how to grow your event through micro influencers

Hosting an event for your organization is an excellent way to connect with your community and customers in a meaningful way, deliver additional value and drive revenue. But ensuring people show up though (especially from the right demographic) can be challenging for even the most experienced event marketers.

Picture this – your event is quickly approaching, you still have a significant amount of unsold tickets and you’ve already spent months on campaigns and promotions that didn’t yield the results you expected. The pressure is on and the reality of your event being cancelled or losing money  is becoming more and more possible with each passing day.

The negative consequences of having to cancel your event have to be considered. The sunk costs involved from venue and catering deposits or the associated marketing materials you ordered is one thing. The hit on your brand’s reputation by having to communicate publicly that the event will no longer be happening is another big one your team is likely deliberating. Alternatively, going ahead with the event will trigger additional costs, both to your pocket book and to your reputation; a sparsely-attended event is never a good look.

Before you go further down this road, have you considered working with micro influencers as a way to drive ticket sales and ultimately keep the doors open for your event?

What IS a Micro Influencer?

Micro Influencers are relatable people that have loyal audiences centered around a particular niche. They typically have online followings ranging from 10,000-100,000 followers and are positioned to influence those followers to take various actions. In this case, the goal would be to partner with Micro Influencers as a channel for broadcasting the value of attending your event or even build hype for your next one!

A few additional traits about Micro Influencers include:

Niche communities – They’ve built their follower base largely due to consistent content about a particular topic and because of this, they are seen as experts in their particular domain.

Affordable – According to Adweek, campaigns powered by micro influencers cost on average 6.7 times less than campaigns from influencers with a larger following.  This makes a ton of sense, and is something that so many brands are taking advantage of now that the knowledge is out there. Many Micro nfluencers are also willing to work at far more reasonable rates. In fact, 97% of micro influencers charge less than $500 per promotional post.

Relatable – Authenticity is arguably the number one trait that sets Micro Influencers apart from other digital marketing tactics. They are able to create close relationships with their followers by relating to a particular demographic in an honest and genuine way which drives trust and, most importantly, purchase intent.

Micro Influencers are also skilled at drawing audiences who think similarly or have a shared set of values. That ability to connect over something that’s personal and linked to someone’s individual passions gives the Micro Influencer an ability to build genuine relationships and authority.

How can Micro Influencers help my event?

On average, Micro Influencers are driving 22% more weekly conversations than the average consumer. They are posting interesting content, they’re likeable, relatable, and have relevant information to share with their like-minded followers. Because they’re so personally invested in their own content, Micro Influencers are trusted sources of recommendations for their followers.

Micro Influencers also have loyal followings; groups of trusted fans that have steadily increased in size as they’ve continued to share more insightful and relevant posts that fit the likes of those who follow them. This loyalty can be directly related to the success of your event if your Micro Influencer is willing to work with you and even promote their attendance at it themselves!

Where will they post?

The primary way of working with Micro Influencers to drive ticket sales to your event will be on social media; they will post on various channels and use some (or all) of the key messages you’ve previously communicated within your own networks.

Why will these messages work now if they haven’t previously? This time you’ll be able to reach a more targeted audience through a trusted channel. People like to buy from people and Micro Influencers typically have niche followings so you can focus on audiences that are closer to your event’s target demographic than what is possible with other tactics.

Many Micro Influencers also have large email lists or blog followers, which are a great way to complement an influencer marketing social media strategy. Working with Micro Influencers who can reach their followers at multiple touchpoints is a solid bonus!

Why Micro vs. Macro?

You might think, why stop at 100,000 followers? Many social media influencers are boasting follower accounts in the millions. That can seem tempting at first, but there’s a real case for focusing your efforts on collaborations with Micro Influencers.

  • They’re accessible – If you’ve ever tried to direct message a celebrity (or Macro Influencer) you’ll know just how difficult (read: impossible) it can be to get a timely response of any kind. With Micro Influencers, however, you are encouraged to reach out to them directly and many even leave their personal contact information easily accessible in their bios – no middleman necessary!
  • They have higher engagement –  Micro influencers on average drive 60% more engagement to their campaigns than their celebrity counterparts. How are they doing that? What often happens when an influencer attracts a community over 100,000 is the engagement will begin to taper off because their followers feel lost in the crowd. The ever changing social media algorithms also have an impact. The latest research on Instagram’s platform is proving that engagement rates drop as the number of followers increases.
  • They have less demands  –  Micro-influencers typically have less demands when it comes to their influencer marketing partnerships and are less constricted by the types of content and brands they can work with.

Another key differentiator here is that Micro Influencers are truly invested in their craft. They would never promote an event that does not fit naturally into their niche and make sense for them, as a trusted source of advice for their followers. After all, just like any other brand they’re trying to increase engagement and push their numbers up. Bottom line – they’re just as invested as the brands that they’re promoting.

How do I choose a Micro Influencer?

The most successful micro influencers are the ones who are already fans and customers of your organization. Their endorsements will be more genuine and authentic, which directly correlates to their ability to drive purchase intent within their audience.

Not only will these influencers be more likely to reply positively to your outreach, they’re often open to promoting posts in exchange for a free event ticket or discount code for their followers to attend with them.

Where do I find Micro Influencers?

Given that the best influencers are already connected to your organization, a great place to start is with your own community – through your social media following and existing brand mentions to create an initial list.

Write down the target audience for your event and the types of characteristics you’re looking to attract (age, location and interests).  Regardless of how powerful an influencer’s following is, your influencer marketing campaign won’t produce a high ROI if the content doesn’t reach the people who care.

Qoints AI Social Discovery takes manual prospecting out of your search for Micro Influencers.  Using IBM Watson’s AI capabilities, we automate the process of building lists of potential Micro Influencers and can analyze any Twitter handle to help you create a targeted list to work from.

How do I work with Micro Influencers?

The first step in creating an Influencer Marketing program is to identify your goal. In this case it’s likely to drive ticket sales and to build awareness for an upcoming event (whether it’s next week or next year).

Next, you’ll want to create an initial list of Micro Influencers to target and then begin reaching out to them. As mentioned before, it’s typically quite easy to find their contact information (or at the very least, you can send a direct message through Twitter) so now it’s up to you to create a compelling pitch.

Tips for Micro Influencer Outreach:

  • Compliment them! Let them know WHY you want to work with them and reference examples of previous content they’ve shared.
  • Concisely pitch the value of attending your event and why this is a WIN for their followers too.
  • Get to the point as to what’s in it for them. Are you offering a free ticket? A VIP experience at the event itself? Perhaps even a speaking opportunity is in it for them? Let them know clearly how they will benefit from this partnership.
  • Offer to hop on a call. The best relationships can be built in real-time where you have the opportunity for genuine human connection. Use this opportunity to build rapport and really determine what enticed them to even get on the call with you in the first place.
  • Close the deal. Follow up by sending them the details of the arrangement in writing, including deadlines and compensation. Make it easy for them by including event links, marketing messaging and shareable content that they can work with for their endorsement posts!

Being thoughtful and strategic about your influencer marketing campaign is the best way to yield strong results. Be open to learning from each partnership as influencers tend to have a finger on the pulse of the market and can provide deep insights into your brand’s positioning that can help shape next year’s event, or even your current marketing messaging.

Good luck. Keep those doors open!