Harness the Power of Influencer Marketing with snöball

December 11, 2018

Merriam-Webster defines snowball effect as a situation in which one action or event causes many other similar actions or events. And that is exactly what event tech startup snöball (with a lowercase “s”) is designed to do for word-of-mouth, or influencer, marketing.

Snöball helps event organizers harness the power of influencer marketing and put it to use for their events. With snöball, planners can empower all their constituents, or micro-influencers, to raise awareness of an event in a personal — and therefore more meaningful — manner.

The brainchild of industry veteran Rachel Stephan, who also is the founder of agency Sensov Event Marketing, snöball has been taking the industry by storm, earning multiple accolades over the past couple of years.  The company was a finalist in the 2017 IMEX Pitch and IBTM World 2017 Tech Watch Awards, won IBTM’s 2017 Best Use of PR award, and earlier this year was shortlisted for an Event Technology Award from Event Tech Live.

It’s not surprising that snöball is gaining steam. According to research from Nielsen and Business 2 Community, 82 percent of Americans seek recommendations prior to purchasing. And 67 percent report that they are more likely to purchase after seeing a product shared by a friend or family member on social media or via email.

Snöball takes advantage of the human desire for personal recommendations, providing a vehicle for event organizers to extend their brand reach. Using trusted sources to amplify messaging puts the snowball — or snöball — effect into action.

“Having your influencers promote your event carries more weight than your own promotion,” said Stephan. “It also makes them feel like they have a stake in the event’s success.”

With snöball, personalized landing pages are generated for each potential influencer: speakers, exhibitors/sponsors and attendees. A speaker’s landing page may include the details of her session, such as date, time and room. An exhibitor’s page may include their booth number and company description. Both can have video embedded, to promote sessions, products, services or any other relevant areas of interest. And exhibitors can also take advantage of a one-on-one meeting request feature to help drive demo traffic.

Automated emails are sent to each influencer, with a link to their unique landing page along with suggested content pre-formatted for a variety of social media channels. Recipients can personalize or use the content exactly as is. And of course, making it easy for people to share increases their likelihood of doing so. 

The service is completely white glove. As Stephan puts it, the company acts like a “marketing concierge”. To get the (snö)ball rolling, the event planner would meet with the snöball team to determine the scope of the project and needs, provide a spreadsheet with a few fields’ worth of information, then simply sit back and relax. Snöball can provide recommendations for messages, types of messages, and categories of influencer to reach.

Analytics is used on each landing page, allowing event organizers to readily see conversion rates and analyze the results of each campaign. This can be especially helpful for incentives: perhaps a salesperson can only go to the event if they get a certain number of registrants to register through their unique link. A speaker who shares the most social media posts may be given public recognition onsite at the event. Or perhaps a customer who is able to influence the highest number of registrations wins a free pass to the following year’s event.

This analysis can also help spark ideas for future marketing campaigns. If a particular speaker has a significant number of page views, Stephan suggests that marketers may wish to work with them on creating and promoting new content.

In addition to promoting an event, or specific event information such as an earlybird registration cutoff date or newly added keynote speaker, snöball can also be used for pre- or post-event content campaigns, such as a call for proposals or session voting. In fact, using the platform cyclically can help event organizers build excitement around key milestones all year ’round.

But how much value does the platform really add? And do the influencers even see the emails encouraging them to promote the event? According to Stephan, the answer is a resounding “yes.” She reports that there is a 30 to 70 percent open rate on the emails to influencers, and mentioned one client as an example who saw a 10 percent increase in event registrations within 24 hours of launching the first snöball.

To learn more about launching your own snöball, go here.

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