Get More Leads And Brand Exposure With Event Marketing
Online or offline, events and event marketing are a great way to promote your brand and services. Not sure where to start? Well, events can be anything from webinars and open houses to all kinds of experiential marketing and even tradeshows.
Added bonus – the opportunity to increase awareness of your brand doesn’t just start or end with the event itself. Every one of your event marketing efforts leading up to, and after the event, has a role to play. And they should be tailored to the audiences you want to attract.
The Lead Up To The Event
If you’ve got an email list of clients, prospects, supporters, and/or possible supporters, etc. – send them a beautifully designed invitation and updates about your event. Include information about the format, location, speakers, special guests, etc.) and emphasize the value for attendees – what exactly are they going to take away?
Be sure to follow up with updates if there any new exciting details about the event that would be useful to share. And send a reminder closer to the event itself. If you’ve got a regular newsletter that you send out, you can simply add this content there so that you don’t overdo it with your outreach.
Now for those who you don’t know, but would still like to have at your event (think influencers), you can also try inviting them to your event with a great email. Comp their ticket and in return, you’ll expand your network strategically and might get some great coverage!
Make The Most Of Your Owned Media
Now that we’ve got some email marketing out of the way let’s talk about your other forms of owned media (things that you have control over like your website, blog, and social media profiles).
On your website, as part of your event marketing you can consider adding a new slider or banner to advertise that your event is coming up. You can also promote your speakers, really cool venue and any other elements that you think will be a draw. Try rolling out regular updates to highlight each of these details rather than cramming them into one crowded design.
For even more impact and engagement have a separate page on your website dedicated to your event. In addition to all your event details, include an FAQ section on this page. And link your banners and sliders to it, as well as any ads you may consider running. Be sure to update all your social media profiles with this event specific page link as well.
By having a separate page dedicated to your event you’ll be able to collect important metrics on where you’re getting clicks from.
With your blog, you can try your hand out at some content marketing. Consider profiling different participants in your event, asking your speakers to write guest blogs, sharing the history behind it, or creating a list of great upcoming events for your readers to check out. Give yours a prominent place in the list 😉
Incorporate images and infographics that reinforce the value of your event. And link back to the dedicated event page on your site.
Go Full Force On Social
On your social media profiles, you’ll want to post regular updates and make sure that your cover and profile images are updated to promote your event. Also, get some event-specific hashtags ready that you use when you make your posts.
Use those hashtags with all of your regular posts and also with Facebook and Instagram Stories. With the Stories feature in particular you’ll want to show behind the scenes, sneak peeks into your event and share event details and updates. Especially since Instagram stories are being used by 500 Million people every day. There’s a good chance that at least some of your target audience is amongst them.
On Facebook, there’s another useful tactic to use and that’s setting up an event page. With an event page, you’ll be able to keep your attendees updated with all kinds of content – images, videos, and reminders. To get your event page up and running, get an image sized appropriately for the event page’s dimensions – 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Use Paid Media To Drum Up Some Leads
Paid media involves a paid placement of content. Think social media ads, PPC ads, and branded content. Since you can set up ads to achieve certain types of goals, they can help you with driving traffic to your event page (on Facebook or your website) or generating sign-ups.
Carousel Ads are great for event marketing as you can include multiple images and highlight different aspects of your event. Things like location, date and time, speaker names, an overview of the agenda and details about takeaways from the event.
Geo-targeting, also known as local PPC, is also a great method to try if you’re hosting an offline event. Your event is really only relevant to those who will attend because they either live, work, or spend their free time in the proximity of your event venue. So make sure you’re focusing on attracting them by maximizing your local PPC efforts.
Go Strong During Your Event
Be sure to share live updates from your event using your event hashtags. You can also cheat a little and have some designs prepared in advance. Post them with captions that sound spontaneous.
This can be helpful if your attendees have the option to drop into your event at any time. With posts ready to share about upcoming sessions or performances or whatever it might be, you’ll be able to continue to draw in participants. Making sure that all your live posts go out in a timely way will require you to have at least one person dedicated to this task. If you’ve got a really lean team you can encourage guests to take pictures of the event and post them with your event hashtag so that you have ample user-generated content to retweet.
If you’re going to have giveaways, make sure they’re something that your guests won’t throw away. And place your logo/branding elements in a prominent place. Swag that is functional is a great investment, as your attendees will be reminded of your brand every time they use it. But if you really can’t come up with a great idea, you might just be better off investing your budget into another aspect of your event.
After The Event
From event recap blogs to social media posts to share highlights, memorable quotes and thank you messages to your speakers, attendees, and volunteers – there’s a ton of ways you can keep the engagement going, even after your event. And if you’ve got any more events coming up, your post-event recaps can also be a great way to lead into the next set of event promos you have lined up.