Are you planning an event around one of your brands or business? Great decision, events are one of the most effective marketing channels in terms of ROI, allowing you to build brand awareness, generate leads, up-sell customers and educate your market.
But even if you’ve chosen the perfect date and a venue this strategy will only be successful if you manage to draw in the right audience. If you’re not sure how to start, here are 16 quick tips on pre-event marketing.
Focus on the event page
The first step is to have a clear, concise and compelling value proposition that resonates with your audience and an event page to display all information. The event page is where everyone will be directed to through your marketing efforts, it’s the front-face of your event, so it needs to be spot-on.
Make sure you include all relevant information in a clear way and make the page scannable, you don’t want anyone to get confused, bored or lost before they register. As musts, you should always outright display the name of your event, date & time, venue and a description that clearly states your value proposition.
People are visual and having an image on the page will not only make it more attractive but will also help attract your audience, so make sure it’s the right one. It needs to be relevant, catchy (no one wants to see a picture of just a building on a gloomy day) and often overlooked, it needs to have a good resolution.
Speakers are a major part of the event value proposition, and your audience will always want to know about the people they’re setting time aside to listen to. That said, find out the most event-relevant information about the speakers and write interesting bios, and don’t forget to include profile pictures, they add legitimacy to your text.
It’s always a good idea to specify who the event is for. Who are you expecting to show up? This works both ways, it will discourage people for whom the event is irrelevant to register and will attract even more those who you’re interested in hosting as they’ll feel identified. It’s reassuring to know an event has been planned around your interests and needs.
Call to action
This is extremely important! Guide your audience to where you want them to go, to the registration form. That is the main objective of the page. Chose a catchy format to display your “Register now!” message or button, which you could even have several times throughout the page depending on its length and format.
Make sure you request all the information you need (personal and business) and make the essential fields required. This form is a great opportunity to acquire more information on your audience but be careful not to make it too long or tedious for people to fill in. You don’t want to lose anyone during this process!
Event outreach via e-mail
Once your event page is set up, it’s time to reach out and invite your ideal audience. Direct e-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to do this, so once you have a great list of people you want to invite, start typing.
You need to break through the noise and stand out from other emails in your recipient’s inbox. Come up with a subject line that provokes feelings, ask a question, mention the person’s name, include numbers; all these strategies have proven to increase open rate. Whichever you choose, stand out from the crowd.
Don’t write a super lengthy email. Include the essential key pieces of information such as title, location and date along with a short but catchy description. You might be tempted to write everything that’s going on, but it will play against you, focus on making sure your value proposition is clearly communicated.
The ideal day and time depend on who you’re reaching out to. Do some research on what is best for your target group, for example, is it best to email during working hours or at the weekend?
Call to action
This is a critical component of your email. Think about what is the objective of your email and make sure you have a clear call to action – do you want people to let you know if they’re interested via email? Do you want them to register by filling in the form on the event page? If your aim is the latter, which we’d strongly recommend, make sure you have a visible link to the registration page.
If you don’t receive a response to your first email, don’t give up, follow up several times at appropriate intervals. You’ll be amazed to see how many people will reply or action after a second, third or even fourth email.
Event outreach via social media
Use social media to make a buzz and promote your event to a wider audience. But it’s a strategy that cannot be taken lightly, to see results you must have a plan.
As with email, your value proposition and key information must be there, but you will need to find the best format for each platform. You don’t communicate on Twitter the same way you communicate on LinkedIn, so tailor your language and style.
Call to action
Don’t forget to link to the event landing page! You want everyone to visit the page and register.
Not everyone will see your first post or tweet, so post and tweet often, don’t be afraid to do so several times a day. Have a plan/ schedule and consider important dates such as when a discount is coming to an end or when registration is closing.
Speakers will be your marketing allies, especially if they are active on social media and have a good following. Mention them on your tweets and encourage them to re-tweet and share with their connections and friends.
Always have in mind who your audience is, find relevant groups in Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter… and post. Also follow and connect with relevant people who will be interested in your topic.