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How to Use Influencer Marketing to Promote Events

Influencer Marketing

Influencers. The term conjures images of chic people who post perfect selfies (ahem #sponsored), travel the world for free, and stay in world-class resort hotels. As a JOB.

Influencer marketing, as trendy as it may sound, is a serious promotion tool for events. It is gaining ground as the most effective way to reach millennials and gen z, who distrust brands, don’t watch commercials, and are peer-driven.

It might sound expensive and complicated, but micro- and nano-influencers be willing to promote your show in exchange for free tickets. Giving away a few free tickets for a bump in sales is well worth it.

Do you want awareness, engagement or ticket sales? What audience are you trying to reach? Have a clear vision of your goals before you begin your campaign. Also consider how you will measure those goals.

If you’re having a large event and a big promotion budget, there are agencies and platforms, such as Obviously that can help you select the right people, draw up contracts, and reach out to the chosen ones for a ‘collab,’ i.e. a partnership.

But there’s nothing stopping you from doing the research yourself.

Types of Influencers

Celebrities.You know, famous people. Modern celebrities include YouTube stars and other celebrities who made their fame online (RIP Grumpy Cat). They have the following of a small country, but that hefty following means a a single post could cost thousands.

Industry Experts/Thought Leaders. The ones that know their subject inside and out, who others in the industry turn to when they need advice. A great selection for those having conferences, leadership seminars, retreats.

Microinfluencers. Scrunch.com defines a ‘microinfluencer’ as someone with a following of 2,000 to 50,000.

Over half of US and UK marketers who use influencer marketing are now working with micro-influencers, because they are more cost-effective. Emarketer has more information on how brands are paying influencers.

Nanoinfluencers. If you’re just dipping a toe into influencer marketing, finding a nano-influencer may be where to start. They have as few as 1,000 followers and are more willing to accept free tickets as comps. Look for recent posts, a lot of real engagement on their account, and a line in their bio that says they’re open to collabs.

How to Reach Out to Influencers

Many influencers view their social accounts as artistic means of expression, rather than a stream of product promotion. Try to find ones that match your events’ brand.

Offer an incentive and be direct about expectations. Aim for a professional, long-lasting relationship.

Just No

Hey Influencer, I see you’re into music. Can you mention our Blue Bridge music festival? It’s coming up this September. XO – James

It’s vague, there aren’t any details or incentives, and it assumes that the influencer will post about the event just because you asked.

Better


Hey Sophie, We love the way you cover music and are interested in collaborating. We’re in the process of organizing the Blue Bridge music fest, which will take place September 9-12.

Would you be willing to promote our festival in exchange for free tickets/a sweet hoodie? We’re expecting one post at least a week before the event and one Instagram story from the festival. We would be able to give your followers a special discount code, offering $10 off $100 passes and we would like our collaborators to tag us @BridgeCityMusic and use the hashtag #BlueBridgeRocks

Please get back to us before August 22, if you’d like to work together.

Why this approach works: It’s friendly, specific, and un-bot-like. It offers the influencer free tickets and a coupon code for their followers.

Drawbacks

Influencers don’t always follow through. You get everything set up on your end, the big day comes and they never show up for their free tickets. Or worse, they attend your show and never post. This is why some marketing teams use contracts when working with influencers.

You only have so much control of the content. Give the creator space to do what they do. For example, “we’d like one close up of a grilled cheese, on a red plate in front of our food festival sign” is a little too specific. Trust that they know what they’re doing and that they know what their audience will respond well to.

Sometimes those followers are fake. Pixlee has an excellent article on how to spot a fake following.

Need advice on influencer marketing for your next event or some general ideas on where to start? Email our promo team at promo[at]brownpapertickets.com to set up a free consultation.

Event Tips >

To Boost or Not? Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising

When it comes to your events, should you boost a post or set up a Facebook ad campaign?

