“Now, if you truly understand how marketing works today, you know there is no individual six-month campaign; there’s only the 365-day campaign, during which you produce new content daily.”
― Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
Marketing is the mysterious concept that makes people turn up to your event. Well, it’s actually not that mysterious when it’s broken up into smaller tasks.
In this article, we’ll got through some tips for how to create a solid event marketing strategy.
We’ll be looking at…
- Target audiences
- Event websites
- Social media content
- Social media influencers
- Potential event sponsors
- Mailing lists
- Press releases
…and much more!
1. Know your audience (and where they hang out)
Marketing is all about reaching people. But before can reach anyone, you need to know who they are and where they go.
In other words, you need to identify your target audience. The more specific you can get, the better.
But for starters, you should try to establish their…
- Personal interests
- Preferred social media
- Motivation for attending
Focus your marketing effort on the channels your target audience uses. If they read online magazines and go on SnapChat, you shouldn’t market on email and LinkedIn.
Look at social media insights
Create a customer persona
Create a customer persona once you’ve gathered information on your audience. Give them a funny name and think of them every time you make a marketing decision.
2. Create an event website and social media accounts
You should register a domain name for your event website as soon as possible. Create social media accounts as well, so no one else steals your name.
Use these channels to publish content around your event and capture early interest. Your event content will go on your website blog and social media profiles.
3. Write event blogs and guest blogs
Start writing blog posts relating to your event. If it’s a conference, talk about the industry you’re in. If it’s a music festival, write about the artists you’re putting on.
You should also try to guest blog on other websites so you can reach new audiences. Some will charge you for it, while others will be happy if you just return the favour.
4. Schedule social media content
Learn what kind of content works on the social media platforms you’re targeting. Use tools like Canva to make sure images have the right dimensions.
Social media ads still offer the best value for money. Invest some time in educating yourself on how paid promotion works on social media.
5. Build a mailing list and send updates
Emails for events are still a valuable marketing tool. They have an average opening rate of at least 20%. which is good news for you.
You should start building a mailing as soon as you can. Use a website like MailChimp to keep track of subscribers and quickly design email campaigns.
6. Find event sponsors
Event sponsorship is a great way to increase your marketing budget. Part of your event marketing strategy should be to make a value proposition to other companies.
Try to get sponsors on board as early as possible. But don’t give up if they don’t bite right away. Some companies will keep an eye on your progress before they’ll consider sponsoring your event.
7. Reach out to influencers
Social media influencers are a big deal in marketing. They are trendsetters that can make or break your event marketing strategy.
The Fyre Festival was a perfect example of how powerful influencer marketing can be. It was unfortunately also a perfect example of terrible event planning.
8. Send out event press releases
Press releases are still being used, although they are now considered old school.
If your target audience reads particular publications, it might be useful to send out an event press release.
Most publications will also have a corresponding website. If your press release is featured, you’ll also have a link to your site from a credible source.
To write a good press release, you’ll want to…
- Write a personalised email to the publication
- Come up with a compelling story for your event
- List all the practical details (date, location, and so on)
- Include links to your website and social media
- Attach some images or link to your promo video
Publications get loads of email, so make it as easy to as possible for them to understand your press release.
Read more: How to Write a Press Release for an Event.
9. Offer early-bird discounts
You should offer early-bird tickets as soon as you’re confident the event is going ahead. It will help you secure funding for your event early on.
Event tickets typically go up in price the closer you get to the actual date:
- Super-early bird: 6 months before the event, 20% discount.
- Early-bird: 3 months before the event, 10% discount.
- Standard: 1 month before the event, no discount.
Use your email campaigns and social media content to remind people of these offers. It’ll help create a sense of urgency and FOMO.
10. Use your past guests as advocates
Influencers aren’t the only people you can recruit as advocates for your event. If you’ve organised a similar event in the past, get referrals from your guests.
Remember that everyone is connected to someone else. And it is very likely that their friends are interested in the same events.
11. Define your measures for success
Before you do any of the above, it’s important to define your criteria for success. In other words, you need to decide how many people you want to reach for how much money.
Put it all together
Once know everything you need to do, it’s time to map out your event marketing strategy. The tips we’ve covered here are in somewhat chronological order.
But what works for some may not work for others.
Maybe you already know some social media influencers. It can be a good idea to reach out to them before worrying about emails and guest blogs.
Write a timeline for the tasks that make up your event marketing strategy. Download an event marketing timeline template and use it to get a framework.
Good luck with your event. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!