While media events have been a staple for many decades, the Internet and blogosphere have created an entirely new approach to this brand-building activity. However, it is important to understand the potential pitfalls and take care of the basics if you want to have a positive experience with any traditional press and/or influencer or blogger event. If there is any time you want your brand and company to shine, it’s in front of those who will be writing about it to deliver your brand message to their captive audience.
Define Your Objectives and Deliver Substance
As bloggers play an increasingly important role in how your prospects and customers view your brand, they are more demanding in what they deliver. In other words, bloggers understand they are expected to deliver real insights and information to their followers, not just serve as a conduit to bring attention to your new product or service.
Because of these expectations, start your planning for a blogger event with the perspective of a blogger or media writer. Ask, as if you were a blogger, “What are you going to find out by attending the event that will enhance your position as an authority and industry insider with your readers and base of followers?”
With that approach, you will shape the event to provide information that is useful and significant. This might include the results of a new study, providing materials such as unreleased photos and specs, or unveiling a new market approach or innovative product. The essential goal is to provide something the reporter or blogger couldn’t have simply picked up from a press release.
Take Care of the Details
To avoid a blogger disaster such as that experienced by ConAgra Foods, translate your goal into an event that fits the blogger culture. For example, provide your key information to the attendees in a digital form, not just a bag full of old school printed materials. The information should be easily translated into support for a blog post and email newsletter.
Other such details include:
• Using a hashtag that will help track media mentions across all platforms (not every blogger uses all the same platforms to channel information.) Develop tweets and posts to release during the event, and include unique suggestions for some of your more important guests. Remember, your hashtag serves as a keyword that allows you to track comments concerning your event.
• Capture your event with a stellar video and post it as quickly as possible after it closes. Make sure everyone is told to watch for the link, and get it out to all attendees. Use the main platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo. Also, create a microsite for the event if it fits your objectives. Feeling brave? Hold a live stream of the event via your YouTube channel or LiveStream.
• Make sure to hand out goodie bags with product for bloggers and press to take with them, as well as a printed card with your brand’s social media handles.
Planning is the key to a successful event, and it’s very helpful to review some of the more successful events that got a lot of subsequent mentions on the right blogs. Vet the influential bloggers in your niche and review their coverage of past events, taking care to avoid any glitches they point out in those previous situations, and capitalize on any noted high points as appropriate.
Top Tier Media specializes in blogger and key online influencer press events. Contact us if you need help setting up a stellar event!