Why Influencer Events Are So Powerful
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Over the last two years, influencer marketing has gone from a barely-used term to an essential strategy, giving marketers a return that goes far beyond immediate sales. As marketers recognize the long-term impact that influencers can have on their brand, some are embracing the opportunity to connect with top bloggers through influencer events. Between the personal connections brands can make with influencers, the opportunity to convey the brand history and messaging beyond just the promotion, and the opportunity to reach many influencers at the same time, events are set to become the next big influencer marketing activity in your strategy for the coming year.
Australian brand Christian Paul Watches is a great example of how influencer marketing can strengthen brand awareness and loyalty. For its launch at MYER Melbourne in Australia, the brand hosted a VIP event for influencers, where it also announced new brand ambassador Kate Waterhouse. At the event, Christian Paul owner Timothy Curuana was able to personally meet the 17 invited bloggers and share the brand history, leading to coverage that went beyond the event itself, like this post by blogger Adriana Perri of Le Blonde Fox.
In another example, when MARKS & SPENCER launched an eCommerce website in Australia, the leading international brand hosted the House of MARKS & SPENCER, an influencer event in Sydney, to connect directly with Australia’s top fashion and lifestyle bloggers. At the event, which took place at a gorgeous home to showcase the brand’s decor and lifestyle products alongside new fashion pieces, bloggers learned about the M&S history and received engraved English teapots, which further added to its personal touch.
The result gave M&S both immediate and long-term value, with a total reach of 2.7 million and more than 80 images with likes and comments into the tens of thousands. Because of the personal nature of the event, the content went beyond the atmosphere of the event and spoke directly to the brand.
As stylist Chelsea Keim wrote on her blog, "It was a privilege to learn about the history of M&S and to know how far they have come. From a single market stall to an international brand both online and in stores."
MARKS & SPENCER has continued to do a brilliant job of creating events that feel personal to influencers, from offering customized blankets at London Fashion Week, to creating an intimate experience for Australian bloggers at a Derby Day breakfast in Melbourne.
Although attendance can make brands and agencies nervous about hosting events, we have had great success curating guest lists and securing attendance even on short notice. We recently helped an agency in New York curate an influencer guest list and secure attendance for a top fashion brand with less than 24 hours' notice. We have had brands successfully post and reach influencers in less than 48 hours.
Another advantage of influencer events is the chance to gain real-time feedback on your brand and new products, rather than relying on surveys or digital insights. The opportunity to ask questions and understand what your target audience likes or doesn’t like about a new product, promotion or your brand itself is invaluable. Brands at Fashion Week STORY | Sydney (pictured below) were able to see attendees' reactions to new products and get a sense of which were likely to become the most popular. Coupled with the content bloggers later produce, influencer events give you the value of a focus group with the awareness of a marketing campaign.
One final advantage of events is the economy of scale. Through one initiative, you reach multiple social circles and target audiences through influencers. You also get a wider diversity of gorgeous content featuring your brand when you engage many influencers, rather than selecting just one with a large audience.
From Fashion Week events to local product launches, we can help you find the best influencers for your brand in a particular region and create an experience that fits your budget, needs, and overall campaign. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning your next -- or perhaps your first -- influencer event.