Celebrities are like brands. They sell products which are powered by their names. The most important asset of a celebrity in his or her name. Numerous industries may be dependent on this. The more they advertise, the greater their star power. The greater is their star power, the more advertisements do they get. This cycle is consistent. However, the cycle is dependent on the reputation of the celebrity. A bigger celebrity will command a greater price and more coverage compared to a smaller one.
With the advent of technology and the penetration of the internet, awareness has improved manifold. Consumers are aware of who rules the bytes in the virtual world. It is this space that needs to be conquered.
One of the biggest weapons that product and services companies use is called a Search Engine Optimization. Popularly known as SEO, it is defined as a mechanism by which a particular site is rated by Google. This rating is then optimized through various means to improve the search parameters of the website.
The question remains how does this help celebrities?
A celebrity, as previously mentioned, is a product. It is this product that acts as an enabler. It helps launch products, creates a furore in the consumer market and has big bucks running on him or her. People or in particular the fans of the celebrity acts as a community. This community will drive the reputation of the celebrity. But how does the celebrity ensure that he or she rules the virtual world? That when the all-powerful keywords are typed on the keyboard, the information that pops up is always related to them. You guessed it right. Search Engine Optimization is the weapon of choice. Large E-Commerce companies spend millions of dollars trying to maximize their reach amongst the paying crowd. The greater the reach, the more the probability of sales. It is the same for celebrities. The entire reason a celebrity will be spending on Search Engine Optimization or SEO is to maximize their reach. They do not wish to remain unknown to those who are outside the fandom. Gaining newer fans is what they seek.
Why should Celebrities commercialize their reach?
There is a certain image that every celebrity nurtures. Their image is directly proportional to the profits. A clean image is what the public wants though that may not be the case always. Sometimes a naughty boy or a bad girl image works too. That, however, is a discussion for another day. Search Engine Optimization or SEO will decide what to throw at the public and what not to. This needs to be done alongside Digital Marketing.
Celebrities are publicity hungry individuals. This may not be a reflection of their selves but to stay relevant in the public eye is a must for everyone. The moment a celebrity falls off the radar, it may sound the death knell of their careers. A publicist is, therefore, the most important figure in their lives, as much as their makeup artists and fitness instructor. A publicist or a Public Relations professional will guide the individual through the crazy world of stardom. Similarly, a digital marketer will ensure that the celebrity is always on someone’s screen at some point in time.
The measurement of success
The modern era measures success in the most stupefying way. The Internet has ensured that not only do you gain information but while you search for it, the entire system will track it, mark it and rank it. This leads to the concept of Search Engine Optimisation. So basically Google, which is the dominant search engine on the planet has devised a way where one’s volume of search is a deciding factor. So for example if Celebrity A has appeared x number of times during search and Celebrity B has appeared y number of times and x>y, then on the popularity scale celebrity X beats celebrity Y.
The reason for the particular search may be myriad. But the presence needs to be there.
Search Engine Optimization coupled with focus Digital Marketing can resurrect the falling popularity of individuals. While not every aspect of marketing like article writing and blogs may be helpful, since limitations are writing about individuals, the scope of expanding the search criteria is immense.
One prime example of effective digital marketing and search engine optimisation is eliminating or at least minimising records. No celebrity would want a scandal from the past popping up regularly. The digital marketing tea along with the search engine specialist will ensure that the image of the celebrity is kept positive to the greatest extent.
The number of people visiting the profile of the celebrity or the fan the following one has on the other social media platforms is the real measure of success.
The marketing game
Celebrities are a product unto themselves. It has been mentioned umpteen times before. If they do not market themselves well enough then the product fails. It has to sell. The simple case of supply and demand has to be met. Every celebrity has a shelf life and that period has to be taken advantage of. This may not always apply to those celebrities who have gone beyond the winning game. They are far and between. Every celebrity worth their salt does indulge in prepping their social media image. It is important to be present in the virtual world. Celebrities also act as influencers. They influence and motivate people to move forward and thereby create a positive image for themselves. Now, this may or may not be a part of the marketing game but it certainly helps. The greater the number of people get engaged, the merrier is the brand.
What is engagement?
