Special events can be a great opportunity to advertise your brand. Although companies often focus on big days like Christmas, events marketing can be tailored to suit almost any occasion. From conferences to social events and, of course, national holidays, you can use these to boost your content marketing calendar.
But with events being under such time constraints, you could potentially waste a great opportunity for your brand by not being prepared. So how can you make sure you get the most from your events?
Devise a calendar
Putting together a calendar with all the key events for your industry throughout the year is a fantastic way to ensure there is complete transparency across the company about what you should be keeping an eye on.
This can take whatever form you want it to, but it needs to be a format that most people are able to understand and access easily. A simple spreadsheet works well for most companies and allows you to add all the information you may need. As well as the date of the event, you can tag key members of staff that should be involved, how it targets consumers, and even if it aligns with any content pillars.
These additional details help ensure that you can gather expertise from all over the business, rather than just focusing on specific people or leaving it all down to your marketing team. It can also help to implement a traffic light system to rank the importance of each event for your brand, as calendars can often become crowded.
Align events with your wider strategy
How does each event help you meet your wider business goals? Making sure the events you are prioritizing align with your marketing strategy and overall company targets is a key part of ensuring events marketing is a success.
Understanding where people are in the sales funnel will help you better tailor your event-focused marketing to get the results you want. For example, webinars are often focused around building brand loyalty or raising brand awareness rather than straightforward selling.
If you have a number of different personas, you need to understand which dates are more important to your individual demographics. This will help you to identify the best channels for engaging these consumers and ensure your event strategy is cohesive with the rest of your marketing efforts.
Find the channels to prioritize
Some events work better on specific channels compared to others and you need to understand which you need to prioritize to get the most from your upcoming events. If it's something you're hosting, such as a product launch or a conference, you need to ensure you allow yourself enough time to advertise and publicize the event on all your social channels. You'll also want to consider when to send information to your email subscribers, what incentives you can offer them, and how many chaser emails you want to send.
Twitter is a great resource for events marketing, with many businesses using the platform to provide real-time updates on what's happening. This can be especially useful during conferences where different speakers are invited to give their insight. For more consumer-facing events, you may want to also utilize Facebook or YouTube to build up interest for the event.
Collaborating with others can be a great way to get the most out of an event, giving you more exposure and potentially reaching people outside of your normal consumer base. For events you're hosting, teaming up with similarly-minded companies can be an effective partnership and can significantly increase engagement.
The rise of bloggers and vloggers has provided another option to organizations. Influencer marketing is a major resource for companies wanting to raise their profile or boost interest around a certain product, event or service. It's also relatively cost-effective, compared to PPC campaigns or other marketing efforts.
Part of the appeal of this ambassador content is that it can benefit almost any event, as long as you find the right contacts. If you're wanting to advertise a webinar, reach out to a thought leader on LinkedIn to help you publicize the event, while vloggers with a significant following can be used to sell products tied to big events like Christmas or even Black Friday.
Use data to track success
You need to collect as much data as possible from the events you focus on so you can refine your strategy next year, and see which occasions were more valuable to your brand. It's worth remembering that this applies to offline tactics as much as your online pursuits, even if they seem a little more challenging.
Marketers are often focused on tracking the success of one-off campaigns when it comes to events marketing, such as Christmas, Black Friday or even more low-key dates like product launches. However, it's always important to get as much information as you can for even small one-day events.
If you want to keep a track of interest at an industry networking event, asking people for a few details can be a great way to monitor this, while using a simple counter can allow you to get a realistic picture of how many consumers you're talking to.
For online webinars or other virtual events, you'll probably want to get people to register for the session before the date itself, which can be a good signifier. However, it's also good to track your social media activity and what levels of engagement you get in response. Surveys can be used in both online and offline events to help analyze where you succeeded and the areas you need to improve.