Either way, in order to get some eyeballs on your event, you’re going to have to shell out some cash. Unless you have a super following of eager fans to like and share, simply posting your event on Facebook won’t do much.

The “free to play” days on Facebook and for that matter, Instagram are long over.

The good news is Facebook and Instagram advertising can be budget-friendly. Even just boosting a post a few days before your sales end can increase the excitement around your event and the ticket sales.

Get Your Facebook Pixel Ready

Before you start your campaign, consider using Facebook pixels to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. You can create a Facebook Pixel in Ads Manager.

Brown Paper Tickets offers the ability to add your Pixel ID with your account or individual events so you can track views and purchases. Here’s our tutorial on setting that up.

First Things First

Set up an event page in Facebook and have all of your friends like it, share it, and hit that sweet, sweet Interested button. You want to do this first, so that you’re not paying for what would be free clicks.

There’s a right way to announce events on social. Read 10 Crucial Steps to Announcing Your Event on Social Media.

Event photography is a worthwhile investment. Snap high-quality images at every event you put on.

First event? Use a photo of your headliner or even snag a stock image off Pexels or another quality stock photo site. Keep in mind that if you’re going to create a graphic, Facebook has rules about how much text can be in an image. You don’t want your ad to get stuck in the “review” process.

Use Facebook’s image overlay tool to make sure you’re within the limits.

Don’t forget to add your Brown Paper Tickets event page as the ticket link and include co-hosts (sponsors or others involved with your event) so that your event populates to their Facebook calendar.

Then you can do two things.

1. Boost the Post

While boosting a post is easier (just click “boost” and the system will walk you through turning your post into an ad), setting up an ad campaign will give you more options.

If this is your first time dabbling in paid digital advertising, we recommend boosting it for a small amount to get comfortable.

You can target your audience based on gender, age, location and interest. Link your Instagram and your Facebook business account so you can manage all of your promotions and placements in one spot.

Target the city that your event takes place and 25 miles out.

Boost it about two weeks before your event to get the most traction. Remember, with Facebook advertising you pay per click, so set up a lifetime budget and keep an eye on it.

Make sure your boosted post is relevant to your audience. Even though you think everyone will want to drive cross-country to attend your bread making class, it’s unlikely—the more people who interact with your ad, the higher your relevancy score will be and the more people will see your event, so targeting is super important.

Don’t waste time, effort, and money trying to reach people far outside your demographic.

2. Create a Facebook Ad Campaign

If you have a lot of events and a bigger budget, an ad campaign may be a better fit. There are better options in terms of audience targeting and you can select an objective. The platform can take some getting used to, so give yourself enough time.

One of the first things you’ll need to think about is your objective.

  • Choose Traffic to drive clicks to your website.
  • Choose Engagement if you just want a lot of social media likes and shares.
  • Choose Conversions to help increase ticket sales

Ad campaigns also allow more formatting and placement options. Show off your creative side with a carousel or video. Add a call to action button to “Learn More” or “Shop Now” and direct people to your Brown Paper Tickets event page to buy tickets.

If you decide to build an ad campaign, there are more also more options when it comes to audiences you can target.

  • Select Custom Audience to connect to people who already have an interest in your website.
  • Choose Lookalike Audience to find new people modeled after the ones who have interacted with your page.
  • Choose Saved Audiences to select from your commonly used audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors

Once you have a campaign and an audience, the platform will take you through setting up the ad creative, aka, the fun part. Choose between a carousel, collection, slideshow, or Instant experience. This article helps make sense of all the options.

Not sure how to get started? Just ask and our Promo Team can advise you on your Facebook advertising.

Event Tips >

The Stress-Free Guide to Making Event Promo Videos

make-a-videoIt’s 2019 and time to get real. Video content is no longer a “nice-to-have”; it’s a “must-have.” According to OptinMonster, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year. Imagine what a good video campaign can do for your ticket sales.

Here’s a guide to creating a promo video for your event.

