As an event planner, you’re competing for business. So your event marketing strategies need to resonate with the right audience to effectively market your services to them.
Mastering event marketing is so important that, according to Harvard Business Review, 52% of business owners claim that event marketing is THE marketing channel that drives the most ROI.
However, event marketing isn’t just about filling the room with bodies, but rather ensuring the attendees are actually your target audience. After all, the point of event marketing is to market a brand, product, or service with the ultimate goal of creating brand awareness and increasing sales.
So what is the best way to get the right butts in seats?
The best event marketers know where their target audience ‘live.’
5 Key Event Marketing Strategies That Work
According to a survey conducted by Collective Bias, an alarming 70% of today’s generation depends on influencer or peer recommendations to make buying decisions.
And where do influencers and today’s generation live?
You guessed it — social media!
So, love it or hate it, social media is high on the list of top event marketing strategies.
If you hate social media then try thinking about it as the new and improved word-of-mouth instead. It is, after all, people sharing information with people.
So use that information sharing to your advantage by capitalizing on channels and accounts that others have taken years to build, like influencers.
How do you find the best and most relevant influencer who will be willing to help you promote your event? This is where knowing your target audience goes a long way.
Let’s say your event is for an animal rescue. The influencers you would want to reach out to aren’t necessarily people who focus on charities, per se, but who focus on their own fur babies, or on animal welfare in general.
Those types of influencers have a huge and powerful voice in the community, and will, more than likely, be happy to help out with an event that aligns with their own values.
Of course, influencers aren’t the only tool in your toolkit for social media. There is also the more traditional path which includes:
- Live videos
- Tik Tok
- Vendor information
- Guest bios
- And so much more….
Social media is full of endless possibilities for reaching your target market.
And it’s arguably one of the most powerful first steps to converting them.
2. Dedicated Landing Page and Pop-Ups
If what you’ve done on social media works, then the next natural step for your prospective attendee is to visit your landing page to get more information, and hopefully to register.
This step is crucial because it will make or break the person’s decision to keep heading down the path of the buyer’s journey.
A soft yes could turn into a hard no within seconds.
If they visit this page and are for whatever reason put off, then you’ll be hard-pressed to turn that around no matter how good your social media campaign (or how cute your influencer’s fur baby is.)
Your landing page and pop-ups should:
- Be aesthetically pleasing, but simple and straightforward
- Have a strong CTA, that is at the top, middle, and bottom of the page
- Be intuitive and easy to navigate
- Have the most important information above the fold
- Be broken down into “digestible chunks”
- Allow people to get in touch with you
Because the average person doesn’t stay on a landing page long enough to read all of the information, it’s important to not put all your eggs in one basket, and try other top event marketing strategies, like a press release.
3. Alert the Press
A press release is a great way of spreading the word about your event. This will get the attention of more traditional influencers, like the local media.
We’ve all heard that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” and even though that’s more myth than truth, publicity is at least good for exposure.
In addition to the local media, a formal press release can catch the attention of new supporters, and brand ambassadors. This is especially useful when the goal of your event is to spread awareness and invite influential people.
And if social media and press releases don’t cut it…there’s always bribery (I mean incentives.)
4. Incentive Marketing
Incentives are a huge hit for the top event marketing strategies because everyone loves discounts, freebies, and VIP treatment.
Some great examples are:
- Early bird discounts
- Group rates
- Day-of-event swag
- Free downloads
- Contests for prizes
- Certificates or course credits
- VIP access
Incentives sound great, right? But what’s the point of a great incentive if no one knows about them?
That’s why good old, tried-and-true, email marketing still makes it on the list of top event marketing strategies.
5. Email Marketing
I know our inboxes are all flooded with promos, and services like Gmail have made it even harder to get people to open your emails by filtering everything into categories: Primary, Promotions, and Social.
But maybe that’s actually a good thing.
Traditionally, promotions were lumped into the same inbox, allowing them to easily get lost in the mix.
In fact, people received so many emails that they didn’t even bother looking at or deleting them. That’s why we all know people who have 1,200+ unopened emails…and that’s just on the average Tuesday (which is the best day to send your emails BTW.)
However, having the Promotions and Social (don’t you love how social has snuck its way into email marketing) in separate categories have made it easier for people to manage their inbox.
By this, I mean, it encourages users to actively sort through their emails so they don’t have 1,200+ sitting in their inboxes anymore.
It even encourages them to quickly scan the Promotions and Social categories before deleting them.
So, what does this mean for you? It means that if you are sending the email from an account they have an interest in, and you make your subject line attractive enough…they will open your email.
Tips & tricks for email marketing:
- Use email personalization. 82% of marketers claim that personalization increases open rates.
- Using automated emails get 119% higher click rates than emails that aren’t part of your automation workflow.
- Create subject lines that convert.
- Spark interest with a teaser that builds interest, without giving away too many details.
- Invite people to the event with an exclusive offer, like a discount code.
- Make the email aesthetically pleasing and shareable. Be sure to include social media links.
- Send the email out when it has the best chance of being opened. This will be based on your target audience.
- Include a Q&A, and highlight your contact information to make it easy for people to ask questions about your event.
- As your event approaches, send people reminder emails with strong CTA buttons.
- After the event, send a thank you to all who attended, and a “hope to see you next time” email to those that didn’t attend. Highlight and recap the event.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a few new tips and tricks when it comes to the top event marketing strategies to make your next event successful.
Do you have some advice that you think would be helpful? I’d love to hear it! Please share in the comment section.