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Brands combine social media, data to help customize celebrity impact

Young male celebrities endorse cosmetics for female audience
by Leon Zhang
National Head of Social Media
MediaCom, China
The main trends of celebrity endorsement in 2016 can be summed up as “light, social and data-driven.” As traditional celebrity endorsement is expensive, brands are increasingly favoring “lighter” social media content marketing cooperation with celebrities rather than celebrity endorsement as traditionally understood.
Social media based celebrity endorsement offers more customization and variety of advertising, such as a Weibo advertising package that offers three forms of brand exposure on the celebrity’s Weibo account, including ad display, text, and background image.
Meanwhile, big data tools are increasingly used to inform selection of brand endorsers. For example, the Digital Influence Score system used by MediaCom performs a systematic evaluation of a candidate based on more than 20 dimensions of social networking, search, and content, yielding an overall score for reference.
When selecting expensive brand endorsers, brands will perform a systematic evaluation to ensure a good ROI. A key indicator is the overlap between the target audience and the celebrity’s followers in the relevance of the product and preference for it.
A related phenomenon in this year is the increasing popularity of “little fresh meat,” or young handsome male celebrities over female celebrities as endorsers of cosmetics products. “Little fresh meat” celebrities are favored because their followers closely match the target audience of brands of consumer goods and cosmetics products. Brands selecting “little fresh meat” celebrities need to consider the following key factors:

1. Select the right celebrities The post-'90s generation has grown up with the Internet and social media. Along with traditional factors for selecting celebrity endorsers, brands should also consider celebrity candidates in terms of their influence, interaction and reputation on social media.

2. Engage the fan groups Many celebrities have their fan groups, and the major fan groups often have remarkable content generation and publicity capability, especially on social media. Cooperation with these groups can deliver content and publicity and spontaneous circulation of brand information among fans.

3. Speak their language Fans of celebrities often have their own expressions for communication among themselves, such as nicknames for fans and celebrities and unique patterns of diction. To communicate effectively with celebrity fans, marketing campaigns need to speak their language.