Speakers don’t just bring their act to your event. They also bring new audiences that can amplify your event’s marketing. Your speakers can be a bridge between you and new groups of people who have not heard of your events before. These new people are potential attendees that can become future followers of your events. You definitely don’t want the potential of your partnership with your speakers to go underutilized.
Ideally, the speakers in your event should be accomplished individuals who have established their credibility. A speaker’s resonance on social media should be on your checklist because that influence can be leveraged to promote your event. Your speakers should want the event to have maximum turnout because it will benefit them too. They need as many people as possible to see them in action to grow their audience and book more events in the future. This is why you shouldn’t feel like you’re asking too much from your speakers if you ask them to market your event.
As an event planner, you probably know how to market your events on various social media platforms. Marketing with your speakers is not the same as marketing just the event. It yields different results and requires a different approach to your content strategy. Marketing your speakers should result in a more extensive reach and engagement.
Using Your Speakers Helps You Engage Community Marketing
By using your speakers to promote your event, you are using community marketing which is highly effective in drawing in event attendees. Studies show that people are heavily influenced by the recommendations of their community. They want to attend events that are relevant to them, and they gauge this by whether their family, friends, and favorite social media personalities attend those events. Enlisting your speakers triggers word-of-mouth marketing because they influence their audiences to tell the people close to them about your event. Ultimately, you reach more people without doing all the marketing yourself.
Building A Marketing Partnership With Your Speakers
You want to build a solid marketing relationship without anyone feeling used. The point is, when speakers market your event, it benefits both of you. So, how can you foster this mutually beneficial marketing relationship with your speakers?
1. Research Their Audience
Incorporating your speakers into your event marketing is about reaching different audiences. Of course, to speak to any audience, you have to know them first. Before settling on a speaker, do background research on their audience to ensure that your event will resonate with them. Otherwise, partnering with that speaker is pointless. Find out what motivates that audience to follow the speaker and their passion points when it comes to events; why do they go to the kind of events where this speaker performs, and what do they want to see and hear? You want to use these insights in your marketing to draw them into your event.
You also want to choose speakers with similar audiences. People may not be as enthusiastic about attending an event with just one speaker they follow. If there are other similar speakers, they have more reasons to attend.
2. Tell Your Speakers What’s In It For Them
You mustn’t send the wrong message to your speakers. You don’t want them to think you need their help because your audience and platform are underdeveloped. Your speakers should understand that what you are offering is a co-promotion of their brand alongside your event. You are also offering them an opportunity to widen their network and audience as they join your marketing campaign alongside your other speakers. This is a mutually beneficial partnership between your event and the speaker’s brand, and no party is doing the other a favor. If they ask for something in return, like an opportunity to promote their podcast or new book during the event, you can allow it to motivate them to promote your event rigorously.
3. Create Content Centred On Your Speakers
Your speakers thrive on attention because they are performers, even if their act is not overtly creative. They take the stage, which means they appreciate having people’s attention on them. Why not put them in the spotlight to motivate them to share your marketing content? Make their names, bios, and headshots visible on your event posters and post them across your social media pages.
Make sure that all that content is branded with your event so that when they share it with their audience, it leads them back to your pages and event website. A step further would be bringing in your sponsors and getting them to share that content with their audiences. This will widen your reach and also make your speaker’s job of promoting the event easier.
4. Post The Speakers In Action
Post images or videos of your speaker’s past performances. This way, you promote the speaker’s act, not just because they will be at your event. Feature them on your LinkedIn page by directly quoting them or put those quotes in static graphics and post them on your other social media pages. If you have a blog, you can ask your speaker to guest-write a post, or you can transcribe an interview with them and turn it into a post. This is especially helpful if the content is educational or provides some form of valuable insight because this is evergreen content that will remain valuable to your audience even after the event. If you don’t want to do the blog option, get them to do a takeover of one of your social media pages and interact directly with your followers for a day or two.
5. Go Live With Your Speakers
Create live content on your speakers’ platforms days before your event. It can be short interviews, panel discussions, or performances on Instagram or Facebook Live. That backstage glimpse of your speakers as they prepare for your event will draw their audience’s attention. It is much more effective to show people what they will be getting than just telling them. You are increasing their perceived value of your event and motivating them to buy a ticket when you give them snippets of what will happen when they attend. You can go further and create behind-the-scenes content on the day of the event and do giveaways to encourage participation.
6. Use Your Speakers’ Mailing Lists
If your speakers have a newsletter or another subscription, it can be great for your event marketing. Alternatively, you can enlist them to send a mailer to everyone on their mailing list. This is a big ask, but if you can make it easier for your speakers, they may agree. Design the banner for the email and construct the copy, foregrounding the important details like the date, time, venue, and RSVP details. This will work well for a corporate event or with a speaker with an extensive mailing list.
7. Help Your Speakers
Seasoned speakers should be able to market themselves and an upcoming event. However, You may find yourself working with a novice speaker. Your speaker may not be well-versed on social media captions, using hashtags, or how to edit different types of content, i.e., videos, stories, and reels. Roll up your sleeves and give them a quick crash course on how to post effectively or look for resources online and share with them. These can be YouTube videos or blogs.
8. Fund Your Speaker’s Promoted Ads
If your budget allows, you can ask your speakers to promote their ads for your event on social media, and you can fund them. You can give all your speakers the same amount of money or segment it, giving the most money to the speaker with the biggest following. This will ensure that your budget for paid ads is not wasted. You want to direct the most funds to the platforms where most of your audience and your speakers’ audiences are. For a corporate event, ask your speakers to promote ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and maybe Twitter. Encourage your speakers to promote ads on TikTok and Instagram for less formal occasions.
9. Make It Simple And Share Everything Timeously
Create a social media calendar or posting schedule with healthy gaps, so your speakers are not burdened with it daily. As soon as you want to start your campaign, share everything with your speakers in a shared drive. Include everything from the posting schedule with dates and times to images, videos, event hashtags, the event programming, brochures, flyers, posters, and templates for written content. You can also include free tickets or promo codes so the speakers can do giveaways for their followers. This way, you take the creativity and the strategizing off their shoulders, making it easier for them to promote your event over time. You could also draft a short contract with the terms for posting and have your speaker sign it to create a sense of accountability.
10. Limit Correspondence To A Minimum
You are not directly paying your speaker to promote your event, so you should make the whole thing as frictionless as possible. Make sure there are no mistakes, so there is no reason for constant back-and-forth communication. Before sending them the content, do your research and ensure that you are not sending them content that will clash with their other partnerships.
However, it is all a game of balance because once you’ve sent everything, you don’t just want to sit back. Let your timing determine how often you reach out. If your event is still months away, chances are your speakers will be promoting other projects that are more imminent. When your event draws closer, and you want to ramp up the promoting, nudge them gently with mentions and tags on social media and the occasional text, phone call, or email.
It’s Worth It To Promote Your Event With Your Speakers
Getting your speakers to promote your event may take some convincing despite the apparent benefits that are in it for them. The central part is showing your speakers how much they stand to gain in terms of growing their audience if they promote your event with you. Ideally, you want to have this conversation before any contracts are signed, no matter how renowned the speaker is. Their influence won’t help you if they refuse to promote their participation in your event. You’d instead work with a lesser-known speaker so long as they are willing to cooperate.