Post authored by Dana Norris, Marketing Manager
In last month’s post I wrote about why—communicating the value of your event—as the third of the 5 W’s of an effective event marketing strategy. The fourth element to consider is what.
Consider What Marketing Pieces To Create
Knowing which communication outlets your audience is best adapted to—which you discovered in the second “W”—will be a large deciding factor here. To generate the highest amount of registrants, however, you should plan on a mix of all of them.
As you consider each approach, careful planning will help you make them most efficient and cost effective. Let’s take a look at the top three ways of promoting your event, and the top three do’s and don’ts of each.
While social media has gained tremendous popularity over the last few years, email marketing is still used by over 80% of marketers, according to research conducted by Search Engine People (SEP).
- Make your subject line standout – Did you know subject lines that inspire, awe or anger lead to higher open rates?
- Triple check content and perform test emails before launching – Broken links, spelling errors or a missing sentence hurts your reputation.
- Humanize your email – Have your message come from a (real) person rather than your organization—it builds a stronger connection between you and your audience.
- Forget to include an opt-out for your recipients – When I don’t see it, I question the organization’s (or the offer’s) legitimacy.
- Bait and switch – Like we discussed in W #2, don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
- Rely solely on graphics – These may or may not load properly across all platforms. Make sure you don’t put your offer only in a graphic and not in the copy.
It’s everywhere, all the time. And when used properly, social media can help you generate positive results.
- Appoint a dedicated individual/team – Your social media channels need monitored 24/7. Responses need to be swift and appropriate.
- Create an event hashtag – This is a great place for dedicated event-only information as well as a way for your attendees to engage with each other and your speakers.
- Consider an RSS feed on your blog – As your audience subscribes to this, they are continually updated on your event information.
- Copy messages along networks – Your Twitter message should differ from your Facebook message.
- “Newsjack” – Trying to get awareness by capitalizing on a current news event can miss the mark completely. If you do this, make sure you can tie your event into the topic effectively.
- Ignore negative comments – Unacknowledged and unresolved complaints will leave you in a negative light. You’ll be more respected if you address these situations ASAP.
In today’s world, a physical mailer is almost extinct. But the power of a printed piece may surprise you.
With proper planning, a direct mail piece can bridge the gap between online and offline engagement.
- Focus on relevance, not volume. Send your message to smaller, more targeted lists.
- Drive traffic online – Direct your audience to your online front. There is more as well as evolving information here.
- Seed your lists – Add yourself or someone on your team to each mailing. You can track delivery time and the arrival condition of your mailer.
- Mess up your recipient’s name – Nothing makes me drop something into the “circular file” quicker. Spell it correctly, and if you don’t know whether it should be Mr. or Ms., please don’t use it!
- Forget the who, where and when – I’ve seen many a mailer without a location.
- Make people guess what you want them to do – Provide a clear call to action and always include a link to your website.
One thing no matter what the outlet—don’t hard sell! Make sure you have something of value to say about your event and let people know why they should attend. Remember … people care about what’s in it for them.
Stay tuned for the final post, which will wrap in all of the knowledge you’ve gained in previous posts, when we discuss when – creating your optimal promotional timeline.
There are many other ways in which to promote your event. Need to know what other promotional opportunities you can be taking advantage of in marketing your event? Need to find out more do’s and don’ts of each method? Contact an Experient Marketing Expert today!