The Dos and Don’ts of Event Influencer Marketing: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls to Avoid

The Do’s and Don’ts of Event Influencer Marketing: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls to Avoid

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Posted on July 10, 2023

When planning to host an event, you need to complete not only organizational tasks. One of the most crucial parts of this process is making your event known among large audiences. But how can you promote it and encourage people to attend?

You may leverage various tools, from online advertising to offline banners and brochures. But let’s face it. We listen to someone we admire better than professionally-crafted marketing messages. If someone we follow participates in the event, we’ll be more likely to attend. That’s what event influencer marketing is about.

Influencers are people with authority in a particular field. They generate engaging content daily to keep and expand the follower base, so you can also take advantage of their ability to impact other people’s opinions. No wonder they are called opinion leaders. In this article, we’ll look at several best strategies for influencer marketing for events and what to avoid.

Influencer Event Marketing: 6 Tips for Success

Now let’s glance at the steps to ensure a maximum return on investment (ROI) in event influencer marketing.

1. Identify Your Target Audience and Goals

The first step to finding the right influencers is understanding whom you want to attract. Suppose you host an event for entrepreneurs. Most of your potential listeners follow dedicated resources rather than beauty bloggers. You must identify potential attendees to appeal to them with the most special offers and influencers.
First, examine existing customers’ interests, pain points, habits, and demographics. Factors like education, career, and beliefs hint at where to look for influencers.
Search for information from your past events, send out surveys, and research competitors. Once you’ve collected data, create an attendee persona, which may look like this:

2. Select the Right Influencers

There are several ways to find influencers for the event, including:

  • Researching YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. These are the most popular platforms for influencers. They have billions of active users and provide opportunities for opinion leaders to share content and establish bonds with their followers through Stories, Reels, posts, live streams, direct messages, hashtags, etc.
  • Working with influencer marketing agencies. These are specialized businesses that consider your requirements and suggest appropriate influencers. They have large databases with bloggers. They may also assist you in rate negotiations, influencer campaign management, and campaign outcome evaluation.
  • Leveraging social listening tools. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Brand24, and other solutions can tell what people say about the company online. These tools can show particular keywords, hashtags, and mentions associated with your brand, giving you real-time data on consumer emotions and attitudes toward the company and industry. Apart from that, they allow for monitoring influencer campaigns and partnership success.

You may opt for influencers with more significant followings when doing this research. However, it needs to be corrected as people with few subscribers can show higher engagement levels and stronger connections with the audience. That’s why you should carefully analyze various metrics.

Jessica Mercedes Kirschner (911K followers on Instagram) was one of the influencers Chanel invited to their party in St. Tropez. To illustrate her experience, the influencer included pictures from the event in her posts. She also promoted the company by using the hashtags @chanelofficial #CHANELStTropez.

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is your website or landing page. As bloggers will attract visitors to a particular page, you should ensure it’s good to go for conversions. That’s where CRO for mobile phones comes to the stage, as most people will open the website from their social media apps on smartphones and register for your event.

3. Develop a Comprehensive Influencer Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve created a list of bloggers, contact them and specify the desired outcomes. Here is where you can follow these steps:

  • Set campaign objectives. For example, do you want to increase event attendance, boost social media engagement during the event, or drive ticket sales? 
  • Craft key messages. Identify the unique points of your event that you want to emphasize. Provide influencers with key talking points or specific story angles to incorporate into their content. However, don’t impose your vision too much. We’ll talk about it later.
  • Determine compensation. Based on the influencer’s reach, engagement rate, content quality, and exclusivity of the partnership, you can offer flat fees, commissions, product giveaways, or a combination.
  • Create guidelines. While influencers should be free to generate content, you can specify some aspects of your partnership. These are brand voice and tone, color schemes, logo usage, and imagery preferences—clearly, state disclosure requirements to ensure compliance with advertising regulations. For example, influencers may need to include hashtags like #ad or #sponsored in their posts.

4. Cultivate Relationships with Influencers

A good practice for contacting influencers is to make the outreach less cold. For this purpose, you need to establish connections with your partners. How? Subscribe to their channels, leave comments, and show your interest.

Don’t forget about personalization as well. People like being treated like individuals with unique needs rather than generic persons from your list. It’s true about customers and influencers. Complement the author for their content quality and explain how the event may benefit them. That’s where you may employ modern AI tools for simplifying email creation. In the screenshot below, you can see a ChatGPT variant of an influencer event marketing message:

5. Encourage Authentic Content Creation

As mentioned, you shouldn’t present strict requirements to influencers regardless of their posts and messaging. Allow them creative freedom while maintaining brand guidelines. After all, thanks to content creation, they’ve become famous figures in their field, right? So they know what resonates with the audience and what are the expectations from them.
Enforced advertising is easy to spot. It may spoil the impression and reduce trust. That’s why you should aim for organic introductions like storytelling and personal experiences related to the event.

