Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming a powerful strategy to engage audiences in a new way. Often praised for their relatability to customers, influencers bring a fresh perspective when it comes to building relationships. Simply put: people trust people. Customers are pulling away from the glitz and glamor of traditional celebrity endorsements and instead turning towards those who they feel they can relate to in order to give them recommendations.
Beyond creating authentic more connections, influencer marketing is also useful because it is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. As reported in 2017, every $1 spent on influencer marketing brings a return of $6.50, and the top 13 percent of businesses from the study received a return of at least $20 per dollar spent.
Events present the perfect opportunity to use influencers. While planning an event can be tedious and stressful, setting up the right influencer marketing campaign can help alleviate the nerves around bringing in an audience. Understandably, this can be a pretty intimidating process. Let’s break down how you can use influencers to increase the hype around your event.
How do I find influencers?
Thanks to the internet, you have all of the resources to find influencers right at your fingertips. First, you can try in-depth Google searches. Start off by creating a list of adjectives that describe your event, then attach the word “influencer” at the end of the search. You can then narrow results by creating a custom date range and location. There are also a variety of influencer marketing platforms that can help connect you to relevant influencers. Take it a step further by deep diving into social media yourself by searching for hashtags and location tags that are relevant to your event, and then looking into the profiles that come up.
How do I find the right influencer for my event's audience?
The first step in finding the right influencer for your event is to have a clear understanding of your audience. Start doing your research! Monitoring your social media platforms will help you learn more about your audience’s preferences and what kind of content they’re engaging with. While it may be tempting to go straight for influencers who have the biggest following, this isn’t always the most effective strategy for influencer marketing. Their reach could be completely different from what you’re looking for. An influencer with a following of primarily beauty and skincare fans wouldn’t be as effective to partner with when trying to promote a sports event. Once you’ve found an influencer that aligns with your event attendees, then evaluate their profile based on number of followers, engagement, quality of content, and niche.
What can I offer influencers so they'll want to work with me?
The most straightforward way of encouraging an influencer to work with you is by offering them financial incentives. This could be monetary compensation, or could also come in the form of free event invites, gifts, or other freebies. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is agreed upon by all parties involved before the event.
Another aspect that can attract influencers is having a visually-appealing venue space. Much of influencer marketing content is dependent on the photos or videos taken at the event. Tacky decor or poor lighting can make or break the perfect photo opportunity to show off your event, so it's crucial that you set the right conditions for flattering photos and videos. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but making sure that there is proper lighting and some opportunities to snap great photos will further encourage influencers to work with you.
To make the best use of their time and increase the likelihood that they’ll accept your offer, make sure to send the people you want to work with an early invite. Influencers have busy schedules and will need to free-up time to attend your event. Therefore, sending over an invitation early ensures that they can work the event into their weekly schedule. Also, if they decline your invitation, you’ll still have enough time to contact other influencers before the big day.
What should I "ask" of an influencer?
Any influencer marketing campaign needs to be founded upon clear expectations to ensure that all parties are on the same page. Creating an influencer brief document is a super helpful way to do this. This means making a document that lays out your objectives and expectations for the collaboration to give the influencer some clarity on the direction of the project. Once you have your vision in mind, writing the brief is simply stating those ideas in a tangible manner. If you’re feeling lost on where to start, there are many templates available online that can guide you on what information to include. After your brief is complete, you can start pitching to these influencers by sending them a copy of the brief along with relevant information about you and your event.
How can I measure the impact of influencer marketing?
The three most important social media metrics you want to evaluate are: reach, engagement, and acquisitions.
- Reach measures the number of people who saw the post.
- Engagement means any direct interaction a follower does with the post, including liking, commenting, sharing, saving, etc.
- Acquisitions measure the number of people who make a purchase or take any further action after seeing the post.
Since the content posted will primarily be on the influencer’s social media accounts, you can obtain these metrics directly from them. You can also look at your own metrics as far as how many tickets were sold, how many people bought merchandise, and so on. Evaluating these to see if they met your initial goals can help you make smart decisions in the future to know what works and what to switch up for next time.
Additionally, provide the influencer with a link that includes UTM parameters. UTM parameters are tags you can add to a URL so it can be tracked by Google Analytics. You can then track which source or campaign your inbound traffic comes from. For example, if you're working with an influencer who is posting about your event on Instagram, you might use the following parameters:
- Source (utm_source) = instagram
- Medium (utm_medium) = social
- Campaign (utm_campaign) = influencername
Your trackable URL, then, might look something like this: http://www.YourWebsite.com?utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=influencername
One other way that you could track conversions is to provide the influencer with a unique promo code which they can share with their followers to get a discount on your event tickets. That can be a win-win because the influencer has something of value to offer their followers, and it allows you to easily track how many people used that promo code. The promo code strategy only tracks conversions, so you may want to supplement it with other metrics.
It’s no secret that people have been using word-of-mouth advertising and recommendations to influence their own decisions since the beginning of time. What makes recommendations for events any different? No matter how big or small your event is, if you have a clear vision, you can benefit from using influencer marketing. Looking for more tips to help you plan a successful event? Check out Passage’s Event Organization Checklist to learn more.