As a good 21st century entrepreneur, you have probably dedicated part of your marketing efforts addressing the main digital channels. As such, your company has probably done everything to create a strong presence in social media while also developing quality content to keep followers engaged and interested in your business.
With contemporary digital marketing practices, companies have the opportunity to reach their potential customers with greater control and at a lower cost using strategies that break the barriers of space and time. Still, none of those strategies allow you to be face-to-face with your target audience. It’s not that we feel nostalgic, that’s what the data says.
According to a recent study, a large majority of top-level marketing professionals affirm that live events are still the most effective marketing channel and 80 percent of merchants attribute the success of their companies to these organized events. This proves that you can’t neglect this tried and true marketing technique.
If you’re a new company and lack the experience necessary to organize these events, these five effective strategies on doing so can help you regardless of the type of company you have or the type of event you’re organizing. More so, you can see how the digital marketing tools and strategies you’ve already been implementing will work toward your event planning efforts.
#1 Find the Purpose of your Event
According to Kevin Nguyen of ThreeSixtyEight, 2019 is the year in which businesses will organize all kinds of events as a marketing strategy since, through human experiences, companies will be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The first key to hosting a successful event is identifying its purpose and connecting its attendees on a more personal level.
Long before you start organizing and planning an event, you must be very clear about its purpose. To do this, think about what you want to achieve through your event and clearly define it based on that goal. You can follow a simple but effective concept to help define your event’s purpose: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).
SMART objectives can guide your project to a clear and realistic goal to plan and implement the event. You can have more than one goal in mind, as long as you keep them in mind when you start planning the event.
A good example of a corporate event with clear objectives is the networking event conducted by The Mice Blog. After realizing that their weekly Twitter discussions got quite a bit of participation from users, they decided to plan a live event that proved to be successful.
When they were asked about its objectives, it was more than clear: share the best practices in the industry, collaborate among users, network with professionals and extend the life cycle of the event.
Its objectives are specific, calculable, achievable and relevant. As you can see in this example, it is also important to define your target audience (for whom you are planning the event). Regardless of the type of event you hold, this is one of the points that you should be completely aware of.
There are many different types of corporate events, but whatever you choose to do, do it with clear purposes and for the right audience. Your guests will be happy to attend and it will be more likely that they share their experience with others. In fact, 74 percent of event attendees say they have a more positive opinion about the company in question after attending an in-person event.
# 2 Create Attractive Content and Mark your Calendars
You have decided to hold an event and you already have your purposes clear, you also know what audience you want to address; great! Now, you have to generate interest in your event, strengthen the perception of your brand and increase the rapport with your target audience.
Create a professional website
One of the best ways to promote your event and generate interest from your target audience is to create a web page to announce your event. One of the things to keep in mind when creating a web page is the user experience. It must be memorable to increase the probability of people registering and attending the event.
This is a great example of a website exclusively promoting an event. As you can see, it’s simple but concrete. It informs the user of when it is, where it is, and—through a striking graphic—it shows a countdown for the event to generate anticipation. If you want to create an effective web page for your event, check out this guide on how to create an effective landing page.
But not everything is about the aesthetics of the website. Optimizing content will help you earn the top positions in Google. By doing this, you can ensure that your web page will be within the first page of results whenever someone searches for information related to the event.
To achieve better long-term results, you can improve the organic positioning of your website on Google through SEO strategies. For that, you must create useful and valuable content to reach your target audience and optimize it so that users can find your web page on Google.
But to achieve immediate visibility and ensure your position among the top results on Google, you can create campaigns through Google Ads. If you want to know how to do it, don’t miss this article on how to create Google Ads Campaigns.
Optimizing Google Ads campaigns is essential to get the best possible results and get the best possible return on investment (ROI). Kolau offers one of the most powerful automatic optimization engines and is the only one that offers a free plan.
It’s important that Google users click on your result to have a pleasant experience and are satisfied with what they see. If they decide to leave immediately because the content is superficial or irrelevant, Google will detect it and penalize the page with a lower position within the organic zone (the free zone) of the results pages.
Reach your audience through email marketing
According to a recent Hubspot study, 40 percent of merchants say that the best way to promote an event is through emails.
