The Growing Trend Of Influencer Events

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influencer-events

By now we’re familiar with many of the most common techniques employed by brands in influencer marketing. Whether it’s a long-term partnership with an influencer or a push on a special day, competitors are always looking for campaigns with variety to stand out in a crowded space.

What Are Influencer Events?: How Brands Dedicate Events To Influencers

With budgets for influencer marketing increasing year-over-year, brands and marketers are wondering what the next big type of campaign is for the industry.

This brings us to influencer events; an increasingly popular type of campaign in which influencers are invited to exclusive gatherings, getaways, or mainstream events in order to promote products and services for brands.

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The primary appeal of these campaigns lies in the influencer A-listers which power them, brought together by brands looking to maximize potential reach by getting big-hitters on social media in the same room. Why this trend has picked up more recently and the different kinds of influencer marketing events you can expect to see is what we investigate below.

Types Of Influencer Events By Category

Beauty Influencer Events

These are the types of influencer events that are among the more established in the industry. Makeup brands are keen to get influencers in the same posts for extra bang for their buck. They often have the means to bring together mega influencers to feature in sponsored posts.

Influencer marketing events can be extravagant. Tarte Cosmetics, for example, are well known for gifting their sponsored influencers elaborate all-expenses-paid trips to Bangkok or Hawaii, to name a couple. Naturally, these trips lend themselves well to video formats beyond Instagram, with YouTube beauty vloggers enjoying the benefits too.

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Aloha🌺 #trippinwithtarte

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Fashion Influencer Events

Similarly, influencer events in fashion is a common occurrence, as you might expect. You’ve got the usual suspects, such as Revolve Festival at Coachella—an event organized by the online retailer which attracts some of the biggest names in the industry.

Such was the popularity of this year’s event, Revolve rented out an entire hotel, hosting 140 influencers. Chief Brand Officer Raissa Gerona refers to it as their “Super Bowl”, with co-founder Michael Mente noting it’s a bigger event for the brand than Cyber Monday. Revolve’s influencer marketing events don’t end there either, with the brand noted for flying influencers all over the world for fashion shoots.

Other brands are getting in on the act too. Outdoor clothing company Backcountry recently hosted a 4-day influencer event in Moab, Utah, for sponsored creators. From climbing to yoga, some of the biggest influencers of the outdoors and travel scenes were invited to the event, giving Backcountry a ton of exposure.

Fitness Influencer Events

Fitness brands have been comfortable with influencer marketing as long as any fashion or cosmetic retailer. Companies like GymShark lead the way with gathering the industry’s biggest stars to act as their ambassadors.

As opposed to other industries, GymShark’s gatherings, as with other well-known fitness brands like Myprotein, often involve meet-ups or challenges, mixing influencers with the public for exposure.

This strategy is evident with other brands too, such as Lululemon and their large-scale events promoted on Instagram. Their ambassadors can typically be found heading up smaller events like hosted classes. There is certainly an emphasis across fitness brands on more interaction with the public than aforementioned beauty or fashion brands.

Gaming Influencer Events

Gaming lends itself perfectly to influencer events. Large mainstream events, like TwitchCon, provide the perfect opportunity for brands to pair up star influencers of the gaming industry for big promotions.

It’s worth noting that many of the brands who engage with gaming events are non-gaming brands, like Hershey’s and Doritos—an indication of the mainstream appeal of gaming influencers.

In a sense opposite to fashion influencer events, fans flock to massive stadiums to watch their favorite gamers streaming at events.

Larger mainstream brands are keen to make influencers, particularly top streamers, the main attractions at expos. Expect to see this trend continuing at gaming conventions by partnering top pro gamers and brands for events like the upcoming Evo 2019 and BlizzCon 2019.

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Blogger Influencer Events

Aside from influencers who distinctly fall into categories, there are also campaigns launched by brands not necessarily seeking to target a very specific audience. These will typically involve bloggers who don’t fall so readily into one industry or another. Lifestyle influencers are a good example of this and are popular with brands for their wide appeal across a range of sought-after demographics.

For example, Macy’s, in a recent launch of limited edition watches, sponsored influencers from a variety of backgrounds to help promote the line. Models; shoe designers; software designers—diverse disciplines brought together by a brand to promote a product typically outside of their field.

