Whether you know it or not, social influencer event marketing is already helping you promote your events. Did you know everyone in every room at every event is an influencer?
Perhaps more than any other industry, events have always benefited from influencer marketing. Inviting people other people want to see is a timeless strategy for filing rooms and creating buzz.
Like most marketing projects, one of the first questions you should ask is: why are we here? Social influencers are already at your event. The key to success is amplifying their voices and adding in new ones with a plan that supports your event’s strategic objectives as you collaborate to enrich the global network’s value via education, entertainment, and engagement.
Why is social influencer marketing so hot right now?
It may be hot, but it’s definitely not new. People have been affected by social influencer event marketing for centuries. So why now?
As more and more people block ads, marketers are looking for ways to authenticate their brands using trusted voices: real life stories. That’s where social influencers come in.
A newer trend is to focus on smaller micro-influencers to build big engagement.
Consider these benefits of inviting social influencers to share your events with their personal networks:
- Wider promotion
- Circumvents ad blockers
- Tighter engagement
- Vivid personalities
- Less stress on your team
- On floor and in session reporters
- Value add for sponsors
- Higher quality video production
- Live updates
- Multi-channel outreach
- Measurable impact
- Innovative conference ideas
Ready to take the three steps? Let’s go!
Step One: People
Who ARE these people?
That’s the first thing you need to figure out.
And, really it’s not that hard.
Look back at past conferences to see who used your event hashtag.
Another easy place to look: your speaker line up. If you’re doing your job right, you’ve hired speakers who can promote your conference or event throughout their networks.
So we’re covering our social influencer event marketing bases. We have known influencers and speakers, now what? It’s no wonder finding the right influencers is the biggest challenge 75% of marketers face.
To find bloggers in your niche, for example, in travel, it’s simple as doing a Google search for “Travel Blogs” and entering a date to get their most current posts. Alltop is also a great resource for a list of blogs by categories.
Qualifying Your Influencers
One logical way to evaluate influencers is to compare their follower account across networks side by side. But, it’s not all about follower count.
Studies show that the higher the reach, the lower the engagement.
That’s why micro influencers are the sweet spot for event marketers.
Now that you have the counts down, set them aside.
Look at personality and reputation. What’s their brand really like online?
To get a more qualified feel for their level of influence, take a look at the types of interaction they have with their communities.
On Instagram, do their event pics get liked? On Twitter, do they have conversations? How about their Facebook page? What do their public posts look like?
Authenticity counts, as does production value.
Do you want someone who can capture your event as a mini-series? Do their followers appreciate and expect the same kind of quality you’re looking for? Sometimes raw and real is better than staged and structured.
You can ask for specific or multi-channel engagement.
Do you want them to take your event to new places like behind the scenes with Snapchat? If you do go there, will your target viewers be watching?
While most events flock over to Twitter, think about ways you can use Facebook and YouTube live video.
Instagram offers a way to mix in video and photography with dozens of hashtags all at once. LinkedIn is great for everything from thought leadership articles to videos on company pages as well as personal profile feeds. Want to know an overlooked channel? PR. Anyone, especially speakers, can send out press releases to share via social media.
Step Two: Package
Make a list of the top 20. Then, narrow it down to the bottom 10 and start there. These influencers will be easier to reach and may be more open to a beginning a new relationship.
According to a Tap Influence social influencers study, 42% of influencers feel that alignment with a brand’s core values is the number one most important factor when approached with a brand partnership opportunity. So finding the best fit for both of you is a must.
To get an idea of how to set a campaign budget, check out Social Bluebook because some micro-influencers list pricing on their site. You can contact them via email or LinkedIn with a quick, personalized message that mentions a specific post. To get their attention via social media, comment on or share an update. When you become a true fan and follower, you start out building an authentic relationship.
Once you’ve decided to work with each other, it’s contract time. Although it’s tempting to think about contracting with influencers for one event, it’s much better to structure the agreement, and the relationship, over a longer term.
Social Influencer Event Marketing Contract Essentials
Start here and let us know: What would you add – or take away from this list?
- Blog posts: number, length, topics, interviews
- Social media posts: number, topics, channels
- Videos: number, length, topics, channels
- Images: number, timing, channels
- Formats: articles, podcast, live video, edited video, photoshoot, photo album, etc.
- Events to attend/cover
- People to interview
- Sponsors to interact with or interview
- Review/Approval – some influencers will add in a review clause; you may incur additional fees for revising content or images after submission if there is an approval before posting process
- Reporting – what do you want to know? Reach, interactions, likes/ comments
- Travel: flight, hotel, ground, meals, incidentals
- Registration: yes, discounted or no
- Comp tickets for followers or friends – good as a giveaway
- Commission: affiliate or referral
- Credits: promotions/mentions to event participants
- Content: package versus per post pricing
- Speaker: compensation ranges
- Duration: longer or shorter term
Because the FTC is closely monitoring social influencer event marketing, you’ll want to run required FTC disclosures past your legal team. It may be a simple matter of adding #ad or #sponsored to posts, which influencers already know how to do and are comfortable with. Videos have their own set of guidelines. Communicate exactly how you would like the relationship to be disclosed.
Step Three: Promotion
Now that the contract is signed, it’s show time!
It’s better to give the influencers more information than less.
Here’s what to include in your influencer marketing show guide.
This can also be a series of emails with suggested social media posts as a countdown, during and after the event. You don’t want them to miss anything important and you don’t want to restrict their creative freedom.
- Words/ terms/ hashtags/ competitors to avoid – have a blacklist? Share it
- Social media accounts and event hashtags to mention, including event, industry, sponsors, speakers
- App to download as soon as possible
- All venue info: location, contact, social accounts
- Event marketing map with announcement timing
- Show flow overview of everything you want them to know about
- VIP guide to get them in and out, front and center
When you weave social influencer event marketing into your plan, you can count on greater visibility, new connections and personalized reporting you can’t get anywhere else.
Is there a conference for that?
Yes! As a speaker at the first ever Influencer Marketing Days conference, I presented a program on how to pack the house with influencer marketing in 3D: digitally, directly and dynamically.
My presentation included examples from all sides of the influencer marketing table. For example, as a participant who follows influencers, as an event marketer who works with influencers, as a speaker who presents on social influencer event marketing and as an influencer marketer who’s covered a plethora of industry and trade show events. This post is based on that presentation 🙂
Have you seen success working with influencers in your community? Let us know by joining Social Tables on twitter.