18 Event Marketing Strategies To Try
Updated September 30, 2022
Most organizations measure their events by two factors: how much money they raise and how many people attend. These factors depend on one another, and you might improve them by choosing the most effective event marketing strategy. In this article, we discuss what event marketing is, why it's important, the factors that influence it and give 18 event marketing strategies for you to promote your next program.
What is event marketing?
Event marketing is a strategy that promotes online and offline events through various channels. It involves interactions between companies or brands and their clients or customers. Each event has a different target audience, content and culture, which makes marketing for each one unique. You can use event marketing for business to business (B2B) programs and business to consumer (B2C) events. Event marketing tactics for both types may be similar, just with different target audiences.
Related: 25 Types of Jobs in Events
Why is event marketing important?
Event marketing is important because it is the primary strategy and campaign to bring awareness to your program and entice attendees. It helps ensure you're reaching the right target audience and making an impression on both existing and potential clients or customers. Event marketing may also promote credibility and trust for a brand or organization for future events and develop bonds of customer and company loyalty.
Related: How To Market Your Business
What factors influence event marketing?
Certain factors influence choosing an event marketing strategy, such as:
Choosing how, when and where to market an event may depend on your budget. Whether large or small, each budget can support a well-planned event marketing strategy. For organizations with smaller budgets, consider researching your other factors and creating an in-depth marketing plan to maximize your results based on your available funds.
Outlining key objectives of the event, such as why it's important to the organization and to your target audience, can influence how you choose an event marketing strategy. This may give insight on the best places to advertise or what type of incentives to offer.
Gaining and using promotional resources may affect your event marketing strategy. Access to creative materials, virtual channels or potential customers and clients may help you decide which strategies best fit within your marketing plan.
Understanding who your target audience is, what they do and what they like may help you choose an event marketing plan. Determining why they make certain choices to attend an event and what experience they expect to get from one can be beneficial when choosing a strategy.
Related: A Guide to Marketing Degrees
18 types of event marketing strategies
Use these 18 event marketing strategies in your next marketing plan to promote your programs:
1. Taking advantage of time
You don't have to wait to complete all the details of an event before you promote it. Consider designing a pre-event page on your website to announce that you'll be having a program. You can add additional details to the page as they become available. This creates a mysterious aspect that may encourage people to return to your site frequently to check for updates, which may get people discussing your event and planning to attend.
2. Promoting through traditional media
Creating a press release to share with traditional media outlets such as newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations is a classic event marketing strategy that can also be effective depending on your target audience. This may allow you to reach people where they get their news or entertainment information and associate your company or brand with a legitimate source.
3. Creating advertising materials
Consider creating promotional hard-copy banners, flyers and signs or purchasing billboard space if it's in your budget. Hang your materials in stores, restaurants, community gathering spaces or anywhere your target audience visits regularly. This may lead to a frequency illusion called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, where your awareness of something increases and entices you to explore it further.
4. Promoting on social media
Promoting your event on social media may help you reach potential customers or clients outside of your immediate geographical location. Using social media may allow you to reach people who consume less traditional media, like a younger target audience. Social media may also allow you to connect with influencers and brand ambassadors to extend your reach or invite peer recommendations for attendance. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics for businesses which can help you track the progress of your marketing strategy before and after the event.
5. Inviting influential people
Inviting influential people to your event, and advertising their attendance, may be an excellent marketing strategy if your target audience isn't yet loyal to your brand. People such as social media influencers, traditional media personalities, political leaders or celebrities may help promote your event and attract new customers who may not have come to your event otherwise.
6. Using live-stream options
Consider using live-streaming options on social media and other virtual platforms before and during an event to promote it to a wider target audience. Before an event, you may live-stream behind-the-scenes content about preparation or answer real-time questions about the event and interact with potential attendees. You may also choose to live-stream pieces of or the entire event to reach audiences across the country or the world. For annual events, this may encourage those who live elsewhere to travel and attend in the future.