Other Influencer Events

There are some influencer events that don’t really fit into any of the established events that we might be used to seeing. Instagram’s Kindness Prom, for example, invited influencers to an event in Venice, California to raise awareness of cyberbullying. It also follows the company’s enhanced bullying feature, a new algorithm which aims to combat bad behavior on the platform.

How To Throw An Influencer Event

There are several considerations to make before organizing an influencer marketing event. The elephant in the room is the cost. This, of course, depends on the industry and the type of event needed. Those Tarte getaways, for example, were estimated to set them back a cool $300,000. Be prepared to set aside an appropriate budget to pull off an influencer event.

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Tips For Hosting An Influencer Event

  • WiFi – Get off on the right foot by having a reliable wifi connection for your influencers. At the end of the day, the whole point of them being there is to create content and upload to social media, typically at specific times. Don’t rely on their unlimited data plans!
  • Agenda – Have a clear and detailed plan for when and where you need your influencers during your event. As you can see, despite flying its ambassadors halfway around the world, Tarte still has a clear and specific itinerary for its influencers. Don’t be too constrictive, though, they’re not going to want to feel like their on the job 24/7, so allocate downtime.
  • Giveaways – If you’re familiar with the sight of influencers having giveaway competitions for their fans, it’ll be because a brand is keen to have a longer-lasting campaign than could reasonably be expected with an event. Events are short, but influencers can continue to do giveaways long after its ended, meaning more exposure for the brand.
  • Location – This can be make or break for an event. And it doesn’t necessarily mean flying your stars to a tropical island. It just means having a finger on the pulse of what your audience wants to see. There’s a good reason cosmetic brands fly beauty influencers to Tahiti and gamers have just as much impact in-front of a computer monitor.

How To Plan An Influencer Event

  • Have the audience in mind: It’s no good planning an incredible event for your influencers if your target audience is not interested in it. As we just touched on, location is everything; there would be little point in flying a gaming influencer to Hawaii for a shoot.
  • Make it stand out: Influencers are spoiled for choice, with invites to events left and right. Make your event interesting and shareable. Remember; they’re content creators—if they haven’t got their phones out and engaging with the event then it’s not interesting enough for them.
  • The hashtag: Give your event a specific hashtag for influencers to use and be clear about what your expectations for it are during the campaign.

How To Get Influencers To Come To Your Event

You likely know the answer to this one already, but if you want to attract influencers to your event you’re going to have to pay up to get them to attend. Don’t rule out inviting smaller influencers to your event (especially if they’re local), as they often provide great ROI and are eager to get involved.

Once attendance is sorted, be prepared to foot the bill for other expenses too—hotels, flights, activities, food and drink. Be prepared to have swag bags on standby to keep them interested and engaged.

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What To Expect With Influencer Events In 2019 & Beyond

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the biggest influencer events and meet-ups are led by the biggest brands. They are typically invite-only for influencers and can be very exclusive even in those spheres.

These events will likely continue to be headed by big brands; particularly the more extravagant ones, but events of all sizes are likely to increase in popularity. Expect to see this trend increase in popularity as brands look to improve their strategies and look for new avenues to expand their influencer marketing output.

Revolve Influencer Marketing Propels Brand To $1.2 Billion Valuation

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revolve-influencer-marketing-ipo

If you’re unfamiliar with the online fashion retailing giant Revolve, now is a good time to get to grips with it. For years, Revolve influencer marketing has been an effective, watertight blueprint for other brands and now possesses an extensive network of thousands of social media stars bigging up the brand. In anticipation of its recent IPO, the company was given a market capitalization value of nearly $1.5 billion.

Revolve Influencers Drummed Up Interest From Investors & Set The Trend For Influencer Marketing

Revolve’s rise to become one of the major fashion retailers in the country since its early days in 2003 is in large part due to its pioneering influencer marketing strategy, which has been in operation since the fledgling days of the industry. It has a substantial Instagram following of 3 million and hires everyone from Kendall Jenner and her 112 million followers to smaller micro-influencers in the thousands to promote their brand.

It should come as no surprise that Revolve shaped up well for its IPO. It has a history of having a finger on the pulse for tapping into the crucial Millennial and Gen Z markets, utilizing every influencer tier to drive engagement. As our very own Evan Asano says,

Revolve was a very early player in influencer marketing and is still one of the most prominent names in the space.”

