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How to develop a good marketing strategy for your event?
Posted Mar 20, 2016 in News
Your event is on track? You have the location, the speakers, the website is online and ready to welcome the participants? All there is left to do is to invite them to register on your website and try to achieve maximum participation.
Your event is on track? You have the location, the speakers, the website is online and ready to welcome the participants? All there is left to do is to invite them to register on your website and try to achieve maximum participation. To do this, the establishment of a communication strategy and the rollout of well-organised campaigns is of utmost importance.
The aim of this article is to go through all the actions that could or should be implemented to maximize enrolment. To do so, you will divide the period that separates you from the date of your event in 3 main phases: Teasing, Acquisition and Closing. Depending on the time you have, the type of event you are organizing and habits of your participants, you can adjust the timeframes of each of these phases. For example, if your event has an international professional audience, begin the closing stage early enough so your participants can still organize their diaries, book a flight and a hotel, etc.
Make sure that your event website is complete and attractive:
- Description of your event: Clearly indicate the subject and who the target audience is, along with what benefits this audience will get out of your event. Keep it short, and if possible use recommendations or quotes from people who have already participated in previous editions.
- Invest in your speakers: They are the heart of your event, so take the time to properly list them with their current position and a short biography. You can also mention their LinkedIn page, their blog or their website to allow visitors to learn more about them.
- Create an atmosphere: To do this, invest in your cover photo and publish videos and testimonials from previous editions, or just short interviews of speakers. And if they do not have this type of material, you can create some easily with short interviews using Skype or Hangout.
Now you can start your communication, but first set-up the tools that will allow you to measure the performance of your different campaigns and amplify them where necessary, such as with Google Analytics and e-commerce tracking. And do not forget to realize your tracking plan for the various media and messages you will use. In this way, you'll be able to identify precisely each source and adjust your communication tactics depending on the performance of each of them.
Finally, immediately start a remarketing campaign that will allow you to retarget your event website visitors by email or display. It's a very effective tactic, which will increase your conversion rate and will allow you to relay various messages at each step of your marketing plan.
Phase 1 : Teasing
This first phase consists in developing your communication on channels that you own (owned media) and first to your customers, prospects, members ... It is also the opportunity to work on your loyalty program and offer them an advantage by offering, for example, discounts for quick registration (early bird). Do not hesitate to suggest them to invite their relations and to promote their participation at your event.
You will therefore organize your communication primarily on the media and the audience you already own, namely:
- Publishing on the event website and making announcements on your website. Advertise your event where your traffic is currently focused. Post news or blog-posts, feel free to publish content from your speakers and suggest them to also advertise their lecture at your event.
- Send an invitation e-mailing to your database:
- Invest time in choosing a good subject and feel free to emphasize on the benefits they’ll get if they attend your event and work on the emotional. All studies show that "lukewarm" subjects engendered an open rate up to 3 times lower. Also feel free to use catchy formulas, such as "The 10 things you’ll miss if you do not participate."
- Focus on clicks. For example, you can place video thumbnails that will redirect to the event website, and of course, disseminate call-to-actions at strategic locations in your email.
- Send again and again. As part of the teasing phase, if you have opted for an early bird formula, do not hesitate to send an email at the beginning and another a few days before the end of the discount period.
- Relays on social networks:
- Post again and again. Even more than for email, communication on social networks demand recurrence. The average lifetime of a post is less than 12h. That's why you will prepare a scenario of posts highlighting the various facets of your event.
- Work on your posts and distribute them in priority to your community. That said, most social networks offer the ability to target similar communities or to work on areas of interest and geographically. Do not hesitate to initiate such a campaign from the teasing phase. Also be sure to work all of your event communication facets, such as:
- “Subscription are now opened”.
- “Only 3 days left to take advantage of the early bird rate”.
- Thank the sponsors
- Talk about your speakers, post quotes, talk about their interventions or re-post some of their publications.
- Mention your participants, thank them for registering.
- Encourage sharing.
- Creating an event: Facebook allows you to create an event with a link to your registration form (Ticket URL). You can therefore benefit from all the advantages of this type of functionality while draining visitors on your event website to register.
