Regardless of how successful an event you have put up, the event selling itself on its own is still hard. This can often be a little frustrating for us all. A successful event marketing strategy plays a crucial role in getting that ‘sold out’ tag for an event, and that can only be done if you have an effective communication plan. Various means of communication can be used to market the event to the right audience, such as word of mouth, print, digital media, and emails. Furthermore, a good and effective strategy will ensure a lasting impression on your audience.
Every event is different and will require different variables to be taken into account based on things such as its budget, scale, and target market. However, there are some common elements that could guide you into making an effective communication calendar.
Stage 1: Pre-Event
One of the most common errors that event marketers make is before they have started prepping for the event. They often forget that they can create a page on social media channels to get a general idea going or to gather interest even before all the details are decided. This doesn’t have to be filled with details; the name, date, and event description would be good enough to get started.
After that’s done, there is now the main page that you can drive people towards. It can be used to capture leads by checking who is interested in going to the event, and it would additionally help build up the event’s SEO authority under Google. Another offering can be made by allowing early bird discounts if you want to reinforce that early interest.
The next point is to tell your audience why the event is being organized by writing and talking about your mission statement. This would add to your pre-event tactics by further convincing the people to attend your event.
Social Media Presence
Being on social media gives you a headstart and creates momentum for any event promotions. It further helps build a community of like-minded individuals and spread awareness about your mission, which you wrote earlier on.
Event hashtags should be made and carefully added at this phase as well, as you make your social media posts.
Try to take advantage of as many platforms of social media as you possibly can. Whether that’s an Instagram, tumble, Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter, choose what you think is best for the kind of event you’re planning.
At this phase, potential sponsors and partners need to be reached to ensure the success of your event. Complementary brands or media partners can help you with your plan by spreading the word to a mass audience before the event has even launched. This could make reaching your audience much easier.
Stage 2: Launch
Statistics suggest that event emails have a 26% open rate, which is quite more than typical marketing emails. So emails promoting your event are a must for your promotion strategy. When your event is ready to roll, create your first email blast and send it out to your list of potential attendees.
It may be not easy to get press coverage across national TV, but issuing a press release will still prove worthwhile. If you’re writing your press release, make sure to use appropriate keywords so your target audience can reach you much easily through a google search.
Maintaining Social Media
Your next blog post should mention the potential benefits of attending your event. This can be done by highlighting key partners, speakers, performers, celebrities, etc. This can also be used to create announcements for your event across your social media channels to attract attention.
At this phase, when the details of your event are finalized and put out in front of the general public, it is time to ask your partners for their support. Provide your partners with templates for email marketing and social media posts and make their jobs easier, so they have to post them forward.
Stage 3: Day-to-Day Activities
Keeping Your Momentum
This is by far the most crucial stage of event marketing. With the initial hassle of the launch done, now would be the time to make sure the processes are running smoothly. The best way to keep the momentum going is through constant content creating, engagement on all social platforms, and social promotions. Highlighting the event features and its USPs is more likely to keep the audience engaged rather than continuously spamming them with sales messages and emails.
Guest posting is a good way to reach the audience beyond the people visiting your website and promote your event even more. If you’re wondering what to write in these posts, it may depend entirely on the kind of event you’re planning. If your target audience is the corporate sector, then creating reports may help; if it’s consumers in general, you could create infographics, gifs, or write about what’s trending and how it relates to you. Furthermore, youtube videos or podcasts may help capture interest too.
Early Bird Discount
To keep your momentum and keep those registrations coming, you can use your ‘early bird discount’, which was offered initially. While these discounts are ongoing, you could also focus on creating hype around them and highlighting the expiry dates as they get closer.
When you’re focused on your day to day event marketing, this might be the ideal time to get some paid advertisements—doing it before this point would make it redundant because, at that point, you didn’t have much to sell. Similarly, doing it too close to the event won’t create a window where you can see it yielding results. Tools such as promoted posts on social media, Google Ads, PPC can be used to achieve this.
Stage 4: Last Call
This is the phase right when your event is about to happen. Whether that’s a few days or a few weeks, your last call is your last chance to sell yourself.
This can be done through another series of blogs or posts made on social media or through email blasts. The content should be more urgent and sale-focused this time around since you have built a relationship with your audience by now.
Do not forget to use the people who have already registered for your event to your advantage. Provide them with discounts on additional incentives to promote the event on your behalf. Word of mouth is a powerful tactic in the event planning industry. Make sure to utilize it to its full advantage. If you have an affiliate program, invite them to be a part of that too.
Another way to get more people interested in spreading the word about your event is to involve influencers. If you contacted some at the start of your event planning phase, it would be best to re-engage them because they might have forgotten about it.
Even though it can be expensive to employ a telesales team, and you may not even need it in its entirety, if you have got some leads that haven’t bought a ticket, don’t be afraid to contact them yourself.
Try to incorporate the steps mentioned above in your marketing strategy, and you will find yourself in a much stronger position to get more conversions on your leads and get that ‘sold out’ tag.