“If you build it, they will come.”
We’ve all heard this famous line from the film “Field of Dreams,” and while it did hold true for Kevin Costner, there’s a bit more you need to do then just “build it,” and hope.
Every small business owner wants to drive a loyal and customer-friendly crowd to its business event. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into setting it up, so naturally you’re ready to get the word out right?
We thought so.
That’s why we’ve put together these 4 strategies that will market your incredible event, and help make sure that your customers really do come.
1. Use Your Email List
You haven’t spent countless hours and resources growing your email list for nothing. According to Eventbrite, email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing methods. Their own research has shown that event-related emails received both open and click-through rates up to 40%, which is well above marketing email standards. They compiled their own list of top 10 online event promotion strategies which you can download here. As soon as you determine the date of your event, email your list of previous event attendees and also anyone who has subscribed to your newsletter or other form of email list or memberships. Develop different emails for each of these groups so you can add personalization and show that you know your subscribers.
2. Give Your Event A Home (Online)
One pitfall of event planning is not designating a “home” for your event online. One option is to create an attractive and informative landing page off your main domain that covers more than just the who, what, when, and where of the event. Research conducted by Eventbrite also shows that consumers quickly flock to YouTube and Google Images after visiting event pages, so if you’ve held a similar event in the past, include both photos and videos that convey the overall mood and help potential guests get a feel for the event. Include a clear itinerary and instructions for registering / RSVPing. If you’re using an event management site or software, be sure to customize the page as much as possible with the above types of information and interactive media.
3. Incorporate a Content Plan
A recent study has shown that 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. Take advantage of this by preparing marketing content that can be shared and encourages others to pass along information about your event. This could be material as simple as a list of speakers and attendees, benefits of attending, and testimonials. Or, if this is a repeat event, utilizing video footage from the last event to create a highlight reel (but make sure that within the video the benefits of attending are crystal clear!) Also consider reaching out to current speakers, and hold interviews with them. This will supply further anticipation aroundtheir sessions, and help to seal the deal for any prospective attendees.
4. Get Social!
According to Social Media Examiner, 81%+ of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing. To begin with make sure you create one unified hashtag for use across all social channels. Put this on all of your material! This not only makes it easier for people to find the event, but it ties everything you go out with directly to you. Then start to build the buzz! Share creative reveals of lineups or special guests, or use teaser videos and images to increase excitement. Also make sure you are not only posting before the event but during it as well.