One of the hottest topics in event marketing has been the power that lies in influencer marketing. In 2019, the topic has risen tremendously with marketers because of the focus that is increasing with marketing budgets and where to allocate funds for influencers. Experts in the industry believe that influencer marketing will be the key ingredient to boosting sales and push traffic to events in the upcoming years.
What is influencer marketing?
If you’re not familiar with influencer marketing but have been meaning to dip into it this year, lets dissect what the event marketing buzz term of the year actually means.
Influencer marketing is when a company collaborates with an expert who has a large impact in the industry for marketing purposes with the intent to increase their brand’s exposure offline and online. This new term in marketing and advertising is the most efficient way to use the influencer’s voice to connect with your target audience.
Why you need an influencer marketing strategy?
Research conducted by Social Media Today, demonstrated that influencer marketing produces 11x higher ROI than the traditional marketing methods, and 94% of marketers who have utilized influencer marketing discovered that it was a very effective approach.
Usually influencers have a strong and engaging community online who respects what they have to say about the various products and brands they love and support. Brands can leverage from partnering with an industry influencer that mentions or shares their services or products in a positive light on social media platforms.
Another excellent approach when using influencer marketing is to design authentic event marketing content in order to get the word out in front of your target audience.
Let’s review how you can create a promising event marketing strategy to promote your events using influencer marketing.
Define Goals and Objectives
Before building an event marketing campaign with an influencer, you’re going to want to outline your goals and objectives to quantify the success of your collaboration. Many brands launch programs with influencers and yet don’t have the first clue as to what their end goal with the campaign is. Whether your objectives and goals are short-term or long-term, you must have a defined strategy in order measure the ROI. You should first ask yourself, what do I want to gain from this campaign?
Consider some of the goals we’ve listed below when planning your event marketing strategy:
Brand Awareness. One of the best strategic approaches in event marketing is partnering with influencers. If your end goal is to brand awareness, it’s important that you focus on the methods that will get people to talk about your brand. Some of the methods that will help you get the word out about your brand are: multiple mentions on social media, hosting a promotional giveaway that includes tickets to one of your upcoming events, or inviting an influencer to be they keynote speaker at one of your upcoming conferences.
Brand Engagement. The two main goals of engagement and brand awareness go hand in hand. First, you’re setting a goal to boost your comments, followers, and likes on social media while making good use of hashtags to gauge the success of your event marketing campaign. One of the best ways to boos engagement and begin building an online community with a new target audience is to ask an influencer to perform an Instagram takeover every day throughout the length of your corporate event. So, they’d become your brand ambassador for the day that will show your new audience a behind the scenes peek at all of the excitement.
Lead Generation and Sales. Most company’s main goal in hosting an event is to generate leads and boost their market share. Using tactics for brand awareness alone is not going to necessarily drive sales. You have to partner up with influencers and make sure to encourage them to share traceable registration links that include a discount code for their social media followers that they can use to buy tickets to the event. Now, your staff can track sales conversions based on how many people purchased tickets using the unique discount code.
Customer Retention. Keeping your existing customer is as vital to your business as putting forth efforts to convert prospects. Your best spokesperson will be your loyal customers who are able to share their experience with your brand to all that will read/listen. It’s important that you reach out to your customers and ask them to share testimonials online about how satisfied they are with your products or services. Story-telling and brand advocacy are critical elements that should never be left out of your event marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A well-structured marketing plan will include product reviews, guest posts, and heavy use of backlinks that will help boost engagement, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website.
After setting goals and objectives, it’s imperative that you create performance benchmarks to help track the success of your collaboration throughout the course of your campaign.
How to find the right influencers?
Now that you’ve lined up your goals for your campaign, you must start identifying the influencers that are right for you to partner up with so you can reach your target market. Let’s go over the needed steps to qualify your partnership.
Mega-Influencers, Macro-Influencers, & Micro-Influencers
You can categorize influencers into three different columns: Mega, Macro, & Micro-influencers – it all depends on their following on social media.
Mega Influencers are usually celebrities or c-level executives. They usually have an impressive following (in the millions) and have diversity amongst their followers. Since they have global recognition, the dollar amount to book them is high and chances are you will be reaching out to the agent to get them booked for your event, or to develop a partnership. They’re not always industry experts, but they sure have the influence to draw in registrations to your event because of their immense following.
Macro-Influencers will have a following anywhere from 100,000 to a million. Event marketers have been partnering with macro-influencers for many years on sponsorships and brand campaigns. The macro-influencer is categorized as an industry expert that specializes in a particular niche. When you collaborate with a macro-influencer you’ll have the opportunity to increase brand awareness because of their impressive following and engagement frequency.
Micro-Influencers is the average Joe online who has approximately 100,000 followers. Don’t underestimate micro-influencers because of their lower following because this group has been identified as the most influential by event marketers because of their expertise in whatever area they specialize in. In fact, micro-influencers are categorized as prime real estate in the online world we live in today because of their extremely engaged following and their niche. They share posts about brands in a more organic way and are much less expensive to collaborate with.
Qualifying the influencer partnership
Determine potential reach
To determine the potential outreach, you’ll want to look at their following on social media to determine what will come of the partnership.
Examine audience engagement
Next, you’ll want to look at how engaging their profiles are and take note on how many people comment on their social media posts.
Channels of exposure
If you’re partnering with an influencer for an event, you have to make sure they have a presence on all of the social media platforms that your company interacts with.
Previous brand collaborations
Find out if the influencer you’ve chosen has worked with your competitors in the past because if they have, you’ll want to avoid that partnership. You also want to ensure that anything they post goes hand in hand with your event marketing strategy.
The outreach process
Once you’ve decided on the influencers that may be ideal to partner with, you want to start the outreach process. Start building your list of contacts organically or by using a program that helps you get to know your target influencers on a personal level prior to connecting with them via email. Building a relationship prior to asking someone to partner with you is the best route to take.
Keep humanization in mind when sending your initial email and keep things personable while still providing key data about your brand and your end event marketing goal.
For example: If an author recently finished a best-seller on a subject that is related to the event’s theme, you could ask them to be a keynote speaker at a book signing event. That would not only be perfect exposure for the book, but the event would also introduce you to a new audience.
Measuring the success of an influencer campaign
To measure the success of your event marketing campaign, it’s vital that you stay focused on the objectives and goals you outlined before you launched the partnership with an influencer.
- How many impressions did you gain from the partnership?
- Did the event marketing campaign boost registration?
- Did your social media profiles see a rise in following?
- Did your website traffic increase?
These are excellent questions to ask when gauging the ROI of your event marketing strategy.
If for no other reason, influencer marketing is a great approach to landing a new audience while building new relationships that add fruitful elements to your future event marketing campaigns. So even if you’re not looking to launch a campaign at the moment, it is still wise to partner with influencers to expose your brand to a wider audience.
One of the best industry events to begin building relationships that can lead to successful event marketing campaigns, is at The Event Planner Expo where the opportunity to network with industry experts are endless. Be sure to buy your early bird tickets now before they're sold out!