7. Promoting at other events
Try promoting your event at other events, such as festivals, fairs or other community organized programs. Run a booth or rent a table and bring flyers, brochures, images, video or any other items to help promote your business and event. This may give you the opportunity to meet potential consumers in person, display the brand's personality and create a connection. For events with registration, you may also consider offering a way to sign up on-site to get customers to commit to attendance before they walk away.
8. Creating an event website
Consider creating a dedicated event website, separate but linked to your current company site, for larger events. Include all the information such as the date and time, cost, description, benefactors, potential activities, special guests or other things that make your event unique. For events with registration include the forms or steps for signing up. This strategy allows you to keep users focused on the event without being distracted by other products or services you offer on your main website.
9. Using pop-ups and landing pages online
For smaller-scale events, consider using pop-up forms on your website to direct potential attendees to a sign-up form or a landing page with information about the event. Text and images on pop-ups may be minimal, but a landing page can include all the information about the event to encourage attendance.
10. Using email marketing
For an audience that's already on your mailing list, consider using targeted email marketing to update them about your event. Email marketing is one of the most direct virtual business to consumer marketing strategies. Its long-form potential allows you to include as much or as little information as necessary, images or media and links. You can also personalize email marketing based on individual recipients or target groups. Consider creating a mid- to long-term campaign that reminds subscribers of the event at certain intervals leading up to it.
11. Blogging before an event
Depending on your target audience, consider blogging about your event to encourage attendance. Used with other strategies, the long-form style of blogging may allow you to share more in-depth details of why you're having an event, who's involved or how you got the idea. Consider sharing a new blog post at certain intervals leading up to the event and sharing the links through other marketing channels to build interest.
12. Promoting Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a term used largely since the increase in popularity of of social media to identify a feeling that if you're not involved with a certain group, project or event you're left out or uninformed. Companies can use this feeling to their advantage when engaging in event marketing by using videos, images, music and text to create a persona around the event that makes it impossible to miss.
Consider what value your event can have on a consumer's social status or online presence that could encourage them to attend. Consider focusing on any influential attendees, performance acts, caterers, photo opportunities, special merchandise or things that make your event experience unique.
Related: 30 Event Promotion Ideas
13. Offering incentives or discounts
For paid events, consider offering discounts to those who register early or make a purchase within a specific time frame. You may also consider offering coupon codes to email subscribers or new customers. Items like free merchandise or other perks may entice potential attendees to commit faster and make their experience more exclusive. This can promote the feeling of FOMO and the word-of-mouth discussions about a brand.
14. Soliciting sponsors
Partner with other businesses or organizations such as merchandise companies, restaurants or food providers, entertainment venues or other prominent businesses in your region. This may allow you to reach a wider network of potential attendees through their contacts and inflate the status or importance of the event.
15. Creating new branding
Whether paid or free, an event can be its own commodity. Consider creating an event logo and tagline with original artwork and phrasing. Use words, colors and symbols that appeal to your target audience. Creating new branding for the event can help consumers distinguish it from other products you sell or services you provide and recognize it instantly when they see it through other channels.
16. Remarketing across the internet
Consider engaging in remarketing, which is a technique for targeting ads for potential consumers across the internet. When working with an advertising agency or search engine company, you can add a specific tag to your website that influences the ads visitors see on other sites. This may help you promote the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
17. Purchasing promotional space
Most social media channels and search engines have the option for paid promotions, which allow you to pay a fee to get your material to reach a larger audience. Most entities let you choose when and for how long your promotion runs so you can choose one that fits your budget. Engaging in paid promotions may help you get the maximum reach and impact out of your online content.
18. Encouraging user-generated content
Encouraging users to promote your event is a marketing strategy often used with other types of virtual or social media promotion. Creating event hashtags, launching photo or video competitions or inventing other ways to involve your target audience in the planning, execution and participation of an event may make them more inclined to attend. User-generated content is another way to incentivize a program and decrease the number of promotional materials you need to create and share.
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