Thinking about bringing celebrities into your advertising campaigns?

Endorsement can be obvious or appear to be "native." For example, one of the Kardashians raving about her new teeth whitening system on Instagram is a "native endorsement." It appears to be genuine, and maybe it is. Your celebrity endorsement no longer has to be as blatant as a NY Times ad with your famous person of choice posing with your product. Celebrities and social influencers have the power to convey authenticity and relate on a person-to-person level with their audience, going into more depth about why they love the product or service, using their own voice or something that is pre-written to fit their personality.

Instagram, for example, now has the power to be a mini-visual infomercial.

But how do you begin to scale your endorsement strategy and fold it into your marketing campaigns without breaking your budget? If you're looking to do just native endorsements, consider these financial costs first.

A major celebrity can, and will, command a fee of at least $3,000 for one post or "ad." If that's out of your budget or you're aiming for minor celebrities or influencers, you can at least pitch them using the rough formula here.

How to Calculate Endorsement Fees for Minor Celebrities and Influencers

Calculate pricing based on social media reach. This will vary for each person you talk to about endorsement. It depends on how many followers they have as well as the average number of likes or engagement per post they get.

Then assume an optimistic 2% conversion rate for sales from each post.

For example: Minor Celebrity A has 91,000 followers on Instagram. He gets an average of 1,200 likes per post. If he posted once per week for you and that post received between 700-1,000 likes, you assume a 2% conversion rate for sales traffic. So 14-20 people buy your $15 product, which brings you $210-300 in gross sales. So you may want to offer something like $250 per post to Minor Celebrity A.

With minor players/celebrities you can low ball a bit because they're probably not getting courted for a lot of endorsements. Always ask them who their other endorsement products/services are, if any. They may be able to tell you or go into detail. Beware of managers and agents who want to command higher fees to include their commissions.

Most importantly: Pay fairly, play fairly, and don't game celebrities off each other to get a better rate. That's a one-time gimmick and you'll create a bad name for yourself.

How to Schedule and Streamline Multiple Celebrity or Influencer Endorsements

Paid posts should look and feel natural for both the celebrity and the company. If you have multiple endorsements going on, those posts have to be staggered at different times on different platforms. Assume a maximum of two posts per influencer per month and stagger between platforms like this: Week 1-IG or YouTube, week 2-FB, week 3-Twitter or IG, week 4-Facebook or Snapchat.

A little goes a long way with endorsements, but don't forget: endorsements or "reviews" OFF Instagram or YouTube don't last as long in a feed. Plan carefully, pitch well, and live up to your side of the bargain by giving your celebrity or influencer everything they need to succeed. This includes pre-written content, product overviews or an orientation call, and follow up as well as a thank you gift. Optimize their endorsement across platforms (if possible, write this in the contract) to include text, photo, and video.