At MediaMiser, we highlight the importance of identifying, and communicating with, your brand’s influencers. Whether they advocate for, or oppose, your brand, it’s important to leverage any opportunity to reach out to these influencers directly. Especially when an event is coming up.
Why? Because events are already a great way to earn more media for your company, and the more people you can have talking about your brand at a gala, conference or industry meet-up, the better.
As I head to Griffin Farley Search for Beautiful Minds in Toronto and the MediaMiser team heads to PRSA 2015 International Conference in Atlanta, we’ve thought of five ways to spread your influence through brand advocates at an event:
1. Know who will be at the event
Once you’ve registered, most events will provide you with a list of attendees. Take a good look at this list and form a new list based on your influencers. Also identify any keynote speakers you would like to approach—They’ll have established influence within your target demographic, and can make great spokespeople for your brand.
Lastly, cross-reference your competitor’s influencers with the list. You can do this by monitoring social media and identifying who is discussing your competitor’s offerings most often. If you can convert these specific attendees, it can increase your brand’s share of voice exponentially during the event.
By understanding exactly WHO will be the most influential during the event, you can tailor specific product offerings to get your advocates buzzing.
2. Be specific with who you want to reach out to
It’s important to focus on influencers and potential advocates who are already communicating messaging similar to yours. These attendees will be more likely to incorporate your messaging based on similarity alone.
For example, if you’re a food brand and you’ll be encouraging sampling of a new product offerings specific to pastries at your booth, you should consider reaching out to a keynote speaker who will already be discussing pastries, or a topic related to pastries.
Be open to mentioning your influencers’ product, service, or messaging at your booth. The ability to cross-promote, as long as it doesn’t directly compete with your offerings, can increase your chances of connecting with your influencers.
3. Use social listening tools to identify which topics will be popular at the event
Monitor keywords to know what your influencers are most excited for about the event. This will help you to further tailor your product/service offerings and messaging, and allow you to create talking points that will resonate with your influencers—connecting you through a related topic of interest.
4. Reach out prior to the event
Now that you’ve done all of your research, reach out to your influencers and advocates prior to the event to begin building rapport. Make sure you’re communicating via your influencers’ preferred channel—be it Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook. Be genuine, not creepy. Share your thoughts and opinions openly and gage receptiveness to your engagements, Try to schedule a time to meet with them face-to-face at the event. Most influencers will appreciate the effort your brand has gone through to communicate with them and will find the time to say Hi.
5. Find ways to incorporate your brand influencers into your content marketing strategy prior to the event
Whether it’s by conducting interviews, creating content specific to your influencer’s interests, or writing a feature piece on a specific aspect of the event that’s popular with your target demographic, make sure to incorporate your influencers and brand advocates as much as possible prior to the event. They’ll appreciate the recognition, and you’ll benefit by having creating content specific to the event’s target audience.
MediaMiser will be identifying the top influencers of #PRSAICON throughout the conference, and will be creating an infographic from the data—you could be one of them! Make sure each of your PRSA International conference tweets includes #PRSAICON, and tweet often!