Back in the Dark Ages, event marketing involved tried-and-true methods of paid advertising in modern days this is called experimental marketing. To earn that coveted media coverage, you first need to understand what the term event marketing definition is – the activity of designing or developing a themed activity, occasion, display, or exhibit. These needed to write a press release, and hope that the local newspapers considered your event coverage-worthy. Although these event marketing ideas still work, social media has changed the way many people discover and sign up for functions that interest them. Eventuality, an event marketing company notes that social media assists event organizers in four different ways:
- Organizing the event
- Promoting the event
- Encouraging attendee engagement during the event
- Extending the lifetime value of the event through photos, videos and blog posts.
We agree, but the success of your event marketing campaign depends on your ability to target the appropriate audience, and time your posts for maximum effectiveness. Here are 10 factors to consider.
1. Define Your Audience
Some events, such as those geared toward specific professions, hobbies, political persuasions or sports, have an easily definable audience. Others have a wider appeal, but still draw a specific demographic. Research the age, income level, gender and location of your target audience, and learn about the fire starter topics that spark conversation among them.
2. Use the Answers to Event Registration Questions to Shape Your Marketing Campaign
Your event registration page should include questions that help you determine the interests, as well as the social media behavior of your attendees. Ask about how they heard about the event, their expectations, the speakers and topics they are most looking forward to and any other factors, such as event destination, hotel etc. Highlight the most common answers to these questions in your marketing campaign. These answers also spark ideas for additional content. For example, an event held in a particularly interesting city can inspire destination pieces about the location.
3. Identify the Social Media Hangouts of Your Audience
It’s tempting to promote your event on every social media network, but you can end up wasting a good deal of valuable time. For example, a Google+ Video Hangout provides a perfect free introduction and question and answer feature for your event, but it will not work if the majority of the people in your targeted audience do not have Google+ accounts.
4. Create an Event Marketing Calendar
Don’t just post an early event alert, then forget about it. Promote early and often, presenting new content that will keep people coming back for more.
5. Produce YouTube Videos About Your Event
Create an event-specific YouTube channel, and ask your speakers for videos of their previous presentations. This practice puts a face, voice and personality to the name, which in turn increases the desire for real life engagement.
6. Integrate Social Media Into the Event Registration Process
Once you have created your event’s social infrastructure and developed it across your selected channels, link the pages back to the official event website to drive registration. Harness the power of the complete world wide web by linking your social media sites to each other. For example, post and tweet your YouTube event videos on your Facebook and Twitter sites.
7. Create an Event Hashtag
Develop a strong hashtag to help people discover content about your event. Hashtags are not just for Twitter. Use them on Facebook and Google+. In fact, you can even leverage your event hashtags on non-social communications, including e-mail, print, television and flyers.
8. Turn Your Attendees Into Event Promoters
Most people like to tell their social media friends about events they plan to attend. Make it even more worth their while, by creating mini-contests, and awarding those who recruit other attendees.
9. Allow Attendees to Share their Social Media Information on Your Event Registration Website
This should of course, be an optional feature, but since many people use certain types of events for professional networking, facilitating the opportunity to do so adds value for your attendees.
10. Determine the Top Influencers, and Harness the Power of Their Influence
If you are creating an event, you probably know the key influencers in the subject matter. Visit their social media pages, interact with them, and compliment them on their ideas. Share their work, retweet their tweets, and endorse their professionalism. Those who know the rules of social media etiquette will return the favor. In some cases, it behooves you to invite them to your event, free of charge. Often times it works to your benefit to hire an event marketing agency.