Online personas like bloggers, Twitter users and even specialized digital journalists have succeeded at building an audience and credibility completely within the digital realm, which gives them a level of influence on a variety of topics - influence that some would consider even greater than mass media. And while having the right industry or niche influencers at your event will inevitably get you some good attention and word-of-mouth marketing, how do you go about getting the attention of these key influencers?
Identify, Research and Attract Interest
A fundamental rule of attracting influencers and getting their interest is knowing what interests them. Before you can even begin to think about attracting influencers to your next event, do a little research into who these key figures really are before choosing your next guest speaker - just because they’re the top industry blogger doesn’t necessarily mean you want them covering your event.
In order to get the best motivational speaker for the influencers you want to attract, you’ll need to narrow the list down to those who are most closely aligned with your mission and vision. While audience numbers are extremely easy to consider, the true value of an industry influencer really comes from their ability to engage their audiences. Take a look at how their social media followers engage with them - do they get a lot of retweets, responses, likes, comments and shares? What industry hashtags is the influencer most vocal on? Once you’ve isolated the influencers with the most engaged followings, choosing the right guest speaker will be much easier.
Who Influences the Influencers?
Influencers are like magnets - if you attract one, you can attract more. Knowing what name to drop to influence the influencers doesn’t have to be a science. If you want to get the best motivational speaker, all you need to do is ask. Putting the question of “Who influences you the most?” out into the landscape of social could bring some very insightful answers to you and could even create opportunities for influencers to develop relationships with other influencers.
Before, During and After the Event
It’s obvious that influencer outreach is important because it amplifies social reach, increases awareness of your association event and ideally creates more talk about your guest speaker. Once you’ve attracted their attention, connect with them to let them know you’re following them, enrich and comment on their content and keep a record of all the interactions with your targeted influencer.
When a relationship has been established, collaborate with the influencer to build credibility surrounding the event - whether they promote their event participation beforehand, live tweet the event or create content based on their own event attendance.
The benefits of working with influencers are many, and what you want to get from your influencers will vary depending on your strategy. But when you work with influencers, you’re creating an influencer community - many of whom will continue to talk about your guest speaker and event long after the conference is done.