One of the greatest benefits of utilizing influencers is the genuine connection they can build with a brand and its community.
However, as the social media world continues to become more and more saturated with paid endorsements and advertisements, influencer marketing is at risk of losing its impressive success rates due to the rising skepticism consumers have towards the authenticity of brand partnerships.
Although social media campaigns are a massive aspect of influencer marketing, the world of influencing has been catapulted into new and exciting directions and has allowed the industry to be so much more than one-off social media campaigns.
The exciting new look at the industry as a whole allows for brands to build strong relationships with their influencers before the partnership is fully launched to consumers, which boosts trustworthiness and natural rapport that is evident to the public.
What is an influencer event?
You’re probably wondering what this elusive element to influencer marketing is, right? Well, this trending strategy is an influencer event. An influencer event is set up by brands and companies alike for the sole purpose of connecting with their influencers on a more meaningful level. These events allow influencers to better get to know the brand or company and what it stands for, build buzz and brand awareness for new product introductions, and ultimately, build a strong community for influencers who love the brand they work with because the brand has invested its time and care into building something more than just generic social media interactions.
LinkedIn revolutionizes business events with its new feature
The obvious success and impressive spike in popularity of branded influencer events have created a window of opportunity that LinkedIn was able to capitalize on. On October 17th, 2019, LinkedIn released a new feature, the Event hub, with the hopes of changing the professional event landscape for the better. Companies and brands are now able to create events on LinkedIn for networking, professional development, business meetups, and more through an easy-to-use format. The Event hub works very similarly to Facebook’s Event feature, but with a professional spin to it. This exciting new feature has the potential to streamline personalized influencer efforts as well as encourage B2B companies and brands to try out influencer marketing strategies that have historically been easier for B2C companies to execute. This opportunity could revolutionize the influencer marketing industry by allowing all aspects of the business world to participate.
The dos and don’ts of hosting influencer events
The LinkedIn Event tool is so easy to use that it could possibly open up a new iteration of influencer marketing. It’s important to understand that hosting an influencer event is a lot more than just clicking “Create” on LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn’s Event hub is easy to use, the strategy behind hosting an influencer event can’t be lost. It takes careful planning and a lot of hard work to get your event on a level that impresses influencers in a way that competes with the current landscape. Using event management platforms can help you and your team immensely when organizing and creating your event.
1. Invite influencers that are outside your immediate niche
Think about all of the different verticals that relate to your brand. Consider inviting influencers from related niches to reach a broader market and increase your customer base. Those influencers might not be directly related, but they still have an obvious tie to your brand’s industry and are worth exploring.
2. Hand out awesome swag bags
Swag bags are a huge reason to attend your event, so make your gifts memorable. For example, if your company is a makeup brand, gifting the entire new line of makeup that you’re releasing soon would be an excellent gift. You can also personalize the items. Have fun with it, and make sure it’s something they would actually want to receive- not just useless junk.
3. Make your event something they want to attend
In addition to the swag bags, make sure the event boasts something your influencers are excited about and want to attend. This can be the entertainment, a guest list filled with all their friends, the exclusive unveiling of your brand’s new product, special guests, easy transportation, and more!
4. Provide an engaging experience
There is nothing that special about a cocktail party. Make your event one to remember by providing an experience for your attendees that’s engaging and fun! By doing so, you not only set up perfect moments that they will want to take pictures and videos of to post and share with others, but they will genuinely enjoy their time with your brand, which will only help you in the long run.
1. Don’t lose sight of your brand
It’s easy to get caught up in the party and forget why you’re throwing it in the first place. This event is all about your brand, your products, and how these influencers can work with you best and love you more than they did before. It’s imperative that you don’t lose sight of the connections you can make throughout the event.
2. Don’t forget the aesthetic
If influencers are known for anything, it’s their need to keep up their aesthetic and personal brand, so you’ll want to make sure your event space and party details are in line with the current trends. If it isn’t trendy enough, the likelihood of your event being posted is slim to none.
3. Don’t forget your event hashtag
You’ll want to optimize your event’s social opportunities as much as possible, and an event hashtag is an incredibly easy way to do this. Encourage your influencers to post on social with the hashtag- you can even make a game out of it! This could get your event trending and also provide an easy way to find photos from the event for use in later marketing campaigns.
4. Don’t forget about the lighting of your venue
Like previously mentioned, this event is not just for the attendees, but it’s for the potential content to be created for later use. If the lighting is horrible, you can guarantee no one will be excited about taking pictures, and if they do, they won’t be posted.
An event for the ages
Influencer marketing seems like a simple addition to any marketing strategy, but the truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of strategizing and precision to get right. Working with influencers is a delicate balance between picture-perfect and authenticity, so it’s important to take the time to learn how to be as successful as possible. Using tools like LinkedIn’s new Event hub will make it simple to source, invite and plan the perfect party, so if you’re still working on building the authenticity factor with your influencers, try hosting an influencer event. This strategy will build relationships that last way beyond the business contract.
Hannah Tow is a Content Marketing Associate at G2. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism and is very happy to be working in her favorite city, Chicago. In her free time, Hannah enjoys running with her dog, Teddy, traveling to new and exciting places, and capturing the beautiful places she travels to with her DSLR camera.