Event marketing is the ultimate game-changer strategy to engage your customers and get your brand noticed. Maximize your marketing strategies, leverage data, align promotion with your business goals and sell out your event.
Take a step back and look at the big picture. Think back to the last event you attended. Whether you conduct the event in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
Customer acquisition through promotion is the key objective.
Event marketing is the opportunity to build a high level of brand awareness that facilitates business sales. Depending on your industry and type, build your event marketing strategy to produce desired results.
But the question is, what is event marketing? How to do event marketing?
In this event marketing guide, we will discuss all that you need to know for a successful event.
What is Event Marketing?
At its simplest, event marketing refers to the use of live experiences as a marketing tool to promote a brand, service, or product. It’s about event marketing tactics to get people excited.
One of the biggest reasons businesses host events is to build their brand identity and increase customer reach. Event marketing is suitable for B2C and B2B companies.
For B2C, businesses aim to attract their target audience, get them registered, buy tickets and invite them to attend. For B2B, businesses aim to get their target investors, sponsors, and exhibitors by inviting them to attend the event.
Types of Events
A virtual event refers to an event that takes place in an online environment on the web, rather than at a physical location. Virtual events include live stream experiences, webinars, live discussions, and online training sessions.
Conferences refer to an event where you connect with your audience in real-time, at a physical location or virtually, for a shared interest or exchange of information.
A trade show refers to an event that brings together different organizations of a particular industry to display, demonstrate, and discuss their latest products, innovations, and happenings.
A seminar refers to an event that brings together people to learn more about a certain topic or subject of shared interest. It usually involves presentations, discussions, and interactive activities that enhance the knowledge of the attendees.
Ceremonies and Galas
An event designed to build awareness, and enhance interest in your product or service among key stakeholders, commonly conducted by media companies, publishers, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
Job Fairs and Recruitment Events
An event that involves employers and recruiters to meeting with prospective candidates and providing job seekers with information about new openings at potential employers.
A product launch event refers to an event that debuts a new brand, product, or service in the market, and creates hype among the target audience. It is conducted to build up excitement and expand the customer base.
An event where only a very important group of people are invited to experience a particular aspect of your business. The status of VIPs at the event usually creates hype in the market and enables you to enhance your identity.
Why should you not ignore event marketing?
According to various trend reports, and marketers we speak with, event marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels out there for generating new business and growing your network.
According to a study by the Event Marketing Institute, 74% of consumers say that engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted.
According to the Statista, the annual growth rate of events revenue will be 3.98%, with a revenue of US$31.10 bn by 2027.
Promoting and Publicizing an Event through the Channels of Event Marketing
First thing first. How can you publicize an event successfully?
Navigating the event marketing strategy, you need to rethink approaches that are best fit to grab the attention of your target audience.
The date is set.
Ready? Now let’s do some event marketing.
Now that it’s time to promote your event. Where do you start? There is no right or wrong, but the matter of crafting strategies that work best for your event. Invest considerable time and effort to deliver a positive experience that yields actual results.
The key is how to communicate and publicize your event to potential attendees, which means you need to promote through the different channels of event marketing.
In today’s digital world, there are endless opportunities to promote and publicize your event. It can be challenging to discern which strategy works best for your business. Event promotion strategies make a great deal of difference in your event’s success.
The scope is vast, but it’s impossible to present a perfect catch-all event marketing plan, as every business has different objectives, budgets, and target audiences.
Whether you’ve been marketing for a matter of weeks or a few days, it’s always great to shape your event marketing strategy through various channels as follows:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Event Website
- PPC Campaigns
- Google Display Network
Event Marketing Plan: An Overview
The event marketing campaign has a lot of moving parts that require collaboration, and for that, you need to have a detailed plan. It can be overwhelming to decide where to start and how to do event marketing.
Thanks to digital marketing technologies, specific business goals have become more achievable. When you have a good event marketing plan, you can easily get the word out, build buzz and reach the target audience.
Let’s explore the key areas you must cover for your next successful marketing event.
Events are expensive and require a considerable amount of time and effort, so you must carefully plan everything well in advance.
Deciding on an event objective is one of the first and foremost tasks.
Start by considering your business goals. What outcomes do you want to generate from the event? Are you looking to build brand awareness? Or are you more interested in maximizing product sales?
Make your objective S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Use it for a result-driven objective for your event.
