If you offer people what they want, they will come. Whether it’s free stuff, fun games, a service, you name it. And once they’re there – with your branding on full display – you can yield some smashing results for your business. That’s event marketing, folks.
So without further ado, this is the ultimate guide to the magical world of event marketing. Some of you might be fascinated. The rest of you might be rolling your eyes. But here’s one thing we can all agree on, this is essential stuff.
If you’re planning an event, make it a love letter to what you do. This is your moment to tell the world why your event and your business is important and why we’d all be fools to miss it.
We’ve got lots of valuable links and other pieces of expert advice along the way. So print this off, bookmark it, whatever your poison is, because this is advice you’re going to want to take with you. Now let’s get to it!
What is Event Marketing and Why is it Important
Event marketing is a face-to-face interaction between a business and customers or a business and other business. They come in all shapes, sizes and styles. From mega conferences to intimate workshops, it’s an umbrella term for corporate events for ambitious organisations.
Yes, we’re here to talk about event marketing. But we’ve also written an ultimate guide to corporate event planning itself. You never know, it might be worth your while.
The type of event will depend on what you’re trying to achieve and who your target audience is. It could be a pop-up stand at a shopping mall where you offer free demos of your product. Perhaps it’s a weekend of summer inflatable games in a popular public space. Regardless, the possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.
There are several reasons why you should get involved with event marketing, from creating direct business to increasing your brand awareness or even for valuable market research.
For example, 95% of marketers believe that live events lead to genuine business leads. Furthermore, 93% of event marketers believe that live events lead to valuable one-on-one customer engagement. And further still, the research shows that 64% of event marketing leads to increased brand awareness.
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How to Make a Flawless Event Marketing Plan
- Know Your Goals: Big projects can seem daunting. It’s not uncommon to feel lost and hopeless in the middle of it all.
But a simple and effective event marketing tip is to start with clear goals and objectives. Thereafter, every decision made during the process has a solid reference point.
Everything you do should be in aid of fulfilling your goals and objectives. For example, it could be as simple as making as much revenue from ticket sales as possible. Or it could be to increase traffic revenue to your website or your social media profiles.
- Know Your Audience: Firstly, you need to know the kind of person most likely to attend your event and engage with your brand.
That starts with key demographic information like their age, where they live, what they do, what they like. If you can figure out what appeals to them, you can already get an idea in your head of the event type that will increase their engagement.
After that, it’s a simple case of finding out what platforms they visit and making those platforms your primary areas to attack with content.
If you’re struggling with this, don’t panic. We’ve written a guide on how to know your target audience, too.
- Create an Event Website: From posting up to date news on your event to attendee registration. A website for your event is essential. And of course, you need to put up some enviable content of what they could be missing!
But first things first. Your website has to look professional, and it has to be easily navigable. An outdated and unhelpful website will frustrate potential guests and reflect poorly on your organisation as a whole.
- Create a Social Media Content Strategy and Pipeline: Our time is precious, and so is yours, so we don’t want to repeat ourselves. But our very next section is on this very crucial stage. We’ll see you there very shortly.
- Partner Outreach: We’re not going to bore you with cliched lone wolf analogies. But we all know that doing things together makes life easier, and in terms of event marketing, it can definitely make things better. Whether it’s event collaborations or brands that compliment what you’re doing, this can be instrumental in bridging a gap between new people and potential attendees.
It could be as simple as getting in popular confectioners or caterers to provide the snacks, or even just fun gimmicks such as arcade games. If you can promise a good platform, people will be biting their arms off to be a part of what you’re doing.
It could also be a great way to build the kudos and allure of your brand and event with a cool or impressive partner. Alternatively, sponsorships could be a way to fund your event, your advertising, or subside cheaper ticket prices. For more information, check out our guide to growing event sponsorship.
- . Paid Promotion: It’s a pretty simple concept. You can guarantee exposure to your target audience if you pay for it. It all starts with knowing who your target audience is and what kind of content they consume.
There’s always paying for promotion on Google. It is worth it – if you’re stuck on the second result page, you’re all but lost. Then there’s traditional print and billboard media too. You have a lot of worthwhile options here.
- Make Your Event Influencer Friendly: Believe it or not, but 70% of millennials trust influencers over celebrity endorsements. If an influencer turns up, their followers probably will too.
