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How to Deliver an Awesome Blogger Event

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Want to Engage Bloggers? Think outside of your Inbox….[/custom_headline][text_output]Over the past few years, the ‘Blogosphere’ (that’s all blogs and their connections online) has become a space that brands are desperate to be featured. According to research, there were 152 million blogs on the internet just last year and you don’t have to be an expert to see how much that has grown just over the last 6 months. Historically, it’s been about getting links from bloggers, but this year and even more so in the future it is about much more than an anchor text…

From Fashion to Fitness, Travel to Tech, these bloggers are everywhere, and they have become a powerful outlet for showcasing brands. From product reviews to endorsements, they’ve got it covered. Rumour has it that fashion blogger Zoella made over £230,000 through her YouTube channel and blog last year alone. Showcasing the likes of Topshop, Barry M and Clinique, she quite clearly has the pick of the bunch of these popular brands.[/text_output][image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”5266″][text_output]With so many of us fighting in the same space, we need to forget about link building and start thinking about link earning – the process of building relationships with people who will grow to love your brand and giving influencers something so good that they naturally write about you.  So how do we get such prestigious bloggers on our side as a brand?

Besides sending them their favourite products to review, getting their opinions to showcase on your blog, tweeting them, sharing their content, sharing your content and the 101 other things you might be doing to try and tap into journalists and bloggers, what is going to really get them talking?

How about a blogger event?

We’re seeing brands taking their online engagement strategies offline, and mixing with their prospective contacts face to face, just like the old PR days. So, before blogger events become just another outreach tactic, let’s have a look at how you can make it a really successful influencer engagement asset:[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]The Venue & Themes are Key[/custom_headline][text_output]First and foremost your venue location needs to be representative of your target audience or attendee list. If you’re a local salon, pick a venue close to where your clients may come from, why not even host it in the salon itself? If you’re renting space, ensure it is a blank canvas that you can customise to reflect your brand or in line with the theme of your event and fill it with things that will make great content. A photo machine, some nice art work, champagne, cakes, a product showcase or press materials – things that will make people write about their experience at your event.

Make sure there is sufficient space for people to congregate, chat, brainstorm, review their day so far, and generally make it a place to encourage relationships.[/text_output][image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”5259″][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Date, Time & Invites[/custom_headline][text_output]Don’t infringe on people’s work or personal time and be flexible on ‘drop in times’. Unless it’s a breakfast event, before work is not encouraged and during the day will be quiet. Expect drop-ins through lunch time and between 5-7pm, when people are finishing work. Be mindful of other events happening on the same day and in close proximity, especially competitor press days. Allow enough time for bloggers to clear their diaries, but tell them too far in advance and they will go elsewhere.

1)     An initial Save the Date

2)     An invite – something electronically and printed if that would have more of an effect

3)     A reminder before the day

When sending an email invite, make sure you include your social channels, a clickable map to the event and a phone number so people can have as much easily accessible information as possible. Bear in mind, busy journalists and bloggers are always on the go, so likely to be viewing your event on their mobile. Encourage attendees to RSVP, so you know how many people to expect prior to the day.[/text_output][image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”5260″][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Your Wishlist[/custom_headline][text_output]You’ll probably already have your target hit list of contacts you’d love to eventually talk about your brand, and it is worth considering whether you make this an exclusive opportunity to them. Reputable writers will be getting invited to events every day, so you need to think about why they should attend your day over everyone else’s and what will enhance their experience at your event to make them want to tell the world how good it was?

1)     Will they have access to exclusives?

2)     Can they interview your staff?

3)     Get insight into your brand that others won’t?

4)     What will they take away from attending your day?

5)     Are they getting a goody bag or VIP treatment in some way?

6)     Are they part of a ‘select’ list of invitees?

People love free stuff. You could even collaborate with another brand to give live demos, goody bags, discount vouchers or beauty treatments on the day to encourage people to stay at the event for longer.[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Utilise Social[/custom_headline][text_output]Create a hashtag and a bit of social hype around your event. This enables those that can’t come to still access an online commentary of your day. Tweet pictures of the event in real time, to showcase what’s going on. Images get a better CTR on social than simply 140 characters so make sure you include them throughout the day.

For something that is accessible long after the event create a Facebook album that can be accessed by everyone or send through an album of pictures to each person who attended so that they can use them if they later go on to cover your event.[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Following Up[/custom_headline][text_output]For those that attended, we’re sure they had a great time but how about getting their feedback? Call them up, thank them and send them your ‘best bits’ from the day. You could also write a round up on your own blog and direct them to that for all the details. If they appeared in your photos, send them a nice print out of the day. It’s the small details that go a long way when bloggers are inundated with emails asking for guest posts and product reviews.[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Measuring Success[/custom_headline][text_output]Measuring success will be different for all of you but for consideration:

  • How much social coverage did you get?
  • How much coverage in print and online?
  • Any new customers?
  • Anecdotal feedback from your attendees?
  • New social followers?

We hope we’ve inspired you to consider how your offline activities can enhance your online presence and now is a good time as any to start planning an event for 2015.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”20px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]