The exponential rise of social media has resulted in a similarly exponential rise of people who know how to work it – really work it. Influencers, as they have come to be known, are people who have anything from a few thousand to several million engaged and devoted social media followers, and who have the ability to drive conversations and influence public opinion. Over the years, influencers have become a critical promotional tool for brands, especially as mainstream advertising continues to decline and people rely more on the endorsement of fellow consumers. But should you consider using influencer marketing for your next event? Here’s what you need to know.
The benefits of working with influencers
Influencers offer the means to move away from the – often ineffective and sometimes financially reckless “spray and pray” approach to marketing, by enabling you to engage with specific, targeted audiences in an authentic and organic way. Influencers can make previously untapped audiences aware of your brand and your event through engagements that are interactiverather than one-directional.
“By working with influencers to develop a clear, clever and effective content strategy that resonates with their followers, they can spark a wider interest in your event and drive ticket sales,” says marketing expert and Worx Group client strategist, Tumi Mohale. “Most events can benefit from influencer marketing, but it’s essential that the right influencer is selected.”
Sourcing the ideal influencer
An influencer isn’t necessarily a celebrity and, even if you have access to someone with celebrity status, they may not be the right person to promote your event. In fact, if they have no relation to the topic at hand, their audiences will likely see through this sloppy ploy and disregard the content they release. Your efforts could come to nought.
Rather look for someone who is already well known and respected in your field. If you’re hosting an event on the latest trends in IT, engage with expert cyber bloggers or YouTubers; if you’re discussing the economic future of South Africa, speak to an informed commentator with a large Twitter following; and if you’re running a bridal expo, contact well-loved wedding dress designers who promote their work on Instagram. Your chosen influencer or influencers don’t even need to have an enormous following. If their audiences are interested and invested and they’re engaging on the right platforms, that’s what matters most.
“Be selective of who you work with,” says Tumi, “and make sure that you give your influencers very detailed briefs.” A contract should be drawn up, outlining your brand’s values and your key messages and, if feasible, that the content your influencers put out should be approved ahead of time. “This pre-approval process limits the chance of anything going wrong,” Tumi explains. “But, that said, you still want the posts to sound original – be wary of being too controlling or prescriptive.”
Working with influencers is possible even on very small budgets, and can result in a strong return on investment (ROI) – though this will depend on whether you define ROI as an impression, a conversion or a sale. Be sure to discuss this with your influencers upfront, so that you both know what goals you are working towards.
If you’re hosting an event, influencer marketing is definitely worth considering and exploring. At Worx Group, we understand the ins and outs of our clients’ businesses and keep our fingers firmly on the digital pulse. This means that we have all the expertise to connect our clients with the people influencing their industries. To find out how we can help you market your next event, contact us today.