Event Marketing Infographic via Gleecontent
Social Media and Event Marketing Plan Promotion
- Create a content strategy and content pipeline: There’s a lot to be said about improvising and learning as you go. But when it comes to your social media marketing, build a solid plan, and stick to it.
Your strategy should convey what your event is and why your specific target audience should engage in it. No more, no less.
- Post a countdown: Like a master film director building suspense, an experienced event marketer will build excitement and desire for their events with an event countdown. And for extra suspense, be sure to make a countdown for your ticket sale release too.
- Create an event page on Facebook: Like having a website, this is a great place to keep people informed on up to date news and sell tickets. But it has the extra feature of allowing people to add comments, talk to each other, and share on other people’s timeline. This way, you have prospective attendees marketing your event for you!
- Post teasers with necessary details: Mystery works. A bit of mystery will always draw people in. Even the thought of not knowing something can have a casual viewer suddenly hooked. So whether it’s a location update, a release date, a guest speaker, anything, tease it. It’ll work.
- Create a memorable hashtag: It’s easier said than done but totally worth it.
- Do a giveaway/contest: If you offer people things, they will share your content. That’s just a fact of the internet. A small goodie bag or a free ticket for some guaranteed exposure across a lot of timelines is a bargain. Plus, the thought of getting something for free gets people excited. That good feeling is exactly what you want to generate around your event.
- Keep your posting slow and steady: There’s nothing worse than being relentlessly bombarded by generic and repetitive content. Look at your content pipeline, and don’t overwhelm people.
And if you’re hungry for more info on promoting an event on social media, then yes, you’ve guessed it. We’ve written a guide on that too!
How to Produce an Original Event Marketing Blog
We’re proud of what we do. We love writing unique and helpful content relating to corporate events. Just check out our journal. It’s brimming with helpful information.
Writing a blog is a great way to keep folk up to date with what’s going on. It builds excitement, and if it’s honest and interesting, it can create a personal attachment to your event. And if you can create an engaging report on your last event, people will make sure they don’t miss your next one!
Plus, to get more technical – and less romantic – if you can write it with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in mind, it can lead to your website rising in Google’s search rankings.
Blog writing is a great skill to learn. If it’s something you’re interested in, we recommend checking out this beginner’s guide by Yoast. And you can also learn how to write with an SEO state of mind with helpful resources such as Verblio.
Our Best Event Marketing Ideas and Tips
- Rebrand Social Media profiles for your event: If you’re willing to overhaul the aesthetic and drive of your social media profiles for your event, it says to the public that your event is no minor thing. It tells your followers and everyone else that this is the big time!
- Use email marketing: Email marketing is one of the oldest methods of business communication since the advent of the internet. And you know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. All you need is a list of interested followers to send your updates to. You can send regular updates on early bird ticket prices, guest speakers, and so on.
- Offer early-bird discounts: We all love a bargain. And for all the people who are merely contemplating attending your event, a little discount might be the thing that gets them parting with their cash.
- Find event collaborators: If you have collaborators investing their time and possibly money into your event, it will be in their interest to market your event too. Share the work and the work becomes easier. It’s as simple as that.
- Include guest speakers/performers: Some attendees might come to your event on the reputation of the guest speaker alone. If they happen to engage with your brand while you’re there, then it’s a double bonus!
- Offer mini-events within your event: Of course, the main event is your main events. But offering other fun activities like arcades, quality food and drinks, performers, product demos and so on is a great way to show your event has depth and is worth the day out.
- Create last-minute promotion and engagement tactics: We know that it’s a long process, and by the end, you might be a bit fatigued. But it’s great to brainstorm some last-minute promotional gimmicks that will capture wavering and unsuspecting attendees. How about a last-minute competition to stoke engagement?
And for some inspiration, check out our tips for generating website traffic with social media.
So, in conclusion, know what you’re trying to achieve with your event marketing. Know who you’re trying to market to, and be sure to have fun with it! By following our steps and adding your seasoning, we’re positive you’re going to find success. If you’d like to test another approach, we also recommend trying the SOSTAC model.
It might be a lot to take on, but this is all-important stuff. And it’s all doable. Remember, this is just a guide. If you come up with some revolutionary ideas of your own, then go with them. Just be sure to share them with us too!
If you want to get in touch for more advice, to talk venues, or to let us know how you got on with our guide, we’d love to hear from you!
Featured image: Stunning Event Space Flooded With Palm Trees via Spacehuntr