Start with Solid Goals

Start with a clear mission and well-defined goals. Are you trying to drive ticket sales, increase web traffic or boost awareness? Too many creative projects lose direction because of muddled goals in the beginning.

If you do a lot of events, perhaps you want to make a universal video that doesn’t point to a particular event but just grabs interest. This way you can reuse it for more than one event, tailoring each one to reflect the event that you are promoting.

Make a Creative Brief

First, take the time to figure out the feeling you want your video to convey and the key message you want your audience to take away.

Document your event promo video ideas in a creative brief – ad agencies and creative departments use briefs to nail down their goals and delegate action items.

Include a key messaging hierarchy, roles of all people involved, launch date and tentative work-back schedule.

Once you’ve figured out why you are making a video and where the video will end up (Facebook, YouTube, your website, your event page), it’s time to start on the creation process (aka the fun part). Hiring a professional isn’t your only option. Tools like Promo.com allow you to create videos using stock video and graphic treatments.

Videography

According to Thumbtack, the average cost for a videographer to film your event is somewhere between $750 to $1,000.

Coastline Productions reports, “An industry rule of thumb estimates about $1,000 per finished minute of video for a quality presentation, but we find that we usually come in closer to $800 per minute for the typical 5-8 minute corporate video involving a script, voice talent, and illustrating footage.

Don’t knock the phone camera—believe it or not, there are plenty of successful videos out there that use them. Tripods and additional lenses for phones, as well as microphones can help make your phone video look high quality. Shoot test footage and watch it on a big screen to make sure it holds up.

Try and record the shot simultaneously on multiple cameras. This will allow you to set up for different angles or be able to choose the better quality recording of the two. When using multiple cameras, the devices should be similar to maintain continuity.

Creative Direction

This video promoted Know Your Value 2018. Note how it highlights each keynote speaker.

You can take a video in so many different creative directions. Before you begin the shoot, look for event promo videos that sing to your heart.

Possible creative directions:

  • Event documentary – Video of your past event to get people hyped for the next one.
  • Making of or behind the scenes – Interview keynote speakers or performers, show the prep work, rehearsals and your crew getting ready.
  • Informative – Straight-forward with plenty of captions, titles, a clear narrative, and visual aids. The goal is to inform people about the details of your event. A narrator may explain all the great aspects of your event including ticket prices, location, and what to expect.
  • Humorous – Use a joke as your main story line or create a funny situation. Just make sure it’s funny. As Aristotle said, “the secret to humor is surprise.”

Storyboards and Shot list

Once you have your concept and direction, put it on paper. Create the storyboards, write the script, and make shot lists. Share these with your crew.

You can hire someone to do this work for you or do it yourself, but don’t skip this step. Good organization ahead of time leads to a well-done video later.

Storyboards

Keep it simple. Use a template with squares printed on it or just fold a piece of paper in half—this will give you four panels (two front, two pack) per sheet. Each panel is a shot—try to draw your vision for each shot in the panel. Number each panel so you can make notes and create your shot list based on that.

Script

Scripts should be written as true to the desired dialog as possible. Include actions such as *she sips her coffee* as well and explain the details of speech and action. It may be helpful to describe the scene before each round of dialog in order to set up the scene for the actors.

Your video script should include:

  • Each scene’s dialog in a conversational format. (Read your work aloud to make sure it sounds authentic)
  • Emotion descriptors to accompany each line
  • Helpful information on how to pronounce or enunciate any creative words or phrases.
  • A clear story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Once you have a completed script read and re-read it aloud editing as you go until it’s ready. Don’t be afraid to find a second person to help read and edit your script at this point.

When it is all wrapped up and ready to go, you will want to get all of your actors together and do a couple of table read through sessions. This will help get an idea of how it will sound in your video.

Shot list

It’s time for the shot list and production notes. Mark your script and storyboards to indicate what shots will go where. Number the shots and write your list with a lot of technical details, such as pan left, zoom in slowly, bird’s eye view to describe the angles and camera motions.

