By Elizabeth Johnson, Principal and Owner, glee Content Marketing
As social media has grown, so has the power of influencers and the buzz around the benefits of influencer marketing. This tactic offers a lot of potential for event marketers. It can expand your event brand’s reach, open up new audiences and push people who have been on the fence to jump in. If you haven’t delved into the world of influencer marketing yet or are knee deep in building a campaign, here are eight dos and don’ts for making your influencer campaign successful.
- Do Select Influencers Carefully. Research, research, research. A strong influencer campaign starts with research. Select the right influencers by choosing those that are relevant to your niche, are active on their platforms and have real followers that engage and not a stream of bots. Also look for red flags that might come back to haunt you in the future (for example, the last thing you need is a relationship with someone who is controversial or gets into legal trouble that can turn off potential attendees).
- Don’t Underestimate Micro-influencers. There’s no hard line that separates micro-influencers and macro-influencers. Micro-influencers are often defined as having fewer than 10,000 followers but could have a lot less and still be quite effective for drawing attendees to an event. Micro-influencers often have a personal and more intimate connections with their followers and can see high levels of engagement.
- Don’t Script It. Guidance is one thing to make sure your influencers know what message you are trying to put out, but don’t expect or encourage influencers to stick to a strict script. While it’s tempting to try to control everything, let them create their own content and deliver messages in their own voice so that it is authentic. Their followers will react more favorably to authentic content.
- Do Let Them Get Their Hands Dirty. Get your influencers involved in the planning. Ask them for the feedback about various aspects of your show; the content, the networking events, the venue or even the menu. They can share their input with their audiences and you also get really valuable insight.
- Do Create Partnerships. Take their involvement in the planning process a step farther and partner with them on certain aspects of the show. Is there an element of the show that an influencer could showcase curated content? Can the influencer host an event or special educational content? Creative experiences will create buzz before and during the event.
- Don’t Forget About It. This tactic is definitely not one to automate, and it requires year-round commitment. Influencers do not like to be forgotten or feel like they are being used. Keep them connected to the event and its process all year, not just when you need them to post.
- Do Think About Compensation. There is a wide range of answers when it comes to incentives or payments. Some influencers charge a lot per post (usually the ones with hundreds of thousands of followers). Others charge a lower fee per post. Some post in exchange for free product or some other incentive. Events have the opportunity to work toward mutually beneficial compensation agreements. Free tickets? Opportunities for them to bring clients or colleagues? Some other form of attention during the show? Think outside the box to create an arrangement that works on both sides.
- Do Disclose Your Relationships. Influencers need to note in posts when they are working with brands. It’s important for your influencers to be transparent when they are working with you. It enhances the trust their followers put in them, and all sides benefit.
Influencer campaigns do take some real time and effort to do right, but the payoff for events can be worth the investment. The ROI can mean growing your show among a dedicated attendee base to return year after year.
Elizabeth Johnson is founder and principal of glee Content Marketing where she helps clients with strategy, copywriting and social media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org