1105 Media partners with key influencers to create strong co-marketing opportunities
By Charlotte Woolard
Media company 1105 Media has developed a social media strategy for its events portfolio that pushes beyond established online networks to include partnerships with industry leaders and influencers. Those outside voices have helped events organizers reach more than 1 million people, and they also currently deliver about one-third of show website referrals, said Mitch Arnowitz, managing director of Tuvel Communications, the consultancy that helps 1105 Media with strategy.
“These are the friends, fans and followers of the leading bloggers and leading social marketers who are dropping by,” Arnowitz said.
The traffic reflects a three-year evolution of a social media strategy that began with a simple presence on such established social networking sites as Facebook and LinkedIn. “Each year, we build on what we accomplished the year prior,” said Shauna Peters, director-attendee marketing at 1105 Media. “The thought process is to find the industry influencers who are already known within a specific community, who are already blogging and putting their thoughts out there, and work with them as partners. It's looking to build that for co-marketing purposes.”
1105 Media conducts research and also taps know-how in the editorial departments of its magazine brands to identify key industry voices. The company invites those leaders to join its Social Media Partners Program, with about 15% of prospects signing on to promote an event and provide news coverage. They gain exposure on the event's website and in marketing collateral, and they also have the opportunity to offer their audiences elements like registration discount codes.
Show producers host regular blogger meetups, giving partners and other bloggers an opportunity to interact with peers, as well as speakers and other industry stakeholders. The effort has helped create more robust event coverage and given organizers insight into the issues their audiences are following. It also gives partners a connection to 1105 Media during the “off-season.” “We keep our blog running year-round,” Peters said. “We encourage our partners to continue to provide us [with input] so relevant messages continue to be posted to the industry. We also take content that is coming out of our publications and keep that front and center.”
The company is developing an always-on channel for its audience, she said. The next step in its social media strategy will be keeping partner relationships alive throughout the year, not just during the intense period of activity that surrounds an event. “At the end of the day, it's placing the content and the conversations that are started at an annual event and turning it into a platform that can be utilized online and offline on that topic year round,” Peters said.