Hosting or attending brand-promoting events like webinars, trade shows, or lectures can make even the most seasoned event marketer sweat through her shirt.
You need people to buy your tickets. You need them to find your event (or your booth at the event) valuable and memorable. You need them to tell their friends, parents, coworkers, and dogs how amazing it was and how they should really go next year.
No pressure, right?
Take a deep breath — we’ve got you covered. Check out our best five ideas for better event marketing.
Target Thought Leadership Content
Content is King. It’s cliche and it also happens to be true. Give the people what they want by focusing on meaningful, actionable, thought leadership content.
How is your brand changing the world (or at least changing your space)? Once you have that answer, identify thought leaders in your industry and get their take on the future of that space. Where do they see the industry in 10 years? What do they identify as some of the biggest challenges there? Hopefully, your mission aligns with solving some of those issues.
Then, once you’ve spoken to the big wigs in your industry and identified some solid thought leadership content, build out your entire event around those one or two strong, core themes.
Go Beyond the Inbox with Multi-channel Marketing
Where does your audience want to see your message? Do they want another email to mass delete in the morning when they get to work? If you said yes, you should get a new audience.
Instead of the same old tactics all the other event marketers are pulling, try standing out to your prospects by employing multi-channel marketing. One of the most successful of these tactics includes direct mail marketing.
For instance, take the medical information company that sells wellness service programs for people seeking a healthier life. This company could have sent a newsletter to prospects with tips for choosing healthy snacks … OR, they could make a much bigger impact by sending their audience promotional materials with a selection of healthy foods in a box right to their doors.
If you were a member of the wellness site’s audience, which of those tactics would get your attention more? Check out how this company — and others — employed PFL’s Tactile Marketing Automation software to achieve the engagement levels that helped them turn prospects into customers and raving fans, all with direct mail marketing.
Get A Real Social Strategy
It’s a fact: social media is the core driver of event marketing success.
Your audience prefers to learn about events — and finds them much more interesting — on Facebook versus email. Give prospects the opportunity to find and interact with your event on the platforms they use for fun (not just for work or for participating in that obligatory chain mail from Aunt Edith).
Just as important as having a social presence, is having a consistent social presence. Do some research to find the best times of day and frequency to post for your industry. Then, build out a social plan, resource it, and stick to it.
Look for Lookalikes
If your service or product is a favorite of working, middle-aged, mother of three Nancy, who lives in Washington, then chances are Janice who lives in Northern California, is in her 40s, works full time, and has two kids will also like your brand. Nans and Jans are great that way.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can all help you find these lookalike audiences who match your ideal customer profile.
First, identify what the important measurements of your audience are:
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- How often do they use social media? Do they make purchases via social media or other online sites?
- What pages do they follow on Facebook?
- Other key demographics for your brand?
Now, ruthlessly target (and save for next time) similar audiences.
Don’t Forget Your Core
Even as you’re growing awareness for your brand, never forget the customers that already love you.
Give these evangelists special incentives to attend your event — offer them a VIP spot on your panel, or give them exclusive invitations or rewards for attending. Even consider involving them in event planning from the beginning. Use their voice to amplify your own. After all, the best advertising is a raving fan.
Want even more tips for how to make your event marketing stand out? Check out our Event Marketing Playbook for Tactile Marketing Automation.