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Calling all Marketing savvy planners, because it’s time to talk about how to create a Marketing influencer campaign! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the word influencer before. And you’ve definitely heard of how powerful these people can. Especially when it comes to Marketing! But have you ever wondered how influencers can help with your event Marketing? And how exactly you can harness their power to make your event a success?

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Well, that’s exactly what today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday is all about. Our new host Nick Borelli is here to tell you everything about how to create a marketing influencer campaign. And more specifically, an influencer campaign that will do wonders for your events. So sit tight and start taking notes, because it’s time for a brand new episode of Whiteboard Wednesday!

Video Transcription –  How to Create a Marketing Influencer Campaign

Hi, everybody, welcome to Whiteboard Wednesdays. My name is Nick Borelli, and I’m going to be talking to you about how to create an influencer marketing campaign. Now, this may be a buzz word that you’ve heard a lot. You may have heard people talking about influencers in the news, you may have heard people talk about Kardashians, as actually, what you do they do? And this is what they do. But I really want to talk about it in the context of live events and how this is a very valid strategy that I think people have the wrong idea about. And they try to apply macro principles to what would be potentially more valuable in micro influencing strategies, and even nano influencing strategies, which means a little bit more precise, a little bit more niche, and a little bit more valuable for live events.

Why A Marketing Influencer Campaign Matters

So I want to show you not necessarily too much about the influencers themselves, but more how to create a strategy that you can use. Why this is really valuable is that influencers, unlike brands, are a little bit more authentic. Because they’re human beings. You connect with them in a way that is a little bit more natural. And I think that with ad blockers, with people going blind with so much marketing coming at them in all different directions, people crave to get new information about what they should get from sources that they can trust. And the trust is one of the biggest values that influencers provide anyone because they’re earned the trust, and a brand necessarily has to kind of fight for trust all the time, but it’s still kind of a tenuous relationship. People can earn trust in a natural, organic way, and there’s sometimes trouble when the naturalness kind of breaks down. But we’ll avoid that, and I’ll show you how.

Marketing Influencer Campaign: The Partners

So, at first, I want to show you how to take advantage of your low hanging fruit. And this is empowering your partners first. That means, if you have a show that has speakers, if there’s a popular band, or we’re talking about a festival, or you have exhibitors or other sponsors available with your event, or there’s a good chance that there are influential team members within your organization itself, you need to leverage them first. Because they’re already drinking the Kool-Aid. They’re already there, just not empowered. If you give them tools, like a social media kit, or some kind of prompts to be able to give them what they need to tell your story in the context of what is authentic to them, you won’t have to go out and find as influencers out in the world. Because you might already have them in your pocket. So that’s the first place to go, and I think it’s the easiest.

Marketing Influencer Campaign: The Fans

The second is, identifying your most vocal fans. This often means the attendees who buy tickets to your show. There’s probably some arch ones, some really influential, or more powerful people, who are there. And the power may come in a lot of different ways. Maybe it’s through the energy that they have, the passion that they have, about your brand, about your show. Maybe it’s just their natural inclination to tweet a ton. But if you find those people and you give them the tools, if you bring them into the fold, if you let them come for free, if Alex Plaxton taught me this, this idea called tweet seats, where you put the people who twee the most about your event in the front row, and you make them feel special, and you also give them access to the front row so they can take more pictures and tweet even more about you.

Identifying Them

Things like that and identifying those people who are really excited about your event, the people who register early, the people who use your hashtag the most, and the people who have come year after year after year, these people are already on your team. I think it’s time for you to embrace them a little bit more. So that’s something that’s really important in rewarding those people. The next bit is determining who the credible thought leaders are. Now, these are people who, by their very nature, create content that moves people. You need to find out who these people are in the community that you serve. So if you’re in a specific industry, you need to find who are the industry bloggers, who are the regular contributors to articles, who create a video, who is on social media the most frequently, and you need to find those people and you need to identify their angle.


If they love talking about technology, safety, or moving things forward and progressing, then you need to show how your event does that. So it fits with their mission, and then you need to tell them this event actually helps them seek their own missions, and then they become a part of the team. Associations are great places for that. They often have a hierarchy that already exists, with leadership. You can identify those leaders and you can ask them for opportunities to collaborate. Online groups are another opportunity there too. I can find that there are often people you least expect that has something to say every single day. Those people could be pretty valuable because if you have them talking about your show in the context of what they care about every single day, that’s another valuable mouthpiece that you could be aimed at what you’re trying to accomplish with your event.

Embracing Diversity

This is probably the most important to me. Mostly because I find this to be the most important design tool in general, and that’s embracing diversity. What I see most frequently that people try to adopt influencer marketing with only the context of these large influencer deals. With the likes of Kardashians is, “Let’s get 20 people who all have 1000 followers, and then we’ve bought 20,000 impressions.” The reality is that, oftentimes, if you go to the people who are just the loudest and their only kind of superpower is reached, you’ll find that they’re the very same people that they appeal. And what you’re doing is you’re just saying the same message a little bit more frequently to the same people. It’s not as valuable. What you need to do is you need to come up with a team of influencers who are built differently, people who appeal to first year attendees a bit more, people who appeal to the veterans a little bit more, people that appeal to introverts more.

Aligning Missions

When influencer marketing platforms, when they break down, when you see bad influencer marketing, what you’re usually seeing is people buying someone as a mouthpiece, and you can see that someone else put the words in their mouth, and it comes off wooden and it comes off like they’re reading a script. And I’m going to tell you that’s the opposite of what people expect from influencers.

