Hosting an event is a great way for brands to get the word out about a new product or service. Bringing the right people to those events can become a science, especially if you want good media coverage. Bloggers are the perfect people to invite to your next event. These days they are actually thought of as part of the media and very sought after. They have an audience, they have a platform (usually multiple platforms) and they have an organic voice and can help amplify your message.
Let’s take a look at how your brand can entice bloggers to not only attend your event but also help you promote it (and share your news) in a way that is beneficial for both parties.
You might find it helpful to read my last post, 5 Tips for Successful Blogger Outreach From a Blogger’s Perspective.
This goes back to doing your research. Invite bloggers who will actually be interested in attending your event, but don’t limit yourself. Be creative. For example, if you are a restaurant introducing a new menu item, invite people who blog about food. Notice, I didn’t say foodies or food bloggers. Think of all the different markets you can reach like moms who blog about food, sustainable food bloggers, and of course the foodies.
As a rule of thumb you want to invite bloggers who are:
Don’t Always Expect Something In Return
Although we hope that bloggers will post an event recap the next day with a raving review the truth is that’s not always the case. There are other ways bloggers might share your news. Dedicated followers will notice their check-in on Facebook or Foursquare. Their live tweets and images on Instagram while at the event using your hashtag will get other people interested in checking out what else there is your brand has to offer. It’s called “social” media for a reason. Besides, your event should be so blog worthy that bloggers can’t help but write about it the instant they get home. If blog posts are really important to you, then create an ambassador program where that is part of the deal.
Set The Tone And Make It Easy
As the host, make sharing your event details easy and set the tone by letting them know what to expect, how to dress, what to bring. You can even request that they share the details in a blog post or via their social media channels, but you don’t want to push it. Give bloggers a chance to share your news in multiple ways. Provide them with the nuggets they need so it will be a no brainer for them to share.
Here are a few things that will make blogger’s lives easier if they consider sharing your news and/or event details with their networks. You can even create a press kit or event landing page that bloggers can refer to and you can update at any time.
- Create suggested messages for Facebook and Twitter. They can literally copy, paste and schedule in Hootsuite or Social Spout.
- Send them images. Images are all the rage these days especially with bloggers who use Pinterest and Instagram.
- Send them all the details in an easy to read format.
- Be responsive to questions bloggers might have about your event. If you get a question more than once, update your press kit or event page so others with similar questions can find answers easily.
Blogs want to share your news, really they do. Sometimes sharing your news is more enticing to their readers when there is a giveaway attached. Hosting a giveaway will also encourage bloggers to blog about the event and/ or your special news.
Offer affiliate programs, a discount or complimentary visit to return for a more intimate or personal experience with your brand, discount codes they can extend to their readers.
Show Some Appreciation
Even though we shouldn’t expect anything back in return, we still have to offer the best to bloggers and make them feel special. As the event host brands have a reputation to uphold.
Give bloggers the VIP treatment at your event (treat them like the media that they are).
Thank them both privately and publicly.
Retweet their tweets
Like their Facebook posts and leave a comment while if you can.
Tag them in event photos.
If they happen to write a blog post about your event or promoting it beforehand, leave a personal comment thanking them for doing so.
Bloggers are here to stay. They are in demand because they build and keep relationships with their followers. You want to make sure they are happy and genuinely invite them to relevant events. Treat them like you would the morning news anchor or your local TV host. You never know what can come of a great relationship with a blogger.
Tell us how you work with bloggers when hosting an event. We’d love for you to add to this list.