Influencer marketing and event promotion are like a match made in heaven. When you have the right influencers talking about your upcoming event, you can drive substantial interest, fast.
This is just what you need when marketing for your event. You need to build up the momentum in a short span of time – short enough to hold people’s attention and long enough to get your message out there so people can register and put your event on their calendars.
Without the influencer impact, it may be a challenge to motivate enough buzz around your event quickly. With your influencers’ social followings and clout, on the other hand, a well-planned influencer campaign can turn your brand’s event into the next big thing everyone in your industry wants to go to. In fact, the top digital marketing conferences have wised up to this tactic and are using it to great effect already. When the marketers themselves do it, you know it works!
Finding Influencers Who Resonate with Your Attendees
Influencer campaigns are gold mines of potential when you are trying to target specific buyer segments. Bloglovin’s 2017 Marketers Survey found that 67 percent of marketers believe influencer marketing helps them reach more targeted audiences.
This isn’t a shocker. Part of the power of using influencers in marketing is that the individuals themselves fulfill a certain expectation for their audience – a set of values, a certain lifestyle, a level of achievement. When you use the right influencers, you can easily resonate with the exact people you have created your event for by triggering their aspirations.
For influencer success, start by identifying who your audience is. For example, is your event intended as a tool to build trust with your current customers and to nurture your already motivated buyers? Then you can use your buyer personas for these segments to help plan your influencer campaign. Are you trying to reach out to a new market segment with your event? Then, how can you relate to this new market through one, or several, influencers? Also, keep in mind what social channels your target audience is on.
Wanderlust Festival, which holds both multi-day and one-day wellness events all over the world, does a great job of promoting to their target attendees – primarily millennials – on YouTube. They have created a series of videos called Wanderlust Postcards, which are short one-minute videos, each featuring a different micro-influencer.
What’s really brilliant is that these videos are designed to be shared. They are 30 seconds of inspiration, perfect mindfulness meditations that Wanderlust attendees would love. Researchers at UCLA found that content that is inspirational (or if it is useful or entertaining) is more likely to be shared.
DIG SOUTH Tech Conference leverages LinkedIn to feature thought leaders, mostly event speakersand sponsors. They keep the conversation going year-round, which has the effect of turning DIG SOUTH into a destination for their target – everyone from college students to entrepreneurs and professionals in the technology and marketing sectors – to use to stay up-to-date with innovations in technology in business today.
Influencer, Micro-Influencer, or Brand Advocates?
When creating your influencer campaign, keep in mind the playing field is really wide open. Sure, big-hitters have larger audiences. But, when promoting your next event, it’s not about reaching more people, but rather, the right people.
This is where using micro-influencers and your brand advocates – both your employees and your customers – may have more success.
Micro-influencers may have smaller followings on social media, but they are also likely to have more trust and authority with their followers. They will cater to a tighter yet more devoted niche. So, if you specifically want to target young entrepreneurs who have a passion for AI, and you don’t have the budget for Elon Musk, who has 22 million Twitter followers, you would look for someone like Nathan Benaiche, who is closing in on 22 thousand Twitter followers. He’s the founder of LondonAI and is a recognized voice in the industry – who also happens to always post about what’s going on in the sector.
Try to also work with any speakers, demonstrators, instructors, panelists, or performers at your event. They are an excellent resource to tap into because your attendees are going to your event to see or to listen to these people. Podcast or video interviews and written content, in addition to social posts about the event, will give your attendees a taste of things to come.
You also don’t want to underestimate the reach of the industry experts and conversation starters on your team – your employees. These people are passionate, they know what’s going on, and, chances are, they’re on social media. You can showcase your company’s employees in the build-up to your event and also give them event info to share on their social channels to drive interest.
Your loyal customers are influencers as well. Take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing and reach out to your past attendees with an email or social post. Ask them to share registration info about the event if they felt your last one was of value to them.
Be Strategic, But You Also Have to Let Go
One of the secrets of success with influencer marketing is not to micro-manage. You can map out your plan for which influencers to connect with and what channels to focus on to help reach your audience.
You can create a plan for what blend of influencer content you want to use, such as videos, blog posts, podcasts with your influencers, and asking them to post on social media. You can, and should measure the impact of your influencer campaign on your event, paying attention to social engagement both before and after the event. You should also measure your metrics around your event registration, including where people came from before landing on your event landing page and signing up, for example.
But, your influencers need the freedom to express their voice. This makes the content they share more authentic and believable. This is how their followers will actually trust what is being said, whether it’s your event speaker, your employees, or Elon Musk. Let them drive the conversation and spark interest in the way that best resonates with their audience. That’s how they work their influencer magic.