What they expect is the passion and excitement that comes from their talking about what they normally talk about to be seamlessly integrated into the conversation about your event. Which means you have to choose people whose missions, why they’re here, what they talk about, how they have captured the attention of other people, you need to find where your event’s missions and their mission connect. And when you do that, the authenticity just flows, it’s absolutely natural, and they say it their way. What I see often as a huge mistake is people micro-managing influencers and saying, “Here’s the script. Say this.” And it’s immediately identifiable as false. It’s immediately their followers will be like, “This is not what I signed up for,” and it will hurt the credibility of the influencer themselves long term, and it will hurt your event as well because you’ll have that kind of negative stigma attached to it.

Extra Special

So it’s really important to make sure that a mission’s of what you’re about. And what the influencers you’re trying to work with are about are the same. And I think that really means that it has to be a representation that, when they’re talking, they’re taking in the same kind of way that you do. I’ve seen some really large influencer deals with companies that are some of the largest in the world break down. Because they’ve found people who don’t talk like that brand does. They’re a little too edgy, they’re not edgy enough, whatever it is. But they just don’t communicate in a way that sounds like that brand while also sounding themselves. So it’s a tight rope, and it’s not easy. But you have to be able to do your due diligence and vet these people and kind of pay attention to how they communicate year-round.

Being Authentic

And then this kind of goes into that very naturally, and that is passion and authenticity. Probably the two traits that read on camera better than anything else. If you love what you do, you just know it when you see someone who talks about it, right? They could be sitting 12 hours of being awake talking all day long, but on the 13th hour, they’re still excited about that topic. That’s when you know that person really loves that thing, and you connect with it. That’s why face to face is so important, it gives you the opportunity to read so much more about people than simply just words. And video, and to some extent, and things like that, they can capture a little bit of that as well, so you want to make sure that the people who are passionate and authentically passionate about the topics that you’re putting out there are the ones that are trying to drive traffic to what you’re trying to accomplish, be it audience growth, be it just a heightened awareness of what your event’s about.

Au Naturel

So again, it has to be natural. If someone is known in one community for being a yoga instructor locally, and then you’re trying to get them to sell tickets to something that’s about a wood working association, it’s obvious that the person’s not going to have any idea why they’re saying the words they are. They shouldn’t have made that deal in the first place. But you should be smarter and not even offer it to them. So make sure you have people that are just really jazzed about talking about the thing that your event speaks to.

The Event Design

The last bit is something that makes influencers for live events completely different than influencer strategies from pretty much anything else. And that is, influencers should really impact the design of your event. You should listen to them, and not just use them as a megaphone. That’s what I see one of the biggest problems is, they say, “For this influencer deal, you must do four tweets, and two Instagram posts,” and whatever.

The TasteMakers

And that’s fine, that’s some deliverables. But more importantly, people don’t, I guess, realize that influencers are also taste makers. There’s a reason that when they say something, people listen. And frankly, when you’re designing an event, to not listen to those people who have, I guess, a vision and clarity about what they’re about, and then influence the actual design of your event, is a wasted resource. You should absolutely listen to them. And say, “We’re thinking about this, or this. Which would you do?” They’re going to say, “Well, I would do this, and here’s why.” They represent lots of other people. More than most do. That’s kind of what their most special trait is. So consider that when you’re choosing these people, is that you have this opportunity to, I guess, use them as mouthpieces.

What Makes An Influencer?

What an influencer has that makes them an influencer? And everyone could be an influencer, it just depends on the volume you have of these three things. These are reach, relevance, and resonance. The idea of that, when you talk, lots of people listen to you, is what your reach is. That’s your ability to create awareness. Your relevance is when you’re speaking about a specific topic, they see you as a credible authority in that. If you have a million followers, but they’re all 13-year-olds and you start talking about life insurance, your credibility there is garbage, right? Because you’ve never talked about that before. So consider it really matters to be the subject matter and to be one point. And then the last bit is the resonance. Oftentimes, they look at social media metrics and leading social media metrics, or vanity metrics, as the only thing that matter, but I’m going to tell you what matters the most is putting out content that actually impacts people’s behavior.

The Power Of A Marketing Influencer Campaign

So these are the people who can convert, these are the people that their social media metric is higher in the realm of sharing than simply liking. Liking is convincing people to go like this. It’s okay, it’s better than not doing anything, but sharing means that the words that person said are better than the person who’s sharing it could have said. It’s an active endorsement, and, in that instance, those people are influential. They have the ability right there and then to say things that are in their head, and actually, another person spits them out to their people. So that’s the kind of, I guess, the power you’re looking for. So, ultimately, influencer marketing gives you the ability to have more trust that has been earned in the back pocket that you can apply to your goals. Be it growth, be it a better-designed event. Either of those things, often both, but it really is earned trust.


And the more of it, because you can’t tweet more and get more trust, you can’t buy more print ads and get more trust. All you can do is co-op other earned trust into your collective, and make that part of what you offer. So consider how valuable trust is as a resource, and that’s what you get from influencer marketing. So, I hope that’s been helpful, and I hope that maybe demystified a strategy that I think a lot of people think is something that is only for the likes of Pepsi and fashion brands but is something that’s very applicable to live events. If you liked this, consider liking it, and then subscribing for more content like this. And I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about this, and I look forward to the next one.


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Nick Borelli

Author Nick Borelli

With 20+ years in the industry, Nick Borelli is passionate about helping event brands communicate stories that result in achieving strategic goals.

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