner. Unrealistic, excessive goals, the result of ego and ridiculous marketing theories can lead to disappointments and ineffective endorsement campaigns. Especially at a huge useless expense.

  • Weak target audience research: Without a clear understanding of the target audience, endorsement campaigns may not reach the right people. It's important to take the time to get to know your target audience and their key demographics, so you can identify the best celebrity or influencer.

7 / Conclusions

Leveraging endorsements with celebrities and influencers is a proven and effective marketing strategy, but it requires a professional approach. By taking the time to identify the right partners, providing them with valuable resources and promoting content, you can maximize credibility and sales for your brand.

I hope this article has given you useful insights on how to get started with influencer marketing. If you have questions or want advice for your strategy, contact Deep Marketing for free! We will be happy to discuss fantastic marketing operations with you.


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