Consider your equipment. You may want an aerial view of the city, but if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a drone, it might not be doable.

Post-production

Congrats – you made your first video. Now you can move on to the post-production phase. Editing requires patience and an eye for detail. You will also need a fairly powerful computer and video editing software.

Macs are popular for creative types because they support and even come with software installed for video. Applications, such as iMovie are definitely usable for novice film editors; they are just limited when it comes to animated transitions and the filter and special effect quality.

Whatever software you choose, watch the tutorial at least once and keep it bookmarked. Save your work often to an external hard drive. Redundant back ups are a really good idea with video (and really everything else), because it would be devastating to lose all that work.

Additional Event Promo Video Tips

Think carefully about length ahead of time and know where your video will appear. Web-friendly videos should be kept under a minute. For some applications, your video might need to be even shorter at 30-45 seconds, which goes fast when you’re trying to fit in your event details.

Keep in mind that when you post videos on Facebook and YouTube, you’ll have a spot to include text and links. So you can probably do without the “informational screen.” (You know, the one with your url, address, event details, and all that other stuff no one will be able to read.) Put the important details in the video description and focus on the visuals.

Final piece of advice—watch as many event promo videos as you can. Take notes on what you like and don’t like. Think about the technical details –what did they use to get the shot that you liked?

Do you have any tips? Let’s hear ’em.

Event Tips >

One of the Best Marketing Tools that You’re Not Using

We get it. We understand your pain. You worked so hard to organize an amazing event, but no one told you how hard it would be to promote it. You’ve posted the event to Facebook, you tweeted, you posted flyers and then… crickets.

You may not realize it, but we have a one-of-a-kind solution. We send out thousands of physical tickets, all across the globe. And everywhere our tickets go, your message can go. This is an excellent tool to use to promote your event, business or nonprofit.

Imagine a music fan excitedly opening an envelope with the ticket she ordered. Inside, in addition to the eagerly anticipated ticket, she also receives a special message from you.

You can target a specific geography or event type – or both. However you choose to target, rest assured that your message will arrive to the door of a happy person. It’s like wrapping your ad in a present.

This is a more effective tactic than the majority of alternative advertising options. Digital advertising is costly, complicated to manage, and imprecise even with the most sophisticated targeting. In today’s world, people have limited attention spans, and given the volume of “noise” ads compete with, there’s a good chance your prospect won’t even see your message.

Not the case with ticket ad inserts.

Ticket ad inserts are one of the most powerful tools for event promotion because it is guaranteed that your target audience attends events.

Our Ad Insert Program doesn’t only help event promoters promote future events; it is an effective way to the spread awareness of anything. A freelance illustrator can get their name out there by sending prints to a whole city. A new small business can send a coupon to an entire zip code promising 20% off; a festival promoter can send a flyer to music fans in their state. The opportunities are endless.

Ways You Can Target Your Inserts:

  • zip codes
  • whole states
  • cities
  • event type
  • your event
  • or any combination

You don’t even need a Brown Paper Tickets account.

When we first launched the program, we sent out the below insert to announce it. But your inserts could be anything—your creativity is the limit.

Just print your ads, mail them to us, and we will insert them into the ticket orders you target. Heck, we can even bundle ticket orders in with a larger piece, such as a brochure or a greeting card.

Best of all, your content will be exclusive to the ticket orders you target. No sharing space with other advertisers like with those big packs of mailed coupons. And also unlike those coupon packs, no one is going to throw their ticket order into the garbage—the buyer is practically guaranteed to look at your ad. Not many marketing tools can boast that.

We’ll Help You

We’re happy to talk you through your campaign idea and recommend targeting options. We can also help you determine how many ads to print up for your specific needs and locations so you won’t waste money on printing costs.

We’ll be with you every step of the way to make your campaign a success. Let us help take your message everywhere our tickets go.

More info, pricing, and instructions.

