Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and the IV Vitamin Drip: The Celebrity Effect on Social Media Marketing

What if there was a product that could offer a quick fix for the common cold, cure the dreaded hangover after a long night out, give you an energy boost after pulling an all-nighter on your presentation, or just generally help you feel better and younger?

Sounds too good to believe, right? Then, add the celebrity endorsement power of Rihanna, Madonna, Adele, Kim Kardashian, Simon Cowell, along with many other talented athletes and artists who have been seen using these products and espousing their benefits on social media, and these factors combine to create a powerful strategy for IV vitamin therapy companies to promote their services.

Why does it matter if celebrities are seen on social media using your products? Let’s explore the celebrity effect upon companies.  

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What is IV Vitamin Therapy?

First off, what the heck is the IV Vitamin Therapy? Intravenous (IV) therapy delivers liquid substances into a vein and is the fastest way to deliver medication, vitamins and fluids throughout the body. IV therapy began in the 1830’s and became widely used in the healthcare industry after the 1950s. IV vitamin therapy is also referred to as vitamin drips. Typically, only 40% of over-the-counter vitamins ingested orally is absorbed into your body while vitamins administered intravenously will absorb at 99.9%.

Over the last few decades, companies have begun to offer IV vitamin therapy at spas specifically designed to provide these services and with mobile services at homes or concerts. Originally marketed as a hangover cure, these companies have now expanded the appeal of their product to include remedies for allergies, anxiety, depression, fatigue, colds and flu, along with being heralded as one of next big beauty treatments.

Incredible, right? These are amazing claims, but alas, scientific research has not quite caught up to validate these claims or to evaluate the safety of regularly receiving these treatments. You should consult a medical provider prior to jumping on the Kardashian IV Therapy bandwagon.

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The Celebrity Effect

Does seeing a celebrity using a product affect a consumer’s purchasing decision? Yes, it does. One Taiwanese study showed that consumers remembered products associated with a celebrity better than other products. If you happen to be a fan of that celebrity, you’re more likely to place a higher value on that product. Your subconscious suggests to you that using the product is a way to emulate that celebrity’s desirable traits.

Does this mean that I’m going to run to the store to get one of the newest endorsed product by Ryan Reynolds, Aviation Gin? Not necessarily. Seeing your product used on social media by a celebrity mainly builds consumer confidence, preference and brand awareness through social media — especially when your target may include the social media savvy Generation Zers and Millennials.

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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Remember Rihanna’s backlash at Snap Chat on Instagram? Stock prices dipped after the backlash but the company regained its losses later that week.  While this only had short term effect, it does not help the company’s image in the court of public opinion, especially with losing support of an influential celebrity in Snap Chat’s targeted market segment.

Does it work?

Yes, celebrity social media endorsements do contribute to the perceived value of a product or service. According to a report from Marketwatch, a simple brand signing of a celebrity or athlete can increase sales by an average of 4%. The social media presence of a celebrity using a product contributes to consumers’ trust and brand awareness, and promotes your product while influencing consumer purchase intentions.

Is this another Kardashian endorsed prepaid credit card? Will we see a resurgence in Trump Steaks and be happily grilling them over Labor Day weekend? Or brushing our teeth with a Justin Beiber singing toothbrush with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen AquaFresh toothpaste? Hold on… having a celebrity endorsement does not guarantee your product or marketing strategy is successful.

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Keep in mind that celebrity endorsements are not enough to guarantee success in attracting new consumers or gaining acceptance in an emerging market. Gaining the endorsement of Justin Beiber or Rihanna may not necessarily matter to the consumers in your targeted market segment.  Companies must continue to demonstrate their value to consumers and show them how they’re providing benefits and value in real and tangible ways.

Good Marketing Blogging: Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is an online marketing firm that helps firms optimize, track, and analyze their digital marketing campaigns. They also run a helpful, insightful, and popular blog covering digital marketing topics. In learning about successful digital marketing the Kissmetrics blog has been a treasure-trove of information.

I’m going to analyze one blog post that stuck out to me: How Brands Can Take Advantage of Snapchat (infographic).

The post is written by Zach Bulygo (@zachcb1), the blog manager for Kissmetrics. This blog post is a very good example of a basic informational post. Writing about the basics of a topic can be difficult, especially for someone who knows a lot about how it works. Zach combines helpful text with an excellent infographic.

