There are more ways than ever to market your event these days, but it can be hard to cut through the noise. Social media serves up a constant stream of possible events that you may have never heard of 20 years ago. How do you get your event to stand out?
The answer: Find a cheerleader! Brand ambassadors and influencers can help take your event from ho-hum to one of the premiere, can’t-miss events of the season.
A brand ambassador is a loyal customer or previous patron who is eager to help promote your brand simply because they love it. Nonprofits and any kind of fundraising event for the greater good are especially well-suited for brand ambassadors who are passionate about the cause, and for most people, simply retweeting or sharing an invite on Facebook is an easy way for them to show their support. The ideal brand ambassador does more, though, offering personal perspectives about why others should support you.
Authenticity is key when it comes to brand ambassadors. Referrals and recommendations shouldn’t feel canned or like just another advertisement. Personal experience with the event or organization is going to be important. Stories rule when it comes to today’s marketing landscape, so you want someone who can share their story.
“A great brand ambassador can cut through the clutter and say things about your company and brand with more credibility than you can because they won’t make money as a result,” marketing professional Derek Netwon pointed out in an article in Entrepreneur.
Look for brand ambassadors who are already excited about your organization, event, or mission. It’s best if they’ve already had some experience with you. If you’re new and still trying to build up a following, offer a product or service for free as a way to draw in fans who will then share their enthusiasm with others. Offer a free class or a free ticket to an event and encourage attendees to share their experiences. Once you get a couple of people reporting on their experiences (hopefully good), the investment will be well worth it.
Be sure to also reward your brand ambassadors. Recognize them and thank them, and when possible, offer free goods. That will keep them coming back.
Employees As Brand Ambassadors
Hopefully, employees will feel passionate enough about your organization that they will be your biggest cheerleaders. They can be vital in helping to spread the word about an important event because they will have inside knowledge and will be more invested in its success. However, recruiting employees as brand ambassadors can be tricky because outsiders will question their authenticity. Employees who participate in social media campaigns should do so voluntarily and should identify their affiliation, otherwise, their authenticity will be questioned. Encourage insiders to share the message in their own words.
How To Find a Social Media Influencer
Do you know how books have blurbs from famous authors on the back to help sell the book? Influencers work in much the same way, except they can do even more to generate excitement about an event.
A social media influencer is someone who already has a platform. While big-name stars can make great influencers, you don’t have to think big to find an effective influencer. Popular bloggers within your niche are often one of the best ways to generate buzz because they’ve established themselves as authorities on the subject. Thought leaders and prominent writers in your industry can also be vital in getting your event the attention it needs.
Shama Hyder, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group and author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing, suggests using Twitter to find influencers. She recommends you first find people in the niche, then find out who they’re following. You ultimately want to find an influencer who
- is active on Twitter (tweets more than once a day);
- interacts with followers in a meaningful way – participates in conversations; and
- posts engaging content (doesn’t just post what they had for breakfast).
You, or someone on your team, then become part of that influencer’s circle, interacts, and shares information that s/he might like, and will, hopefully not only retweet with their own message and encourage others to share. To find people who might be good influencers for an event in your area, check out localtweeps.com. It might take a while to find an influencer who will help promote your event, but the payoff is worth it.
Be Something To Cheer About
Finding a cheerleader to help promote your event requires your organization to present an image that has integrity. You need to promise what you deliver. It will be hard to get others excited about your event if you and others working on it aren’t excited, too. Creating an experience others will talk about is the first step, making it easier to recruit others. Once that’s done, putting in just a bit of extra effort in finding brand ambassadors and influencers can be just the boost your marketing campaign needs to help you stand out from the crowd and help make your event or experience one not to be missed.
For help planning your event, check out Sparxo’s Event Planning Checklist.
Using the latest tech to make it easier for you and your guests, Sparxo provides an easy-to-use online platform for selling tickets, managing your event, and staying in touch with your followers. And, unlike other ticketing platforms like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster, we won’t take huge portions of your ticket sales or promote competing events. Plus, Sparxo is committed to giving back – we donate part of our proceeds to nonprofits.
Get started with building your event here.