At present, the social media marketing of Revolve is a business unto itself. It has poured (and continues to pour) money into the influencer marketing budget, accruing an enormous roster of 3,500 influencers who collectively drive an estimated 70% of sales for the company, despite only making up a very reasonable 25% of the annual marketing budget.

Needless to say, it’s the company that sets the trend in the influencer marketing industry.

Revolve’s Influencer Marketing Strategy

Revolve was quick to get ahead of the game early on, using fashion bloggers for promotion in the late 2000s and early- to mid-2010s by sending them free clothes in the hopes they would talk them up. Popular bloggers like Aimee Song (Song of Style) and Shea Marie (Peace Love Shea) became regular fixtures of the strategy, using their online profiles to reach out to key audiences.

Whether it was a New Year trip to Mexico or a packing list for a visit to the Hamptons, Revolve was beginning to grasp opportunities to engage with the Millennial demographic by getting their product noticed by trendsetters online.

Instagram’s rapid rise in the last few years has meant it is now the preeminent force in influencer marketing, with businesses spending $1.7 billion on marketing on the platform. Revolve’s strategy remains much the same as it did 10 years ago, flying their stars to exclusive locations and throwing lavish parties at Coachella. Only now Instagram is undoubtedly the most important factor for them.

Revolve doubled down by curating a strategy that didn’t market at their audience, but instead positioned itself as an indispensable fashion partner for influencers. As Revolve has become an important status symbol for so many, stars want to be seen as part of its brand and want to be engaged in its extravagant activations.

In return, Revolve requires its influencers during events to post twice a day using pre-designated hashtags to promote the brand. A small price to pay for most.

Revolve In-House Influencer Collection

Revolve has more recently sought to establish its own brand of in-house clothing, curating an array of collections to sell directly to consumers. This is including a collection from the aforementioned Song, who is the first influencer to engage in a long-term in-house partnership for Revolve.

Having in-house collections is the start of a new strategy for Revolve. With an established brand and large online following among the key Millennial and Gen Z demographics, it is well-placed to start introducing its own product lines with support from its influencers. They have their audience locked-in, now they want to take full advantage and be a major fashion producer in their own right.

In addition to the obvious monetary value in cutting out the middleman and building in-house brands, Revolve is quick to note that designing and manufacturing its own products allows the company to stay sure-footed in an industry that can change direction in an instant.

Having their own brands offers them the opportunity to quickly release a new piece of clothing if they feel it will perform well. It is, after all, a brand built on data, not fashion. Its founders, Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, have no background in fashion but instead have expertise in data and business.

Analytics is the key driver of the brand and the primary reason for their great successes over the last 15 years. If their audience responds well to something: make more. If it doesn’t: cut it. An in-house assortment of brands and collections is seen as the natural next step forward for Revolve.

Revolve Influencer Events

Much of Revolve’s success can be attributed to its events, which function as one of the core pillars of its marketing efforts. Revolve’s calendar of exotic trips and parties is spectacular, and its influencers would likely agree—given Revolve foots the bill for all of them.

#RevolveInTheHamptons

The Hamptons trip is exclusive for Revolve’s most-followed influencers. They invite 20 of their latest and greatest stars to stay at a $37,500-per-month home—along with $2,000 dollars clothing credit, and an appearance fee to boot.

#RevolveSummer

A two-week activation in Bermuda for a line-up of 75 top influencers, starting in 2018 and created to replace the Hamptons trip. Dining, pools, beach parties, yachts—you name it, it’s there.

#RevolveFestival

The annual #RevolveFestival at Coachella, which has become an event unto itself in many ways, even to the point of overshadowing the main event. It is one of the most exclusive parties and returned in 2019 for its fourth year, featuring the likes of SZA and 2 Chainz.

Why Revolve Influencer Marketing Is Successful

Revolve might spend much of its time presenting an exclusive brand for the most exclusive influencers in the industry, but the fact is that it is a company that is enormously successful at appealing to its key demographic of young women.

Its top influencers may be in the stratosphere of the social media world, but many hundreds of its huge network of thousands of influencers command far more modest followings. Their influencer strategy relies just as strongly on micro- and mid-tier influencers as it does on its stars.

With the help of influencers, Revolve has successfully bridged the gap between fashion and influencers in a way that few others have been able to replicate. Helped no less by the brand hashtag of choice, #RevolveAroundTheWorld, used by almost every influencer around the world to promote its products.

