How much would you pay Manny Pacquiao to endorse your business? Envision this. Manny would be in all your advertisements: TV, Radio, Billboard, and Internet. He would be available for publicity events endorsing your company and products. These can be tradeshows, charitable functions, or conferences. How much attention and excitement would he draw to your brand? How much more interest for your product would there be? Wouldthe return outweigh the investment?
In 2008, Forbes reported that Manny clocked in about $800,000 USD from endorsements. For many companies and even small businesses, it’s well worth the price. Endorsements can be quite powerful for both near and long term. Think about what Michael Jordan has done for Nike. The Jordan brand grew 11% in 2014, making over $2.7 billion for Nike. Jordan retired 12 years ago.
You might be thinking there is no way you can afford an athlete of Manny’s stature to endorse your brand or product and it’s too rich for your blood. I’m going to give you 3 options that might be the right fit for your business.
As I shared earlier, celebrity endorsement is the most powerful and costly. It is very important that you build a financial model to support the investment. If the numbers make sense for sales or branding, it might just be worth it to bite the bullet and line up your company with a relevant celebrity. The key word here is relevant. Don’t try to pair Kim Kardashian with office products. Not only will it possibly confuse your customers, you will also end up losing credibility costing you even more money in lost revenue and PR fees.
Local celebrities such as local newscasters, radio personalities, and sports legends can be a great choice. Local celebrities are more targeted, cost effective, and reinforcing for your local and community presence.
2. Online Influencers
Ok, you’ve heard me talk about Youtube, Instagram, and Yelp by now. These social platforms are filled with online influencers that can be an excellent choice to endorse your brand. These online influencers have a large amount of followers to bring awareness to your brand. One example would be to pay a self-proclaimed fashionista, who has more than 100,000 blog readers, to wear your new clothing line and post pictures on his or her blog.
Unlike a celebrity, an influencer can help you to reach a niche audience online. Instead of paying big bucks for a nationally known celebrity, you can spend a lesser amount of money to reach a targeted audience who will more likely be interested in your products or services. Inviting prominent local mommy food bloggers to dine at your restaurant and blog about their experiences could be a good idea if you want to build credibility with the local mothers in your community.
There is an abundance of online influencers who have niche audiences so you are bound to find one who can help you to reach your exact audience, but be warned some online influencers do request compensations upwards of a few thousand dollars.
Last but certainly not least is a personal endorsement. Yes, a personal endorsement. Sometimes this can be the best choice for your business. Why you ask? It is the most authentic type of endorsement. How many times do you ask your friend or search for online reviews on a product? These people had real experiences with the product you’re interested in. They can answer specific questions and you know it is real for the most part.
Yelp.com would be an example of a website that is built off of personal endorsements. Studies have shown that out of a 5 star rating on Yelp, an increase in just one more star could mean a 5-9% increase in sales for your business. Since personal endorsements are extremely successful at bringing new people to your business, the art of nurturing a community of people who will vouch for your business to their family and friends, online or not, is something every local business should excel in.
There you have it: 3 ways to use endorsements for the benefit of your business. If you feel like your brand needs a boost to drive more sales, you might not have to look further than your next door neighbor. Try and see for yourself.
This article was written by Giancarlo Pacheco, President and CEO of PCA, for Asian Journal. Learn more about our expertise at www.plancagency.com.