Influencer marketing for events

How to make your event a resounding success by harnessing the power of influencer marketing
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Table of Contents

Marketers across the world rely on influencers to grow their brands, sell their products and, you guessed it, promote their events. 

So, you’re hosting an event to build your brand’s reputation and engage your audience. With so many events being promoted online, how do you get your audience to pay attention? How do you get people to listen when every other newsletter, email, and ad is vying for people’s attention?

Welcome to the world of influencer marketing. Worth only $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing has grown to be worth over $21 billion in 2023. This growth reflects the shift in consumer preferences for more authentic, user-generated content (UGC) and 50% of millennials say they now trust product recommendations from influencers more than traditional ads

Influencer marketing can cause ripple effects that lead to double or even triple the reach of conventional ads. Depending on the influencers you engage with, you can often achieve a much greater ROI from your influencer marketing than from conventional marketing efforts.   

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into what influencer marketing is and how to incorporate it into your social media strategy effectively to make your next event a roaring success. 

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What is influencer marketing?

Simply put, influencer marketing is using targeted influencers to promote your events, products, and/or services. We say targeted because not every influencer will help you accomplish your goals. When choosing your influencers, look out for people who are followed by your target audience and who share your brand’s values. (More on this later.)

When done right, influencer marketing can help you increase brand awareness and social media followers, and grow a loyal customer base. 

Benefits of influencer marketing for events

Hosting events is a massive task. Not only do you need to find the right venue, speakers, and catering (for in-person events), but you also have to create buzz well in advance so that enough people show up. That’s a hefty to-do list.

Influencer marketing can lighten the load by scaling your event promotion. Influencers already have thriving communities of the people you want to attract, so by tapping into their network you’re massively expanding the reach of your brand.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect from influencer marketing:

Increased reach

Brands often struggle with reach and awareness if they don’t have a big following and/or have a low engagement rate. Influencers provide an opportunity to engage with a much larger and targeted audience in a more authentic way. They also have a higher engagement rate than most brands and have built trust with their audience, which can translate to more registrations and attendees for your event. 

More authentic messaging

Influencer marketing reaches people in a very different way than traditional ads. Each influencer has their own unique style and voice. They can help you win the crowds by talking about your event before, during, and after the day in an authentic, unfiltered way. Make sure you give your influencers enough advance information and access to any backstage action you want shared online.

Better ROI

Click through rates for display ads hover at about 0.35%. However, the engagement rate for Instagram influencers is closer to 2% (or even higher for smaller influencers). Now, of course, we’re not comparing like for like here, but this goes to show that audiences respond very differently when they hear from an influencer they know and like, than when they see an ad from a brand they may never have heard of. Not to mention that influencers can plug your products or discounts in their content to help drive sales.

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How to identify the right influencers for your event

We mentioned earlier that not all influencers are a good fit for your brand. A massive following doesn’t equate success if their followers aren’t interested in what you have to offer. For example, there’s little point asking a beauty influencer to promote tyres. 

So, when selecting your influencers, consider the following:

  • Would their audience be interested in your type of event? In order to determine this, see what type of content the influencer posts and look at how their followers respond. 
  • How big is their following? This will not only guide how much you can expect to pay for their engagement, but also help you to figure out the reach opportunity. 
  • What’s their engagement rate? Engagement rate matters. This shows what percentage of their following engages with their content every day or within a given period of time. The higher the engagement rate, the more likely people will respond to their content about your event. Remember that smaller influencers usually have a higher engagement rate.
  • What are their values? Last but not least, look at the influencer’s values and how they position themselves online. You don’t want to associate your brand with someone who goes against some of your core values as a business.

Does this sound like a heck of a lot of work? You can save yourself a whole lot of time and energy by using a platform like Vamp to find relevant, trusted influencers in your sector. 

How to build an influencer marketing strategy to support your events

Before you start engaging with influencers, make sure you have your influencer marketing strategy locked down. This will help guide your efforts and establish the right metrics to ensure you’re on track with your event promotion. 

If you haven’t done this already, here’s a quick guide on how to start:

Define your goals

This may be self-evident, but it’s a crucial step brands sometimes skip in their hurry to get ahead. Before investing any of your budget, it’s a good idea to do some social media listening to see what people are talking about and how they think about your brand. This can inform your goals and subsequent efforts.

Some more questions to consider:

  • What are you looking to achieve with your event? Is this to launch a new product, engage a different type of audience, increase brand awareness, or something else? Understanding this early on will define how you approach your influencers and, in turn, the type of content they post.
  • How does the event fit into your larger business strategy? Do you perhaps want to target a brand new audience and use the event as a rebranding opportunity? Or, do you want to use the event as a way to build a stronger relationship with your existing audience? 
  • What are you looking to achieve with your influencer marketing? In order to know whether your marketing campaign worked, you need to know what to measure. Some of the things you may want to look at include registrations, event hashtag use, social media engagement, website visits etc. 

Budgeting and briefs

There’s no point reaching out to influencers if you don’t know your budget and what you want to achieve. Before taking any further steps, be super clear on how much of your marketing budget you can allocate to influencer marketing. This will then drive the type and number of influencers you can actually engage with. 

If you can’t afford to pay influencers, all may not be lost; micro-influencers will sometimes consider working with you in exchange for other benefits, such as free tickets or products.

Be very clear on what you expect from your influencers. Draft a marketing brief and don’t forget to get a professional contract written up if you’re paying them.

Choose the right influencers

Once you have your goals and budget defined, it’s time to find your influencers. 

You need to decide whether you want to engage micro-influencers, macro-influencers, celebrity influencers, or a mixture. For instance, while mega and celebrity influencers may have the largest following, they’ll cost you a pretty penny and usually have the lowest engagement rate. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are more affordable and have a higher engagement rate but offer access to a significantly smaller audience. 

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How to measure the impact that influencer marketing has on your event

In order to know how successful your influencer marketing campaign is, you need performance data. Again, depending on your goals, here are some things you could measure:

  • Conversation rate: if you can, provide each influencer with a specific promo link to share with their audience. Then you can easily track which registrations came from which influencer and your overall conversion rate
  • Engagement rate: how are people responding to the event content? Are there plenty of comments, likes, and shares? Track all of this to quantify the engagement rate for your influencer marketing posts
  • Attendance: how many of those who registered via the influencer marketing campaign actually attended the event? This is particularly important for free events where the attendance to registration ratio can be very low

Food for thought

Influencer marketing is an essential tool in the arsenal of any marketer. However, for it to be effective you need to have a clear strategy. Defining your goals and choosing the right influencers are the first key steps in ensuring your event attracts a high number of attendees from your target audience. 

Ready to take your influencer marketing to the next level? Reach out to our team at Vamp to make the most of influencer marketing for your events.

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