Welcome back to another installment of Fervents #XMtrends blog series, where we take a closer look at new trends in experiential marketing in Canada.
The advent of social media brought with it transformations to advertising, marketing, content distribution, retail, art, music, and much more. The all access platforms where anyone can create anything for the world to see has amplified previously unheard voices and put the trend cycle on hyperspeed.
A key figure in the social media era is of course, the influencer.
Whether it’s a Youtube beauty guru, one of the Kardashians, or a local artist, influencers have made organic connections with their fan bases and communities through sharing interesting, personal, or sometimes just plain weird parts of their life.
We’ve seen influencers make appearances, usually for their own product launch or meet-and-greet.
Utilizing the organic audience engagement of influencers for experiential marketing campaigns, however, is a relatively new trend.
Recently, Fervent Events hosted a product launch in Toronto for Hong Kong-based tobacco brand RELX, where influencers were a key part of our activation.
Keep reading below to find out how to successfully incorporate influencer marketing into your XM campaign.
1. Find influencers who already like your brand
To get the full influencer effect, it’s best to reach out to influencers who already like your brand or interact with the industry your business is in.
It’s as easy as searching through a hashtag of your brand, or the products you offer. In a basic example, it looks like this: if you sell premium Italian-style pizza, searching under the hashtag #italianstylepizza will show you who is posting about it, the quality of their content, and their following.
Micro-influencers are more organic in their promotion of brands, places, and experiences. Especially if they are based locally, their engagement is more likely to be the result of interesting representations of their city, rather than a flood of paid promotions for flat tummy tea.
2. Local micro-influencers > Influencers with big followings
It seems logical that a mega-influencer would garner more attention and have a bigger reach than one with a few thousand followers, but don’t underestimate the power of a popular local face.
Various sources define a micro-influencer as someone with anywhere from 2,000 to 50,000 followers.
Engaging an influencer who is recognizable and well-known in your target city will attract more people from a dedicated fan base than a big-time influencer who may be known in a specific industry across the country.
Interactions with micro-influencers are more genuine, and produce a higher quality interpersonal experience with your brand – a pillar of experiential marketing. Celebrity influencers are good for press attention, and raising the profile of an event or marketing campaign, but they’re expensive and don’t necessarily yield better ROI.
3. Make it authentic, not transactional
The thing that kills authenticity is an obvious quid-pro-quo.
Shared values, contributions to popular culture, and a certain awareness is what breeds authenticity in influencer-brand relationships.
In order to get the most out of the micro-influencer marketing impact, have a framework for what you want, but let them put their unique spin on it. Allow their creative freedom to enhance the overall presentation and engagement. It is their audience afterall, and they know how to reach them.
Check out Fervent Event’s blog on our product launch event, where we had a number of micro-influencers interact with industry professionals and special guests looking to scope out the latest e-cigarette brand.
And stay tuned for more #XMtrends coming soon!