6. Leverage Content After the Event

Finally, encourage influencers to share photos after the event. If you’ve attracted the right bloggers and established genuine relationships, they are most likely to post content voluntarily. But it would help if you thanked them for their time and effort to promote the event and attract attendees.
Repurpose the content on various social media. One of the benefits of posting images post-event is that you’ll longer stay in the consumers’ minds. You’ll also demonstrate to other content creators your trustworthiness, enticing more well-known people and influencers to join future events.

Event Influencer Marketing: What No to DO

In the desire to promote the event, you may make particular mistakes when negotiating with influencers. Let’s discuss some no-nos of influencer marketing for events.

1. Working with Influencers Solely Based on Follower Count

The first trap to avoid revolves around influencer marketing metrics and KPIs. The more followers, the better, you may think. But it’s not true for every influencer.

It may be better to look at micro-influencers with 1000 to 100,000 followers rather than macro and mega-influencers with bigger audiences. Why? Because micro-influencers are closer to their viewers.

They are better for targeting local and specific groups and let you save money on the partnership. According to statistics, micro-influencers outperform macro-influencers with a remarkable 60% boost in engagement rate.

2. Micromanaging Influencers’ Content

Another mistake is expecting an influencer to create ads by repeating word-for-word what you supplied to them. However, influencers know better how to connect with their audiences. Pre-written advertisements that don’t follow their authentic approach to content generation may be ineffective. Much worse, they don’t sound genuine, losing the main idea of collaborating with the influencer.
Remember to give creative freedom to bloggers and maintain the balance. It means offering advice and monitoring compliance with the guidelines and contract rather than instructing them how to post.

3. Overpromoting or Excessive Product Placement

When working with influencers, inserting your mentions into every post is a big temptation. However, it’s another pitfall in event influencer marketing. Excessive product placement and overpromotion can harm trust and authenticity, leading to audience disinterest and alienation.
If your content is constantly bombarded with overt product placements, it may be seen as a blatant sales pitch rather than a genuine recommendation or informative piece. The bottom line is to showcase products and provide value-added information. For example, please explain how your event will benefit visitors and how it’s relevant to them.

4. Neglecting Post-Event Engagement

Event influencer marketing should continue after the event. Seeing yourself in photos from the event or getting a presentation is one of the most exciting and pleasant things. To continue collaborating with influencers to boost post-event engagement and interest. Here are some recommendations to ensure long-term effectiveness:

  • Share event highlights, behind-the-scenes content, recaps, and personal reflections.
  • Encourage audience feedback and experiences.
  • Reply to comments and messages swiftly to promote a sense of community.

These steps can prolong the excitement, continue the conversation, and build a lasting connection. As a result, it’ll be easier to encourage people to join future events and engage in collaborations.

5. Insufficient Tracking and Measurement

At last, you can’t improve what you don’t know. Thus it would help if you always track the progress of your influencer event marketing. Here is what you should monitor:

  • General metrics: website traffic fluctuations, reach and impressions, likes, comments, shares, clicks, conversion rate, sentiment analysis, ROI, brand mentions, and hashtags.
  • Event-specific metrics: ticket sales, registrations, event hashtag performance, event-related content views or impressions, click-through rates on links shared by the influencers, audience feedback, and surveys.

For example, you can assign a particular code or UTM link to an influencer to track it with the help of Google Analytics. The unique code will show you whether to continue collaboration with the influencer and help you compare several bloggers.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing for events can be as challenging as conventional ways to attract an audience. That’s why it can be easy to make mistakes for all parties involved. While you may encounter some pitfalls mentioned in the article, your task is to demonstrate a commitment to grow and improve.

Remember: establishing a good reputation from the onset is better than fixing it. That’s why you should control your behavior and follow the best practices mentioned above, such as:

  • know whom to target;
  • analyze influencers based on various metrics apart from the number of followers;
  • foster healthy relationships and be transparent with your public figures;
  • cater to every influencer individually;
  • introduce guidelines with room for creativity;
  • share post-event content to build credibility.

The author Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Onilab, a full-service eCommerce agency with a focus on Magento. Kate has been working on diverse marketing strategies and activities for more than 8 years. In her pursuit to bring up top-notch marketing solutions, Kate is constantly exploring the topics of SEO, branding, SMM, PPC, and Magento PWA development.

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