The Secrets to Host Successful Blogger Events
Hey Guys! It has been a while since I have not written about some events management tips, so today I have decided to share my personal Events Specialist tips on how brands (we bloggers work with), can discover some secrets to host successful Blogger Events, which will both benefit the brand organizing the event and the invited bloggers.
I am excited to make you discover these tips as once again I am bringing my two passions together (Blogging and Events Planning) but this time not only to show you how to style events or organize a wedding, but rather to help both my fellow bloggers and my favorite brands to rock experiential marketing and make it viral together.
Therefore, here are some of my tips to help brands to understand better, how organizing memorable Blogger Events can bring them a perfect WIN-WIN situation and can create a great brand activation on social media.
As a blogger, I had the chance to attend many different types of events, some were memorable and some let’s say a bit less. The mistake I have seen quite often from some brands was that they would host a blogger event without any well-thought nor clear strategy behind it. They just invite bloggers, these latter would get to the event, zip a cocktail and speak with other bloggers that became friends along the way… but we sometimes wonder where the brand representatives are? These latter somehow often just step aside, when they actually should be the ones under the spotlight. I do not know about my fellow bloggers but I am personally still a bit surprised by the number of fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands that send products to bloggers and expect them to join brands’ events to mainly have a great time, while meeting other people in the industry.
Although some of my favorite brands I work on a long-term basis are rocking their beauty events really well, most of the other brands neither tell bloggers about their clear expectations nor ask for a post-event follow-up except for a short “brand event review” on our respective blog and some Instagram stories.
If we analyze this a little bit deeper, I am sure that these exact same brands would never pay for any print advertising or TV spots without having a clear understanding of how well their campaign will be doing in terms of impressions and metrics, but for some reasons Blogger Events seem not to apply to this rules yet.
Now again, I am rather writing as an Events Specialist rather than a Blogger here by mentioning that a brand that does not track how Blogger Events’ influences their visibility and sales (if feasible), sounds like a missed opportunity. Not long ago, I read that bloggers tend to influence about 31% of online purchases and I personally believe that a great percent of this amount is connected to the relationship built between a brand and us, bloggers.
To me, Blogger Events are one of the best ways to create bonds with a brand because that is when I get to experiment the brand, see if my personality fits well with it, and then decide whether I want to share my love for the repective brand with my followers or not.
Now, writing back as an Events Specialist, here are the four steps I suggest brands and PR Specialists to follow when it comes to organizing a Blogger Events:
1) Set your blogger events expectations and ideal results
Like in any projects you are about to start, it is time for you to take your best team members around a table with a nice Starbucks coffee to brainstorm together. Every time I brainstorm in a relaxing atmosphere, I feel more at ease so I am sure it will be the same for you and it helps feel more creative. While you throw some ideas on a piece of paper, start establishing your specific goals and think of the outcome you want to achieve.
Are you more interested in creating a high visibility for your brand while generating a campaign buzz through hashtags and images shared on Instagram? Or, on getting your sales to increase in a short period? Different goals will call for different plans of action so the way you will communicate expectations to bloggers you are working with will also differ, and so will the way you target your bloggers.
Since you will be spending a certain amount of money to make the event a memorable and fun one, it will be challenging to set up bloggers for success and determine later if the event met your expectations, if you did not set a specific goal from day one.
2) Creativity leads to WOW effect
As an Events Specialist and Blogger myself, the part that I absolutely enjoy the most is the creativity shown during an event. I may write a blog post in the future where I will give you some precise tips and ideas on how you can organize memorable Blogger Events and get high chances to go viral but that is already going too much in depth for today’s post. Thus, my message here to you is that you should brainstorm and get inspired every day, while you are planning your bloggers events.
Why? Because the more creative and fun your event will be (always ensure it follows your brand image and guidelines of course), the higher the chances will be for your targeted bloggers to join you on your Blogger Events and have your brand celebrations create an awesome experience both for you, your bloggers and all their followers. The exclusive experience you will create at your events is the key part to get your brand image messages across, so ensure it is fun and there will be cool activities your bloggers will be able to take part of and share with their followers.
To give you a concrete example, Clinique Switzerland is totally rocking their Blogger Events strategy. One of the last events I attended recently as a Blogger was for the launch event of their High Impact Mascara in Geneva (Switzerland) and I was speechless the moment I entered the venue. Not only the location they picked was gorgeous but so was their event’s styling. I will never forget the moment I walked up the stairs and saw their PR Manager at a cute reception desk surrounded by a bunch of huge fuchsia pink and silver balloons in shape of “C” used to recall the name of their brand. Then, once I got a personal sweet introduction to the event and its fun activities, I entered the main room. On my left side, there was a huge photo backdrop wall were lashes were penciled (to recall it was a Mascara event). To make the eyes under each of those drew lashes, Clinique Switzerland used eatable colorful donuts, and yes, you read it right, EATABLE yummy donuts.
And THAT my friends, is what any blogger would call a pretty awesome event. Trust me, it was the kind of event you truly do not want to miss when you are a blogger.
3) Set a strategy to track results
Congrats! Your Blogger Events went really well as many guests showed up and all bloggers seemed to have had a lot of fun. Now, it is time for you to set up alerts to keep track of all post-event online coverage. To do so, I suggest providing bloggers who attend your event, with unique tracking links to campaign images for example in order to track referral traffic through your respective analytics database.
A great way to measure a blogger’s reach on Instagram is to ask the bloggers you work with to send you screenshots of their Instagram stats on the specific post they made for your brand, same works for their Instagram Stories. I personally would recommend brands to create and assign a specific hashtag to be used on Instagram to facilitate the tracking of your event coverage and check the engagement created under the specific posts where the hashtags was added.
4) Set reasonable deadlines around coverage
Coverage timing is important, however you should remain reasonable as we bloggers almost all use our own editorial calendar, which we plan days if not weeks ahead and we all have a precise number of posts per week we share either on our blog or on Instagram. Thus, I suggest you not to set short-notice to the bloggers you work with after they attended your event.
If you want good quality content, sometimes it is better to let bloggers post when they feel like, as long as of course it is not 6 months after they attended your event. I could suggest you to have a look within 2 to 6 weeks to see if they have shared at least 1 post about your event or your product. Instagram stories are quick to disappear but they should count, as the engagement is sometimes higher there than on pictures posted on Instagram feeds.
In other words, do not push bloggers to post about your event or product if you have not seen any post within 48 hours pot-event. Of course, this “golden rule” shall apply, unless you have signed a paid contract/agreement with your selected bloggers, including a precise/strict schedule for posting about your brand.
The impact of blogging on companies’ sales has taken many industries by surprise. Thus, get your teammate around the table and brainstorm together to organize some of the most fun and awesome Blogger Events, influencers ever attended!
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Thanks so much for reading and I see you Guys again soon on the blog for a bunch of fun new posts!
Photographs by Clinique Switzerland & Shutterstock