The best way to improve marketing response rates is with endorsements, and the best way to get celebrity endorsements is through getting your product seen by the right people. Take, for example, the famous Topshop tunic dress that Kate Middleton wore on her 25th birthday which went on to sell out in 24 hours. If you’re hoping to get your product or service into the hands of a celebrity, then The Handbook are here to help, so cast your sales-hungry eyes over some of our tips:
1. Find the right celebrity
Selecting the celebrity best for endorsing your product can take some time and effort. Begin by identifying A, B and C list celebrities. The lower the “grade” of celebrity the more successful you are likely in securing an endorsement, but the less exposure you may get. This is a trade off you must consider. When Estee Lauder first started out she gifted celebrities, and the company is now worth almost £4 billion. Gywneth Paltrow was selected as a spokesperson, and something tells us the impact wouldn’t be quite the same if they used Alan Carr. However, selecting a celeb endorser can be as simple as conducting a an email survey or polling your customers. They are, after all, the entire point of securing a celebrity in the first place. Another option is to secure a star that is not very well known – yet. For instance, start contacting celebrities who are cast in upcoming films but are not yet household names. Who knows, they may just be the next James Bond.
2. Contact the publicist or manager, NOT the agent. A common myth is that the agent should be your first form of contact in acquiring celebrity endorsements. However, the agents’ main concern is getting commercial bookings for the celebrity, not making sure they hear about or acquire your product. Publicists and managers, on the contrary, are much more likely to pass on your product to the celebrity, rather than just returning to sender. Alternatively, if you can contact the celebrity’s assistant, there’s a high chance they’ll be willing to trial your gift and pass on the recommendation. It doesn’t hurt to keep these people on-side, either. Keep in mind, however, that when giving celebs free products, there is no guarantee you will get the exposure or publicity you are hoping for. If you want guaranteed exposure, you have to advertise. With that said, the majority of entrepreneurs have made their businesses famous by gifting their products to household names. To view celebrities publicists or managers click here.
3. Send gift certificates. Instead of giving actual products, you can also send gift certificates or service vouchers in the mail, or place them in gift bags and gift suites. By including gift certificates instead of actual products, celebs are given the opportunity to go online or in store and view all of your products at once and select one that suites them best. Often, this method helps to increase exposure due to the fact celebrities are selecting the product that best suites their personal tastes, rather than receiving a gift you were guessing would appeal to them.
4. Include your product in celebrity gift bags, which are given to attendees at events such as awards shows, movie premieres and charity events. The products placed in them are usually carefully selected by a company specializing in putting together gift bags for these events, so simply having your item selected could be a huge boost for your business in regards to product exposure and sales. Additionally, many people enjoy hearing about which products were included in what gift bags. Publications such as Us Weekly regularly feature articles mentioning what products were inside the gift bags for an event and where readers can purchase the products. Some even hold contests where readers can enter to win the products found in the bag from different events.
5. Get your product into a celebrity gift suite. Before major events such as the Oscars or the Grammys, celebrities usually visit lavish gift suites filled with free products. This is just another way to get your product into the hands of celebrities and and boost press coverage, as the media are usually invited to the suite as well. Products featured in these suites range all the way from clothing to vacation getaways. The downside, however, is that the only way to get your product included in a gift suite is to pay, but I think we can all agree the money is well spent if it leads to celebrity connections and endorsements. The type of event gauges what products will be featured, and the bigger the event – the costlier the items. However, if you decide to reap the benefits of gift suites, make sure to have your press kits ready so you can ensure that reporters can take your information with them when they leave. Often, reporters writing for print publications will write follow-up articles on the products, and you want to make sure they have all the information they need for your product to be included.
6. Acknowledge the importance of product placement, but don’t stress if you don’t have a huge marketing budget to spend on it. While the more established companies may be shelling out millions of dollars, you can get your products featured right alongside the Coca-Colas of the world- for free. It’s a little-known fact that movie and television producers are constantly tying to look for easy ways to reduce expenses and allocate more money on A-list talent. So why would they want to spend time and money shopping for items when they could simply get them gifted? This applies to clothing, jewelry, kitchen appliances, home decor accessories, cakes, flowers- you name it. To do this, simply acquire the name of the production company and producer and as if he or she is in need of your product. Keep it short and sweet, though. Your goal is to introduce your product and make yourself available both presently and in the future. Include a media kit that has photographs of your product along with other useful information, such as product dimensions and all your contact information.
7. Be realistic. Usually, it is not in the cards for most businesses to spend megabucks acquiring a big-name celeb. Look into hiring lesser-known celebrities such as soap opera stars, reality TV stars or standup comedians. More often than not, these celebrities are far more affordable and, like in the case of reality stars, can make a great match for nightclubs or other young adult events. You may also consider fun alternatives such as hiring a celeb look-alike or tying your event to a live or silent celebrity autograph auction.
8. Make sure your letter or package stands out. This is essentially a celebrity’s first impression of you. Make sure you run a spell check on any text and include all vital information regarding your product. Ever watch Dragons’ Den? Perception is everything, so make sure you can get across in your letter that you know your product, and that it is beneficial to them as an individual. Also, invest in express delivery as this gives them the impression that you were eager for them to receive your product. You may also send photos of other celebrities using the product along with testimonials if you have any. Including this ‘social proof’ is one way to distinguish your request from similar ones the star might receive. To start contacting celebrities click here.
9. It’s a numbers game! Whilst you’re waiting for one celebrity to get back to you, be sure to contact others. The more celebrities you write to, the better your chance of a productive outcome. If you have not heard back, you can always follow up. Remember that celebrities and their agents are being constantly bombarded with products and letters, so do not despair if you do not immediately get a response. As they say, Rome didn’t get built in a day. To get access to our celebrity database, click here.
10. Approach a celebrity in person. Admittedly, this means to an end may be reserved for the more bold individuals. After all, the last thing you want is to be trailed away by security. Be respectful and know your boundaries! Just being photographed with a celebrity can do wonders for your reputation even if its not directly related to the product. Find out where celebrities will be appearing, for example club nights, book signings or charity events.
For tips on how to contact celebrities and help with your search, please click here
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