Event Tips >

How to Create Marketing Personas for Events (And Why You Should)

Throughout my illustrious career as a marketing word weaver (copywriter), I’ve heard some variation of this line: My product is for everyone. My young adult fiction novel is for … everyone. My charity 5K is for anyone who can make it.

Where’s that facepalm emoticon?

Whether it’s an event, a product, or a one-act play, start with your tribe, the people most likely to be interested. Lucy, the thirty-something mother of three might not be into your late-night EDM festival, but your start-the-day, wake-up rave with full juice bar? She’s there. (Heck, I’m there).

Find your event’s target audience and create marketing personas so that you’re serving digital content in the right places to the right audience, and also so that you don’t waste time (and money) pursuing those likely to skip.

Start with Current Attendees

Consider your last event. Who attended? What were they wearing? What were they doing?

Were they glued to phones or carrying around moleskin journals? At the events I attend (book readings, tastings of any kind, live music and comedy), most people are kind of like me.

This isn’t to say they have the same physical attributes, but that they are in the same life stage, consume similar media and generally share interests.

Write an Event Questionnaire

Write an event questionnaire to find out more about your attendees and use the responses to inform your personas and your social media targeting.

Ask what region they live in, what interests them, what they read and listen to. Use this info to tighten up your social media advertising. If people aren’t flying to your festival from out-of-state, don’t waste money on a national campaign. Narrow your advertising to within a drive-able range until it grows.

Lastly, be brave and ask what you could do better. Some feedback might feel like a punch in the gut, but resolve to take a “know better, do better,” approach.

The Data Dig

Use insights from your social media platforms to clue you in on your demographic. The data will tell you what region your attendees come from and you can tell what posts are working and what aren’t based on how many people engage with them. Find out what key terms your attendees used to find your events.

Optimize your Facebook event and your Brown Paper Tickets’ event page to include those key terms and definitely try to use them in the title. Blueberries & Rolling Pins isn’t likely to be found in a search, but Blueberries & Rolling Pins Pie Making Class is much more SEO-friendly.

Write Event Marketing Personas

Before you design flyers or write your event description or pick your marketing channels, create up to three personas using your research.

Include standard demographic data, such as age, salary, location. Look for photos in the public domain that match this fictional person. Give them a name and include their values and motivations.

If you’re starting a series of cooking classes for example, marketing personas will help you identify whether you’re marketing to a “Johnny-who’s-never-cooked-before” or “Cheyenne, a whiz in the kitchen psyched to brush up on her techniques.” Or say you’re working on messaging for a music festival—are you marketing to GenX Jimmy or Micah the Millennial? Jimmy is more likely to see your flyer, while Micah would more likely be brought in by your event’s Insta story.

Sure, you might want both to buy tickets, but narrowing down your audience will help define your marketing channels and the language you use to communicate. Pick one persona as your target and the others as your secondary audiences.

Once the persona is created, speak directly to them in all of your social media posts and in your event description. However, avoid exclusionary language–you’re not trying to make people feel unwelcome, you’re custom-tailoring your marketing.

Rely on what motivates your persona (saving money, helping others, escape) and speak to that.

Here’s an example:

Example: Hey moms, have dad watch baby for a change and relax at our spa weekend…

Vs.

Hey, need a break? Come in for well-deserved R&R at a special spa event. The palm trees are a’swaying… 

The first example makes a number of assumptions and doesn’t feel inclusive. The second speaks to what most appeals to the persona (escape).

Run an A/B test to see what messaging resonates better with your perspective attendees.

Keep Interest

Now that you created your persona, keep them engaged by refreshing your content and offers. Make an offer that speaks to their values.

If they’re more budget-conscious, offer discounted tickets. If they’re active on social media, create a ticket giveaway contest on their preferred channel. Consistently post third-party content from websites they’re most likely to read.

What did you name your marketing personas? That’s the most-fun part.

 

 

Event Tips >