- Cross media: For example, use the registration's confirmation page and email to suggest participants to follow you on social networks and encourage them to share their attendance.
- SEO / SEA: From now on, your future participants are likely to look for information or to register for your event. You must therefore make sure that your event website is listed in the search engines. To do this, create the first links to your event website and, as its listing can take a few days, create an Adwords campaign based on the name or terms similar to the theme of your event.
- Remarketing: Start immediately your first remarketing campaign focusing your message on the event and on the early bird period.
Phase 2: Acquisition
During this second phase, we will focus marketing efforts on acquiring new participants through paid media and/or partners.
Working with business or media partners is a very effective way to organize the promotion of your event, addressing a defined target audience, while benefiting from the notoriety of these. Your goal, as the organizer of the event is to increase awareness and record new registrations. But feel free to consider other types of partnerships as well, such as with a photographer or team to capture video, etc.
This type of partnership can take several forms:
- Exchange of services and visibility: you can for example offer them tickets, their own stand, visibility on the location of the event or a table for themselves and their main customers during the closing banquet ...
- Affiliation: you can offer a unique discount coupon specifically reserved to their members or clients, or pay them based on the number of entries that they will have generated.
- Pre-event activities: Invite them to a cocktail party or dinner during which they will have the opportunity to meet with some of the speakers or influencers. Take the opportunity to invite some journalists as well so that they can write about their experience and therefore about your event.
In all cases, you will make sure to prepare a partners' kit with all the necessary materials (banners, email template, text for their website, blog or social media ...) to ensure that communication is mastered and dissemination simplified to the maximum.
If you offer coupons, you will ensure that these coupons do not provide a benefit greater than that offered during the teasing phase so that the already registered participants are not exposed to a more advantageous offer.
The acquisition phase focuses in part on the same types of media as used in the context of the teasing phase, only this time with adapted messages and a dedicated marketing budget.
- Adwords: based on initial results, optimize your campaigns and amplify budgets on those that generate the best conversions.
- E-mailing on external databases: Depending on the type of event you are organizing, it is not always easy to find qualified email databases to promote your event, but if such databases exist, do not hesitate to use this medium as it gives quite appreciable results.
- Campaigns on social networks: amplify your messages on social networks by organizing paid campaigns. Most of them provide all the necessary tools to organize targeted campaigns based on interests and geographically.
- Be creative and consider other media or external channels. You can for example speak at another event dedicated to the same target audience, to inform them about the theme of your event and invite them to participate.
Phase 3: Closing
This last phase aims to finalize registrations to your event, and for this, primarily target people who have expressed interest but have not completed their registration yet.
So focus on specific media:
- CRM : E-mailing, phone calls, …
In terms of message, ideally work on a temporal incentive to insist on the few days left to register or that these are the last places.
Of course, the fact that the closing phase is initiated doesn’t mean that the acquisition phase and the corresponding campaigns must be stopped.
- Validation of your event website:
- Description of your event
- List of the speakers and biography
- Pictures, videos…
- Set-up of Google analytics or equivalent:
- Traffic sources tracking
- Goals set-up
- If you have several types of registrations, e-commerce tracking will allow you to do the analysis based on the turnover.
- Tracking plan for the various campaigns. If you use Google Analytics, you can have a look at their URL builder tools. If you want more information about this tool usage, maybe should you have a look at this guide: A Complete Guide to The New Google URL Builder.
- Creation of remarketing campaign, e.g. on Google Adwords, social media and your CRM.
- Validation of your event website:
- Creation of the "early bird" rate for the related period
- Publications on your websites and first blog-posts
- Broadcasting of e-mailing to your database. At least at the beginning and before the end of the teasing period.
- Relays on social networks
- SEO / SEA
- Amplification of Adwords campaigns
- E-mailings on external databases
- Paid campaigns on social networks
- Other external channels…
- Contact unregistered people who marked interest by email and / or phone
- Amplify your remarketing campaign by focusing your message on a temporal incentive.
Need an expert to promote your event?
Do not hesitate to contact us so that we can go through the promotion of your event together, and see to what extent we can assist you in the realization of the elements proposed in this white paper: firstname.lastname@example.org or +32-2-318.57.06 +1-480-400-1327
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