The Text:

Zach starts off by defining the audience that snapchat advertising is useful for: young adults 18-24. He also lays out some basic statistics about why Snapchat is a viable digital marketing medium, and should be part of any social media portfolio. Zach also sums up an important point to end the text:

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The Infographic: 

The infographic steals the show. As a visual learner, it was pleasing, helpful, and entertaining. The infographic relays demographic information already discussed in the text, and adds more data. It gives examples of successful implementations of Snapchat from major companies such as Acura and Taco Bell. Thirdly, it gives the readers some examples of Snapchat uses: Contests, New Product Sneak Peaks, and targeted videos, among more. Finally, it sums it up with the best practices a company should undertake when starting a brand communication on Snapchat.

Critique:

My one critique of the blog post is that the infographic felt buried. It was at the bottom of the post and I had to scroll down to find it. The infographic is visually appealing and interesting. As a frequent blog reader, it is possible that I could have missed it, because the extra step of scrolling through the post is one I often don’t take. Luckily this time I did however, because I was impressed with the visual representation of the blog.

More Marketing Insights from TEAM MONEY:

Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play of the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Socially Sorted: Hints, tips and techniques to help WIN this DMC

And we’re off!  The 2016 Willamette MBA Pro DMC (Digital Marketing Challenge) is underway with fierce competition that spans the valley and teams dedicated to becoming #1.  But, how will they do this? Read on to find out, especially if you are interested in having your post solicit others to do your work for you (after all, aren’t we earning MBAs to figure out how to optimize resources?).

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Donna Moritz gives MBA Candidates a plethora of suggestions and strategies that are worth a try.  @SociallySorted, who herself has 33.2K (yes, read that THOUSAND!) Followers and 48.2K (DITTO!) Tweets, offers seven real-world and timely (in light of our Marketing Class Professor’s content) techniques for driving your market strategy directly into the line of your customer or potential reader’s eyes.

If you are a visual person (which a lot of us are), consider theCapture blog2 first tip to pin tweets to Twitter profiles.  Imagine getting twice the amount of eyes on your words with a few quick steps! Building on this strategy, a second tip is to create and post some amazingly interesting image that people just can’t resist.  Images that capture the imagination, take us to our Avatar or Pokemon Go sites are sure to encourage repeat tweets and pins.  As with other sections of this blog, @SociallySorted provides options on accomplishing this (check it out!).  One really cool aspect of these options is the brief discussion of tools that can help make pinning and tweeting even easier (Shutterstock Editor or Relay, as examples). Donna’s fifth suggestion (GOTCHA! yes, this is written out of order) expounds on optimizing images or blogs for links or posts to Facebook, again with a few options. Option 6 provides similar advice for Instagram.  Apokemon cagen interesting experience was we were writing this blog:  in an attempt to make this blog relevant and timely, thought we would inject images of the latest Pokemon Go craze to support our attempts at satire.  So, astutely, we entered “Pokemon Cages” in the search line on Google, which gave us animated images of Pokemon with Nicholas Cage’s face on them.  So, if using any of these image-based recommendations, use caution.

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MBA Candidates world around should take heed of Donna’s third tip: post your blog to your business page! In our class last night, one of our team members is a Willamette U employee and she encouraged us to use our Willamette U MBA page!  What an awesome idea that confirms Donna’s recommendation! (Have you done this yet?)  Of course, from here, it’s easy to leap to LinkedIn, Facebook and other popular sites.

For all the YouTube crazies out there, @SociallySorted includes recommendations for a short video or Facebook Live (and all this time I thought those folks were fictional!).  Too cool for those of us who still remember Super 8! (Okay, how many of you reading this know – or remember – Super 8?)  And last but not least, Suggestion Seven explain
s how to set up Twitter Cards, complete with examples of the process to help even the most luddite of us perform this task.

Donna’s siCapture pic 7te is easy and quick to read, contains a zillion (yes, I counted them – an even, round ZILLION) links and helpful step-by-step details for improving your chances of winning this competition.   Digging in, she encourages folks to use and share site content, which just made us appreciate this content further. So much for the Endowment Effect.

For those of you who are simply admiring all the chaos the competitive classes in this competition have created, one of the coolest things about Donna’s 7 Ways to Effortlessly Drive More Blog Readers with Visuals site is how encouraging it is: these tips lead you to believe even YOU can do this!

We were sure fooled into believing it!

So, have fun, check out the links, let us know your thoughts and read on for the next adventures in the 2016 WUDMC!