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.

Dear event planners, Volunteers are part of your team

If volunteering can change the world than I think it’s safe to say that volunteers can change your event. My colleagues and I saw many events were volunteers’ contribution was so important that I don’t really know if those events could have been possible without their help. And this is perfectly normal – large events (especially festivals, exhibitions, and conferences) mean large crowds so any extra help is greatly cherished. There are many reasons for which people volunteer at events and there are many reasons for event planners to reach out to volunteers. But for this to work you, the event planner, should:

picture of 4 volunteers holding fists together

Find out where you need help

Before you contact volunteers you must know what you actually need them for, meaning you will need to evaluate your needs for personnel. Find out which departments would need some extra help: marketing and communications, sales, technic department etc. so you know who to look for. People like volunteering but they also like to know what they are volunteering for and it wouldn’t do you any good to look for someone to help with registration when you actually lack a sound technician.

 

Ask early

My biggest problem when growing up was that I always waited until the last minute when I wanted/needed something. And, as life taught me (the hard way, how else?!), things tend to get rough when time isn’t on your side.

Spread the news that you are looking for volunteers early on otherwise you can you can find yourself in the unpleasant situation of not having enough personnel on site.

 

Define your expectations 

If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get to the destination? Things aren’t very different if we speak of a new task or project: if you don’t know what you want to achieve how will you know if you did a good job? Things are even more unclear for volunteers, so you will need to explain to them what should be the end result of their work. It’s easier to evaluate your work when you have some clear goals.

P.s. this doesn’t mean that you must micromanage your volunteers, don’t get me wrong

 

Don’t “save” obnoxious tasks for volunteers 

You and your team should act like leaders and don’t use volunteers for the jobs that nobody wants, instead offer them the chance to do something meaningful. This way you can count on their help for your next events (and will be able to add some experienced people to your team).

 

Form groups and offer training 

After everybody has chosen a role it’s time for you to host a training for the whole team.

I saw that, generally, things work great when you create mixed workgroups (volunteers + team members) and offer the same “training” for all. Encourage socialization between your team and volunteers because, after all, you are all in the same boat, so you need to act like one big team.

Before your event starts “walk” everybody through the whole process at least once, so they all get the big picture. Seeing how a rather tiny role in the process actually helps things move forward will make everyone more enthusiastic about their role in the event.

 

Praise volunteers for their hard work

“How you feel is often more important than what you earn”. We tend to value words of appreciation more than we value financial rewards, studies reveal. But if you think that words of appreciation are so used so often that they start to lose their value…think again.Genuine words of appreciation are rare and hard to forget, so are able to make you really known and appreciated within the community of volunteers.

 

…and don’t forget that VOLUNTEERS ARE PART OF YOUR TEAM.

How to reduce queues during festivals

HELLO

Festivals are becoming bigger and bigger every day; some good examples are Coachella, Tomorrowland, Mawazine etc., which are hosting hundred of thousands of guests every festival. The festivals are getting upgraded while their popularity is increasing. Organizers are bringing only A list artists, increasing the number of stages, accommodating more attractions and partners; the overall experience is getting better and better every year.

Festivals are becoming bigger every year but their are also increasing their prices accordingly

Not only the festivals are getting bigger, additionally they are becoming more expansive too. Guests spend between 50 to 500 euro to attend such kind of event and their expectations have increased exponentially. Most of the crowd which is attending festivals is composed of Millennials which consider that experiences are more important than things.

In this times, when people appreciate experiences more rather than valuables, it is important to do everything possible to fulfill this need and create a flawless and remarkable experiences.

The most recurring issues that usually arises within festivals is queuing; nobody likes to waste their time waiting in line, however it always happens.

The lines can’t be 100% avoided, though, there are a few practices which will reduce them considerably.

One of the most popular practice which is becoming rapidly adopted by most of the festivals are the NFC wristbands. Through the NFC wristbands, event planners are trying to offer a higher event experience making it more convenient, secure and transparent.

Visitors can top-up money on their wristbands at any point of the event, pay without queuing in lines – everything just with a simple tap while event organizers benefit of transparency and complete control with real time reports over all sales.

The wristband is synced with a specific ticket category which allows the visitors to access all their designated areas more easily and if entitled receive perks such as T-shirts, free drinks, etc.

Additionally with the help of the NFC chip, the wristband can be used to create a new level of interactions, such as: Treasure Hunts and challenges, rate favorite products or shows, save playlists, check geolocation etc.

Since 2015 the NFC integrated wristbands started to become popular within the events’ world. If back then guests were complaining about wristbands’ failures which left them unable to buy food or drinks, today they do work smoothly and are reducing considerably the queue.

No more queue for food and drinks, but how about the registration process. When attendees arrive at the event, they need to change their ticket into the NFC wristband. Unfortunately most of the attendees are complaining having to stay a few hours in line to get their wristband; it is of course a big turn-off, when the pre-event excitement is killed by a huge waiting time.