After creating an effective website to invite users to take action by registering for the event, the next step is to start spreading the word. With a tool as efficient as email, you can reach your current customers and their contacts by making a newsletter full of compelling content to let them know in advance why they should accept the invitation and attend the event.
This invitation from Campaign Monitor is an excellent example of how to approach your customer base with relevant and accurate content. Not only does it explain to the user what event it is and what they will learn if they attend, but it also gives them the option of interacting with their social media profiles and forwarding the email to whomever they think may be interested in it.
With such a high percentage of high-level marketing executives affirming that the best way to create interest in an event is through an email campaign aimed at your current and potential client base, there is no doubt that it will be an effective tool for your event to succeed.
Create an event on Facebook
As we saw in the previous example, it is important to add links to share the event on social media when you send the invitations to your customer base via email.
Facebook offers a great tool in its platform to promote an event early and complement your other promotional efforts.
The option to create Events on Facebook is a great way to generate interest with users and keep them informed about when it will be. This is because the event is automatically saved in their smartphones once they accept the invitations.
But reminding the guests about the date of the event is not the only feature offered by this Facebook function. According to a Hubspot study, a lot of users will not take the Facebook event seriously unless you use the platform to generate interesting content related to the event.
Months may pass between the first invitation publication and the event itself, so it is important to keep guests interested by posting relevant and quality content on the Facebook event page. This will help them remember the event and also keep their excitement regarding the event high.
Events on Facebook allow you to strengthen the relationship with users while posing as a great communication channel to create links to your other promotional efforts like your website. As you’ll see in the next point, social media platforms are a key tool to generate interest in the event.
#3 Promote your Event on Social Media
Did you know that most current consumers are Millennials? A study by EventBrite reveals that 73 percent of millennials attend events as a form of expression and use online interactions as inspiration and a path to participation in real life.
Social media is a key tool that Millennials use to express themselves, but they aren’t the only ones using the platforms. Facebook has 2.32 billion users and Instagram has 1 billion that span all age groups. This makes social media that much more important when it comes to marketing experiences like live events.
According to EventBrite, 48 percent of millennials say they attend events to have something to share on their social media profiles. With this in mind, you have to make sure that your event is an experience worthy of sharing. Generate interest using social networks before, during and after your event so you can increase the odds of attendees not only showing up and enjoying themselves but continuing to talk about the event well after the fact.
Create a memorable hashtag
Instagram and Twitter are two great platforms to promote your event early and create an online community focused on it. To achieve this, your best tool is creativity.
Think of a memorable and unique hashtag that allows you to unify the users across different social media platforms. Use it on the event website and the Facebook event page. This is a great way to encourage visitors and potential attendees to engage with your social media profiles.
This is not only an excellent way to foster interest and conversation around your business and event, but it also allows you to analyze and track engagement and interactions early. According to Neal Schaffer, CEO & Principal Social Media Strategy Consultant in Maximize Your Social:
“Making people aware of the event’s hashtag in advance is an incredible promotional tool. When people start to see tweets and retweets and posts that have a particular hashtag, even if they do not know what it’s about, that hashtag will get people interested in it and encourage them to go to the event.”
Hashtags are also a great way for attendees to interact with each other and share their experience during the event. You can then use that as a marketing tool in the future.
Turn your audience into a promoter
Think of a highly popular brand with a large audience on social media. Today, these brands rely on their influencer followers to continue growing. It’s like word-of-mouth marketing, but in this case, influencers promote brands through visual and entertaining content.
In this example, you can see how @HideMyCoat naturally promotes this event using its memorable and unique hashtag while adding the location and time so that it can reach a larger audience.
This is a great strategy to achieve greater visibility and reach your target audience.
Get closer to the users who have already accepted the invitation to the event and offer them incentives to promote it in their social media accounts. You can, for example, offer discounts or exclusive promotions in exchange for three or four publications that get your followers to take an interest in the event and register.
According to Luria Petrucci, Co-Founder of Live Streaming Pros:
One of the best ways to promote your event is to involve your audience in the process so that they are totally committed and feel that it is both your project and their project.
