Working with influencers can add a lot of value to both your campaign and your brand, but it needs to be done properly, say digital PR specialists at Jaywing PR.
The instant reach of influencers means having them along to an event to help promote a product or service can be incredibly impactful.
But events can be stressful when not planned or executed correctly, so how can you plan the ideal event designed to get the right people talking about your brand?
1. Invite the right influencers
Choosing the right influencers for your event is essential. While it’s tempting to target those with the highest following, it’s not necessarily the most effective technique.
Take the time to research and select the influencers you ask to attend. Do they represent the brand well? Is their audience and your target audience the same? What’s their engagement rate like? Are they consistent?
Ensuring your search is granular may be time-consuming or an extra investment, but it’s essential when it comes to the outcome. If you’re unsure how to find the right influencers, consider working with an agency.
Even the right influencers can be tricky, though, which is why many brands and agencies create legally binding agreements to make sure all deliverables are met (and that they actually attend). Executing any influencer activity without this in place can create extra risk.
Always seek expert advice if creating a legal document is outside your expertise, and be sure to keep it as clear and specific as possible – don’t give them the opportunity to be unsure in what you mean.
2. Set an agenda.
Have you ever been to an event with no structure? If so, then you’ll know they never run that smoothly. Hire experts, industry celebrities and host interactive activities to help create a flow to your event.
Make this agenda available to guests beforehand – you never know, that panellist or extra activity may be the reason 10 more people come along. It’s important that anything on your agenda is well planned out and kept relatively short. To prevent a fidgeting audience, keep each segment to around 45 minutes long.
While everything in your programme may be of interest to your audience, ask yourself if it’s all going to be entertaining? Adding things like photo booths, performers and games with personalised hashtags or filters are a quick way to add a fun twist to any event – and get the social media tags pouring in.
4. Partnerships. Partnering with another brand opens your event to a whole new audience – theirs. As they will likely promote the event across their own channels, it allows for you to become visible to a customer base who may not have previously heard of your brand beforehand.
Partnerships can be done on a large scale with competitions and attendees or a smaller scale in the form of goody bags. Work with similar brands who complement yours well and create an exciting giveaway for your audience. In order to maintain a strong relationship with these brands, offer to promote one another on social media with regards to the event wherever possible.
When inviting influencers, many brands may ask for you to be transparent with who you are inviting, so they can ensure they think the influencers suit their audience and brand. Always be as honest as possible, but keep it for confirmed influencers only, not ones you’re still in discussion with and be sure you clarify to agents and influencers that you will be promoting their attendance.
5. Create a buzz beforehand.
Creating a buzz in the lead up to an event can often be the trickiest part, but it’s a great way to utilise the influencers attending. Within your agreement, request anyone coming along promotes the event during the weeks before.
Whether it be with a recognisable yet cryptic symbol to be revealed by them the week before, or by inviting people to buy/reserve tickets and pointing them directly to the checkout, get your money’s worth from these promoters before and after the event, not just during.
While planning is key, and following these tips can put you on the best possible path for a successful influencer event, it’s important to remember that you’re working with people, and people can lead to unforeseen circumstances.
Always have backups where possible, but where they’re not, remain calm and hit the challenges head-on with rational solutions. Nine times out of ten if you’re well prepared, any hiccups will be things only you will notice anyway.
For more on Jaywing PR, see here.