Influencer marketing is a core strategy for many of our clients. Throughout the year, we develop a number of immersive and experiential events created with our key influencer target in mind so that we can show them what makes many of our brands truly special. For example, when it comes to event marketing for Wild Blueberries, we want to educate influencers about what makes these tiny, potent berries vastly special and different from regular cultivated blueberries. Toward that end, this past summer we created an “Eating on the Wild Side” event for powerful foodservice chefs to come together and learn about some of Maine’s most iconic wild foods – lobster, sea vegetables, and Wild Blueberries.
Getting ten chefs to the Coast of Maine in July was the easy part,” laughs Belinda Donovan, Director of PR for Ethos. “Once here, we needed to give them a memorable experience and put them in contact with as many wild foods as possible. We also needed to inspire, and forge a lasting impression about the power of wild foods and their place in the real foods movement.”
Events like these can be expensive, but usually they are well worth it. Events are a great way to generate awareness, engagement, and trust in your brand. They can also help you in your quest to build life-long advocates who can spread the story of your brand to others in their sphere of influence. However, since these events take months to plan and require a big budget in order to create meaningful experiences, we always make sure to maximize them by capturing content that can reach a wider audience, and live well past the end date of the event.
For our Eat on the Wild Side event, we knew we wanted to capture documentary style video to be able to parlay the experience to other chefs and influencers who weren’t able to attend the event.
“It was clear that we had an opportunity to capture the chefs’ wild foods experience through documentary-style filmmaking that could be used to reach a broader audience,” says Stewart Engesser, director of broadcast at Ethos. “A fictional approach to storytelling was out of the question. The video had to be as authentic as the wild foods themselves.”
The video development plan was to capture all aspects of the event, including interviews with the chefs in order to hear first-hand how they could translate this close-to-nature ingredient with incredible taste and health benefits into dishes on their menus. Our strategy was to create one video that provided an overview of the complete experience, as well as a series of shorter videos featuring individual chefs. The videos now live on the Wild Blueberry website, as well as in blogs, emails, and programmatic advertising campaigns. They are also used to help educate target chefs and brand manufacturers about Wild Blueberries.
“These videos are a great way to introduce other chefs to the Power of Wild as they consider ingredients for their menus and products,” noted Donovan.
In the end, the strategy worked. Within months of the program, which included the chef event as well as a number of other content marketing and advertising initiatives, we have seen multiple new brands (some of whom attended the event, and some who did not) add wild blueberries to their menus and products. The Cheesecake Factory is in process of adding Wild Blueberries to its antioxidant salad and Smoothie King announced a new Wild Blueberry Smoothie. Additionally, Chobani recently released its Hint of Wild Blueberry yogurt, and Gerber just came out with its Apple Wild Blueberry baby food.
Bottom Line: Forging memorable and lasting connections with your customers and prospects through event marketing is a smart strategy, but in order to maximize your investment, it’s important to develop a subsequent content strategy as well. No matter what your business, there’s a story to tell, and there are few mediums more powerful than video to tell it.
Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency that develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies inside and outside of Maine.
At Ethos, we believe that the most effective way to set a company’s marketing course is by finding its core truth – its ethos. We know that once we discover and communicate that core truth, we can truly make a difference for each client’s unique marketing and business objectives.
With Ethos, you get more than a marketing agency. You get a long-term partner whose goals are your goals.