Tag Archive: blogger event

  1. 4 Steps to Planning A Successful Influencer Event for Your Brand

    Influencer marketing is fast becoming a “must do” for all consumer-based companies. Whether a local coffee shop, a national toy company, or a global automaker, marketing departments are spending more and more money on influencers—and for good reason.

    • 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective, and 89% say it works just as well (if not better) than other marketing channels.
    • 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
    • Tomoson has found that influencer marketing has been able to proffer yields of $6.50 ROI for every dollar spent.

    So now that we understand why influencers are important to your marketing, let’s talk about a way to scale their impact—hosting an influencer event. This is a great idea if you’re opening a new location or rolling out a new product. An influencer event is often less costly than a traditional marketing campaign, and they can be quite effective. Events can also be used in conjunction with a traditional marketing campaign (See #4 below!).

    PLANNING AN INFLUENCER EVENT

    While the details of each influencer event will look different, depending on the industry and product, there are a few best practices to ensure marketing success—and ultimately increased revenue. To help us out, we talked with two Orlando food influencers, Michelle (@MadeinOrlando) and Lisa (@TasteCookSip), both of whom recently attended one of our influencer events (a new store opening for Tijuana Flats).

    1. Create a Guest List:  Similar to building traditional media lists, finding the right influencers for your event means doing your research. Find people who are a good fit for your brand. For Lisa, a little research can go a long way in getting an influencer to attend an event.

    “I often get hit up to partner with products completely out of my purview, like make-up or watches,” she said. “The form email says, ‘We love your feed and think you’d be a great fit!’ … No, you don’t. If you knew my feed, you’d know I talk about food.” Lisa’s advice is to seek out influencers that work in your space, then start to interact with them. Start by liking their page or commenting on some posts.

    Think of your influencer list like a media list. You should update it regularly and build relationships with the people on it. This will pay off for your upcoming events and ones you throw in the future.

     

    2. Set Clear (Reasonable) Expectations: Whether you’re looking for a full blog article, 2-3 social posts, or video content, be honest from the start. Then be prepared to pay for that content. For Michelle, clear communication can make or break her decision to attend your event. 

    “I don’t like it when people beat around the bush about what they’re looking for. It can be tedious to go back and forth a bunch,” she said.

    Another key thing is to understand both the workload and value of influencer posts. As fellow content creators, we know it takes more than 30 seconds to set up, take and edit a beautiful photo, then craft a clever, effective post. When making an offer, think about how much time you’re asking the influencer to take give you. For example, are you asking them to drive an hour, try out a variety of products/menu items, then write a 500-word blog post with a slideshow of pictures? That’s worth a lot more than $50 or some free product samples.

    3. Create a Hashtag: Social media is all about momentum—we know this. Multiply your influencers’ effectiveness by creating a hashtag. A hashtag for your blogger event should be creative, related to your brand or product, and relatively short. Interested followers will use it to search and find additional content and reviews. The more time someone spends engaging with content that promotes your product, the more invested they are in your brand.

    4. Follow Up and See it Through: Sending invitations is just the first step. Treat this event like you would a press release—follow up! Remember, each influencer is unique, and it may take several emails and some negotiating to confirm their attendance at your event. We communicated with bloggers before, during and after our event, ensuring they had everything they needed.

    Lisa encourages marketers to remember that the post is not where things end. Social media is just that—social! “Brands should be engaging with posts, sharing posts, commenting on posts and participating in the conversations they wanted in the first place,” she said.

    With these four steps in mind, any brand—large or small—can throw an effective, engaging influencer event.

  2. How to Plan a Blogger Event

    Whether you’re a clothing company looking to spread the word about a new line or a restaurant debuting a seasonal menu item, garnering attention for your brand often involves looking beyond traditional media outlets and reaching out to another group of influencers: bloggers.

    Unlike traditional media, bloggers have a niche following that is hyper-specific to a certain region or topic (e.g. food), and they typically boast large social media audiences that consist of followers who have a vested interest in said topic. For these reasons and more, blogger events are an excellent tactic for shedding light on a product or service.

    So, how do you plan one?

    While it is always a good idea to enlist the help of an expert when planning and executing your next blogger event, here are a few key elements for creating the perfect event.

    • Create a Targeted Blogger List: Similar to building traditional media lists, finding the right bloggers for your event means spending a good deal of time scouring Google and browsing social media. While this step may seem straightforward, it is essential to remember that not all bloggers in your city – or even all bloggers covering a particular topic – are a good fit for your event. When searching, always take the time to read recent blog posts, check a blogger’s social media credentials, and review how often a blogger posts before adding them to your list. The last thing you want is to give a spot away to someone who won’t move the needle for your brand!

      For the popular Tex-Mex restaurant, Tijuana Flats, we were tasked with drumming up attention for their exciting, new “Flat Outrageous” menu. Considering that they have a substantial presence in multiple markets across the Southeast, we created a vetted blogger list of foodies, mommy bloggers and around-the-town bloggers in Raleigh, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, North Miami, Charleston, Savannah, Charlotte, Columbia and Winston-Salem (all cities home to Tijuana Flats restaurants).
    • Decide on a Theme: This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to transform your event space with thousands of dollars worth of decorations, but it might! The theme of your event is an important aspect in getting bloggers to show. For example, hosting a tasting at your restaurant to showcase a new menu item is great, but hosting a “Summer Menu Preview” with wine pairings from a local vineyard is even more enticing. Planning blogger events around seasons, holidays, or even brand-specific initiatives establishes a theme and gives event attendees something to talk (and blog) about.

      Following our Tijuana Flats example, we crafted the theming for this event largely around the brand’s strong, highly playful persona that is all about embodying an attitude as bold as their flavors.
    • Create a Hashtag: Optimizing your blogger event to the fullest means reaching a blogger’s audiences across all platforms, including social media. The goal of a blogger event should never just be a one-time write-up from attendees; instead, create a hashtag so attendees can share their experiences in real-time on social media, and so your own social media audience can follow along.
      There are many strategies involved with hashtag creation and implementation, but a hashtag for your blogger event should be creative, related to your theme or company, and relatively short (you don’t want bloggers using up all 140 characters on the hashtag and leaving no room to talk about the event itself). According to SproutSocial, tweets with hashtags receive 55% more retweets and twice as much engagement as tweets without, meaning most any professional blogger is utilizing them. Make sure your official hashtag is in their mix.

      For our Tijuana Flats blogger event, we promoted the brands’ #FlatOutrageous hashtag to ensure all media attention, and fan interaction, could be easily followed and built around the new menu items.
    • Offer an Incentive: Events surrounding food or free experiences typically offer enough of an incentive to get bloggers to attend, but other initiatives may be trickier. Depending on your end goal and what you’re promoting, incentivizing attendees is the best way to receive a high number of RSVPs and glowing post-event reviews.

      As you may expect, Tijuana Flats’ incentives came in the form of delicious dishes straight off of the Flat Outrageous menu, available to sample at the guests’ leisure. Ensuring all of the offerings were top-notch was extremely important, as this first impression was definitely one that counted.
    • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!: Sending an initial invitation doesn’t mean you’ve done all you can do to get a blogger to your event. Following up with those who have not RSVP’d, in addition to those who have RSVP’d, is an important step in ensuring that all your targeted bloggers attend your event.

      We communicated with bloggers before, during and after the event, ensuring they had everything they needed to accurately write their articles and share their experiences on social media.

    While planning a blogger event can seem overwhelming, following this criteria can help alleviate the anxiety surrounding RSVPs and event plans, while also resulting in targeted, positive coverage for your brand or initiative.