You’ve booked the venue, created a hashtag, and arranged the goody bags, but have you really done enough to ensure that your brand experience gains as much quality earned media as possible?
Firstly, if you want people to talk or document your event in some way, you need to make sure that you deliver something worth talking about. This is where your creative juices can really get flowing, but we’re providing a prompt list to get yours going:
1. It’s a cliche because it’s true. People enjoy food, and there is a reason that for a long time the industry standard was to include cupcakes ripe for instagramming. Food also gets people talking, so can be a great icebreaker where guests may not know anyone. Branded food can be even better as it instantly stands out as being from an event on a social stream.
2. Make your social handles really obvious. Never make it a challenge for your guests to find what your chosen hashtag is, or what account you hope they mention.
3. Ensure your guests are connected - reach can be limited by something as simple as not having a wifi code to pass out. If you want people tweeting, snapping, instagramming and whatsapping….give them wifi.
4. Guarantee they will have a great image to take away and/or share. This is even more critical in darker spaces, as their own photography may well be grainy and of a poor quality. This may be in the shape of a photographer, photo booth, or even a moving image from a gif booth or our Freezus Curve. People always want to share a flattering or awesome photo of themselves.
5. If Starbucks cups and #ShareaCoke have taught us anything, people get obsessed with something with their name on. If you want to increase the chance of a guest sharing content at your event, personalise where possible.
6. Create experiences that are worth an extra mention. This works two-fold. It makes the event more enjoyable, which increases the chance of people staying longer, and talking more, but it also gives them another reason to get their camera out.
7. Provide a take home item like a goody bag to increase the chance of some extra Earned Media even after the event is over. The gift that just keeps giving.
8. Invite the right people. Who has the reach and influence in the niches that you'd like to earn a mention? Make sure people who are listened to in your industry are invited. You may well consider paying the right influencers a fee for attending, which blurs the line even more between earned and paid media. However, don't underestimate the power of the micro-influencer. Their audiences are often far more engaged than some of the bigger players.
Earned Media has often been called 'Free Media' but don't fall into this trap of thinking that it won't cost you anything. Perfecting your strategy can earn increased reach, growth, credibility and trust, and a mistake is being made if you categorise it as free.
Read about our Instagram Stories studio which reached over 28 million from just 16 people in 4 hours..
Take a look at our photo booth installation at The W Hotel, London, which took over 10,000 photos in the first 3 months.