We’ve all seen those ads. Whether it’s your favourite athlete dunking a ball to promote the release of a new line of shoes or your favourite actress brushing her teeth to advertise a new toothpaste, celebrity endorsements sweep across all industries and marketing touchpoints.
For a writer, a celebrity endorsement is one of the most powerful – but often overlooked – strategies that one can leverage to fuel explosive book sales.
Here are six reasons why it works.
The power of a familiar face
Facial recognition carries a lot of weight to consumers. Seeing people that we recognize immediately releases signals in our brain that we can let our guard down – the same signals that are used to determine “friend or foe” during survival situations.
In other words, by featuring a familiar face with your product, you’re immediately earning trust from everyone who recognizes the celebrity because of something that’s written in our DNA. You never thought we’d be combining marketing and biology, right?
Additionally, familiar faces catch our attention. We, as humans, have the tendency to look for familiar characteristics in facial features. We’ve all probably said, “Wow, you look like ____.” Similarly, having familiar faces behind products catches the attention of people who wouldn’t have normally spotted them.
Celebrity endorsements appeal to a new market
When a celebrity endorses your book, there’s often a new market that he or she is appealing to.
For example, if you write a murder mystery that is endorsed by an actress from a popular comedy show, you’re getting exposure to a second audience. While the actress’s followers might not all be active readers of murder mysteries, they’ll still all be exposed to your work. Better yet, because of their fandom for the actress, they’ll be more likely to purchase the book – even if they’re not incredibly active readers.
There are more examples too from within literary genres. For instance, you write a leadership book that gets endorsed by a popular businessman. The businessman’s followers probably read business books and maybe occasionally leadership books, but they’ll be more likely to buy your book thanks to that endorsement.
Validation of your own work to your target audience
A celebrity endorsement is a pat on the back no matter who the celebrity is. Sure, it’s nice to earn endorsements from people within your industry, but any celebrity endorsement will also serve as validation of your own work to your target audience.
You can think of this, in some ways, as two different kinds of endorsement: direct endorsement and fan endorsement. If a celebrity chef endorses a cookbook, that’s a direct endorsement since the chef works within that industry. If a celebrity chef endorses a romance novel, it’s a fan endorsement since they are not an expert on the subject matter, but rather a fan of the work or author.
Both of these endorsements are meaningful to your audience, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. No matter how you’re being endorsed, the endorsement itself is a validation of your great writing.
We want to be like celebrities
We all want to be like celebrities. Maybe some of us more than others, of course, but there’s at least no denying that celebrities drive culture. From the way we dress to the things we eat and say, often we’re doing our best to be like the stars.
In the same way, having an endorsement from a celebrity plays on this desire to be more like those we look up to. Your potential reader – even subconsciously, perhaps – will think, Wow, if [Celebrity] liked the book, then I probably will too.
Hard to forget the ad
We are bombarded with ads all day long. From print to billboards, screens to audio, ads pepper our lives. And to cope with the influx of mediums of ad exposure, our brains are evolving to get better and better at “turning off” when exposed to an ad. Basically, we can see an ad and then forget it almost immediately thereafter. And that’s a skill.
Celebrity endorsements, however, are much more difficult to forget. Because of many of the “recognition features” described above, our brains connect more with celebrity ads and we can’t simply tune out as well as we can with other ads.
Because of this, a celebrity endorsement is a powerful stamp of approval that the audience will not forget.
The growing power of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming one of the most popular marketing touchpoints across every industry. A recent report showed that “the market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, it soared to $13.8 billion.” This ten-fold increase in just 6 years is not only staggering but also a testament to the power of the “influencer.”
Celebrity endorsement will always be the grandfather of influencer marketing. In many ways, influencer marketing is basically celebrity endorsement with less-famous celebrities.
If you want to ride the most popular marketing trend, a celebrity book endorsement is the way to go.
Are you ready to explore your options?
If corralling a celebrity to endorse your book seems like a daunting task, fear not. While it might be nearly impossible to do on your own with emails or Instagram DMs, thankfully there are other, more fool-proof ways.
MindStir Media, the award-winning self-publisher, offers a celebrity book endorsement package that allows writers to work with one of an awesome list of celebrities, from Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington to Mariel Hemingway, Daniel Baldwin, and even Kate Flannery of The Office.
Getting a celebrity book endorsement has never been easier. See for yourself!