At events, attendees are constantly bombarded with a barrage of information, most of which is easily forgotten. This has made it more difficult for marketers to find content that not only breaks through all that noise but keeps their target audiences engaged. And what better way to do that than to find a source that has the reach and get them to do the talking.
According to a study by eMarketer, 45% of event marketers use events to reach out to influencers and boost engagement. And in the coming years, this number is expected to rise. With this in mind, here’s a complete guide to creating a stellar influencer program for sales advancement.
Identify the target audience
The first step to getting your influencer program started is identifying and understanding your prospective customer. This means anticipating their needs, understanding the type of content they consume, and identifying channels they engage with frequently. This will tell you what they are looking for and what to do in order to create modules that resonate with them.
⇀ Map out your ideal customer persona. Use LinkedIn profiles to get a more accurate and in-depth understanding of their work, what tools they use and how they use them.
⇀ Next, anticipate some of their pain points. This will tell you what their challenges are and how your tool could help them.
⇀ Create a consolidation of content that they search for. This will tell you what they expect and how to position your message to help them understand what you have to offer.
⇀ And finally, curate your content based on what they are most likely to frequent to help you channel your messages accordingly.
Select the right influencers
Influencers are advocates for your brand. But separating influential personalities from irrelevant ones is a challenge. The right influencers help you amplify your brand’s messages in tandem with their reach. And most importantly, these influencers match your brand’s tone.
⇀ The key to identifying the right influencer for your event lies in analyzing the type of audience he/she talks to.
⇀ Ensure that this matches with your ideal customer persona.
⇀ Take a closer look at how influencers engage with the audience. This can tell you everything you need to know about how relevant they are to your target audience.
⇀ Notice the platforms they use to engage with their audiences. This highlights the sort of reach you are bound to get.
⇀ If your influencer does not use the social media channels your target audience uses, chances are you’re not going to be driving the right results.
Note: Another way to reach out to the right person is through referrals and recommendations. Influencers keep a tight circle, so reaching out to one influencer can give you access to his/her network.
Related: How to tap into customer advocacy for B2B sales advancement
Set measurable goals
Every campaign needs to have realistic, measurable, relevant and attainable goals. With an influencer program, it is important to call out those aspects that matter to your campaign the most. Right from online engagement to actual revenue goals, it is important that the objectives of your campaign are properly defined in order to fit in your influencers.
⇀ Identify important metrics in the influencer program that you think will contribute to the overall event objectives. For example, use metrics like referral traffic to measure the number of website visitors as a result of the influencer program.
⇀ Use these metrics as a talking point with your influencers to help them establish their plan of action.
Related: Which metrics do you need in your B2B influencer program
Organize an influencer meet
Using a personalized approach to meet your influencers is an important aspect of the process. One way of reaching out to them is by organizing a meet-and-greet. Your primary objective here is to create a long term relationship that goes beyond the event. This could result in speaking opportunities and mutually beneficial social exposure.
⇀ Talk about your product/service and get them to use it. This gives them an idea about what you have to offer and helps them put together the communication needed to get the message out in the open.
⇀ Discuss your objectives and what sort of results you are looking for. This gives them a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how they can go about doing it.
⇀ Incentivize the process to ensure that they are encouraged to associate with your brand and spread the message.
Get your influencers to engage with the audience two weeks in advance. This helps build a buzz around the event and gives the audience a glimpse of what to expect at the event. More often than not, they use their own tone, language, and method of engagement to stay objective and authentic. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to analyze these techniques and predict the results you are bound to get during and after the event.
The day of the event
It is important for influencers to attend the event for maximum impact. Get them to frequently engage with customers and promote your content on social media channels. This can help you create a buzz around the booth and drive more traffic. You could also get them to participate in speaking and networking sessions. This gives your attendees the chance to engage with your product and help you establish thought leadership. Do not forget to keep an eye on the number of engagements and conversions as a result of this.
The line of communication does not end after the event concludes. Feedback is an important part of the post-event follow-up. Once the event comes to an end, be sure to reach out to your influencers and get their feedback. You could also get them to write blog posts about the event to drive more engagement and discuss guest blogging. This will ensure that there is a platform for sustained engagement. And finally, deliver what was promised in terms of incentives. This will encourage them to work with you again.
One of the most powerful ways to market a product or service is through word-of-mouth. Event attendees often consume a lot of content at events. More often than not, this information is ignored or forgotten because it either does not interest them or they do not trust the source. Influencer marketing helps marketers build trust. Customers are more likely to be reeled into the buyer cycle when the information comes from a credible source. With the statistic mentioned above in mind, influencer marketing is sure to become a venue to explore to aid in sales advancement.