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young lady near a yellow wall and influencer marketing text

Use influencer marketing to promote your events

Internet access expanded our communication possibilities in ways that we have not imagined. It also changed the way we live, shop or work. The rise of social media platforms redesigned our daily behavior: daily, we spend almost 2 hours navigating social media platforms. Naturally, social media became the “place to be” for every business that wants to stay close to its (potential) customers. Marketing possibilities are countless and it’s easier than ever to reach customers, regardless of their current location. A large followers base can be the difference between failure and success.

But creating large followers base may take time and time is our most important and most limited resource. So, in order to gain access to already existing ones, brands use what is known as “influencer marketing”What is influencer marketing?

Wikipedia informs us that “Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.” Meaning a brand uses an influencer’s already created followers base to promote their services/products. This marketing method is not new, brands have always used influencers to promote their products. Known as “Celebrity endorsement”, it was used in the last 250 years. By the power of association, people transfer their feelings from the celebrity to the product, thus increasing the chances of purchasing it. There are more reasons “celebrity endorsement” works, an extremely useful study can be found here. 

But the rise of social media platforms created a new category of “celebrities”, known as micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are normal people that, in time, build large lists of followers. Unlike macro influencers (celebrities), micro-influencer have a tighter connection with their followers, and their social post generates a higher rate of engagement. This makes them the perfect choice for brands that want to promote their services, products or events.

 

Why should I use influencer marketing to promote my event?

Because every dollar invested in influencer marketings brings on average 6.85$, states a study conducted by Burst Media in 2014. Why can we expect such a great ROI? One of the reasons is that influencer marketing is closer to mouth to mouth marketing than it is to traditional marketing, so people trust it more. Users follow an influencer because they like and trust him/her, so they will transfer some of those feelings to the product/service. The same principle applies to events, people will want to attend an event where the influencer they follow is present.

Another reason for which influencer marketing had a phenomenal increase is the ineffectiveness of traditional online advertising. The number of pop-ups and banners became annoying, so people started installing ad blockers. And over 30% of internet users have them installed. More than that, we also developed our own “natural ad blocker”, known as banner blindness: when navigating online we tend to ignore all the design elements that resemble ads and our eyes avoid the areas where banners are traditionally placed. And it seems to affect 80% of internet users.

What should I know before starting an influencer marketing campaign for my event(s)?

 

  • Define your audience: In marketing knowing your audience is the key to success. And Influencer marketing makes no exception. So start by identifying the specific characteristic of your “ideal” attendee. Are you planning a street running event? Then probably your attendees are sports enthusiasts. A conference where #AI is the main theme? Surely developers would be interested. For any type of event, there is a specific audience and you need to find yours.
  • Find the right influencer. After you have defined your audience you need to identify the influencer(s) that can grant you access to it. It’s much more important to work with someone that covers your niche than to work with someone that just has a greater number of followers. Using the above example, if you plan a street running event and a sports guru (influencer) will promote it using social media your event will become interesting for many of his followers. Another used tactic is to invite influencers to your events, just like brands do for their sponsored events. Their live videos will generate buzz around your event.
  • Trust is a must. Influencers have gathered a great number of followers because people like the content they create. It would be illogical to think that you can gain more from his/hers users with content generated by somebody else. So you must be prepared to give your new partner total control over the content used to promote your event. You won’t be able to do this if you don’t trust your associate. Otherwise, you won’t gain maximum out this partnership.
  • Measure the performance. Without measurement, marketing plans are just fancy projects that may (but probably not) worth the effort. Fortunately, modern technology offers the tools we need to measure our marketing results, tools that you should also use for your influencer marketing campaigns.  

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is the new rising star of marketing and every event planner can benefit from it. But remember that its power is the connection that exists between the influencer and the followers, and a connection should also exist between your brand and the influencer. Because otherwise your partnership it would just feel unnatural and this will compromise your whole campaign. Start with these 4 tips in mind when working with an influencer and your events will become more popular than ever.

Creating a unique #hashtag for your event

In a previous article, when speaking about how you can use Twitter to promote your event, we recommended you to use the almighty event #hashtag in order to gain more visibility. Today I want to talk more about the #hashtag in particular, to see how and why you should create a unique one for your event.

