Running an event can be taxing. Between sorting out a venue, organising activities on the day, and coordinating the rest of your team, it can get tough. Perhaps the most difficult aspect is the promotion of the event itself. Finding enough attendees and getting the word out is tricky, especially when you’ve got 101 other tasks to get on with.
But when you involve bloggers in your event, marketing and promotion gets that bit easier. Read on to find out how.
Bloggers are like that one friend you always want at your party because they’re the life and soul. These are people who have built a livelihood on engaging and connecting with others. This makes them perfect attendees for your next event. To really deliver value to their audiences, bloggers will throw themselves into your event, offering insight and knowledge on discussions and forums.
By inviting bloggers to your event, you are also given access to their sizeable online following. Having them spread the word about your event to their audience gives you wider exposure and increased brand awareness. Their audience might be one previously untapped by your brand, which will help boost your social following and your potential customer base.
In the same vein, bloggers are ideal for promoting the event itself. Once they’ve accepted your invitation, gently request that they share a link to your event, perhaps with a blogger-specific discount code to drive up attendance. Once they’ve reviewed your event, you can in turn give them some exposure by sharing their completed post across your channels.
So you know why you need to invite bloggers to your next big event. Here’s the how.
Most successful bloggers receive countless emails inviting them to events, offering freebies, soliciting advice, and so on. Your invite needs to stand out against the rest, so you need to take the time to fine-tune it. Ditch the generic “Dear sir/madam” email and send a personalised invitation that is tailored to the blogger.
Use their name in your intro, and use a snappy subject line that’ll encourage them to open your email. You’ll then need to clearly and concisely explain who you are and what your event is about.
Be sure to make it sound as appealing as possible, highlighting the benefits that the blogger can receive from it. For example, marketing your event as the perfect place for industry professionals to meet gives them an incentive to come along to do some networking of their own.
Finally, be sure to include a link to the event in your invitation. Selling tickets online lets your guests share your event more easily, so bloggers can quickly publicise your event to their followers.
What is it you want from this event? A boost in sales? Increased brand awareness?
Whatever your goal is, be sure that you provide opportunities for your bloggers to help you reach it. Create activities that encourage your bloggers to get involved while achieving your desired goal.
For example, if you want to ramp up sales of a new collection, turn it into a competition and award prizes for the most creative photograph of your product. Or if you want to boost brand awareness, hand out branded merch such as sunglasses or t-shirts and encourage them to tweet selfies of them wearing it. The more fun and engaging an event is, the bigger impact it will have.
It’s the big day!
To make sure your event really has an impact and gets seen, get bloggers and attendees to post on social media with a unique, preferably branded, hashtag for the event (think Visa’s #TeamVisa or Always’ #LikeAGirl). This groups all the posts about your event together on social media so people can stay up to date with what’s going on.
Why not use a widget to showcase all the hashtagged tweets on your website for some top live content? Getting bloggers to use a branded hashtag also gives you exposure to their audience, boosting brand awareness throughout the day and beyond.
Just because your event is over, it doesn’t mean the relationship with your bloggers ends there. Always follow up with them afterwards, thanking them for coming.
If they enjoyed it, ask them to drop a link to your site in their write-up of your event. Share a link to their post across your channels as well, giving them some extra exposure as a thank-you.
Remember, it’s well worth asking your bloggers to encourage interaction with your brand from their followers, too. For example, if your bloggers’ readers missed your pop-up shop, get them to remind their followers that they can visit your online webstore as well. Why not sweeten the deal with an event-specific voucher code or deal?
It’s also worth using a trackable bit.ly link to measure how much traffic they drive to your site. This sort of data can prove handy if you decide whether to start an influencer partnership with them further down the line.
Planning and promoting your event doesn’t have to be tiresome. By inviting bloggers and encouraging them to engage with and publicise your event, you can expand your social reach and create an event that’ll really get your brand seen.
Patrick Foster is a writer with expertise in ecommerce, marketing, and business. Patrick writes under Ecommerce Tips, an industry-leading blog delivering knowledge and insights into business and ecommerce. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.
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