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How to use social media influencers in experiential marketing

Feb 21, 2020

Written by: Vicki Surprise, Vice President of Experiential Marketing, BI WORLDWIDE
(View Author Bio)

When done right, incorporating influencers into experiential marketing campaigns provides great value.

Bringing in big names to champion an event is nothing new – but where those names come from has certainly evolved. More and more, brands are looking to partner with YouTube stars, celebrity experts, trendsetters and celebrity CEO/CMOs. Relevant influencers and industry leaders bring name recognition, expertise and often, a large following on social media. All of this helps drive event attendance, increase consideration, change perceptions and educate while creating measurable buzz online.

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Deploying a mix of micro and macro influencers can be the key to experiential marketing campaign success. A macro influencer is someone who has more than 50,000 followers on a specific social channel, while a micro influencer is someone who has an audience between 2,000 and 50,000 followers. 

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Including macro influencers in the curation of your physical event space tends to drive greater buzz pre-, during and post-campaign. In our experience, influencers who are given curation rights tend to over deliver in posts and excitement. Do this by encouraging them to solicit their followers’ opinions along the way. For example, if you’re curating a home experience, an influencer could post three wallpaper choices to be used in the home and followers can vote on which one they think would look best. Another way to drive desired behaviors is to include product gift baskets in your influencer agreements. This allows them to reward their followers for engaging with your brand in a fun and often unexpected way.  

Recruit local micro influencers to be on-site sharing relevant tips and hacks in key markets where the experiential marketing campaign will run. For example, if the experience you’re creating is a pop-up home, they can share ideas like how to make a beautiful birthday cake, arrange an eye-catching gallery wall or style a shelving unit. Take advantage of the fact that everyone wants to meet and learn something new from their favorite influencer and drive attendance by promoting the times influencers will be on-site. Micro influencers deepen engagement by educating consumers on topics that are relevant to the experience in a thoughtful manner, while changing perceptions about the brand, product or service. The added bonus – this is a cost effective way to benefit from having influencers at your event without paying travel costs.  

Not only will influencers help drive attendance and engagement during the experiential marketing campaign, they’ll generate content that can be used long after it’s over. And when you select the right influencers, they’ll generate content at a much lower price point than hiring photographers and videographers for photo and video shoots. Even better, giving influencers the freedom to showcase your brand's products and services in beautiful ways often times leads to a better end product, one that’s more organic and authentic than something where every detail has been pre-determined.

Vicki Surprise

Vicki Surprise

Vice President Experiential Marketing

Vicki is responsible for BI WORLDWIDE's Experiential Marketing agency. She is a senior-level consumer marketing executive with over 20 years experience in all facets of marketing. Her true passion is helping Fortune 1000 companies design and implement integrated marketing campaigns including mobile marketing, pop-up retail, street teams, sponsorship activation, press events, automotive tours, sports marketing, 3D mapped projection and amplification through influencer and social media strategies. She has her MBA in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas.

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