Don’t limit yourself to event attendees or registrations. Regardless of how much fun your audience had and the popularity your event gained, if it failed to complete the objective, it is of no use to your business.
What are Your Event’s Concept, Identity and Timeline?
It is critical to get the message across to your target audience. You need to know what information and content to market. Establish your event purpose, name, and theme before moving forward. It allows you to design the message for your audience, and establish an identity for your event aligned with your business goal.
Next, establish a timeline. Create an event schedule when you need to start and end event promotion. Map out your touchpoints, and lay out your timeline.
Who is the Target Audience for your Marketing Efforts?
Research your target audience to craft the best event marketing strategies that directly connect with them. Develop a detailed buyer-persona for your event based on data and research.
You should know every detail about your audience:
- Media Consumption
- Time Preferences
- Likes and dislikes
For example, the buyer-personal for the B2B Marketing Exchange event has been developed on demographic basis, gender and age. This event brings marketers of all levels together to learn the latest trends and best practices in content marketing, demand generation, account-based marketing, channel marketing, sales enablement and digital strategy.
To put it simply, look through the funnel, and ask questions like who would benefit the most from the event? What kinds of people would enjoy your workshops, learn from your speakers, and be interested in sponsoring your event?
Determine Your Event’s Value Proposition
Be specific and much more compelling. Distinguish your events from the rest. Explain how your event is relevant and delivers specific benefits for them.
Brainstorm around questions like which customer needs are you going to meet. What channels provide the best way to communicate value offerings? And how will you provide an acceptable value for your target audience?
To determine your value proposition, you need to:
- Establish the uniqueness
- Communicate the value
- Pinpoint target audience pain points
- Relate the problem to the value
- Communicate the benefit of your event
A value proposition is something real that people are supposed to understand. It must get your voice heard and your business into the lights.
What is Your Strategy for Producing and Overseeing Content?
Remember, your event is not a one-time event. Think of it as an ongoing conversation to engage with your audience. So how should you go about creating stellar content for your event?
Another great way to produce content for your event is to find the questions your audience is already asking, and strategize your content through sources such as Quora, and Reddit, where people look for answers.
Consider multiple channels for posting content, and make a calendar to distribute content management. The content that you produce should be geared toward your target audience, highlighting your value proposition. Create relevant content for events through how-to videos, conversational blogs, and speaker interviews to increase your reach and help your bottom line.
Strategically plan your content to get your audience excited. Be selective about the content you produce, as not all content is best to promote.
Using Social Media for Successful Event Marketing
Prioritize reach, connection, and anticipation through social media event marketing. Social media is the best way to market an event, as you can tap into your target audience effectively.
Whatever event you’re coming up with, build your brand and spread awareness about your event. Be it a musical event or educational expo, social media help you attract and engage potential event-goers with the right marketing efforts.
Social Media Platforms
We recommend you create your own customized social media event content marketing strategy for every platform, keeping your event tone similar across channels.
Get the word out about the happening through Facebook for event marketing. Set up an event page with all the details you want to share with your target audience.
For example, CalMatters and the Milken Institute conducted an online event, and created a Facebook page for event marketing.
Advertise your event on LinkedIn to get full visibility, boast higher engagement, drive conversions, and increase registrations. With better results and lower costs, LinkedIn enables highly targeted ads.
Showcase your event to create connections, and promote your event on Instagram for a wider reach. Create a trendy hashtag, and eye-catching imagery, and don’t forget to share behind-the-scene exclusives.
Advertise your event on Snapchat, develop an event story, make a geofilter, create content to showcase on the story, and optimize the campaign through Snapchat Ads Manager.
Search Engine Visibility with an Optimized Event Webpage
Whether it be a corporate event, social gathering, or networking night, SEO can ensure you get the most out of your event. Get the SEO guide for event marketing, follow along, and improve user experience.
Giving your event webpage the required boost with the right SEO strategy makes it easy for your target audience to find more information and get convinced about event registration.
Keep in mind that the best Keywords for your event immediately improve your SEO, and rank your event higher in search results.
Get on Google as Search Remains a Key Driver of Traffic
No matter what type of event you’re planning, you need to include essential information on your event webpage.
Being visible and in a good position on search engines makes it easy for your target audience to find your event. If people can’t find your event webpage on the search engine, you’re going to attract less traffic and fail to develop credibility.
