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Beyond the stories and reels there’s real life. How and why should you activate influencers offline?

2023 is the year influencer marketing has reached a comfort zone: there are a few classic recipes you can use in digital and know you’ll get some results. And yet, this strategy might not be enough for the first few years out of isolation: for consumers, outdoor is becoming increasingly important. We believe that 2023 is the year that brands need to build much stronger offline influencer engagement.

At Minio, over the years, we’ve built up solid know-how in this area, which we’ll share with you, along with tips to spark your imagination for your future offline influencer campaigns.

Recipe for successful activation

To succeed in building a project of the scale of an outdoor event you need to be able to mix the classic elements of marketing with the new trends in advertising, then sprinkle in a bit of the influencers’ personal touch.

From digital to phigital campaigns with influencers

The beginning of influencer participation in campaigns consisted of small steps, such as unboxings & giveaway contests, where fashion & beauty influencers like Rachel Reviews  helped brands get a visibility boost. Then it moved on to long-term paid partnerships, such as influencers like Robert Ștefănescu & Cătălin Ionuț, who communicate for FANTA & Pepsi.

However, to step into the big league of influencer marketing, it’s important to go beyond online and explore outdoor. Activations such as influencer events are becoming increasingly popular for brands looking for complex campaigns. As well as being an unmissable opportunity for networking, it’s also a great opportunity to bring audiences closer to the product and build loyalty. In this case, influencers will act as a link between brand and target, converting their online communities into actual traffic to the event.

This is exactly what happened with the glo activation at the Massif Festival where, in addition to the classic prize competitions, they also integrated an influencer component. Christina Oné, Speak and Otravă (Cristian Șimonca) were the ones in charge of keeping the atmosphere going and attracting an active audience through their communities. The magic ingredient was imagination, which gave birth to a festival fashion contest powered by Christina, and for Speak they went for a classic meet & greet approach.

Festivals, the most visible place for activations

For brands everywhere, festivals are seen as a realm of possibilities, but as appealing as the idea may seem, it’s as complicated to put a successful activation into practice. The bold approach is not enough to attract thousands of people to attend such an event. To see how important it is to have a well thought-out strategy when developing such a campaign, you can look at brands like Heineken. It came up with interactive and amplified influencer activations at the Coachella festival in 2019.

Heineken House Evolution was created to engage audiences with the brand, giving them an unforgettable experience. To achieve this, Heineken teamed up with several influencers to entertain, artists such as Diplo & The Roots, and actors like Glen Powell made an appearance among fans.

Our example, straight from the Minio Studio portfolio, comes with insights from the Durex campaign, for which we created the Durex G-Spot @Untold Festival activation. This consisted of building a 12 meter tower that we called the G-spot. *wink wink* Together with the brand, we wanted to bring awareness and contextualization on sexual protection and safety in a setting that often makes you forget about rules and potential consequences.

For amplification, three of the biggest influencers in Romania were integrated: Selly, Bromania and Laura Giurcanu, who livestreamed, generating posts that reached over 300,000 users organically, and those present at the festival could even meet them near the tower.

The campaign proved that it was able to find its target audience effectively, with the results bringing us a Bronze at Webstock 2020 in the Best Experiential Campaign category.

Off-season outdoor activations

At this point you’re probably thinking that brand activations only makes sense in the summer season, where there are a lot of events going on that provide an opportunity for brand campaigns. But fear not, we’re here to bring you the best influencer marketing ideas.

Outdoor is about creating opportunity, not waiting

One of the occasions we used this strategy was for Casa CeraVe, a GenZ event where we targeted young people who are struggling with acne and invited them to join us for several consultation sessions. The participating audience was able to discuss with dermatologists, nutritionists and psychologists the fears they face in a creative yet professional approach.

Food and skin are closely related, but we think you know what it’s like to crave something sweet at three in the morning and have nothing in the fridge. That’s why we created the Fii Chef peste Desert campaign where we teamed up with Chef Dexter to make the most mouth-watering Oreo, Milka and Philadelphia quick snacks. But wait, there`s more! We also supported the campaign with an outdoor activation with two of our most loved influencers, Ela Crăciun and Ioana Puiu, who invited some of their lucky followers to a Candy Bar event to taste the dishes together.

We go to the mall to activate influencers

It may seem like an abstract idea, but it’s an approach that works for today’s consumer audience. We invite you to take a look at our campaign for the launch of MINISO in Veranda Mall. Such an effervescent brand deserved to have an event to match, so we brought in Maria Vigheciu, Sânziana Sooper and Sore to join in with the little ones, creating live content for their Social Media platforms.

The adventure doesn’t stop there, because the next mall to enjoy influencer activations was SUN Plaza. Alongside the client, we brought people a new AR app that we promoted through a treasure hunt powered  by Mimi și Zbâr. We don’t want to say “We told you so!“, but with this campaign we won three awards (two Silver at Romanian PR Award 2020 and a Bronze at Webstock).

When furry friends take their masters outdoors

Influencer activations often have surprise elements, whether it’s other people they bring, their own children or pets. So Hill`s brand’s decision to partner with Dana Rogoz, Andreea Retinschi and Răzvan Fodor for their annual campaigns was not long in coming. The campaign also generated a Webstock nomination for Best Influencer Campaigns. And yet, the real influencers were actually their dogs & cats, but shhh.

Why is it important to work with influencers?

According to Shane Braker, brands that have collaborated on their activations with influencers have seen a significant increase in sales. Nearly 26% of consumers surveyed said their decision to buy a particular product was influenced by the public personas involved in those campaigns.

Smart Insights, talks about that 51% of marketers currently find the strategy of working with influencers in activation campaigns beneficial, due to the fact that the information reaches a significantly larger audience that, over time, is retained by the influencer’s actions towards the brand they are promoting.

Influencer campaigns can be highly interactive and one-off outdoor activations even more fun. However, remember that the choice will always be made based on feedback from the client and the target audience at the time. If the audience can’t identify with the campaign message and the chosen influencer, be prepared to write some very-very long emails.

Until next time, look beyond online. See yaa!