At Scooter Media, our experience has taught us that working solely with the media to launch a product or publicize an experience just isn’t enough. Working with targeted influencers is incredibly important to reach your intended audience. And depending on the industry you’re working in and the people you’re trying to reach, influential blogs can be a terrific platform on which to amplify your message.
If you are targeting a particular market, you might consider hosting a local blogger event rather than simply paying for sponsored posts. Blogger events create excitement around your product or experience, foster long-term relationships and personal connections with the bloggers, and give you or your client the opportunity to share your product or experience with these bloggers in a more personal way.
Here are five tips for hosting a standout blogger event:
- Identify a local blogger to act as your host.
Nothing beats a personal introduction from a trusted friend when trying to catch the eye of a blogger. Many cities across the U.S. have very strong, tight-knit blogging communities, and they can be tough to break into. But working with a local liaison helps break that ice and encourages bloggers to more seriously consider your event and the product or experience you’re promoting.
- Make it experiential.
When you get a group of bloggers together who know each other through personal friendships or electronic correspondence, you want them to have fun. While you also want to make sure you hit all of your talking points, if your elevator speech lasts more than a few minutes you’re sure to lose your captive audience. A great way to get them engaged is to create an experience they can participate in. This can be anything from hands-on cooking demonstrations to product testing to creating their own take-home item. The more they engage with you and your product, the better they’ll remember the experience. And, the more they’ll want to share that experience with their audiences.
- Go the extra mile.
Building a guest list, booking a venue and purchasing supplies are on the must-do list. But what can you do to make your event extra special and memorable? First impressions are incredibly important, so be intentional in the venue you select. It creates a particular feeling and environment from the very first moment they arrive. Bringing in fresh flowers for decoration, adding locally-made desserts to the menu and greeting each blogger by name also show that you’ve gone the extra mile to know them and their market, and they’ll take notice.
- Send them home with something to remember you by.
Everybody loves SWAG, am I right? Well, bloggers are no different. If you’re introducing a product, send them each home with a sample. Or, choose an item that seems appropriate for the event. At a recent blogger event, our team was introducing a food delivery service. While we couldn’t send the bloggers home with the food itself (it would arrive at a later date on their doorstep), we sent them each home with an apron. They came in different patterns, and each blogger was able to choose their favorite. It was a small, inexpensive item, and something the bloggers could use in their daily lives that would remind them of our event and our product.
- Follow Up.
This one should be a given. First and foremost, thank them for attending. This is an easy but important way to nurture your relationship with them and the brand, and it also allows you to address any next steps. If bloggers will be completing reviews or giveaways, be sure to send them details on your recommended process and timeline, additional background on the brand and product/experience, and any other items they may need. And, be open to feedback. These bloggers are in your target audience, and can provide candid opinions that will ultimately help to improve your product.