Here’s how you can optimize your event webpage for Google search visibility.
- Event Schema
- Keyword Research
- Local SEO
- Optimize for Mobile
- Add Events to Third-Party Websites
- Add Focus & Semantic Keywords on Your Event Page
Essential Components that Your Website Has
Creating SEO-driven content produces results, gains higher visibility, and boosts event presence online.
Wondering exactly what essential components your event webpage must-have to maximize your SEO results? Here are a few listed to get started with.
- Time and Date
- Call to Action
- Rich Content
For example, the Meet McKinsey Lunch event web page showcases all the essential information required by the attendees.
Enhance Your Online Visibility with Paid Digital Advertising
If you want to enhance your online visibility, you should opt for paid advertising model for targeting a wider audience. It enables you to reach the specific target audience, based on the buyer persona you developed earlier in your event marketing plan.
Once you’ve identified the event’s audience for paid media, you can enhance the content accordingly. Strong online visibility helps you establish credibility among the target audience, enhance your reputation, ad generate organic leads.
Here are some major paid digital advertising options to get optimal results for your event.
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Google Adwords
- Influencer Marketing
Event Success with Virtual Marketing Strategies
Don’t get lost in the digital shuffle.
Learn to market your event using virtual marketing strategies with attention to detail. Virtual marketing strategies for your event can be directly linked to your event objective, to drive desired outcomes.
Having a solid virtual event marketing strategy is the key to the success of your event. Include FOMO elements that get people excited, for example, an unseen photo from the last event, or a keynote shared by the speaker.
Consider the following virtual marketing strategies for your event:
- SEO Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Assessing the Effectiveness of Event marketing Efforts
How do you know whether your event marketing campaign was successful or not? You cannot rely on your gut feeling to assess, nor is only one metric enough for data analysis.
The core purpose of the evaluation is to understand whether the event has met pre-defined objectives, goals, attendees’ expectations, and overall ROI.
Measuring the effectiveness of event marketing efforts is a comprehensive endeavor with specific pinpoints during the event, and concludes after the event.
Event Attendance as a Determining Factor in Event Success
Starting at the top of the funnel, the number of event attendees for the event, including first-time visitors and repeat visitors is a clear metric to measure success.
Revenue and Lead Generation as Key Indicators of Success
At the end of the day, revenue generated from the event is a major indicator to understand whether your event performed as per expectation or not. Also, new leads generated at the event are the proverbial measure with potential monetary value.
Tickets sold for your event is an easy-to-use performance indicator that shows how many people bought tickets. However, it is common for some ticket buyers to miss the event.
Number of Sponsors
A high number of sponsor satisfaction indicate event success, as it shows greater collaboration opportunities for the next event.
Advantages of Event Marketing
If you’re ready to stir things up, there is no other better way than to host an event. Whether you’re rolling out a new product, hosting a charity event, or conducting trade expos, events increase your business prominence, build brand visibility, and benefit your SEO campaign.
The importance of event marketing cannot be ignored in today’s digital world where humanizing and developing a connection has become imperative for a business to succeed.
After learning about event marketing, let’s explore its advantages.
- Grow your database & leads: Even if your target customer didn’t attend the event, you get them to add to your database for future business promotion.
- Increase brand exposure & awareness: Events are a great way to connect with your existing and prospectus customers.
- Build brand affinity: Events allow you to create positive affirmations about your business and allow the target audience to experience it virtually or in person.
- Boost sales: Events create a boost of cash for your business, with greater sales not only during the event but an increase in more regular customers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I measure the ROI of my event marketing?
Calculate your event marketing ROI by subtracting the total cost of revenue generated from the event from the total cost of event operations, divided by the total cost of the event, and multiplying by 100.
How do I develop an event marketing strategy?
- Define goals & budget for your event
- Identify target audience for event
- Create event marketing content plan
- Promote & publicize your event
- Feedback & Follow-up from attendees
What are the 7 P's of event marketing?
- Physical Evidence
We hope this event marketing guide, along with an events marketing checklist, helps you learn all the key takeaways for conducting a successful event. Event marketing stands out to be an incredibly valuable strategy for all businesses as it gets the customer excited about your product, service, or brand.
This is where event marketing agencies come in. An event marketing agency can help businesses create and execute a successful event strategy that aligns with their marketing goals and delivers measurable results.