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Marketing teams are always looking for new money-saving ideas. User-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing campaigns have been two popular choices in recent times. But what about when you market or promote an event? Whether your events are in-person, virtual, or hybrid, you still want to promote them to as wide an audience as possible.
While UGC might struggle to find a role in event promotion, influencers can play a part that is equal to it in product promotion, brand awareness, and increasing follower count. After all, when you consider that the global influencer market is estimated to be worth a staggering $21.1 billion in 2023, you can see just how much reach influencers can have.
When it comes to event influencer promotion, it's important to identify your target market before selecting a specific type of influencer. You want to ensure that the influencers you use align with your target audience and your event attendees. It's not just about the number of followers a scial media influencer has, but rather if their reach is relevant to your target audience.
Influencers can be categorized into two types: major and micro. Major influencers, with their large social media following and wide reach, are highly effective in promoting events to a large audience. In contrast, while micro-influencers have a smaller following, they are often more engaged. They are better suited for promoting activities and events that draw in their own target audience.
Once you've selected your influencer, it's important to monitor the influencer campaign closely to make sure it is reaching its goals. Remember, every social media platform is different and has its own industry-specific best practices.
Make sure you keep close track of:
You'll also want to measure whether any negative sentiment has surfaced around upcoming events, as this can discourage potential customers.
By understanding whom you want to attract, you can find the right influencers that will help you achieve your goals and maximize return on investment (ROI) in event influencer marketing. but dedicated followings and their recommendations carry more weight among loyal followers. Companies partner with both types of influencers to promote events effectively. This often involves hosting live chats and streams with the influencers attending, reaching thousands of online viewers.
ROI lies at the heart of most business decisions, and it’s no different regarding influencers. Whether providing free products, paying a flat fee, or paying a commission based on the number of sales, you need to know what benefits that influencer will bring to your brand.
Let’s assume that you are not currently working with any influencers. How do you go about finding influencers who are a good fit with your event and event marketing strategy and who also align with your brand in general? There are a number of things you should be thinking about when searching for an influencer.
It might be tempting to just look at influencers with a large audience (macro-influencers). But quantity does not always guarantee quality. Micro-influencers may have a smaller audience, but there's a good chance they focus on subjects as niche as call forwarding for business or other communication solutions.
Look for influencers working in your sector and who are local to the event. If it’s a virtual event, proximity is not as important. However, if a physical event, then a local influencer will likely be of more benefit when it comes to attendance.
Ask yourself questions like:
How much creative freedom will you allow them?
What strategy do they excel in (reels, giveaways, generating hype, etc.)?
What platform(s) do they draw their audience from - LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. - and how does this with your target audience?
Additionally, consider if the influencer has any affiliate relationships with relevant products or services related to your event, as this can also be a valuable aspect to explore.
Ensure the influencer produces relevant content, whether through their domains, social media, or a combination of the two. As well as relevant content, ensure that their values align with those of your brand. There’s little point in engaging with a green influencer if some of your products are unsustainable.
Look at their engagement levels. It doesn’t matter whether an influencer has 10,000 followers or one million. What really matters is whether people are engaging with their social media posts. Also, have a look at their audience demographics. Do those demographics fit with those of your brand? Once you are sure that an influencer is a good fit, you can open negotiations.
Now, the terms you agree with an influencer can vary greatly. Even an influencer with a small following may want good terms if their niche audience fits well with your brand. What a brand offers an influencer can vary greatly from free products or services that they can review to commission payments based on sales generated by their page(s). For events, you can also offer free tickets so they can sell or give them away to their followers.
For an influencer to be effective in event promotion, you need to have a robust strategy that suits you both.
There have to be benefits to both parties. For you, that can mean a bigger audience and, of course, increased sales by acquiring new customers, some of whom may become long-term customers. For the influencer, you can offer a commission for each ticket they sell through a special affiliate link.
You can do this in the Eventcube platform through the Ticket Reps feature, one of the many promotional tools available to you even on the standard plan.
For content, influencers may choose to share relevant content from you, such as blog posts, images, or videos. And your strategy should be a two-way street. You can also consider post collaborations, which is now possible on Instagram, or even consider allowing them to ‘take over’ your social media channels for a day or more.
When you have an influencer on board long-term and are planning events, it can help to have input from them. After all, they know what their own audience likes and engages with.
They may suggest features to incorporate into your event that they know will appeal to their own audience. This can hold true for both in-person and virtual events. For example, they may suggest a seminar or webinar because they know that their audience likes more informative content and also the ability to discuss some subjects.
Whether an influencer is brought on board for events promotion or brand promotion, you are extending your business’s reach. That doesn’t just mean a new audience; it means an opportunity to build new — and hopefully long-lasting — relationships.
That means you have more people you can invite to future events, and you may even find new connections with other influencers.
When it comes to event promotion, using influencers means you have the opportunity to connect with potential participants in the event. The influencer might post links to your website or event page, allowing you to welcome new audiences to your customer messaging ecosystem or sign them up to a subscriber list where you can nurture a relationship with them.
In this modern age of technology, there are multiple options for video conferencing or streaming. You may already be using communication solutions for remote workers, and it’s relatively easy to take that a step further and have a live feed from your event. If it’s an in-person event, this also allows attendance by people in different locations.
You could even ask your influencer to host the live feed to their audience as well as your own. This can be a great method for bringing two audiences together. It increases your own audience by amalgamating the two, and helps you reach higher levels of engagement than you had before.
Your event should not exist in a vacuum. It may be about a niche product or service — such as a phone call transfer feature or the use of AI in e-commerce. Or perhaps your event is about your brand as a whole. Either way, it can be helpful to follow up on the event while it’s still fresh in the audience’s minds. There are a number of activities you may choose to follow on from the event itself.
From a marketing perspective, you could email anyone who attended (or viewed) with special offers that are exclusive to them. You could also decide to offer a series of webinars that follow on from the event itself. As the old saying goes, “strike while the iron’s hot.” Have ideas in place when you plan the event so you can execute them as soon as possible after the event.
There are many different ways you might gauge the success of your event: How many people attended (or watched any live feed)? Did you see significant sales or interest in the products? Your influencer’s page(s) can be another way to gauge success.
Monitor what people say on their page(s) about the event. What did they feel was good about the event, and did they have any criticisms? You can also consider sending an event-related survey by email, as you have probably (or hopefully) collected a lot of emails in the build-up to the event and during the event itself. Evaluation of any feedback can be extremely helpful when it comes to planning future events.
If your evaluation and data show that influencer marketing has been helpful and has helped improve engagement and key metrics, then you want that relationship to continue. One thing to note here is that a lot of success may lead to increased demands, and you may need to renegotiate the terms of your agreement.
Ensure that they feel invested in your brand, even if there are quiet periods in regard to their involvement. If you launch a new product or service, ensure they are among the first people to see — and try out — that product. If they feel valued and that a strong relationship is being established, then they will continue to promote your brand to their audience.
There is no doubt that influencer marketing is an effective tool. However, it has mainly been used to promote products and services but can be extremely useful when it comes to event promotion too. Having a close relationship with your influencer(s) and showing them that they are valued can mean your events may be more successful.