Table of Contents

1. Why use influencers to promote virtual events?
2. What type of influencer should you work with to promote your virtual event?
3. Influencer marketing basics
4. 4 Ways to Incorporate Influencers into your Virtual Event Strategy


While some aspects of “normal” life are starting to return, virtual events are likely here to stay.  In fact, ResearchandMarkets estimates the virtual events category to grow at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7% between 2021 and 2028. For brands, virtual events can serve not just as an alternative to traditional brand experiences, but can also help reach and engage new audiences.  With the opportunity to reach a fresh and expanded audience, as well as capture critical audience data and save on costs, virtual events are well on their way to becoming a staple in brand marketers’ toolbox.

According to Influencer Orchestration Network, 41% of marketers claim experiential as their top channel, and close to 75% of US marketers will use influencers for campaigns in 2022. With both tactics top-of-mind for brands this year, why not combine the two efforts and create a cohesive, omnichannel experience for consumers?

Why use influencers to promote virtual events?

Consumers most often follow influencers that they find relatable and trustworthy. As such, followers often have a lot of respect for the brands and products an influencer supports. In fact, about 61% of internet users look to influencer recommendations when making purchase choices. As a result, influencers are effective at persuading audiences to purchase or learn more about the brands they promote.


Influencer marketing data from VOE
July 14, 2019 by VELOCE – Statistics on Influencer Marketing


With those facts in mind, why wouldn’t brands leverage influencers to raise awareness of or promote attendance of a virtual event? Some of the biggest brands in the world are already doing so, such as Hermes, Chanel, and Fendi for Paris Fashion Week.

Fendi influencer marketing for events example

Hermes influencer marketing for events exampleChanel influencer marketing for events example

What Type of Influencer Should You Work With to Promote Your Virtual Event?

Don’t just reach out to anyone – there are many different types of influencers that you could work with. Influencers vary not just by the focus of their content, but also by the size of their audience. At large, there are four types of influencers:

  • Nano Influencers: less than 1k followers
  • Micro Influencers: 10K to 100K followers
  • Macro Influencers: 100K to 1M followers
  • Mega Influencers: more than 1M followers

The type of influencer you choose should be based on your goals.

For example, Mega and Macro influencers are best for raising brand awareness on a global scale as their following is larger and typically more diverse. On the other hand, nano and micro influencers have fewer followers, but often have a tight-knit, more engaged community. These types of influencers are best for brands who want to generate engagement or speak to a highly-targeted audience.

Before you dive in…the Basics Still Apply

Your influencer marketing strategy must meet the needs of your brand. Prior to engaging with influencers, make sure to:

  1.  Establish the objective you wish to achieve by working with an influencer – whether it be to raise awareness, increase attendance, etc.
  2. Define how you wish to work with the influencer. Do your research and look at the type of content they share and where their followers are most engaged. For example, you may have more success driving awareness with an in-feed Instagram post from an influencer whereas, with others, you’ll find better ROI by having an influencer speak about your brand in Instagram Stories.
  3. Outline how your brand will measure the success of the campaign. Will you use affiliate links or codes? Measure by number of impressions? Like any partnership, It’s important to be clear on how an influencer’s efforts will be evaluated.

Lastly, look for influencers that you can envision a long-term partnership with. Stable brand-influencer relationships helps build familiarity and trust with the influencer’s followers and allows your brand to become part of their community.

4 Ways to Incorporate Influencers into your Virtual Event Strategy

1. Use Reels

Instagram Reels are a great way to rapidly increase reach as they are (currently) favored by the Instagram algorithm and often come off as less promotional. When it comes to deciding upon a Reels strategy for your event and influencer, keep in mind your brand’s personality, as well as the influencer’s. If the influencer in question typically posts straight-forward, educational content, working with them to create a silly, dancing reel is less likely to generate the results you’re looking for. With a little bit of creativity, you can find a happy medium – content that achieves your brand’s objectives while staying true to an influencer’s core.

In the example below, travel influencer @coriefay promotes The Yacht Week by sharing a few clips from her experience the year prior.

INFLUENCER MARKETING EVENT EXAMPLE USING REELSinfluencer marketing for events example featuring instagram reelsinfluencer marketing example using reelsinfluencer marketing for events example featuring instagram reels

2. Post in real-time

For brands hosting a regular series of experiential, online events, allowing an influencer to post live event coverage is a great way to gain exposure and create conversation with their followers. This can be done by posting Instagram stories, tweeting event updates, or through an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitch livestream. Furthermore, live coverage is trending right now with over 80% of poll respondents favoring a livestream over a blog or social media post.

3. Use Polls and Engagement Options

Another way to drive awareness and traffic to your virtual event? Use influencers to poll their followers ahead of the event. Instagram stories provide poll and question box stickers that allow followers to share their thoughts directly. This can benefit brands not just with overall traffic, but can also provide valuable insights about this demographic and how to make the event, and future events, more appealing.

example of instagram engagement sticker

4. Keep the Event Alive with Recaps

After the event, enlist influencers to talk about the event and mention specific highlights on their channels. Brands can also leverage influencers for branded content on their site or social channels through guest blogs, videos, or other creative content that will extend the life of the event and its engagement.

