Patrick Foster, a writer for the Ecommerce Tips blog, takes a closer look at the benefits of influencer marketing.
The way you publicise your exhibition today is very different to the way it would have been done 50, 25, or even 10 years ago. The marketing landscape changes increasingly quickly, with new technologies and ideas throwing up new approaches to promoting events. One such example of this can be found in influencer marketing. With 94 per cent of marketers using the practice finding it an effective means of selling their product, service, or event, it’s something well worth trying.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a 21st century take on an age-old concept. The notion of using famous people to promote a product, service, or event is as old as advertising itself. But in this digital age, with social media becoming so deeply enmeshed in our day-to-day lives, marketers are turning away from more traditional celebrities. Instead, they look to social stars such as gamer Dan Middleton or beauty blogger Louise Pentland to promote their brand.
Where A-list celebrities have a wide online following that spans multiple customer demographics, smaller social influencers have a more specific range of followers. By occupying very particular niches (e.g. online role-playing games, street style, etc.), their followers all share the same interest. This makes them perfect for brands looking to reach a particular customer segment directly, streamlining their marketing by going straight to their target audience.
How can you use influencers to promote your exhibition?
Influencer marketing is an effective means of publicising an event and making a splash in industry news, and it’s a strategy that you can benefit from for your next exhibition. Here’s how to go about it.
1. Find the right influencer for you
The first step to using influencers to promote your next exhibition is finding the right one. It’s important to find an influencer whose following aligns with your target audience. But rather than trawling social media to find who your potential attendees are following, there are a number of tools available that can do it for you.
One such tool is Ninja Outreach. This service lets users search for influencers by keyword, a feature that is particularly useful if your event occupies a very specific sub-niche. There’s also the more affordable ‘Upfluence’, a tool that indexes more than 500 million pieces of content so you can find the perfect influencer for you. This data-led method of influencer research means you can accurately choose an individual that fits your industry niche.
Once you’ve found the right influencer for your exhibition, reach out to them with a friendly email explaining who you are and what you need. Offer them an incentive to encourage them to partner with you — it could be a financial reward, or even a freebie or some mutual promotion on your side.
2. Let your influencer create buzz for your event
When you’ve chosen your influencer and they’re on board with your project, use their online following to promote your event across their channels. Encourage them to post across their blog, social media platforms, and email newsletters to generate buzz around your exhibition.
It’s important to remember at this point that while you can provide your influencer with a set brief — the date, time, location, etc. — you should let them promote it in their own style. Influencers have a rapport with their audience based not just on the content they produce, but also the way they deliver it. They know how to communicate with their followers, and therefore how best to publicise your event.
At the same time, collaborate with your influencer and share their posts across your channels as well. By showing you have them on board to your followers, you will help bolster your brand and your exhibition through a public association with your influencer.
3. Meet-and-greets and photo opportunities
Even on the day of your event, your influencer can still help with your promotion. To really boost visibility of your event to non-attendees, hand over the reins of your social media to your influencer for the day. Letting them share tweets, photos, and videos as the day goes on will help create real noise around your exhibition, encouraging other businesses to engage and take notice.
It’s also a good idea to organise a meet-and-greet with your influencer with a photographer in attendance. Not only will this draw in the crowds with a chance to meet an industry figure, it’ll provide you with some great photos that you can reuse after the event on your website, your email newsletters, and your social feed. You can even use them in promotional materials for your next event!
Finally, ask your influencer to deliver a short speech towards the end of your event. As well as being a good way to round off the day, it also serves as a good platform for them to promote your brand.
Influencer marketing is an exciting, dynamic way of generating publicity for your exhibition. Find an influencer who holds sway within your niche and who will attract a wide audience.
Collaborate with them to promote your event across all their channels and have them attend on the day for meet-and-greets and deliver a keynote speech to remember. Influencer marketing is a strategy that’ll really place your exhibition above the rest.