For brands looking to make the biggest splash and the most headlines with their influencer partnership, there’s nothing executives like to see more than partnering with a celebrity. However, the process of partnering with a celeb is not as straightforward as partnering with other influencer tiers. It requires a deeper understanding of the partnership approach, and a strategic approach tailored to the Influencer and their goals.

To really make an impact with celebrity partnerships, brands are using these relationships as an opportunity to work toward the greater good. There is a whole league of celebrities who will only partner with brands that commit to community initiatives. To attract the top celebs to your campaign, craft an influencer marketing campaign that has a genuine deeper purpose other than to boost engagement or brand awareness.

The top celebrity-brand partnerships out there are strategically planned leading up to and following the moment of outreach. Let’s explore brands that have raised brand awareness, leveraging reach for the greater good by partnering with celebrities. Then, we’ll walk through the step by step process it takes to partner with a celebrity influencer.

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PARTNER WITH CELEBRITIES

When it comes to partnering with celebrities for brand endorsements, the first thing you should know is that it can take a significant amount of time to launch these campaigns. Unlike newer Influencers who are less experienced with paid endorsements and even contracted agreements in general, celebrities do not take decisions like brand partnerships lightly and therefore it can take months longer than expected from the time you first make contact with a celebrity and the time your campaign reaches the public eye. Use this to set realistic campaign goals and timelines.

To successfully connect with a celebrity to pitch your campaign and negotiate a successful partnership, follow these steps:

STEP ONE: DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET.

Before you can begin shopping around for the right celebrity to be the face of your brand, determine how much of your marketing budget you are willing and able to spend on the partnership. With celebrity endorsements ranging from thousands of dollars for a single Instagram post to the rumored $1 billion Lebron James was paid to be a lifetime brand ambassador for Nike, there is not a set standard for the cost of celebrity partnerships. The goal here is not to pile so much money into your celebrity endorsement budget that you lose sight of the focus of your campaign, and risk having no budget to amplify the campaign on social media, but instead to choose a number and stick with it moving forward.

STEP TWO: DETERMINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.

In addition to budgetary restraints, consider who you are hoping to connect with during your campaign. Depending on your brand, there’s a wide range of demographics you could be aiming to attract. It doesn’t matter who your audience is, what matters is that you are making an educated decision when choosing your celebrity partner and picking someone whose follower/audience base is composed of your target audience.

STEP THREE: LOOK FOR CELEBRITIES THAT SHARE YOUR BRAND MISSION.

Audiences can spot a forced brand-celebrity partnership as soon as they see one. To avoid turning consumers off of your brand due to an unnatural or contrived partnership, only partner with celebrities who make sense for your brand. Sure, maybe the celebrities you’re aiming to partner with haven’t heard of your brand yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t share the same values as you do. When narrowing down your prospective celebrity partners, ask yourself questions like these as part of the influencer vetting process:

  • Which celebrities have shown an affinity for our brand in the past?
  • Are there any celebrities whose hometown is the same as our brand headquarters?
  • Are there celebrities that have endorsed brands similar to ours in the past?
  • Go through your social media mentions, have any celebrities referenced your brand unprompted?
  • Which celebrities are doing work that speaks to your brand or is aligned with your brand values?

A great place to start can be your own social media mentions and tags. Review the highest-followed accounts that have tagged your brand organically. Reach out to them if they are the right fit or use their profile to find other similar Influencers.

STEP FOUR: WRITE YOUR PITCH.

Some brands or their representative agencies are under the impression that you approach celebrities first, then prepare your campaign later. Their thought process is something along the lines of, “Let’s start by seeing if they’re interested.”

That approach doesn’t work. When brands approach celebrities without preparing a pitch and proposal, they run the risk of seeming uninformed or unprepared for the campaign.

The more famous a celebrity is, the more brand partnerships they are offered each day. To ensure you make a connection when you reach out to a celebrity for a potential partnership, take the time to do the research and prepare a thorough campaign proposal (or partner with an influencer marketing agency with a highly strategic approach and experience in the industry) so when a celebrity agrees to take a meeting with your brand you are prepared and starting your partnership on the right foot.

Want to work with an influencer marketing agency with real results for enterprise organizations? Let’s talk. Set up some time with our team today and we’ll review your influencer marketing goals.

BEST PRACTICES FOR BRANDS PARTNERING WITH CELEBRITIES

  • Take the time to research celebrities before partnering with them to ensure they align with your brand mission.
  • Don’t immediately approach the most buzz-worthy celebrity of the moment, it will lead to more campaign longevity if you partner with a celebrity who the general public views as a natural partner for your brand.
  • Don’t force a partnership with a celebrity if it feels unnatural.
  • Be flexible. Most celebrities and their teams will have opinions on your campaign that require you to make changes, being open to these changes will make you a better partner.
  • Once you determine your budget, stick with it.
  • Remain professional during all interactions with the celebrity, don’t give them any reasons to second guess their decision to partner with your brand.
  • Allow your celebrity partner to be a part of the creative process if they wish to do so, it’s important that they feel accurately represented by the campaign.

CELEBRITIES WHO PARTNER WITH BRANDS TO GIVE BACK

The celebrity-brand partnerships that history remembers the most fondly are the ones designed to do some good in this world. While it’s not necessary to ensure every single one of your celebrity endorsed campaigns solve a global crisis, it is important for everyone to regularly give back to their communities— your brand and celebrity partner included.

Here are some of the top celebrity partnerships that were successful in their mission to give back.

MICHAEL PHELPS FOR TALKSPACE

Source: Talkspace

23 time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps has always been very open about his mental health journey, particularly his history of struggling with depression and anxiety. So, when he partnered with the online therapy organization Talkspace to bring more attention to the tool in an effort to better the mental health of people around the world, it was a natural fit and a generous effort to provide people who have struggled like he had with the help they need.

KRISTEN BELL FOR BABY2BABY

Source: @kristenanniebell on Instagram

Kristen Bell is one of those celebrities who always seems to be partnering with a brand doing good. For her partnership with Baby2Baby— a company dedicated to providing children in poverty with all the diapers, clothing, and basic needs that they deserve— Kristen spent a day bundling diapers to send to families impacted by the pandemic.

EMMA WATSON FOR KERING

Source: BBC

When actor and known activist Emma Watson partners with a brand it is always for a good cause. Her recent partnership with fashion house Kering, was to join their sustainability committee in an effort to continue her work supporting eco-friendly fashion. Through their partnership, she hopes to end fast fashion and create a more sustainable future for the industry.

If you aren’t sure if partnering with a celebrity is right for your next campaign, it may be time for you to research some other approaches to influencer marketing. To get you started, here are The Benefits, Pitfalls, and Differences of Influencer Marketing Tiers from Micro to Celeb.

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