Planning an upcoming event for your organisation? Having a comprehensive event marketing strategy can help attract attendees, drive ticket sales, and educate your audience about what they can expect to see and experience. But gone are the days where you only need to rely on billboards, tv ads or word of mouth. These days, social media plays a crucial part in event marketing.
Being active on social media before, during and after your event, not only contributes to the success of the event, but has positive returns for your business if you can maintain the relationships with your audience in the long run. Social media is also more effective and cost-efficient compared to traditional forms of event marketing since it offers precise targeting options to get your message in front of the right audience.
Here are a few social media tactics to consider in order to maximise the impact of your event marketing strategy.
1. Audience research and profiling
The starting point of any social media marketing strategy is a thorough understanding of your audience and how they behave online.
- Take into account their age range as this will determine which platform you use to reach them. For example, Facebook is ideal for reaching a wide audience, whereas Instagram is the best platform for speaking to younger audiences (around 18-34 years old).
- Observe the times of day that your audience is most active online. This will tell you the best times to post to get your message seen.
- Pinpoint their geographic location. Where do they live? Are there locations that they may visit regularly? Knowing these things can also help you set up precise targeting if you decide to incorporate social media advertising (paid ads) as part of your strategy.
- Consider the common industries or job titles of your audience as this will allow you to specifically target them when running paid social ads on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Familiarise yourself with their interests as this will inform the types of content you should create to drive optimal engagement.
Not sure who your target audience is? We can help you set up comprehensive tracking of your website, socials and more so that you can gather valuable data on who is already engaging with your brand.
2. Put together a content strategy
Once you have familiarised yourself with your target audience, you can begin thinking about content themes and topics that will grab their attention and keep them engaged. When marketing for an event you’ll need to demonstrate how your event will enrich the lives of attendees, and how your business is relevant to them in the long run.
Content can take the form of social media posts, or long form content such as LinkedIn Pulse articles or blogs located on your website. Consider diversifying the format of your posts by including a mixture of text posts, image posts and videos. Test out which format is receiving the most engagement or drives the most conversions and base future content plans off of your findings.
The purpose of pre-event marketing is to draw attention to your event and encourage people to attend. Highlight how attending your event will benefit them. Will they be able to find out more about products or services that are relevant to them? Be first in line to find out about your new launch? Gain a unique experience they wouldn’t have access to otherwise? You’ll also need to let them know how they can register to be a part of the event.
Here are some topics your pre-event content should cover:
- When and where the event is
- What makes this event so special, or important for them to attend
- How can they be a part of this – link them to ticketing sites or registration landing pages
During the event
On the day of the event, you’ll want to post content that showcases the main highlights of the day such as key speakers or brand ambassadors who will be there, special displays, booths, mini events or competitions. For people who can’t attend your show, this will show them how great your event is, and encourage them to attend your subsequent events. For attendees, they’ll know what to expect once they arrive and will be able to plan out where to go and what to see during the event.
Social Media is also a great way to share vital information about getting to the show, ticketing, opening hours, or any regulations attendees need to follow.
Here are some topics your content should cover during the event:
- Who’s there? Showcase special appearances and people of interest
- What’s there to do and when? A schedule of the day can help attendees plan ahead
- What are the ‘must-sees’? e.g. once in a lifetime experiences, competitions
Once the event is over, you’ll want attendees to look back on their time fondly and remain connected to your brand. Create content that will make them feel proud to have been a part of your event, along with content that will drive further engagement with your business.
Here are a few topics you should cover in your post-event content plan:
- Thank you message for attendees, partners, suppliers
- One or several event recaps. Include an overall event recap, along with recaps of the main highlights of the day such as panels, performances or competitions
- Educational content about what else your business has to offer – this can be about your brand story, key products/services or future events
- Provide clear CTAs about how you want them to engage – who can they contact to learn more about your business? How do they purchase your products? Include contact details, links, etc. in order to help them get to where you want them to go
3. Use existing data to give your campaigns an edge
Leverage existing data and insights to precisely target audiences through social media advertising. Data from recent website visitors, past purchasers, or your existing database can help you set up retargeting and lookalike campaigns.
Social media advertising serves a range of purposes, depending on the objective of your campaign.
- Engagement campaigns help you boost the visibility of a specific post. This can help raise awareness of your event amongst potential customers who may be outside of your existing network.
- Traffic campaigns drive social media users to a webpage of your choice (this can be anything from ticketing pages, registration pages, blogs or product information pages).
- Lead generation campaigns fulfil the purpose of collecting audience information without directing them away from the social media platform. Users can fill out a form customised with all the details you want to know (forms can be customised to include phone number, address, email or more). Because users don’t have to leave the platform to complete the next steps, this may help decrease drop off rates throughout the registration process.
4. Generate quality leads
Another way to collect customer data is by offering something valuable in return. This can take the form of educational content (downloadable pdfs of brochures, guides or case studies), exclusive appointments or offers, or the chance to enter an exciting competition. This is an especially effective tactic for post-event marketing as it opens up opportunities for continued conversation.
You’ll just need to create a form they have to fill out before they can access the benefits you are offering. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
5. Nurture relationships with potential or existing customers
Once you’ve captured the leads, you’ll want to keep them interested by following up with conversations via phone calls or emails. Email marketing campaigns with exclusive content customised to the needs and interests of specific audience segments can help you make a lasting impact. Sending out a pre-event email as well as a post-event email can help you build rapport with attendees.
There are many ways in which social media can add value to your event marketing plan. By keeping these key tactics in mind, you’ll have a solid foundation for a successful social media marketing strategy.
If you want more ideas on how you can drive ticket sales, improve event awareness, or keep potential customers engaged before and after your event, we can help you develop and implement an event marketing strategy utilising both traditional and digital platforms. Get in touch today to get started.