The 10 do's of great event marketingby Virginie Behar
In a time of fierce competition for customers’ loyalty, your business needs to stand out.
Customers are flooded with options. Businesses have no choice but to seize every opportunity to nurture their relationship with customers.
Setting your brand apart is crucial. Hosting or participating in events is a great way to establish your brand. In a study, 74% of event attendees say that they have a more favourable opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event.
Whether small or large, your business can expect to gain a lot form event marketing. That is if you do it right.
Here are 10 DO’s on how to make the most out of your next event.
Determine what type of event would be most suitable
Events, whether online or offline, are a unique way to reach and engage with your audience. They provide you with a chance to create a positive impression and show the values you want to convey as a company. You will need to pick wisely what kind of event is most suitable for your target audience. What type of events work for your target audience? Physical or online events? Sponsored events or trades events? What content could help them understand the message you want to convey?
Whatever you decide, hosting events enables your company to create a personal bond with your current and potential customers. A personal relationship means more loyal customers and a better success-rate when generating new customers.
Invite the right audience
You will first need to determine who to invite. Who will your attendees be? What do they care about? What would be interesting to them? You need to address their needs and concerns. Event marketing is a great way to bond with prospective customers. According to a study, 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event.
Inviting a niche audience is effective to make sure all attendees can benefit from the event.
Focus on your branding and awareness
Events enable your business to establish and build its brand. They will show who you are, what you value and most of all what a great company you are.
Events allow you to create long-lasting relationships with your customers and catch the attention of prospective customers. Marketing events can create a lasting positive impression of your company. You need to have a strong theme or purpose, relevant and compelling, shown throughout the event. You want to create a memorable experience for the audience, so they share what they have learnt.
By authentically presenting your brand’s identity, customers are more likely to trust you and think of you when they want to purchase.
Pre-event marketing will build the buzz around your event
Your event starts from the second you announce it. The earlier you start, the better the turnout will be. Pre-event marketing experience is just as necessary as the event itself. It needs to be cohesive and relevant to your event.
If you opt for a more intimate event, regular mail feels very personal. Otherwise using press releases or emails can do the trick. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
Most of all your social media campaign is essential. Your attendees need to know what they can expect. A social media builds momentum while integrating your message by giving attendees sneak-peaks into what they will experience.
You want to create anticipation and excitement with your campaign. For instance, having contests, early bird tickets or perks if attendees share the event on social media is a great way to drive interest in your event.
No one likes to go to an event alone. Encourage your attendees to invite their friends or peers to join them at the event by sharing their attendance across social media.
Make your physical event interactive.
In-person events break through the digital barrier, authentically connecting with consumers.
By allowing your customers and prospective customers to interact with you or your products and services, they will be immersed in your brand’s identity in a fun and informative environment. Customers want to be able to see for yourself, touch products, and take an active part in trying out what your company offers is essential. Interact with your audience and answer their questions to have them feel understood and listened to.
To build long-term customer relationships, you could also opt for more intimate settings such as breakfasts or lunches.
Interacting with your audience is essential. Interactions can include: using questions or polls to make the audience participate, include new technologies such as Virtual Reality to have a more unique and original experience, or using eye-catching installations which represent your brand. Be creative but keep to your message.
Whichever type of physical event you choose will most definitely help you create a more personal connection with your prospective customers or current ones.
Be creative with your online event
Online events enable you to reach a global audience. Online events include webinars, virtual events, or live streaming. You need to be creative with the format, themes mentioned, or guests. Make it an entertaining and educative time for your audience. Invite the audience to engage with you by letting them ask questions or give feedback. Mainly, show off your brand’s personality in a transparent, unique way.
Engage with your customers
Personal interactions build loyalty. If you successfully go through your event, attendees will share their experience with colleagues and peers creating a long-lasting word of mouth impacting how your brand is perceived. They will refer you to others and talk highly about your company. Word of mouth is the best way to generate new leads, and your current customers are your best asset. If you want to know more about boosting your word-of-mouth read our post here.
While events are a great place to network, they should also be a place to be informed. Of course, the event must be entertaining, but not only that. People want to learn what’s new in technologies and products or services offerings.
Giving relevant knowledge and insights pertinent to the talk will make customers feel that they have learnt something. Making the audience take part in learning activities is a great way to engage with them. After all, educated customers are your best asset.
Use social media to promote your event
Before and during your event encourage attendees to post on their social media using, for example, dedicated hashtags. They will help you reach out to prospective customers.
In a previous article, we wrote about influencers and micro-influencers being powerful assets for your brand. A single social media post is meaningful if they reach the right audience of like-minded people. Connect with influencers or micro-influencers within your field and invest in your relationship with them. They will help grow your business.
As we have previously written about, you can also use retargeting ads for people who have seen your event but who are not attending it. Take pictures or videos, write blog posts about the event. You should document it as it is happening for prospective customers to see.
Customer feedback is essential to make clients feel valued. Make sure you register all prospective customers at the event. You should always ask them promptly about their experience at your event. What did they enjoy? What could be improved? Sending them personalised emails or calling is key to improve future events.
You can and you should ask attendees for referrals. Satisfied attendees will happily share their experience if asked to do so. Motivate attendees to share their experience through pictures or inviting their friends to your next event.
We have previously written about Net Promoter Score being the secret to sustainable growth. Asking customers to engage in word-of-mouth is key to developing your business. You will deepen your client relationship and create new ones with prospective clients. Your customers are your best advertisement.
Event marketing can bring your company infinite possibilities and you should make the most of it.