Planning an event is the easy part. Getting people to attend it is the hard part. That is where event marketing comes in. You need a solid marketing strategy to quickly get the word out about your event. So, what is event marketing and why is it crucial to the success of your event?
What Is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is the process of promoting an event to attract more attendees. This may include writing and optimizing landing pages, sending emails, leveraging content marketing, or creating ads on social media. You can also use influencers to help promote your event or do it yourself if you have a good following.
The strategies used to market an event may vary depending on whether it is virtual or in-person. Both formats share the common goal to engage potential attendees and convincing them to be part of the audience at your next event.
Why is Event Marketing Important?
Having a well-thought-out event marketing plan allows you to reach your target audience. To do so, you need to promote your event to potential attendees via different mediums to ensure that everyone who might benefit knows about it.
There are several reasons why marketing your event is significant. It helps you to:
- Build brand credibility
- Increase awareness
- Generate leads
- Engage potential attendees
Build Brand Credibility
Being diligent with promoting your brand will help build brand credibility. When potential customers interact with your brand through marketing efforts, they are more likely to trust it compared to one they have never heard of before.
This works the same way for events. Marketing your event positions you as a professional and authority who thoroughly understands the topic being discussed at the event. As a result, people are more likely to attend because they trust you to provide valuable information that will help them accomplish their goals.
That is why it is essential that as you market your event, you portray yourself as a thought leader. You can do this by:
- Having an established brand identity
- Working with respected authorities in your industry
- Avoiding direct sales tactics in your marketing
Before you can build credibility around your event and brand, people will first need to know about it. Marketing is one of the fastest ways to get the word out about your business. By using a variety of marketing techniques, you will be able to reach people who would otherwise not hear about your brand.
Using your network and word-of-mouth is a cost-effective and easy way you can expand your reach and get the information out there. However, if your target audience is not in your network or your network’s network, you will need to consider doing other forms of marketing to get the word out, such as advertising, influencer marketing, social media outreach, etc.
When you combine the use of different marketing methods, you can reach a wider audience and get more traffic to your event’s schedule or registration page. This way, you can significantly increase attendance and make your event even more successful.
Engages Potential Attendees
When it comes to promoting events, engaging potential attendees is highly crucial. The goal is to build hype around your event and get more people excited about it. There are several ways that you can engage people while marketing your event. These include:
- Sharing the event schedule
- Asking people what they’d like to see in your event
- Sharing sneak previews of content they can expect during the event
- Allowing them to engage with speakers through introductions and pre-event questions
Ultimately, the primary goal of marketing your event should be to generate leads. This means getting people previously unaware of your event to attend it. When these people attend your event, they can become long-term clients. Your marketing should, therefore, focus on a highly targeted lead-generation process.
The goal is to take a stranger from not knowing about your event to showing a solid commitment to attend. To effectively start generating valuable leads, you might want to create a landing page that effortlessly takes prospective attendees from registration to buying a ticket for your event.
After convincing those leads to attend your event, you will need a strong production team to help you with professional event production solutions that ensure they have the best experience.
Elements of an Effective Event Marketing Strategy
Now that you know why Event Marketing is important, here are some basic elements for how to create a comprehensive event marketing campaign or strategy.
In a nutshell, your marketing should:
- Have a clear strategy and a promotion budget
- Decide which event marketing channels you will use
- Focus on the right audience
- Calculate ROI relative to company goals
Decide Which Event Marketing Channels You Will Use
Event marketing is a broad term with dual meaning, as it can refer to promoting an event or using events as a strategy within a marketing plan. For event marketing that focuses on promoting an event, it is essential to use several channels to publish your promotional content! That way you can reach the maximum number of potential attendees, and won’t miss out on some that use only specific channels.
While there are several platforms within each marketing channel, the broad channels can be defined as:
- Social Media
- Digital & Print Advertising
- Website & Search Engine Optimization
- Channel & Partner Marketing
These channels can be mixed and matched based on the audience you are targeting and the goals you set for the event. A good idea is to not only promote that your event is happening but publish content marketing through these channels to pique the interest of potential attendees!
Focus on the Right Audience
Social media makes it easy to geo-target and focus your marketing on the right market demographic. For instance, if you are hosting an event for salespeople, you don’t want to waste your marketing efforts on people who are not involved in sales.
For this, we recommend using Facebook and Google Adsense. They make it very easy to target the right audience, and you will see more ROI on your marketing efforts.
Calculate ROI Relative to Company Goals
Understanding whether your marketing efforts are bearing fruits or not is very important. You need to have definitive KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track your marketing and adjust as you see fit.
Some common benefits of events are:
- Direct Revenue
- Attributed Revenue
- Brand Equity
- Thought Leadership
To maximize the effectiveness and relevance of these KPIs, align them to your company’s overall goals. So for example, if your company’s goal is to host events that generate immediate profit you should measure Ticketing and Direct Revenue to analyze the immediate profitability of the event.
If your company’s goal is to disseminate knowledge to their community and create thought leadership content, you should measure Attendee Learning Feedback and Content Marketing Reach to measure the impact of the event’s information.
What Tools Help Define the Target Market of Events?
You can use Facebook and Google Ads geotargeting to focus your marketing efforts on the right locations and market demographics. Additionally, most promotion channels have options to promote your event only to your defined target audience through segmentation and filtering.
What Does an Event Marketing Manager Do?
An event marketing manager oversees the creation and implementation of marketing materials and content intended to convince more people to attend an event. They work with creatives such as copywriters, graphic designers, photographers, and video editors.
Strategic marketing can help event planners and marketers attract the right audience. What’s more, marketing can also help build brand credibility, increase awareness, engage potential attendees and ultimately generate valuable leads for your organization.