Influencer marketing has become a big business. What started as a way for fans of Starbucks and Apple to share love for their favorite products online has become a lucrative paid marketing tool. A brand makes about $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, according to a poll of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson. Today, about 56% of companies use influencers to drive sales.
Savvy event planners are starting to brainstorm how influencers can help sell tickets to events. Are you on board? Here are some tips to start.
Decide What Type of influencer You Need
There are several strategies you can take when engaging influencers. You can hire celebrities or industry thought leaders. This is effective for events that offer headlining acts or keynote speakers. Make a list of appearances or statements you’d like the influencer to add to their schedule and include these tasks in their contract.
If budget is an issue or you are not featuring a well-known figure at your event, micro-influencers are a viable option. Micro-influencers are people who have a passion for a certain topic, product, or niche and share that passion with their online audience of between 2,000 to 50,000 followers on a certain social media channel. These influencers engage in daily authentic and organic conversations with other like-minded people and have the ability to move the needle on ticket sales for your event. Follow pertinent hashtags and thought influencers on social media and you’ll find these Pied Pipers easily. A recent study showed that 84% of micro-influencers charge $250 or less for sponsored Instagram posts, and 97% charge no more than $500, so it’s a very affordable option.
Other options for influencer recruitment include leveraging your repeat event attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, and employees. All you have to do is ask.
How to Use Influencers to Promote Your Event
How can you leverage the influencer relationship to sell tickets to your event? The possibilities are endless. Traditionally influencers communicate online, via social media, website or email.
1. Let your influencers “take over” your Instagram or Twitter account for a day or a week once tickets go on sale to talk about your event, tagging their own accounts in order to engage their network.
2. Ask influencers to post questions or discussion starters on your event page discussion board and to engage with fans who interact there.
3. Create special discount codes that the influencers can use to spread the word. (Speakers and Event Sponsors can spread the word about special discounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn)
You can also provide influencers with event assets such as images, video and other content to share on their own social media accounts. Also, use exclusive content from the influencer on your digital channels and in email campaigns. In all cases, the influencer’s consistent call to action should be to register for the event.
There are also offline ways to use influencers. Plan meet-and-greet events or small pop-up sneak peeks featuring the influencer to promote your event. Offer interview opportunities with your influencer to media partners. Make sure to provide the influencer with talking points regarding your event so that they can promote it during the interviews.
The influencer should also attend your event so that you close the loop on your event marketing campaign. This lends an authenticity to your event and your brand. Your attendees will appreciate seeing the influencer actively participating in the event.
How to Measure Results
The simplest measurement is the return on investment. To do this you will need to track how many tickets are sold via an influencer. If you can do that, it’s a simple calculation of sales divided by cost. You may also want to track online and offline impressions and reach as well as digital traffic to your website and social media pages. All are important measurements of how successful your influencer was in gaining attention for your event.
In this age of online reviews and YouTube stars, the power of influencer marketing cannot be ignored.
It’s time to add this tactic to your event marketing toolbox.