In 2019 Americans attended more events than ever before and event marketing has never been more imporatnt than now. There is no doubt about the fact that the american public 18+ loves attending events, wether its a conference or a music festival th event industry is booming. This increase has been beneficial to event marketing agencies, influencers and marketers that can leverage their services to help with brand building and event marketing efforts.
Event Marketing 101: A beginner’s guide to event promotion
Marketing an Event
The marketing of an event starts long before the event is scheduled. This helps to generate interest and get people to take an action that you want them to take. Hence, you need strategize and plan marketing activities. If you feel word-of-mouth and social media will suffice, you are mistaken. Even these activities require proper thought-process to make them a success.
To successfully market an event, you need to identify your goals and have objectives. You should know what the event is trying to do – launch a new product in the market, rebranding activity, build a loyal customer base, teach consumers how to use a product or create an additional stream of revenue.
Once you know the goal of the event, it becomes easier to set objectives that will allow you to mold your marketing efforts. Project management tools like Airtable and Asana are great to plan and organize all the tasks that need to be done leading to event day. Here are a few things that you can to do market your event:
Have a Written Event Marketing Strategy
It is essential to document your strategy as it gives you a clear picture of what activities you need to undertake. You will be able to plan the marketing process and also allows you to see what is aiding or obstructing your marketing efforts.
Constant Contact has a great article on Marketing Strategies and Ideas.
Create a Robust Event Marketing Budget
Even if you are relying on social media and word-of-mouth promotion, you should have a budget in place to market the event. Social media and your well-wishers will help spread the word about the event and ensure you can stretch your budget. For all other marketing activities, you will need money and that is where your budget comes into place. You can estimate what each activity would cost and ensure you stick to the budget.
Of course, an event planner needs to be mindful of the return on investment. You can ensure you get maximum bang for your money by checking historical data, knowing where to spend your money and ensure you can distinguish between must-haves and luxuries.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Strategies
You need to make a way to analyze and measure the effectiveness of your event marketing strategies. Otherwise, you will not know what is working to your benefit. Measuring the effectiveness allows you to ascertain return on investment.
You will need the right systems and processes in place for this. Wether its traffic to your landing page, rsvp or ticket sales leading up to the event, it is important to watch and adjust based on some metrics. Select your analytics platforms with care and know what vitals to look for when you trying to measure how well your marketing strategies are performing. Throughout the process, you will need to run A/B tests and optimize each strategy based on the results.
Choose Your Event Venue with Care
Selecting the right venue for your event is an essential part of event marketing. Here, you can then opt for content creation to leverage the information about the host city and venue to your advantage.
Assess the USP of the venue to determine what makes it different from other venues. Whether it is the history of the place, award-winning menu or captivating architecture, you need to be aware of it and use it in your marketing endeavors. In case the venue has a brand name that is recognizable, use it to your advantage. Link the venue’s brand to your event mission to help connect the dots for your target audience. Also, work with the venue to co-market your event. Use their local resources and content to connect with the local community and this will help expand your reach.
Create an Optimized Event Website
Put in efforts to make an event website that has optimized content for search engines. Some of the best tools for website building are Wix, Squarespace and Splashthat, WordPress is also a great option if you are looking for a more robust engine behind your site. Remember, even if you have done the SEO right, you will still have to depend on paid ads to ensure the content gets seen by interested parties. You can optimize your content with the right keywords only if you know your target audience well. Once you know what your audience is searching for online, it will be easier to use the right keywords. In case, you are clueless about keywords, educate yourself with the help of Google’s Keyword Planner or Keyword Explorer by Moz.
Ensure that the website is responsive so that you do not lose out on mobile device users. Above all, focus on the website content so that it provides enough information to intrigue visitors and compels them to reach out to you. The landing page or site should also have a social sharing option.
Prioritize Content Creation for your campaign
While content marketing takes time to reap the right results, you can build relationships and gain the trust of your target audience using it. You can create the content yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. The more you focus on creating content that is apt for your target audience, the higher the chances that your event will get noticed.
It is prudent to remember that content marketing for events is an ongoing activity. It should continue even after the event to build trust and relationship with your target audience. Undoubtedly, it is a powerful tool, but requires continuous dedication and effort before, during and after each event.
As an event marketing agency, you should not shy away from starting a blog that highlights the purpose and goals of the event. It will get you organic traffic and help you promote your content and indirectly the event on social media platforms. And, if you are successful in attracting micro-influencers and guest bloggers associated with your industry and local community, you will get free promotion as they will share their posts on their social media pages.
Every event marketing strategy begins well before an event is scheduled. You need a strong strategy in place so that you can market the event with ease. Remember, when you focus on content creation, be it for the website, blogs, banners, or other promotional materials, you will be able to engage your target audience from very beginning. Your audience then will spread the word about your event and you can do the rest with the help of your carefully curated and planned strategies.