Trying to be on-top of the situation, event planners are already finding solutions to combat this huge registration lines.

Event planners are always trying to find solutions to reduce queue

Big events(e.g., Coachella) are shipping the NFC wristband directly to guests, right after the ticket is purchased. Guests receive precise instructions which they need to follow in order to configure their wristband from home. Also when arriving at the event’s premises, it is mandatory to have it already attached around their right wrist. In this way, guests can enter directly, without having to stay in line to do their registration. This practice turned out to be successful and diminishing the lines considerably.

The NFC wristbands represent an important milestone in the process of reducing queues within festivals

What are the biggest benefits when using the NFC wristbands?

  • Visitors tend to spend 15-30%more
  • Speeds up purchases & reduces queues
  • Minimize cash handling
  • Captures all sales and audience insights
  • Control and transparency
  • More interaction within the event

It is interesting how in a short period of time so many uses have been found for the NFC chips. With the use of a simple chip, attendees can do almost everything with it. Their Social Media profile can be synchronized and all their data stored and access after the event. An NFC wristband is the only thing you need in order to attend a festival. No need to worry for your wallet, money or mobile phone, you only need to be worried of not having enough fun.

Event Marketing Through Stories: Instagram vs Snapchat

“It is clear to us that regular users’ Snapchat usage/engagement have gone down significantly since the release of Instagram Stories” writes Charlie Buffin

Event Marketing

For almost one year now, it’s been quite a war between Snapchat and Instagram – Why?

 

Well, on 2nd of August 2016 Instagram has launched the Instagram Stories, which are the identical copy of Snapchat Stories. For those of you who don’t know what Snapchat does, here is a brief intro; a Snap is a picture or video you send through the app to one or more of your friends. It will disappear after a maximum of 10 seconds and can only pe played twice. You have the option to add multiple photos and videos as well into the “My Story” feed which will disappear after 24 hours and can be viewed undefined times; visible to your friends only  if you have a private account or by everybody if you have a public account.

Instagram did not stop here, and one year later it hits again by copying Snapchat’s crowd-sourcing photos which allows users to send photos or videos from a specific location or event. Basically they can add photos from their personal story to nearby locations. Afterwards Instagram will curate the photos and the selected one that would show in the Explore tab as another story, let’s say New York (story). These stories created through crowdsourcing photos and videos can be searched after the location and hashtag. Learn more how to use crowd-sourcing photos for your next event.

Crowd-sourcing photos and Geofilters are two of the features that made Snapchat famous among all types of events

Crowdsourcing photos and Geofilters are two of the features that made Snapchat famous among all types of events; managing to create a high level of awareness within numerous events by collecting loads and loads of photos/ videos from all kind of participants at the events. It is an easy and friendly way to promote and bring awareness of your event . Learn more about how to promote your event through Snapchat.

It was quite a significant hit for Snapchat when Instagram launched its “stories ” because they suffered a substantially daily users decrease.

In only 25 weeks since launch, Instagram Stories reached 150 million daily users. That’s the same number of users that Snapchat’s whole app reportedly reached in June 2016, after seeing a significant growth from 110 million daily users in December 2015, Bloomberg reported.

Another report on TechCrunch found that both Snapchat views and posting of stories counts decreased by 15-40 percent after Instagram Stories launched.

Influencers seek for Instagram’s reach

Mike Albanese the CEO of social talent media company Galore’s says “Influencers that were late to build an audience on Snapchat pretty much abandoned the platform because it was so much easier for them to reach more people through their existing audience on Instagram Stories.”

Influencers have also noticed that the engagement rates are 3-5x higher on Instagram than on Snapchat. No matter how faithful you are to Snapchat, you’ve got to do what’s best for your business.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 16.21.27

Snapchat is fighting back Instagram

In order to fight Instagram, Snapchat launched Custom Stories in May 2017. Custom Stories  is similar to the normal story posting, the only difference is that it allows users to create their own events within their chosen friends. So for example, if you are organizing a birthday party, you can create a story named “`Birthday Party” and invite only the friends you would like to post in that story. Through Custom Stories, Snapchat is trying to focus more on offering a qualitative and tailored content to their users.

Creating the Customs Stories seems to be the logical step after creating  a tool that creates on-demand geofilters on the web, in February 2017, which allows users to create custom stickers for different occasions and events. And as competition with Instagram intensifies, it might represent an important milestone in the process of roping in new users.

Both Snapchat and Instagram are trying to bring people together through their stories. Even if it is about user’s lifestyle, a private event, a concert or a championship they help people spread the word and their experiences.

What makes the difference between the two, especially when using Instagram and Snapchat Stories to market an event?

