No matter how incredible and memorable your next corporate event is set to be, all your efforts and work will be for nothing if you aren’t able to promote it in the right way. Marketing events is about preparation but it’s also about knowing who your intended audience is and how you can best reach them.
Below, I’ve set out five surefire ways of marketing your event to make sure it not only sells out but creates a buzz that will see it go on to influence your potential customers and clients long after you’ve packed up and gone home.
Run Ads on Social Media
Social media is a very powerful way of growing buzz around your event by growing an online community around it. Social media encourages both attendees and non-attendees to participate and experience your event in different ways.
Whether you want to run photo, text or video ads, the key is in ensuring that the platform you chose for running ads is what your ideal customers also use. No matter how tempting to use Facebook or Twitter because it’s what everybody uses, don’t blindly do the same unless you know for sure that your audience is there. It’s also easy to run ads on different platforms that precisely target your intended audience, allowing you to really focus your marketing and content.
Have Influencers Promote Your Event
Influencer marketing has been on the rise these past few years as more and more people got into social media. These influencers have huge followings and have the power to steer their audience toward your business.
Remember influencers won’t necessarily want paying but you need to give them something back for them agreeing to help you promote your event. This could be as simple as a free VIP ticket to your event or it could be as substantial as an opportunity to speak at your event. You have to work out what you’re willing to give and just how much buzz you’re chosen influencers can really generate.
Once the event is taking place, it’s important not to forget about those attendees that have helped you promote it. By making sure you give them an incredible VIP experience on the day, then they are far more likely to continue waxing lyrical about your event in the days and weeks afterward.
Make Use of Your Email List
If you already have an existing email list then you need to have an email marketing campaign in place. Out of all available marketing strategies out there, marketing to your email subscribers is by far one of the easiest and cheapest things to do — unless you’re buying a list of course, and in my opinion,this is a tactic that rarely pays off.
With an email list, you’ve collated over time, the recipients will already aware of your brand since they’ve already subscribed or have done business with you in the past, so they’re more likely be receptive to you sending them an event invite.
Make sure to follow email best practices in order for you to achieve high open and click-through rates. This means keeping your emails personalized and succinct as well as well-designed. Refrain from using jargon or an overly salesy tone. The main thing to remember is to inform and convey how your event can provide value and never ever come across like you’re hounding them to attend.
Make the Most Out of Referrals and Word of Mouth
Referrals and word of mouth are powerful ways to market your event because it comes from people that your target audience already knows. This means you don’t have to build rapport and trust—the person recommending your event has already done it for you. It’s one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book and that’s because people still like to do business with people and so face to face recommendations are worth a hundred marketing emails.
Of course, unlike email and social media, referrals through networking is a tactic that is impossible to scale. The key here is to be active when it comes to networking so you can spread awareness about your next event. However, when doing so, make sure to follow the rules of engagement. Don’t just focus on your event and make sure to ask about the other person’s current activities as well.
Let Your Speakers Promote Too
Getting speakers to promote your event is a quick win if you take into account that they also have a vested interest in getting a large audience of switched on relevant people to watch them espouse their knowledge and acumen. Chances are, they also have a following of their own and having them share the upcoming talk with their audience means you’re essentially widening your reach.
A great way to make it easier for them to promote your event is to provide them promotional banners and images that they can share with their social platforms. Let them know from the outset that it would really help secure the event’s success if they could help by promoting it to their own followers on social media.
About the Author: Denise Sharpe is Managing Director and founding partner of London based event management companyOutsourced Events. With over twenty years in the event industry, she has helped run events for global corporates such as Dell, Citrix and renowned UK organisations like the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. You can get in touch with Outsourced Events onTwitter,LinkedInandFacebook, or check out more of Denise’s insights on theirevent blog