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Opinion: Harnessing the Power of Influencers During Festival Season

With the festival season well underway throughout Ireland, Catherine O’Connor of Elevate PR offers some tips to brands when it comes to dealing with influencers and content creators at a busy time of the year.

The festival season kicked off in style recently with Forbidden Fruit. With Taste of Dublin, All Together Now, The Big Grill and Electric Picnic around the corner, we wanted to examine the power of influencer and content creator activity at festivals to engage with the Gen Z audience. In an era dominated by social media and digital content, influencer campaigns have emerged as a game-changing strategy for brands to connect with this demographic.  When combined with the immersive and vibrant atmosphere of festivals, influencer and content creator campaigns become a vital tool for brands to authentically engage with the Gen Z audience and establish meaningful connections. It’s a tool we are very familiar with at Elevate PR and have successfully implemented influencer festival campaigns for clients such as Schweppes and Regatta Great Outdoors.

Festivals are cultural touchstones for the older cohort of Gen Z in the 16–24 year demographic, offering a blend of music, art, fashion, and experiences that resonates deeply with their interests and aspirations. Live Nation talks about pre and post-concert promotion as is an increasing opportunity for brands, as it allows them to offer a full 360 approach to the festival including festival preparation, attendance and recovery. 90% of live music fans believe that brands enhance the live experience, and 79% of global live music goers agreed that the experience extends well beyond the actual event (source Live Nation).

Catherine O’Connor

Here are our top tips and reasons why brands should consider working with influencers during festival season;

Relatable and authentic content: Successful influencers know their audience. They have an innate ability to create relatable and authentic content that resonates with their followers. Be thorough in choosing influencers who align with the brand’s values and target audience. Leverage the influencer’s creativity and storytelling skills to craft compelling narratives. Influencers bring a genuine and personal touch to brand messaging, making it more relatable and impactful.

Paid-for versus contra-deal:  There are two ways brands can work with influencers in a festival setting. The first is on a paid-for basis which includes a campaign fee, contract and briefing document. Be rigorous on contracts and deliverables, be prepared to pay a premium to put paid spend behind the influencer’s content, have approval groups set up to get content up in real time, and consider supplying a videographer for an extra professional finish. The second is on a contra-deal basis, which sees the brand gift the influencers tickets to the festival in return for social media support. The brand has less control in this case as a campaign fee, contract and briefing document are not shared.

Trust and credibility:  Gen Z seeks recommendations and guidance from people they trust. Influencers, with their engaged follower base, have established a level of trust and credibility within their communities. Partnering with influencers at festivals allows brands to tap into that trust and extend their reach to a receptive audience.

Amplifying brand visibility:  Influencers attending festivals can capture and share moments in real-time, creating a sense of FOMO amongst their followers. By integrating brands into their festival experiences through sponsored posts, takeovers, or live streams, influencers can amplify brand visibility and generate buzz among their dedicated fan bases.

Targeted reach and engagement:  Influencers possess a deep understanding of their audience’s preferences, interests, and behaviours. Brands can leverage this knowledge by collaborating with influencers whose followers align with their target demographic. Influencer campaigns at festivals enable brands to reach a highly targeted audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement, conversions, and brand loyalty.

Influencer campaigns at festivals have become a strategic imperative for brands seeking to engage the older Gen Z. By leveraging the relatability and authenticity of influencers, brands can amplify their visibility, foster trust and credibility, and create memorable experiences that resonate with their target audience. We are putting festival activations in place this year for clients including Regatta Great Outdoors and Schweppes, which involve intensive planning and rigorous measurement and attention to detail.

Catherine O’Connor is a senior account executive with Elevate PR

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