But Sheen is just the most recent, dramatic – and public, since he can’t seem to stop talking – example of how Twitter is swiftly becoming one of the most effective ways to leverage celebrity sponsorship and endorsements.
Anatomy of a celebrity-based Twitter campaign
Ad.ly, currently ‘the’ name in celebrity-based Twitter campaigns, has this to say about what a typical deal might look like:
- Multiple celebrities per campaign (they have 1000+ in their network, from Kim Kardashian to Cristian Ronaldo to Snookie)
- There is almost always a Facebook tie-in (’click to LIKE this page’)
- Campaigns typically run for short periods of time (under 30 days)
- Deals typically start at $50k for multiple tweets/celebrities
- They’re seeing more interest in bigger-budget campaigns (they say as much as $500k+ per day)
The value for advertisers is twofold:
- Increased engagement than ‘normal’ online advertising (clickthrough rates tend to be 5-10%, far higher than typical banner ads)
- A more accessible price point for celebrity endorsement
Other ways to leverage Twitter as an advertising channel
Five months ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that buying a promoted trend spot for 1 day in the US was costing about $100k. The Wedbush reports that prices are rising – and as geographically-based trends become more segmented, buying trends on a city-by-city basis could see this total rise significantly by the end of the year.
Coca Cola reported huge success with their use of Promoted Trends, with 86 million impressions and a 6% engagement rate – again, much more effective than typical banner ads.
Promoted Tweets have historically been sold as part of a Promoted Trend package, but are now starting to gain traction on their own, thanks to a better understanding of hashtags (i.e. #winning) on the part of the average user.
This essentially allows you to ‘buy’ followers: You sign up to have your account promoted (in the list of suggested people to follow) and then pay $1-$3 for every new follower you acquire during the promoted period.
What does this mean for you?
Well, spending levels like this aren’t for every advertiser – so far, there isn’t sufficient segmentation to make celebrity tweeters and promoted trends efficient for smaller, niche brands. But if you’ve got a bigger brand with a broad demographic and target audience, it may be time to think about a test market.