When it comes to allocating marketing budgets, the buzz word surrounding these efforts is value. As event planners, we are constantly striving to gain the maximum value and exposure on a limited budget. Working with influencers who are already excited and speak highly of your event is a strong low-cost, high return marketing strategy.
In the last edition of our Influencers series, we talked about the different types of influencers, and how they could impact your event. Let’s take this a step further by learning how to locate these influencers and the best ways to connect with them.
Do Your Research
Finding interesting influencers for your event can be pretty easy, especially if they are in your own backyard. Locate your biggest influencer opportunities by taking a deep dive into the places your target audience goes to connect with each other, get news, or share their passion. Fan sites, blogs, and social media accounts are a great place to start. Look at your own social properties and hashtags surrounding your events as well. Search for followers who are passionate about what you do and frequently engage with your content and with your fans.
The amount of credibility an influencer has with your fans can be a key indicator of the results they’ll deliver, and some companies have built software to help you make smarter decisions about where and with whom to best invest your time. Tools like Klout and Kred use algorithms to identify the number of followers, comments, and shares a person has on social media, to estimate their influence on social media.
Make the Connection
When you’re ready to reach out, most influencers prefer to be contacted via email. Boost your chances of success, by making a personalized pitch. It’s going to fall flat if you copy and paste a generic message, so lose the business lingo, make comments, ask questions, and make an authentic connection by proving that you understand their audience. Show them that you’re passionate about the events you organize, and give them a reason to attend by highlighting what makes your event stand out like popular attractions, other speakers at the event, vendors, and how many attendees you project to be there.
Worried about compensation? Don’t be! There are plenty of ways to invest in influencer marketing using the things you already have. Offer your influencers a seat on a panel, free tickets, or a shout-out on social that sends your fans their way.
Build a Relationship
Don’t get discouraged if your first pitch doesn’t work out. Like all things, building relationships takes time. Keep reaching out to prospective influencers by following and interacting with their content, their fans, and the communities they care about. Show your enthusiasm for what they’re doing and give examples of how you could work together to show that you understand them and their audience. For instance, if they’re a blogger, pitch them ideas for posts that would be right at home on their site. Looking to recruit an Instagram star? Share examples of great visuals from past events. If you can prove that your event has what their audience is looking for, a partnership should be a slam dunk.
Like all marketing trends, influencer marketing will continue to evolve. So stay informed by staying active, and make sure to stay in touch with the most vocal, most connected voices in your community. As you grow, they’ll likely help you catch more brand enthusiasts and other influencers’ attention along the way.
For more information on influencer marketing, check out the rest of our Influencer Series!
I. Influencer Marketing for Event Organizers Part 1: Identifying Influencers
II. Influencer Marketing for Event Organizers Part 2: Connecting With Your Influencers
III. Influencer Marketing for Event Organizers Part 3: Promoting Your Influencers