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How to Use Media, Online and Celebrity Trends to your Business’ Advantage

December 2017

How to Use Media, Online and Celebrity Trends to your Business’ Advantage

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen or heard an advertisement for a product or service with a celebrity endorsement behind it.

Everything from ads for foods, makeup, tech and even Government advice may well have had some form of promotion – deliberate or not –  involving famous faces. As well as this, it’s quite likely that at some point you may have become aware of certain items and services off the back of online trends and other platforms like social media and TV events.

However, what you might not have realised is how companies that aren’t directly involved with such advertising, often use these trends and celebrity endorsements to help boost their sales.

In this guide, we’ll look at how such trends and celebrities can be used to promote products and will examine in closer detail how this can potentially benefit businesses. As well as this, we’ve put together a step-by-step approach for business which explains how to firstly recognise such trends and how to act upon them and use them to their advantage.

The Famous Effect: The Impact of Celebrity Endorsement
According to data in this post from Forbes, a single celebrity endorsement can see sales ‘increase by 4%’ and that’s just in the immediate aftermath of the promotion. The article also goes on to explore the reasons for this, explaining how celebrities can essentially ‘inspire consumer confidence’ by adding brand value. The backing of a famous face can work to create an ‘element of legitimacy’ and, it can also of course, help to create more awareness of the product.

This awareness could come directly from the celebrity’s endorsement of the product or service, or potentially through what they say about it on their social media accounts. With the latter, the promotion can reach a wide audience who might not have previously considered or known about the product or service, as some A-list celebs have followers in the millions.

What’s interesting to note though, is that other businesses in similar industries can use the increased awareness from the paid celebrity endorsements done by others, to then promote what they offer. This is providing they are quick enough to recognise and proactively react to the rising interest.

Social Media Trends
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can also be places where trends, online searches and interest in certain goods or services can quickly spread – or ‘go viral’.

This is due in part to the huge reach these platforms have, but also from how easy it can be to find, and be exposed to, them. However, trends can change quite quickly on social media, which is why the popularity of such trends can rapidly drop.

Media Consumption Trends
Television, film and music events can also have a significant bearing on the popularity and interest in goods and services.

To give you a clearer idea of this, and a few other instances of the impact celebrities and media trends have had on consumer behaviour in 2017, we carried out a study and found many examples.

Just a few instances included:

  • During the summer when Love Island was on our TV screens, online searches for water bottles increased by 300,000 across the course of the series.
  • Rihanna sparked a massive increase of 600% in searches for ‘thigh high boots’ after posting a picture of herself wearing some on Instagram.
  • Ed Sheeran caused a surge in interest in guitar loop pedals after his loop-heavy Glastonbury performance, with searches for the devices increasing by 350%.

How to Make the Most of this with your Business
What all the above suggests is that there’s significant potential for you and your business to capitalise on these trends and endorsements. But as also aforementioned, it’s key for you to be proactive and reactive to these, to make the most of what are often quite time-sensitive events and happenings.

Here’s what you can do:

Recognising and Monitoring Trends
One of the first places to start is with spotting and identifying trends, as becoming aware of these while they are on the up, is the ideal time to make the most of them. This is because you’ll have more time to utilise them to your advantage.
There are a few ways you can look to identify them:

  • One of the most straightforward is to simply keep abreast of the latest celebrity endorsements. Also in regard to events, there are sites like Awareness Days which list upcoming themed calendar dates, holidays and hashtags.
  • You can also discover social media trends by setting up profiles for your business and personalising the relevant trends you want to appear in your feeds.
  • For wider trends you can look on sites like Buzzfeed, Reddit, Mashable and Alltop which often break the latest stories, or have forums where people can share content that may eventually go viral.
  • There are also some online tools you can use to see what increased interest or searches there are around certain events or individuals. Google Trends and Google Analytics being two such examples, both can provide the latest data on the top keywords and their search volumes on topics related to your industry.

Naturally, this all depends on how much time and resource you have internally; ideally, you’ll have a team set up to monitor these trends. Alternatively, if you have a smaller staff, this is something you should look to try and make time for by sharing out workloads.

Assessing Trends
Once you know where to look and how to find them, the next thing to do is to assess these trends, events and promotions and think about which ones are relevant for your business or niche.

If you take a look at the examples we listed above, you’ll see how they naturally feed into each other. For example, Rihanna promoting a certain type of boot is an opportunity for sellers of such footwear to push their own equivalent range or styles.

Tailoring your Sales
When you think you’ve got the right trend for your goods or services to jump on the back of, there are a few approaches you might want to consider.

  • Using the relevant hashtags on or around the time of the trend or event to create more awareness of what it is you want to promote, with your social media channels.
  • Creating promotional materials for your website or instore that reference the celebrity, trend or event, it’s worth noting here though, that you should not directly imitate or infringe upon another advertising campaign created by another business.
  • Instead, you might want to get your staff or employees to create a mock version of a celebrity endorsement, or have them responding to the latest trends and release this as an advertising campaign (video, blog, podcast) for your business. These can be created relatively quickly and affordably.

Sourcing Additional Stock
Before you officially announce your chosen sales or promotions, it can be a good idea to make sure you have plenty of additional stock available on the goods you want to sell. Much like any major retail event, the last thing you’ll want is to disappoint your customers as this could lead to damaging negative feedback.

Managing Demand
On top of this, you will also need to manage the demands placed on your business. This can cover everything from:

  • Taking on additional support staff to deal with more orders or enquiries both in person and online.
  • Using a business delivery service like ours to help deal with increased client orders and for getting in more supplies for your business – rather than you having to manage all this internally.

Know when to Quit
Last, but not least, you should also think about how much mileage you can get out of the trends, endorsements and events you want to target. You’ve probably heard the adage of ‘flogging a dead horse’, well this can become applicable if you drag out your promotion too long and you might start to deter customers if you persist with something that’s out-of-date.

These steps are something you could roll out and repeat periodically across the year at the times you feel could be appropriate for your business.

A final piece of advice though is to always act fast with this, as trends will quickly come and go; so, there’s no time like the present to make the most of what the celebrity and digital worlds can bring your company by putting the above steps into place now.

Image courtesy of iStock

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