Create strong online communities
Remember that the purpose of promoting your event using different social networks is to create a sense of identity with a message that resonates with your audience. These are the tools your guests will use to share their experience so it’s important to establish your presence in these spaces early on.
Even before the event begins, it is important to create a community that unites your customers and guests. For that, you can use everything from Twitter to LinkedIn groups to connect your customers through mutual interests. This will allow them to feel like they are a part of something special and exclusive while also creating both professional and personal networks.
According to a ToneDen study, 9 out of 10 Millennials have attended at least one live event in the last year. They not only value experience over material things (75 percent do), but also use the opportunity to personally connect with other attendees and create professional networks.
A corporate event will allow you to be a channel of trust among your clients to create vibrant and loyal communities around your business, brand or person. Everything starts on social media so don’t neglect that when promoting your event.
#4 Organize your Event Live and Online
Let’s say you’ve been planning an educational event about the new trends in Google Ads, with two recognized and respected speakers in the area. It sounds very interesting and at least 60 people have already confirmed attendance. But more people have told you that they’d like to attend but they can’t because they will not be in the city. The solution: broadcast the event live.
One of the biggest current trends we see during live events is the desire to create an opportunity to accommodate those who can’t attend through a live broadcast. It’s a great way to involve your entire audience and offer them fascinating ways to connect with each other.
Events with a corresponding live broadcast will allow you to interact with current and potential customers in the room while extending the reach of your message to those who can’t attend. This may sound like an expensive and complicated endeavor, but you can do this easily and affordably.
- Transmission on YouTube: To start, create a YouTube channel for your event or use your business channel if you already have one. Once you have your YouTube channel, you must enable the live streaming option. Then, you can program it for the date of the event and it will broadcast everything automatically.
- Broadcast on Facebook Live: Facebook Live is a popular feature that allows you to share live videos with your followers. When you are broadcasting live, the video will appear in the newsfeeds of those who have accepted the invitation and also in those of your followers increasing the audience reach. Once the transmission is finished, the videos will be saved in the Videos section of your page.
To generate interest among your objective audience in advance and get the most people to subscribe to the live broadcast of your event, create a countdown on your event website.
In this case, you’re not promoting the physical event, you’re promoting the live transmission. This will help people remember when the event is so they won’t miss it.
This function is offered by both YouTube and Facebook and basically allows you to embed a video player on your event’s web page beforehand. It’s a simple and easy-to-use function, but it will guarantee you generate interest in your audience and get as many people as possible to your event, physically and online.
#5 Partner with Local Businesses
They say that two heads think better than one. In the case of creating a successful marketing plan for your event, partnering with another relevant local business to create an event can have a significantly greater impact than if you organized it alone.
As already stated, live events are a great opportunity for your clients not only to get to know more about your brand but also for attendees to relate and create links between each other.
The same happens when two or more businesses are associated with the same cause. As Helen Moon, founder and director of EWL Club UK, says:
The live events are perfect to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones.
These collaborations will allow you to reach an audience that is already loyal to the other company and vice versa. Work together using the aforementioned marketing strategies to create a successful live event. The important thing is that you share the same purpose behind the event in order to strengthen relationships and create a healthy and profitable competition.
For example, a hotel that seeks to attract a more family-centered audience could link up with a local toy store to organize a picnic in order to raise funds for a children’s organization in the area. Not only would they be working for a good cause, but they would also be unifying two different audiences and putting both names in their minds.
In this example, the invitation to an event organized by two companies that have little in common can still create a great impression. The purpose of the event is clear: raise funds to help residents who can’t afford lenses to wear glasses.
The brewery even said that a percentage of the profits generated by the event will go towards the purchase of high-quality lenses. It is a great example of how a good cause can unite two local businesses, promote exclusive products (in this case their craft beers), and create a positive impression on the public.
Organizing events is a great strategy to give your brand a physical identity and associate it with your online presence. It is key to position yourself in the market and offer your clients tangible and memorable experiences in this digital age. The best part? You can use the opportunity to build stronger face-to-face relationships and reach larger audiences.
Now, you know how to promote an event and make it memorable. Following these marketing strategies, you will be able to organize successful events to promote your business and create a better relationship with your clients.