Business events are linked to various benefits, an integral part of the success formula in this day and age. Then again, to make the most out of them, you cannot just let the chips fall where they may. Instead, you have so many moving parts to keep a close eye on. One key aspect you must not lose sight of is event promotion.
By Sean Lockwood
It revolves around the process of promoting brand, products, and services via in-personal interactions and (offline and online) marketing channels. Reach your objectives is extremely difficult without showing a good amount of foresight, due diligence, and strategic planning. The main purpose is to generate buzz and make people flock to take part without breaking the bank in the process.
Know what you want to accomplish
To get the show on the road, set up a promotion plan and establish clear and tangible goals. Do you want to maximize ticket sales, do some branding, or attract new clients? Once you determine the purpose, identify key indicators to measure the success of the event. For instance, if you plan to launch online campaigns, you might want to track click-through rates, engagement rates, social media impressions, paid ad performance, etc. In any regard, remain flexible and be prepared to tweak your ideas based on the insights. Have access to vital data at all times.
Get to know your audience
Furthermore, it is of the utmost importance to know who you are targeting. You cannot afford to have your messages fall on deaf ears and waste your precious marketing dollars. What good would your expensive social promotion do if you are trying to reach people who do not even frequent social networks? So, do a thorough research and uncover habits, preferences, and wants of your target audience. Acquired facts and figures will help you make informed decisions when it comes to allocation of resources.
Channeling the messages
Once your goals and measurements are sorted out, you have to select the right channels and set the promotion plan into motion. There are so many options at hand, yet no one-size-fits-all solutions. The best shot you have is to employ omnichannel marketing. Namely, bear in mind that modern event marketing encompasses a wide array of disciplines, including social media, email, direct mail, PR, SEO, and other marketing tactics. Weigh their pros and cons and come up with an integrated approach that maximizes the former and offsets the latter.
Utilize existing marketing assets
It would also be wise to leverage your existing marketing resources and activities, rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel. The opportunities to tap into audiences that are already following your channels abound. For instance, you can add a few promotional posts to your business blog and feature event information on your webinars. Likewise, feel free to interview the speakers and highlight videos on your social profiles. Create a sense of anticipation before the event. Align different channels and create a synergy between them.
Keep on promoting during the event
What many marketers overlook is that promotion does not seize upon opening doors to eager attendees. You need to sustain buzz over the course of the big day. There might be a lot of people who were unable to come, yet are interested in what is going on. Thus, give them a chance to participate remotely, via live streaming of the event. Task your community managers with posting live tweets, images, and behind-the-scenes videos. Encourage participants to act as your ambassadors and share their impressions via tailor-made hashtags.
Engage in post-event marketing
Your work is not done when the event comes to an end and the dust settles— far from it. Post-event marketing holds the key to reaping a variety of long-term benefits from your event marketing efforts and events themselves. It is a good idea to do everything you can to stay on top of people’s minds before the next event comes around. If you did your homework and collected videos, photos, testimonials, blog comments and other types of content, now is the time to put it to good use. Compile promotional materials such as video recaps to effectively re-engage people.
Making big waves
Event marketing is a versatile and powerful business strategy that is constantly gaining traction. The only problem is that promoting a business event of any scope can be a daunting task. It crosses multiple disciplines and requires a hefty investment of time, money, and effort. That being said, a sound plan and strategy tend to work wonders for you. So, take your time to set your goals in advance and get smart about marketing channels. Tool up and make sure to cover all the bases. You should be able to increase attendance rates, build stronger relationships, and leave a lasting impression on people.
Sean Lockwood is an IT expert with years of experience. He covers all aspects of IT like programming, photoshopping and other effects. He has spent some time in the field of security and is still helping other companies with the same. In his free time, he loves to enjoy extreme sports and his two German Shepherds.
This post originally appeared on SmallBizDaily.com