Engagement is at the crux of the matter. The celebrity has to engage the consumer. There has to be a certain invisible link between the celebrity and his or her fans. Only then will there be some kind of engagement happening. It is a simple affair. An individual finds someone interesting and engages themselves in trying to find out more. Increased engagement is tracked by the search engine algorithm. It finds out the number of hits to the website, the total footfall, the amount of time spent etc. Greater engagement would mean a larger digital footprint. This increase the cope for the celebrity. Hence, from the next search onwards, keywords will start generating information related to that particular celebrity. A simple case of how effective engagement can turn the game.
The numbers game
Branding is a numbers game. Those who disagree are unaware of the implications of how negative branding can affect products, in this case, a celebrity. Any negative image that is created about the celebrity may adversely affect their career. This will have severe repercussions. But why just limit ourselves to A-listers. There are umpteen small-time celebrities or as they are known to fly by night celebrities who have gained immense popularity through effective image creation and brand building. One such example is PewDiePie, who made a monstrous $12 million in 2017. The Kardashians are the greatest living example of effective digital marketing. The entire brand has been built around its sophistication with great details. Nothing has spared to the imagination. The whole life story of the family is now public. The power of Search Engine Optimization has been utilized fully and wholly.
Where to begin?
We have been discussing activities that will take place after the presentation has been created. Let’s begin with the first step. Creating an online presence is a must to attract and build a community. The website will primarily focus on the positive aspects of the celebrity. It is going to be the central pillar and all activities will be centered around it. The strong points and the talents of the individual will be showcased. It may be arts, sports, creative performances et al. A SEO checklist will have to be followed. As an SEO agency and they swear by the SEO checklist. These contain the following:
- Optimization of the site for the mobile phone
- Creation of meta descriptions
- Research on relevant keywords
- Content creation
- Researching and engaging valuable backlinks
It is only after this wish list has been fulfilled that the agency will move on.
The aforementioned tasks are delicate activities which require years of practice and research, something the celebrities may not have. Once the way forward has been decided by the public relations team, the digital marketing team will chalk out the next plans.
Planning is immensely necessary. Without it, the entire premise will fall flat. The world loves to hear a good story and here the story is an individual in flesh and blood. Circumstances have to be built around him or her. This will create greater gravity that will attract more people. And as we have seen it before, this leads to greater engagement.
This is one of the newer fields in the domain of Public Relations. Reputation is key to everything. If there is a failure on that part, then it becomes extremely difficult for the individual to claw back. Futures are built on reputation. Careers are created on their strong backs. An individual with a dodgy reputation will always find it hard compared to someone with a fair one.
When it comes to celebrity management, perception is a great weapon. It can make or break an individual. And they can be infinitesimally small things that have the potential to blow upon the face. Something as mundane as eating a burger on a Thursday can become a thing of ridicule. Digital marketing teams or celebrity management teams have to be always on their toes to create a positive image of their clients. A positive perception matters. Without it, all is simply hot air.
Is SEO required for everyone?
The simple answer to this is No. The A-listers may not need it at all. Not all fields of work require it. People mostly from showbiz would require them. A sports star or a musician will not require it, though Shaq is rumored to have hired an Orlando SEO Company to handle some of his marketing. They have their domains taking care of it. The world of glamour is usually the place where marketing oneself is important. And if there is backing from social media then half the battle is won.
The basic premise of Search Engine Optimisation is increasing visibility. Imagine a Tom Cruise or a Brad Pitt or a Jennifer Lawrence looking for SEO. They will not. They already have enough avenues of visibility and perception building that anything else will not be required.
It is important from the point of view of an agency to understand the need of the individual. Every request is different and so will the approach be.
Impact of effective Search Engine Optimization
The biggest impact on a celebrity, effective Search Engine Optimization has is providing enough material for the community he or she commands to talk about. The power of gossip, as they say, is incredible. And it travels far. The more the chatter, the greater the inquisitiveness. This will lead to more virtual discovery and hence improved engagement. This entire ecosystem is based on an algorithm which measures time spent on social media profiles. Strong keyword searches and smooth navigability apart, what works for the celebrity is the halo that has been created around him or her. A certain aura has to be built and only then will it attract the crowd. It is more like attracting moths towards the light.
The results are often stunning:
- Increased credibility
- Improved sponsorship opportunities
- Immense commercial gains
- Perception management
- Improvement in brand value
Every celebrity wishes a niche market for themselves. But not everyone is successful. It needs to be mentioned that Search Engine Optimization in a silo is as hopeless as a bullet without a gun. It is no magic wand and cannot work in solitary mode. It has to be in conjunction with many other activities. They all have to go hand in hand. Without support, SEO will fall flat and will not give the desired results.