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Social Media Emergence Shakes Up Celebrity Marketing

Selecting brand ambassadors is now in the hands of new social media talent.

According to a report released Tuesday by Celebrity Intelligence, social media’s growth has changed demands, expectations and results of traditionally-led celebrity campaigns. Celebrity marketing has changed, because social media has become a top factor for endorsements and campaign-specific contracts are on the rise.

The report, called “The Future of Celebrity Marketing,” shares insight about celebrity marketing’s current state, the positives and negatives of digital technology, the rise of social influencers, financial trends for next year and celebrity-led campaign success.

“Findings from the report underscore the shifting celebrity landscape as rising social media talent attach itself to the celebrity endorsement space—changing the rules of engagement as we know it,” said managing director of the Centaur Marketing Portfolio Katharine Plunkett. “The report confirms that in the next 12 months, we will see increased investments in this space, as more marketers blend the best of what traditional celebrities and social media stars have to offer.”

Key findings from the report share percentages about celebrity marketing, celebrity contact management, campaign-specific contracts, social media talent vs. traditional celebrities, social media promotion and agency budgets.

Celebrity marketing is an invested practice, according to the report. Results demonstrated that 74 percent of agency respondents and 69 percent of companies (representative of in-house marketers) currently work with celebrities. Seventy percent of companies also said they were managing their celebrities contacts in-house. Sixty-six percent of companies and 58 percent of agencies reported that this was also a challenging and time consuming task.

As brand ambassadors, these celebrities are an asset to the company’s reputation on social media platforms. Although traditional celebrities are selected the most by agencies and companies, 43 percent of companies and 46 percent of agencies said that social media talent would be relevant to their future projects.

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Campaign-specific contracts are also becoming more popular. Up to 40 percent of agencies questioned and 22 percent of company respondents said they engaged celebrities on a campaign-specific basis instead of long-term contracts. Campaign-specific social media spending is also crucial to many agencies and companies. Fifty-four percent of agencies said they were spending between $15,000 and $150,000 on campaign-specific social media, 45 percent of companies said they were spending $15,000 or more as well.

Social media promotion is also a top strategy for agencies and companies. All agency respondents and 98 percent of companies said that social media promotion is “highly effective” for increased presence and economic growth in today’s competitive market.

The report also predicted budget growth in the next year. Forty-nine percent of agencies and 39 percent of companies said budgets would increase significantly over the next 12 months.