Celebrity endorsements for large brands have been around since before Michael Jordan lent his slam dunk “Air Jordan” image to Nike in 1984, worth at the time, $500,000 per year over five years.
But social media platforms, like Instagram, are giving small businesses the opportunity to tap into this hugely valuable resource of outreach and endorsement. It still doesn’t come cheap, but with the right celebrity showing off your product on his Instagram feed, it may be worth the expense.
The Right Celebrity
What makes it worth the expense for many smaller brands is tying the celebrity into whatever product you are trying to promote. Getting Emma Stone (Best Actress 2017 for La La Land) to post an image of her wearing your bejeweled summer sandals on her Instagram account can make a brand’s sales skyrocket.
But a professional athlete like Cristiano Ronaldo endorsing your roofing business may not have the effect you want. Sure, you may get huge exposure but will any of his fans and followers who see the endorsement really be a valuable prospect, and one will to actually spend money on a new roof?
The Right Result
Celebrity endorsements bring benefits like amplification of your voice and your message. It can also build trust; when potential users of your new iPhone app see that LeBron James uses it to track his daily activities, they will believe that his success can be theirs if they just download and use your app.
So what do celebrities charge to promote your product or service?
The Right Price
Beyonce, for example, charges $1,000,000 per post on Instagram but has a following of over 99 million, and that’s just in Instagram. She tops the list of most expensive celebrity endorsers but other top names command major fees.
- Beyonce: $1,000,000 and 99+ million Instagram followers 
- Selena Gomez: $550,000 and 116 million Instagram followers [1, 2]
- Cristiano Ronaldo: $400,000 110+ million Instagram followers 
- Kendall Jenner: $368,000 and 78 million Instagram followers
- Cara Delevigne: $150,000 and 39 million Instagram followers
- Gigi Hadid: $120,000 and 30+ million Instagram followers 
- Kylie Jenner: $400,000 and 91+ million Instagram followers 
- Kim Kardashian: $500,000 and 98 million Instagram followers 
- LeBron James: $120,000 
- Miranda Kerr: $50,000 and 11 million Instagram followers
The Right Choice for You
But it is not just the major players like Nike who can take advantage of the celebrity endorsements and the massive benefits. The key, again, is to find celebrities that match your brand and your product.
That may require letting go of that dream to get Cristiano Ronaldo to promote your brand of men’s briefs. Instead, look deeper into what your product provides, its benefits to the user or its deeper message, and find a “smaller” celeb who fits that message.
It is just a matter of a little hard work on social media to find someone who matches your target audience who has a large enough following. Perhaps your celebrity someone who your target audience considers to be an expert on a specific topic — Fredrik Eklun, the number one real estate broker in the US and star of the Bravo TV reality show “Million Dollar Listing.” Or star of a local real estate show.
Just keep in mind that “celebrity” is a relative term. Sometimes that mega-star who just won an Oscar isn’t the best person to endorse your brand. It may just be the guy down the street who had his picture in the paper rescuing folks in Texas or Florida during the Sept. 2017 hurricanes.
Top 10 List resources:
- The Top 10 Highest Paid Celebrities on Instagram, from Mediakix.com, April 2017
- You Will Weep at How Much Cristiano Ronaldo & Kendall Jenner Earn From Sponsored Instagram Posts, from HighSnobiety, July 16, 2017