Given that the number of people using social networks is due to rise to nearly 3 billion in 2020, influencer marketing is becoming a more and more lucrative channel, and one that we can leverage to launch events successfully. Here’s how.
1. Be very, very selective
When choosing influencers to market your event, quality ranks way and above quantity. Do your research thoroughly and make a long list of possibilities that are relevant to your niche. Then delve even deeper into the metrics of each individual and the demographics and psychographics of their audience: your biggest ROI, whether it be time, money, or another resource, will come from an influencer who is as closely aligned to your own brand and industry as possible.
2. Build relationships first
According to academic research on the subject, trust is formed by delivering on promises: i.e., if you say you’ll do something, you follow through and do it. It’s also a natural consequence of someone feeling that they have value to you independent of what you can offer them. In practice, this means that building relationships with influencers is your best way of getting them to promote your brand, and your event, in the long run. How you do this is up to you.
You could start by signing up to and commenting on their blog or YouTube channel, by sharing their content, and by reaching out to them with tweets or LinkedIn connections. Alternatively, take a more direct approach and simply email them, preferably with a direct address that you’ve found on their personal blog, if they’re a big name. Once you’ve made contact, establish a dialogue of sorts without asking for anything.
3. Incentivize them
Once you’ve pinpointed your influencers and built the foundation of a relationship with them, the hope is that they’ll think highly of you and your brand, making them more likely to want to promote your event. But now you need to offer them a direct incentive that really gets them wanting to use all of their social clout to maximize the visibility and success of your event.
Again, the key lies in careful research. What are their interests? What causes do they support? Are they real fans of your company? Is money likely to work, or can you not offer enough to make it worth their while? What do you have that they might want? Think outside the box here: free swag, inside access to distributing your best content, your company service, an honorary position in your social media presence, association with a particular aspect of your brand: get creative, and get that influencer on your side!
Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer