8 Surefire Event Marketing Strategies
The event landscape has evolved tremendously and is expected to continue growing. So, it is increasingly important to make prospective attendees are aware of your upcoming event – and keep them aware of it. Event marketing has never been more critical, and the variety of event marketing options has never been more diverse.
It may seem imposing, at first; especially when you consider all the effort that went into organizing your event. Now you have to put in as much effort promoting it? Only if you want it to be successful. Fortunately, some tried-and-true methodologies can help spread the word about your event.
Utilize Event Marketing Software
Event marketing software incorporates tools that simplify the planning, logistics, and execution of an event (many include a lead management element, as well). This helps event teams manage an event from start to finish.
When selecting an event marketing software, you need to be aware of not only the goals for your events but your company’s broader objectives, as well. You don’t want to buy a solution that has pricey aspects your company will never use, but you also don’t want a system that has too few options, which will eventually frustrate you because of its limitations. Look for a solution that:
Is scalable so you can upgrade as your needs change
Offers mobility – you need a cloud-based solution that seamlessly integrates with tablets and phones
Can integrate with essential systems, such as finance, CRM, sales, etc., to avoid having to manually enter data twice (dual entry increases the potential for errors)
Is flexible and can adjust to your team’s and company’s needs
An effective event marketing software package can revolutionize the way teams manage and measure their events. It will help you set marketing goals and measure their effectiveness, coordinate with sales team’s objectives, and improve and measure the experience you deliver to current customers and potential prospects.
Know How Your Audience Uses Social Media
Every social media platform has its own quirks. Knowing and understanding those quirks is essential to reach your specific audience.
Begin by creating a hashtag that is specific and identifiable to your event and using it in all social media communications. Make sure your event is easily shareable on the registration page. Offer rewards for people who like and share content on Twitter. Incentivize attendees who become fans of the event on Facebook. Share videos of past expos or talks from featured speakers on Instagram.
By carefully monitoring and engaging on social media, you can ensure that your event remains in the conversation while helping to keep the chatter positive.
Provide Valuable Content
Whether you refer to it as content marketing, inbound marketing, or an entirely different term, providing useful content to your audience is an incredibly beneficial technique that can showcase your importance to potential attendees and draw them toward your brand and event.
For this technique to work, you need to create content that will be valuable to your audience. This isn’t promotional material, meaning it’s not pitched in a way that sells your brand or event. Instead, it promotes you as a thought leader and someone who can deliver value.
It is a way to earn not just interest but loyalty from your audience, as opposed to purchasing it through expensive ad buys.
Use Retargeting Campaigns
A retargeting campaign enables you to display ads to anyone who has engaged with your brand online.
Many people who visit your event or registration page do not register on their first visit. However, the fact that they stopped by that page is reason enough to give them a gentle nudge every now and then.
Retargeting works by placing a cookie on a visitor’s computer. Cookies are pieces of code that web servers use to put information on someone’s browser. It’s this little bit of information that enables sites to direct targeted ads specific to one person when he or she visits other websites.
Event planners have a wealth of useful data on hand, and a retargeting campaign is an effective method of nudging past attendees who may have fallen off the map or potential sponsors with reminders that a deadline is approaching.
Retargeting is an incredibly powerful tool that is that is still under-utilized in the event industry. Employing a retargeting campaign could give your event a commanding edge over the competition.
Don’t Forget About Real-World Signage
Since the vast majority of marketing today is virtual, it is easy to overlook the effectiveness of physical advertisements.
If your audience is relatively local, physical signage is a no-brainer. However, even if you have a crowd that travels from out of town, adding a sign or several is not entirely out of the question. Is there a geographic area with a large concentration of potential attendees? Or would it be advantageous to promote the event around the local area where it is being held?
Signage is not strictly limited to billboard-style signs. You can get creative with your signage by employing a building or car wrap or using sidewalk graphics. All of these options include the benefit of getting people talking on social media.
Work with Your Speakers and Presenters
People who speak at events want to promote their upcoming presentations, and you want to promote your upcoming speakers. Working in tandem is a win-win.
Of course, you will include all speakers on the event’s website and in any printed materials, but you will also want to start conversations on social media. Help (or encourage) your speakers to produce short videos that you both can circulate on your various social media platforms. This will benefit your event in a couple of ways: marketing (obviously) and your speakers will appreciate the efforts you take to promote their appearance – the better you treat your speakers, the more likely they are to return again when you ask.
Be a Storyteller
Social media is mostly thought of as a way to get short, quick messages out into the world, but, it can be helpful to think of those messages as parts of a single brand narrative. If you can get audiences invested in your story, you are more likely to convert a “maybe” to a “yes” and an attendee into a brand ambassador.
By providing your audience with a real, meaningful story, one that is honest and affecting, you will get them invested in your narrative, your brand, and your event.
When the Event Stops, Your Marketing Continues
As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” Well, when the door to your event closes, it opens an incredible marketing opportunity. That’s because you now have a wealth of content to share with your followers: pictures, videos, clips from presentations, and award/raffle winners are just some ideas. You can also send out thank you messages to sponsors – and include how they made the event special.
If you manage this content correctly, you can keep the conversation about this year’s event going until you are ready to begin discussing next year’s show.
When it comes to event marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all option. However, by finding out which of the above options works best for you and your event, you’ll soon generate the interest you need and achieve the event of your dreams.
For even more marketing tips and help with all aspects of your upcoming event, give Event Architecture a call at 972-323-9433.