This is a guest post from Georgina Rutherford, Head of Marketing and Communications at IMA.
Many events are turning to influencer marketing — using influential people to promote their event — as a way to boost ticket sales. And unlike other influencers, micro-influencers have smaller, hyper-targeted followings who can drive huge levels of engagement — for less cost.
But approaching just any influencer won’t drive sales — that requires a strategy. Here are four steps you can take to build the right micro-influencer strategy that will sell tickets.
1. Set your objectives
Before searching for influencers, It’s important to pinpoint your objectives. Getting these goals down on paper will help you better understand which audience you need to be tapping into before you invest in the wrong one.
To get you started, here are some common objectives you can build your influencer strategy to achieve.
- Increase online visibility. You’re looking to create awareness about your event as a stepping stone to selling tickets. When influencers market your event, your event reaches the social media accounts of more potential ticket buyers.
- Reach new markets. You’ve watched your event flourish over the years, but you’ve maximized growth in your current market. It’s time to expand your event to a new city — and you’re turning to micro-influencers for help. When you’re breaking into a new market, potential attendees might see your event and think “Never heard of it. Why would I go?” Partnering with micro-influencers builds your credibility.
- Encourage customer loyalty. It costs more to acquire a new attendee than to retain an existing one. Use micro-influencers to not only drive new attendance but also retain past attendees. Nurture your relationships with your micro-influencers to keep them coming back each year. And retain past attendees by asking your audience who their favorite influencers are and partnering with them.
2. Select the right micro-influencers for your event
You’re probably looking for micro-influencers who can help broaden your audience. But reaching a new audience won’t help if their audience isn’t your target audience.
To make sure an influencer will help reach interested event-goers, follow these steps.
- Validate their following. Not every influencer is as influential as they seem. Automated bots and fake followers are a widespread reality. These automated tools boost followings but contaminate engagement and authenticity. Check the ratio of engagements to followers to flag inconsistencies. For example, if an influencer has 200,000 followers but only four comments on a post, that’s a red flag.
- Investigate their background in events. You’re looking to boost your event with micro-influencers, so make sure they’re comfortable working with events. Take a look to see what kind of content they have created in the past, what the nature of collaboration was (sponsored or non-sponsored), and whether it is in line with how you want to communicate about your event.
3. Build in compensation conversations
Have the compensation conversation up front. Many influencers expect cash. But if you’re not willing to pay your micro-influencer, make sure you’re armed with alternatives that are just as lucrative for your influencer.
For example, provide your influencer free VIP access or free passes for special guests. Whatever you choose, have this conversation at the beginning of your relationship with the influencer to avoid any confusion down the line. Here are some helpful tips on determining what to pay your influencer.
4. Include a disclosure agreement
Regulations require influencers to be transparent about paid-for endorsements using the hashtags like #ad and #spon. As an event brand, it’s your responsibility to make sure your micro-influencer partners are clear about your relationship in their posts. Before your influencer makes their first post, provide clear guidelines on how you’d like them to describe your relationship.
Build your micro-influencer strategy
Ready to build your micro-influencer strategy? Check out The Secret to Sell-Out Events: Selling to the Social Ringleader to find out why social ringleaders — the people who attend the most events, invite the most friends, and spread the most hype about your event — should be on your short list.