In-Person Events & Influencer Marketing
Social influencer event marketing is already a big part of promoting events. Live events always have some elements of influencer marketing, and event coordinators and hosts seek to invite the people other people want to see.
Consider a conference with a celebrity keynote speaker, a celebrity influencer or host for Hollywood award shows, or your guest list for your last dinner party – the goal is to invite people that will attract others to the event.
But how does this work in practice? How can you leverage brand ambassadors and content creator marketing trends for in-person events?
Successful Influencer Marketing for Live Events
As mentioned, social influencer marketing isn’t new – it’s been around for hundreds of years. So why is it so popular right now, and what’s the benefit of influencer marketing?
One of the contributing factors to the success of influencer marketing is that it’s an authentic, word-of-mouth marketing style. Audiences feel as though they’re getting recommendations and referrals from a trusted friend or family member rather than a brand supporting its own interests. And influencers leverage real-life stories and transparency, which appeals to potential customers and informs a purchase decision.
In addition, more brands are choosing micro-influencers or influencers that have smaller but more dedicated and loyal followings on a social media channel. The reach may not be as powerful as major influencers or a marketing agency, but their social networking and recommendations carry more weight with their followers.
There are numerous benefits of an influencer marketing campaign for in-person events, including:
- Better social engagement
- Word-of-mouth advertising
- Less stress
- More targeted audiences
- Better metrics and key performance indicators
- On-floor and in-session reports
- More value for sponsors
- Experienced content marketers
- High-quality video content and production
- End-around for ad blockers
- Live event updates
- Social proof
- Innovative content and event ideas for a target market
- Multi-channel outreach
How to Collaborate with Influencers for Live Events
Whether online or in-person, it’s vital to find the right type of influencer campaign for your brand and event. More popular influencers that don’t align with your brand or audience won’t help with increasing sales or boosting your marketing efforts.
You can get ideas for the right type of influencers by checking your popular hashtags from past events, searching for the nano-influencers or micro-influencers in your niche, or checking for overlap with your event speakers and influencers. There are also tools to find influencers for branded content and influencer marketing agencies.
When you find a list of influencers, you can compare them to choose the best option.
Reach is an important consideration, but it’s not everything. Studies indicate that the higher the reach is, the lower the social engagement will be. So, a huge influencer with a million followers may not get the social engagement you want. This is where micro-influencers shine.
Another consideration is personality. Ideally, the influencer will align with your brand and show off the personality and image you prefer in sponsored content. Remember, the influencer promoting your brand reflects on your brand, so make sure you choose a content creator that won’t cast a bad light on the reputation you worked so hard to build instead of choosing one with a million followers.
Authenticity is important, but so is production. While you don’t need an influencer to promote your event like a professional marketing agency, consider the quality of their video content, guest posts, and the types of videos they typically promote.
Do they align with your messaging and brand? Are you looking for better quality, or more authenticity? These questions should help you choose the best influencer.
Finally, there are channels. You want influencers with followers on the same types of social media as your brand, or at least your audience. If you want a video miniseries of the event, you may want a YouTube influencer, while blog influencers may have a dedicated niche audience for varied branded content.
If you prefer videos of candid moments or behind-the-scenes footage for your influencer marketing campaign, Facebook or Snapchat influencers may be the better choice. LinkedIn is excellent for more “boring” industry conferences, while Instagram influencers increase your reach with an Instagram story, tons of hashtags, and a highly visual platform.
Live Event Campaign Ideas
An influencer promoting a live event can provide value in many different ways.
An influencer can provide the event with user-generated content. This unique content can then be shared across the event’s own channels as well as the channels of other speakers and vendors.
If the influencer is attending the event, chances are their audience will want to as well. Collaborate with the influencer on ticket and swag giveaways or VIP access.
Promote the event through the influencer’s platform and generate online or in-person ticket sales.
Invite the content creator to be a speaker at the event themselves. Work together on the ideal topic or leverage their community management expertise and have them moderate a panel of experts. Or ask them to be on the expert panel themselves.
Social Media Take Over
Give the content creator access to the event’s social media channels and facilitate a social media takeover.
Give me influencer VIP or behind-the-scenes access and allow them to livestream the event. Give their viewers a sneak peek at upcoming events or speakers or exclusive content that isn’t available anywhere else.
What Types of Events Benefit From Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for live events. Consider massive national or global events such as Coachella or Burning Man that attract attendees from all over the nation and all over the world.
Hiring an influencer to share their experience from ticket purchase and anticipation to arrival and participation inspires engagement around an event as well as new conversations and potentially ticket sales for the same event or the next.
Festivals are events that tie consumers and target audience members together over shared interests, hobbies, or experiences. Festivals are lifestyle events that appeal to a specific market.
A blogging or social media influencer heading to a festival can inspire their audience to recreate the experience for themselves. Festivals range in niches from music festivals and renaissance fairs to skilled festivals such as rodeos and even local state fairs.
One of the strongest areas where influencers shine the brightest is in a common interest. That includes music styles, bands, and even specific songs.
With Instagram reels and Tik Tok leveraging short-form video and paired with trending audio, popular songs and new artists are more than just enjoyable, they are their own movement.
Conferences are generally educational or motivational in nature. People interested in conferences are interested in learning and investing in themselves or their team.
Influencers attending a conference can promote individual speakers, overall attendance, exclusive VIP access, accommodations, vendors, and even the local scene for their audience.
When event holders pair with an influencer, the credibility of every speaker as well as the event as a whole is enhanced. Brands and venues that collaborate with influencers can expect to increase brand awareness, boost credibility, and even get higher ticket sales.
Rallies are events associated with a political party, a social cause, or a charitable entity. These events attract a targeted group of audience members, vendors, and industry adjacent partners.
Cause-driven influencers are uniquely qualified to attend and promote events that are aligned with a cause they believe in. Their connection to the event will be authentic and genuine, and their audience will be more open to the topics at hand.
Getting the Brand and Influencer Partnership
When you have a list of a few influencers you’d like to partner with, it’s time for influencer outreach. According to research from Sprout Social, many influencers prefer to work with brands that share their core values, so you’re both in it for the best possible fit for your marketing strategy.
Contact your influencer through a social media message or email. Influencer relationships are reciprocal, so mention a post of theirs you enjoyed (be specific!) or your opinion of their expertise in the industry. Ideally, you will have already been following and engaging with the influencer before you cold pitch them branded content.
If you decide to work together, get started on a contract for social platforms and content creation. You should structure the brand partnership agreement, terms, and expectations to ensure that everyone gets what they want out of it and build the potential for long-term relationships.
The budget should also be outlined specifically, along with video content types, number, and formats. Other information, like contract length, discount codes, guest posts, and promotion on each social media platform, should be included.
Find Success with Influencer Marketing for Live Events
Influencer marketing is powerful in any context, but it can add a lot of excitement and anticipation to your in-person event. When you include social media influencers in your niche for your event marketing, you can gain better visibility and boost your event’s promotion while you grow your business and build long-term relationships.