10 Expert Tips On How To Market Your Event
Planning an event for your business can be stressful and confusing. We have put together a brief guide to managing a successful event. This can serve as a launching pad for you and your team! What else would you add to the list?
Marketing Budget - Wow, this list got very real, very fast. You need to sit down with your team, client, event manager, or whoever, and determine a budget. How much are you willing to spend to promote your event? A few categories in your budget might include: online advertising (eg. Google AdWord campaign), social advertising (eg. Facebook ads), traditional routes (radio, newspaper, TV), design costs, and printed ads (posters, etc.). Additionally, seek out as much free advertising as you can! (Read on for more details).
Social Media Strategy - Who is coordinating the social voice of your event? What platforms will you be using? You’ll need to create an editorial calendar of blogs, posts, and Facebook event updates. Additionally, an event hashtag is a great way to generate hype! Use it from the beginning to send a clear message.
Facebook Event - Is a Facebook Event right for your gathering? If you’re trying to spread the word to a diverse community, Facebook is the place for you. Just remember, you’ll have to find a few social influencers who can invite their friends.
Blogs - You’ll want to blog a few times about your event. One comprehensive blog to introduce the event and include all the details (like a press release), some blogs featuring people/attractions at your event, and a follow-up blog to thank attendees. The follow-up blog is a great place to share photos and introduce the next big item on your calendar.
Print Materials - Physical, printed materials are great tools to reaching your audience. Printed materials may include posters, postcards, handwritten notes, business cards, news ads, flyers, banners, and more. When you are deciding which print materials to pursue, consider these factors: cost, time to print, distribution strategy, traditional vs. innovative audience, quantity of reach, and geography of reach. You also may want some printed materials at your event to remind people of the event hashtags, your social handles, etc.
Press Releases - In some arenas, the press release is dead. But, depending on your event, it can be a powerful tool! For example, in a small town where the newspaper is widely read, a compelling press release can reach a wide audience. Tip: To save yourself some time, turn your press release into a blog with just a few tweaks!
Call Upon Your Influencers - This is where marketing gets messy, dynamic, and fun. Influencers are people who are passionate about your brand/business/event, and have a large social network. Social Influencers may be City Council Members, popular musicians, PTA Presidents, local business owners, etc. When these influencers promote your event to their following, they put their stamp of approval on the event, which means a lot!
Leverage Strategic Partners - Who else is involved in your event? Whether it’s a food vendor, unique venue, or a performer, find a way to engage those strategic partners. They have their own social network, and you can reach even more people by leveraging that. Some ideas to leverage them: tag them in Facebook posts, interview them for blogs, drop printed materials at their place of business, share their posts about the event.
Hit The Streets - There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned coffee date or knock on your door. Engage with your ideal audience by going to them, speaking to them directly, and engaging them in the event. Be sure you do so strategically, because it can be quite time consuming.
Photographs - Be sure to document the event itself so you can talk about it later. Even better, you can use those photos to market your next event as well!