But first, let’s remember what a hashtag is. Google dictionary informs us that it’s “a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic”. In other words, it’s a searchable link used on social media platforms to categorize content, tying public conversation in one single stream.

hash sign followed by EventHashtag

Twitter was the first social media platform to use # as a searchable link. In 2007 user Chris Messina first brought it up on Twitter, but it took 2 more years before the feature went live. Twitter is not the only social platform to use the hashtag for grouping content anymore but it’s the platform where users use it the most, over 125 Million # being used every single day.

#hashtags are also used on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (tested it, stopped using it, started using it again) Google+ or Pinterest. Even Snapchat users are using it, although on this platform it can’t be used as a searchable link.

What can I include in a hashtag? 

Although I’m sure almost everyone knows how they look there is some specific information we need to know. Hashtags don’t support spaces, so if you want to to use multiple words you can use capitals to differentiate them (example: #ExperienceTech). Punctuation marks and special characters are not supported either but numbers are, so #WAM18 can be (and is) used as an event hashtag.

Why should I create an event hashtag?

Twitter capture of GuinessWorldRecord account

source: Twitter.com

 

 

 

 

What would you say if I told you that one hashtag, #AIDubEBTamangPanahon, connected over 40 million tweets and comments in just 24 hours? Yes, this is a world record, but it’s a good example of how the snowball hashtag can roll, getting bigger and bigger.

Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) will help you keep your followers close, and also reach new ones. Someone interested in your event will simply click on the hashtag and will “gain access” to all content where your # was used.

Your unique #hashtag can be used in combination with other ones in order to increase your reach but used wrong hashtags can also decrease it. These charts will show you the number of hashtags you should use on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for a better reach.

Twitter: it’s not recommended to use more than two hashtags per post.

Facebook: don’t use more than 3 hashtags in one post.

Instagram: Instagrammers love hashtags, so it seems that posts with 9 hashtags have the best engagement. But as you can see, the more the merrier.

You can check out Socialmediatoday to find out more about the recommended length of a hashtag for this 3 social media platforms.

How should my event hashtag be?

Simple and easy to spell. Try keeping it as simple as possible, so people don’t find it hard to remember (or spell).The goal is to have it used as often as possible and a very complicated one won’t help you (yes,  #AIDubEBTamangPanahon seems anything but simple, but why take the risk?)

Unique. Make sure that your branded hashtag wasn’t used by another company before (#eventplanning or not). You want your hashtag to be associated with your event, not with dog food (although let’s face it, dogs are damn cool).

Relevant. Don’t use a hashtag that might mislead users, it will backfire for sure. Use something that represents your event, like #ETA2017 for Event TEchnology Awards 2017 or #burningman for…well, guess this one.

P.s. you should also check your hashtags for double-meaning and also you should say it out loud before using it, it may save you a lot of trouble afterward.

How should I use my event hashtag?

Your mission is to create meaningful events and the event hashtag is closely connected to it, so I want to show you how to best use your hashtag before, during, and after your event(s).

Before the event: Before the event, you should use it to create a buzz around it. This way more and more potential attendees find out about it.  For this, it’s best to ask all your partners to use the event hashtag. You can also create contests where the followers using your hashtag can win tickets to the event, backstage passes or any other event related prize. This way you will encourage people to use and share information about your event, meaning you will reach more and more potential attendees.

During the event: Experience taught us that attendees will post/tweet during events, letting their friends/followers know what a great time they are having. Or who they have just met.

picture of Gary Vaynerchuk and a fan from brandmind_asia's Instagram account

source: Instagram, brandminds_asia account

You can expand your reach by reposting (or retweeting) their content with your event’s “official” hashtag.  You will also show your attendees that you appreciate their social media posting.

After the event: Being used as searchable links, hashtags are great when looking for user-generated content. And considering the fact that over 85% of the millennials say User Generated Content is a good indicator of the quality of a brand you should really use testimonials in your favor. Curated UGC can boost registration for your future events and your event hashtag is a great way to identify it.

Infographic: Stats and Figures on Escape Rooms

In the 9 years since the first Real Escape Game was created, over 5000 Escape Rooms opened around the globe. We gathered many interesting facts in our Infographic but don’t hesitate to read the full article if you want to know more about this growing phenomenon.

infographic with stats and figures on escape rooms