Instagram recently announced that Influencer Marketing posts doubled in 2017. And, in 2016, INC reported that Influencer Marketing delivers 11x ROI over all other forms of digital media. If those stats alone don’t convince you that tapping into influencers for your meetings and events is a smart business decision, here are a few other arguments.

“Great content is expensive to create and yet it rarely gets seen because most companies publish it on their own channels. Brands end up paying for distribution and content creation. Influencer Marketing, however, delivers both content creation and distribution for a much cheaper price, is more authentic, more engaging and drives ROI at an order of magnitude greater than all other forms of digital media.” – Francesca Cruz, VP of Sales for TapInfluence

A common staple in meetings specifically is the keynote speaker. This person can range from an expert in the industry to a well-known celebrity. They usually share their story and somehow tie it to the purpose or theme of the meeting. Their speech or presentation is engaging, and usually well-received by most. While the name of a keynote speaker might help with event promotion and getting the message across – it’s simply not enough anymore.

Let’s first consider event promotion.

Aside from allowing you to use their name on your event website, keynote speakers will do little, if any event promotion for you, unless you somehow work it into the contract. Event promotion is a lot of work, and many speakers simply don’t have the time to be effective for your needs. For influencers and micro-influencers, on the other hand – this is a way of life: promoting companies and products and ideas they believe in socially and creatively.

Savvy event marketers are finding they need to tap into this unique cohort to get the word of their event out there. While paid media (both digital and print) are important avenues, we have to face the reality that many consumers, and therefore meeting attendees, are somewhat numb to advertisements and block them out – whether that’s on web pages or fast forwarding through commercials. Tapping into the power of influencers will enable you to reach a larger, yet more niche and engaged, audience.

Now, let’s talk about influencer-generated content.

Influencer marketing platform, The Shelf, found that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others – even if they don’t know them personally – over branded content. And live meetings and events offer the perfect opportunity for influencers to create content. Aside from adding to the event promotion strategy, the content will help develop a powerful storyline that your audience will be able to connect to and build a community around your brand, event, etc.

Allowing event influencers some creative liberties to generate content before, during and after your event will provide you with authentic, invaluable assets. You’ll want to be clear of your expectations up front, but also provide some templates for them to start from.  According to Forbes, “Images and videos posted by influencers, as well as custom recipes and tutorials, tap into consumers’ preferences for user-generated content and tend to feel more like recommendations from a friend.”

Not sure where to start?

Follow Social Media Examiner’s 6 Steps to a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign for your next meeting or event and realize the power influencers can bring to your brand.

#1: Identify the Goal for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign – Product launch, content creation, etc.

#2: Define Your Ideal Influencer Profile –Relevance, authenticity, engaged audience

#3: Find Potential Influencers – Hashtag search, online tools, recommendation

#4: Reach Out to Influencers – Start formulating a relationship

#5: Provide Rewards – Doesn’t have to be money, can be event attendance, or just the opportunity to create content for their audience

#6: Measure Your Results – Examine the KPI’s determined when setting the initial campaign goal

When it comes down to it, participants trust and are interested in what influencers have to say and want to emulate certain aspects of their lifestyle – that’s why they follow them. This is complimented extremely well with meetings and events because they give influencers an opportunity to share their experiences and invite their audience along for the ride – ultimately benefiting the host brand.

The importance of influencers has been picking up steam in the last few years, but will be even more important in 2018.

To read more about this trend and others impacting the meetings and events industry, download our free ebook.

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