It’s one of the primary reasons for their success: an ability to use social media reach out to as large an audience as possible. With 3,500 brand ambassadors; you’re casting a very wide net. In this way, they’ve been able to present themselves as a relatable brand offering affordable, yet high end, clothing to younger audiences.

How Revolve Influencer Marketing Will Continue To Evolve

In the wake of its huge IPO, Revolve is unlikely to slam the brakes on its strategy. With the rest of the fashion retail world making efforts to catch-up, expect Revolve to keep moving forward.

It has already broken the mold in what you can do by merging retail and technology together on social media, and considering the success, its roster of influencers is likely to continue to grow in size.

The Revolve Awards gives influencers the chance to walk the red carpet and pick up a gong, while influencer clothing lines can be expected to grow in number if Song’s proves to be a success. Events and activations organized by the company have so far proved to be worth the expense to provide mainstream buzz with big stars, and its partnerships with thousands of smaller influencers boost engagement from across the board.

As we go forward, we can expect Revolve to kick on and expand its existing influencer marketing strategy while everyone else scrambles to keep up.

12 COACHELLA 2019 BRAND ACTIVATIONS YOU CAN’T MISS

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The Best Coachella 2019 Brand Activations & Influencer Partnerships

After weekend one of Coachella 2019 came to a close, the festival unsurprisingly proved to be a standout event for influencers, brands, and attendees. With performances by headliners, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande, this year also showcased a historic set by BLACKPINK and an amusing performance by Billie Eilish. While festivalgoers may have remarked about the fest’s seemingly shrinking attendance, its stature within the festival community still dwarfs many other popular music events.

Last year, Coachella drew more than 119,000 attendees each day (700,000 attendees in total over both weekends). Though official numbers aren’t yet available, 2019 attendance will likely put up similar numbers.

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Apart from physical attendees, millions tuned in online to watch the event live. YouTube will continue its livestream coverage into the second weekend for the first time this year, acting as the event’s exclusive livestream partner for the ninth year in a row.

Brand activations drew the attention of thousands in-person, but they reached into the millions online. Marketers love Coachella—here, we’ll break down the top influencer sponsorships and brand activations executed at Coachella 2019 during week one. Continue reading “12 COACHELLA 2019 BRAND ACTIVATIONS YOU CAN’T MISS”

Case Study: MeUndies Gets Intimate With Influencers

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Instagram Influencer Marketing Case Study: MeUndies Shows Off Fashionable Wares and Heartwarming Values

Alongside its mission to sell comfortable and stylish underwear, Silicon Beach brand, MeUndies, is also looking to share its values with the world. Using sustainable materials, working “with factories that take exceptional care of their employees,” and partnering with various causes, MeUndies marketing has made bold moves in its attempt to disrupt the undergarment industry.

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One of MeUndies’ latest gambits has been to transform their subscription model into something more meaningful and valuable for both consumers and the company. Launching memberships last year, MeUndies started offering new perks to their monthly customers in an attempt to improve relationships, drive sales, and gain new insights.

For its various business and social initiatives, the progressive garment brand has leveraged influencer marketing to engage existing and potential customers. Working with a diverse group of influencers on Instagram, MeUndies marketing has used influential figures to offer discounts, promote special prints, and show its support for communities and causes.

Continue reading “Case Study: MeUndies Gets Intimate With Influencers”

Social Media Influencers Drive Trends–But How? And Why?

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The Shift From Celebrities To The Power Of Social Media Influencers

  • Through social media, influencers generate conversation, drive engagement, and set cultural trends.
  • Audiences are more receptive of social media influencers than celebrities.
  • Influencers are early adopters of new products and services, creating desire amongst their audiences.

UPDATE April 18, 2019—Celebrity influencers have been around nearly as long as there have been celebrities. The first instances of celebrity product endorsement occurred in centuries past when royalty advertised the prestige of luxury goods. A new breed of celebrity influencers evolved in the 20th Century with people leisurely following the activities of famous actors, musicians, and professional athletes. In many ways, celebrities initiated trends.

As people have moved away from traditional media and spent more time on social media, trendsetters have molded into more relatable “influencers.” It is no longer just celebrities who influence society’s tastes; social media stars play an increasingly larger role. These modern influencers are social media personalities with loyal audiences built through regular, direct communication with their followers.

Continue reading “Social Media Influencers Drive Trends–But How? And Why?”