prtothetrade

Use Celebrity Power to Drive Traffic

In Drive Website Traffic, selling antiques on May 6, 2010 at 5:37 am

Fame. Power. Money.  Everybody wants to know how to get some. Those who’ve got it can bottle their own brand and sell it.

Most stats say that the use of celebrity to sell products has doubled in the last ten years. Others say at least 1/4 of all ads use celebrity spokespeople. Even celebrities themselves surround themselves with other celebrities to solidify their brand. Take Donald Trump and Celebrity Apprentice, for instance.

The concept of celebrity is so strong that we even have a rating system for it. There are A-List celebrities all the way down to  D-List celebrities. This amazing phenomena isn’t just a Hollywood thing. Celebrities dominate in every career.

There are Celebrity Artists, Celebrity Bloggers (most of whom actually blog about celebrities), Celebrity Chefs, Celebrity Decorators, Celebrity Politicians, Celebrity News Reporters, Celebrity Pundits, Celebrity Art Dealers, Celebrity Antique Dealers, Celebrity Auctioneers.

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone

Clearly, no one can go it alone anymore. Everybody who wants to be anybody needs a handler, a manager, a smokin’ PR firm. Without these, successful people achieve, well, they achieve success, not celebrity.

Celebrity is such an important quality that some people, like Stephen Colbert (one of my favorites BTW), set themselves up as celebrities from the get-go and grow into their celebrity. Others court celebrity by turning their own mundane or dysfunctional lives into Reality Shows and take their celebrity anyway they can get it.

What has all this to do with driving traffic to your website?

Simply this: you can use the power of celebrity to maximize traffic. It’s easier than you think and not nearly as expensive.

Because there are celebrities in all careers now, it is quite likely that you can tap into a network of celebrities specific to your product line and your audience. Celebrities thrive on exposure, so it is not reaching to say they will agree to grace the pages of your site… if you follow the rules of courtesy and use.

Of course, you will need a website that has a component appropriate for celebrity content. This content component could be a magazine or a blog or an opinion column.  Given this, you can include in your integrated marketing strategy a celebrity strategy that will drive traffic to the site.

One of the best examples I can offer is a strategy PRT3 created for a client that is an online antiques seller.  While the thought of seeing yet another site of static photographs and academic descriptions of antiques and decorative arts is a yawn, finding out how a celebrity decorator would use the antiques is hot.

We came up with the strategy of featuring an HGTV celebrity designer or an A-List Celebrity Designer (one who works for A-List celebrities) every month.

Award Winning Designer

Tobi Fairley at Latique.com

It touches the aspirations of everyone who wants to know what to with Grandmother’s breakfront or who wants free advice on how to make the walls and drapes of a room sing.

Same holds true for your industry. While the concept of seeing yet another static site is a bore, the ability to learn, laugh with or hear from a celebrity in your field is exciting.

Only you can decide who the celebrities in your field are and how you can tap into their name recognition. When you do, you give your first choice a call.  There is always a chance he or she will pick up the phone. If they don’t, their publicist will.

Armed with a clear, cohesive pitch about who you are and what you do, the USP (unique selling propostion) that sets your site apart, what your demographic is and how reaching it benefits your celebrity, your are almost guaranteed to get a positive response.

Once you do get the interview, quote or endorsement, respect your celebrity’s image. Be authentic.

Unless you are paying for an endorsement, do not exploit the generosity of your  celebrities. Be sure – doubly sure – that you do not manipulate their words or advice to sell your services. It will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the person doing you the favor and it won’t ring true to your readers.

Authenticity will get you more followers, more traffic than a sales pitch. People are coming to your site to hear what  their favorite career celebrity has to say. They want to be informed. They want to know how that celebrity can help them grow.

If you are tempted to sell, sell, sell, take your hands off the keyboard and sit on them. You win by association. The association could be a lifestyle or peer-to-peer information or aspirations.

You will be lucky to get one great quote that makes the point you want to put across. It could be as simple and as strong as “I typically use about 20% antiques in my room designs.” It could be as awesome as “I check this website at least once a week.”

When you get the quote you want, put it up front. Make sure that your readers get the message immediately. Do not make them work for that message and once they have it, let them off the hook to read the rest of the celebrity content in peace.

If you choose to play up that marvelous quote in a newsletter or other promo piece, fine and dandy. Chances are, you won’t need to. Word of mouth, that viral thing, will take over and your traffic and audience will grow organically.

Once you have posted your first celebrity article, opinion or interview, you will find it easier to get other career celebrities on board. Everyone one is selling something. Celebrities are selling themselves, their expertise or their point of view. This is what makes celebrity content on your website a win-win situation.

As your  traffic grows, so does your position in the marketplace. Use the power of celebrity in an even handed way and you will drive traffic to your site and grow your business.

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