Instagram

  • Has over 600 Million Users monthly with most of its users over 24 years old  (Read more)
  • Instagram’s users spend 15 minutes per day on the app
  • A big part of the activity users spend their time mostly browsing

Snapchat

  • Has 16 Million users daily with 60% of it’s users under the age of 24
  • Users spend twice as Instagram’s users on the app, approximately 30 min per day
  • 60% of user create content (Business Insider)

It only depends on what are your goals, who is your target and what kind of event are you are trying to market in order to decide if Instagram or Snapchat is more suitable for your event.

Having so many users, Instagram’s best use is to bring awareness and gain new potential attendees. But if you want to create an after event marketing, you can make sure that Snapchat is the right tool for you; Leaving all the content to be created by the community, with the wonderful slew of tools that Snapchat has to offer.

We are curious and looking forward to see how this battle is going to end. If Snapchat will raise back by increasing the number of daily users; if Instagram will manage to surpass Snapchat in it’s quality and number of features or why not  live happily ever after by figuring a middle way to survive on the “stories market” by bringing different added value for their users.

 

Use long tail keywords to promote your events

Did you know that almost half of the world’s population (and over 75% of the population from Europe and North America) has internet access? And that on a daily basis Google and Bing gather more than 5 billion online queries? If so many people use online searches for information (and to actually buy products/services) what can we do to get a slice of this big pie? The short answer would be Search Engine Marketing; SEM has different areas to focus on but today I would like to tell you more about long tail keywords and how they could lift up your business.

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What is Search Engine Marketing? 

 

SEM is the form of internet marketing that has the purpose of increasing a site’s visibility in search engines results pages.

The two main components of SEM are Search Engine Optimization  and Pay Per Click, both of which I’m sure you have heard of, so I’ll just mention how each work (as a short reminder):

 

Search Engine Optimization- the process of increasing your site’s visibility in the search engine machines by:

  • Selecting  good keywords and focusing on them
  • Creating good and unique content
  • Creating a good structure for your website
  • Building links (internal and external)
  • Including the selected keywords in your site’s title, pages, articles, Meta Tag Title, meta description etc
  • Providing best possible user experience (speed, cross-device compatibility etc.);
  • and more.

 

Pay Per Click: or cost-per-click (such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads), paid search advertising where you select the keywords for which you want to be listed (when someone searches for them) and pay when someone clicks your ad. For the search engine to determine which ad appears where the process includes an auction (you select how much you’re willing to pay for every click) and a quality score (how useful is your ad for the user: relevance, landing page etc.).

 

What are keywords? We use the term keywords for words or phrases that people search for online, through search engines. So what you type in the text box when you use Google, Bing or other search engines falls into this category.

 

The generic term keywords has 2  categories:

 

Head (or short tail) keywords:

Keywords that are most frequently searched for (usually the “head” has 1 or 2 words)

and

Long tail keywords:

more specific keyword phrases (usually the long tail phrase has more than 3 words)

 

But if head keywords have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of searches each month why would anyone concentrate on anything else, right? Well, here are some advantages of using long-tail keywords, especially if you have a smaller event planning business.

 

 

75% of the search queries use long tail keywords 

 

This means that there are some keywords that can be found in hundreds of thousands of searches each month but most of the searches contain more specific long-tail keywords. So while the main focus is on one-quarter of the pie, there are still 3 quarters left for us to work with. There are tens of variations of a long tail keyword and each of them can bring you tens or hundreds of visitors that are further along in the buying cycle.

 

 

Search Engine Marketing is a very competitive field

 

SEM is a process that takes time and involves a lot of work if you want to make it in the “big league”. If you construct your keyword strategy based on a very popular head keyword you will be in direct competition with all the big event planners all over the world, even if they are not your direct business competitors.

SEO – bigger companies have more resources to invest in their websites and it is easier for them to generate more content (and search engines love sites that have more pages). 

PPC – an important part of PPC is the auction for keywords and a very popular one can become extremely expensive.

If I search for “event planner” there are 28,700,000 relevant results on Google…it is hard to compete with all of them.

Let’s say that you organize leadership conferences and work in the UK. And you want people to find more about what you do, when is your next event and other useful information. If you focus on “event planner” as keywords you will enter a ferocious competition with companies all over the world for a keyword that surely is more relevant for others than for you.

 

 

Long tail keywords have a better conversion rate 

 

Using the same example as above think that someone uses “event planner” for an online search. That person may look for information on how to become an event planner, or he/she may look for someone to plan a wedding in Japan, a business summit in India or an Indie concert in Kansas City.  It’s true, there are tons of searches for “event planner” each month, but this is because “event planner” can mean different things in online search terms. On the other hand, if someone uses  “leadership conference in England” or “leadership summit 2017 Merseyside” for a search he has a real interest in your type of event.

Using long-tail keywords you can focus on what really makes you stand out from the crowd. For example we, at Oveit, know that our feature that allows you to use cashless payments at your events represents our advantage; so we tend to use it more than the classic “online tickets”. Use your strengths when you communicate your message and you will have the perfect match for your customers.