Event marketing is a powerful way to meet and engage with large numbers of potential customers. Whether you're hosting a grand opening, putting on a large sale, or creating some kind of customer thank-you concert series... events can be an effective tool for building brand awareness, growing sales, and developing relationships. The key is you have to be able to pull it off.
Here are eight local event marketing tips to help you ensure success at your next event.
1. Target the Audience You Want.
Keep your target audience in mind when promoting your event. You want bigger crowds, but you need more than just warm bodies in attendance. Promotion of your event should be in alignment with your goals for the event, whether it’s building brand awareness, increasing sales, or nurturing relationships.
2. Reach Them Where They Are.
The ideal advertising medium is one that naturally fits or caters to your target audience and the goals of your event. When it comes to promoting your event, select media channels based on audience demographics, psychographics, and proven history to drive traffic to events.
3. Communicate the Benefit.
Your messaging should emphasize the benefit to your audience—why should they attend your event? Let them know what’s in it for them. For example... Will they have a fun time for no cost? Can they bring their whole family and have them all be entertained? Will they be able to take advantage of special deals and promotions that are exclusive to customers? Will they be supporting a local charity by attending?
In addition, if you’re planning a giveaway or access to a special offer as part of your event, include it as part of your promotional activities.
4. Plan an Action Campaign.
In a marketing action campaign, you tell your audience exactly what they should do in clear, short-term marketing efforts. For example, you can run a radio campaign to drive specific, immediate action related to your event. Tell listeners how to buy tickets or when to show up and where—plus, why they should come. It’s an essential part of building buzz and excitement for your event. The frequency of your ads would be high during a shorter period of time.
5. Encourage Early Birds.
Give your ticket sales a boost by offering an advance purchase discount. One advantage of early bird ticket sales is that it gives you an idea of whether sales are tracking with your expectations. If they’re not, you can make adjustments in your promotional efforts.
You can do this even if it's not a ticketed event by encouraging RSVPs and providing some kind of special offer for the "first 100 people who RSVP."
6. Use Social Media.
Social media is one of the best ways to promote events, either with targeted ads or by posting content leading up to the event to generate interest. A hashtag can help unify your social efforts and add a social engagement tracking mechanism. Plus, Facebook event listings are a great way to spread the word to the public. They are easy to RSVP to, easy to share, easy to access, and make communicating with your attendees simpler and faster.
7. Create FOMO.
Building excitement for your event is one of the best ways to generate interest. Leverage the universal “fear of missing out” (or FOMO). Use promotions to urge your audience to take action before time is up—talk about limited tickets or available spots to add a sense of urgency as your event gets closer. You can also add to the excitement by running a contest—on social media, through the radio, or elsewhere—and encouraging people to use your event hashtag in their posts.
8. Leverage Influencers.
Influencer marketing can be particularly effective for building excitement and increasing that aforementioned FOMO. Find influencers with whom your audience is already familiar and build on that trust. Examples include radio personalities, community leaders, local celebrities, bloggers, or even professional athletes. Even better, recruit an influencer to be part of your event, not just a promoter of it.
Harness the power of event marketing to build brand awareness, grow sales, and more. The tips above can help ensure that your next event draws not only big crowds, but crowds of engaged, excited event participants.