Event Marketing – Getting People to the Event
These days when you’re throwing a party and inviting friends/family you just send out a mass text or evite and most people respond promptly.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?
People are so busy these days with full schedules, computers, phones and smart watches competing for their attention. How do you get their attention? Well you need to surprise and delight people in creative ways to get them to your doorstep or website.
Start with a compelling marketing message that will engage people to act (i.e. RSVP or share on social media). If you already have your marketing message, fantastic you are ahead of most. If not, below are some questions and tips to help create a message that will provoke action.
Know your Target Market. Who is this person? What are their needs, problems, concerns, desires? What keeps them up at night?
Focus on the Target Market. It’s ALWAYS about them and how you are going to help them or make their life easier.
Be Bold. Position the product or service in a way that’s bold and imaginative; then use imagery and content that creates that vision.
Create Suspense. Don’t give them everything, leave some of the benefits of your product or service to the imagination. Create a campaign that identifies their problems and then leave them hanging…but just for a little bit.
Write like you Talk. Use a conversational, natural style of writing. It’s more personable and will appeal to your target audience.
MARKETING BEFORE THE EVENT
The following provides some platforms and tactics to get the word out, you don’t have to use them all BUT make certain you have a clear and concise message that gives people all the necessary information to RSVP & attend the event.
Email Marketing. Capitalize on your current email list, put some fun artwork together and link it to the RSVP site.
Event Webpage. Host it on your company website, create a Facebook event, use the Eventbrite platform (below example), or any other website as the ‘Go-To’ spot for event information. This content should be well-crafted that will entice people to RSVP. Also, limit the amount of steps needed to RSVP (name & email works just fine).
NOTE: Information to include on invites, website, and marketing pieces: event address, date, time, how to RSVP (email, website, phone), RSVP deadline, parking information and dress code (if there is one). After people RSVP, send a confirmation “Thank You” email including event details AND event hashtag encouraging them to share through social media channels.
“Go Old School.” The oldies but goodies: radio, newspaper, direct mailers, posters, hand out flyers to the public.
Leverage Influencers. Find people that influence decisions in your industry. Let them use the product or service prior to the event so they can tease the product to the target market.
Online Ads. Create artwork or text and pay to have posted on search engine sites like Google and Bing. You can set a dollar limit and not be surprised by a huge bill.
Online Calendars. Reach out to publications, radio stations, television. They all have websites that post community events.
Social Media. Choose the right platform for your product or service and target market. It’s not a “the more the merrier” sort of thing, choose wisely.
- Using Facebook ads? Target your exact demographic OR people who “like” a competing business with the same clientele. A Facebook event page is a great way to spread the word, as well as, an RSVP platform. Use high quality photos in png format.
- Fun imagery with text is a great way to build awareness. I like to use Canva.com to add text, plus they have templates already sized for social media platforms.
- Put press releases in your feed. Invite all of your connections in a direct message.
- Add images, be creative and concise with the 280 characters, don’t forget to create a hashtag for the event (first search to make sure it’s not already in use).
Use your network. Reach out to family, friends and past co-workers. Word-of-mouth can also be a powerful marketing tool.
MARKETING DAY OF EVENT
Red Carpet. If permitted, place it outside the venue near the entrance. This will bring some attention to the location. Even if it doesn’t bring people to the actual event, people will recall the hoop-la at the event and be more likely to remember you in the future.
Live Social Media. Post photos to your chosen social media platforms with live updates. This connects guests and leads their followers to a page full of posts all about the event AND your business.
Media Arrivals. Don’t forget to hand out the Media/Press kits with your business card to the local press that attends the event. Putting all of the information on a branded flash drive looks pretty snazzy too.
MARKETING POST EVENT
Many companies fail to follow-up after the launch event; the marketing is not over. This is when you REALLY start to bring on the charm and create clients for life.
Keep the Momentum. You’ll reach a lot of people at the launch party, but it often takes several touch points before someone is ready to buy. Make sure to follow-up with emails and phone calls.
Post Images. Post 10-20 of the best images of the event on the appropriate social media platforms. Most people like to see images of themselves having a great time.
Send Press Release. Send the press releases again with updated information about the event and 2-3 images of the event to the press that attended and the press that could not attend.
I hope these marketing tips were helpful, keep in mind this is a basic marketing plan. Should you want a more detailed plan PLEASE consult a professional for a plan that will provide your company the best exposure.
Content provided by Kim Ruggles, Owner of Kim Ruggles Events.