How to Maximize Influencer Event ROI
Social Currency recently produced Educate/Expand, a wellness influencer retreat that created 491% ROI for brand sponsors. (Read more in our case study). Our goal with Educate/Expand was to go beyond the typical "pay to post" strategy, and to actually educate influencers on topics such as genetically inherited conditions and mitochondrial health. We put emphasis on quality over quantity - just a few brands, and influencers with real passion for wellness and high engagement with their followers. We put tons of heart, soul, and sweat into the event, and even more importantly, so did our brand partners. Here are some lessons from our brand partners on making influencer events a success.
Send a brand owner to educate influencers
Passion is contagious. Influencers review products every day, but they don't meet with founders every day. Use this opportunity to tell how the brand was founded and what big problems you're solving. Leave plenty of time for questions. The job title of the presenter doesn't matter so much as the person. Send someone who knows everything about the brand and considers it her baby. The whole point of educating influencers is to go deeper than what's in an ad or video, and energize them about how your brand can fit into, and improve, their lives.
Learn from influencers, too
Two-way conversations are more engaging than seminars. Our brand partners asked questions, and showed genuine interest in the businesses our influencers were launching. These conversations generated more interesting content, and helped brand partners get useful feedback — but more importantly, the dialog created palpable excitement. The feedback we heard over and over from our brand partners and influencers was that the retreat was more than a brand-sponsored event; it became a network of women entrepreneurs supporting each other, whose connections will continue after the event. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts. That's the kind of magic that can't be planned or purchased; it happens when you put curious, smart people together.
Make it visual
Influencers always need unique content to post. There are only so many times they can post a photo of themselves holding a product. Spend the time (and money) to make standout visuals. For example, a branded mural or backdrop; presentations props; branded swag. The caveat is that it has to be unique, high quality, or very relevant to be photographed. Research Instagram for ideas. Here are a few for inspiration.
L'Oreal Colorista Washout (we worked on this one!)
Make a social reference card
Make it easy for influencers to know your key messages, social handle, and hashtags. Keep them simple and print the information on cards small enough to put in their pockets. You may also want to put the same information on a chalkboard displayed at the event.
Produce marketing content
Influencer events are the perfect opportunity to create marketing content. They're often in a unique location, you're repeating your key messages and telling the brand story, and you essentially are with a bunch of spokespeople. Adding some budget for film and/or photo shoots will save the cost of independent photo shoots and casting.
Want more ideas on how to work with influencers to move the needle for your brand? Let us know!