#2 How to identify influencers, manage outreach

August 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

Using social media to amplify your agenda, attract influencers and encourage high-value individuals to attend & promote.

When someone says ‘social media’ we tend to jump immediately to our own experience: using Facebook or LinkedIn or something similar.

One useful approach for Social is to think about it as traditional PR, updated for the tools and platforms of the digital age. Who are the online movers and shakers in the industry or topic your event will be covering? Who gets quoted a lot? Who publishes? Who do they work for or represent?


b2b, events, social, profiling

Find the influencers in your field: they’re worth their weight in gold.


The reason you might want to pursue a social influencer strategy is to utilise these individuals as a de facto media channel. An influencer is described as such because they have a large or important audience. The more closely their audience maps to yours (remember, you took time to detail who your audience is when you set your objectives), the more valuable that influencer is to your event.

Your ‘influencer audit’ is simply a list of the individuals that you want to have at and talking about your event. Your ‘outreach strategy’ is really just a simple plan of how you might approach them – the channels you might go through, the things you would say and the offers you might make. It’s important to construct a benefit for the influencer first. Also important is to have someone with working knowledge of the topic (not just the event) do the outreach.

It can be time-consuming, but getting a keynote speaker or other senior, visible expert from your brand to make the first contact can be very effective. Ideally, your speakers and company experts should be influencers too, and they can use their ‘digital eminence’ to generate interest and social coverage. There really aren’t many areas of social that you can safely ‘leave to the intern’ – influencer outreach has been off that list for a very long time.

This is the second installment of the series: 10 ways to leverage digital for better B2B eventsWe recently ran an audit of the various tactics, strategies and recommendations we’ve developed @ Ogilvy for using digital to improve the live event experience (for the audience) and performance (for the marketer) – this list is a summary of what we found to be true and useful.

< Previously in this series: #1 Setting objectives

> Up nex in this seriest: #3: Electronic Press Kits


About the Author: Barrie Seppings blogs about making things better – for clients, brands, agencies and humans. He is currently Regional Creative Director at Ogilvy Singapore and he likes boards surf, skate and snow. Follow him on the Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, or add him on Google+

About the images: all photographs used with the permission of Martin Ollman Photography. Contact Martin directly for rights and commissions.


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