For example, CBC client MegaFood worked with food influencer Kanchan Koya (@chiefspicemama) during our “What Matters” virtual campaign. After the campaign had ended, we enlisted Kanchan to share an on-brand healthy recipe to the MegaFood blog to continue driving traffic and engagement with the campaign following its conclusion.

megafood influencer marketing example post-event


Virtual events are here to stay, and using influencers to promote such events can give your brand a larger reach and – if done right – a greater event turnout.

Influencer marketing is constantly evolving – if you need help optimizing your influencer marketing strategy, we’d love to chat.

Twice a year, a group of researchers release the CMO Survey. The report unveils findings from top marketers at for-profit US companies with a mission “to predict the future of markets, track marketing excellence, and improve the value of marketing in organizations and society.”

It’s a valuable, albeit hefty, body of work that uncovers what are – or are soon to be – key trends for brands and marketers. Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy reading so you don’t have to; below are our 5 top insights from The CMO Survey that we think every brand should pay attention to.

1. It’s Time to Rethink Traditional Advertising

The study found that not only are marketing budgets universally on the rise – breaking 10% growth for the first time in a decade! – but marketers are also looking to spend more on traditional advertising in 2022 with an expected 2.9% increase over the next 12 months.

Advertising spend insights from the 2022 CMO Survey

Credit: The CMO Survey

With the lift of lockdown orders ushering people away from their devices, combined with increasingly stringent data privacy policies, now is the right time to go back to our marketing roots and test the effectiveness of radio, print, TV, outdoor, and direct mail advertising.

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider combining modern marketing tactics (influencers, user-generated content, etc.) or global causes with traditional mediums. 

Ubereats billboard ad example

UberEats is one of the few brands that has remained regularly active in the traditional advertising sphere and can serve as a model for other brands to aspire to. Combining modern marketing tactics, like influencer marketing, with traditional mediums, such as a billboard, they’ve been able to capture the attention and wallets of cord cutter generations.

2. Brands Are Taking a Harder Look at Influencers

Although marketers still predict growth in the influencer space, they are not nearly as bullish as they used to be, according to The CMO Survey. Influencers currently account for 5.6% of budgets, although marketers predict that will rise to 10.9% three years from now. For comparison, in 2020, influencer marketing spend was 7.5% of budgets, and marketers predicted it would rise to 12.7%.

Influencer marketing insights from the CMO Survey

Credit: The CMO Survey

The “less bullish” predictions for influencers suggest marketers are taking a harder look at these programs. At CBC, we’re seeing a higher demand for influencer marketing measurement and the ability to prove the value of influencer programs beyond vanity metrics. Moving forward, it’s going to be important that brands set up influencer programs in a way that directly ties back to business results. 

3. Significant Resources are Being Poured into Data Analytics

As an agency with an entire team dedicated to data analytics, this is news we can get behind. While investments in digital marketing have increased across the board, data-related activities experienced the largest reported growth, increasing almost 40%.

Data investment insights from the CMO survey

Credit: CMO Survey

Of particular interest among marketers is investment into capabilities that will allow brands to analyze, store, manage, and automate their data. As data collection and purchasing becomes more complex, MarTech stacks are also becoming more complex and companies need the proper technology to keep up.

These Martech investments also signal a need for marketers to upskill. With an increased investment in analytics, there will be more pressure on marketers to communicate results to the C-suite. Marketing teams need to be able to interpret the data and prove to the CFO that their marketing campaigns are worth the investment.

4. Lead Generation and Inbound Marketing are Top of Mind

Beyond MarTech, brands are becoming hyper-aware of the importance of data. The CMO Survey found that 58% of marketers are creating stronger data strategies to capture better information, and 50% are investing in innovations to engage with customers directly in the wake of changes to third-party data.

At CBC, we’re seeing this trend as well. We’ve been working with clients to help them build a strong library of first-party data as we anticipate the loss of third-party cookies (thanks, Apple and Google!) We suggest marketers devote resources into building creative lead-generation campaigns to collect customer information, allowing them to then engage with them on owned channels like website, email, and SMS.

Remember: asking for personal information is a tall order. The most effective lead generation campaigns will offer something of value in return, such an ebook, discount, or other form of a “freebie.” 

For example, for CBC client Scottish Rite Freemasonry, we created a printable Scottish Rite degrees poster to attract Freemasons to our campaign and to share their email address with us. These audience members are super fans of Freemasonry, eager to share and sport their Masonic affiliation, making it an attractive trade-off.


facebook ad example for scottish rite freemasonry

Example of lead generation campaign for Scottish Rite Freemasonry

5. Start Bragging About What Makes Your Product Better

B2C brands – listen up! 31% of marketers ranked “superior product quality” as the top customer priority – an increase from 0.0% in February 2020 to 39.3% for consumer packaged goods (CPG) specifically.

Product attributes ranked in order of importance by consumers from the CMO Survey

Credit: The CMO Survey

This trend aligns with the fact that consumers leaned into tried-and-true brand name products during their stress-induced pandemic shopping, pushing companies to shift funding away from innovation and into their core product lines.

If your organization isn’t necessarily a “tried-and-true” brand, consider refining your product quality messaging. In addition, it may be worth testing influencer campaigns that highlight product quality as a key selling point. 

Especially as we think about the rising inflation in the U.S., it’s likely brands will soon have to go above and beyond to prove their product is worth every cent.

To read the full CMO Survey report, click here. Like an idea shared here? Send us a note – we’d love to discuss further with you!