Covid-19 has temporarily changed the way businesses hold special events. But even with online functions, managing and running a special event is a multi-faceted job with lots of moving parts and components.
Most special events have a dedicated event management team consisting of professionals to manage these aspects. One particular point of running a successful special event is marketing, specifically digital marketing. If done incorrectly, even the most prestigious, engaging, and exciting events can be reduced to complete flops. That is why we encourage you to read on and take into consideration our tips for special events, digital marketing.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
In the hustle and bustle of the digital landscape, businesses that are not salient enough to pierce through the saturation of advertisements and the sheer volume of visual noise will struggle. These businesses will be unable to attract customers, may fail to make conversions, and consequently will be unable to cover operating expenses. At the very least, the business will grow slowly, and at its worst, it may dissolve into nothing.
Digital marketing is essential for garnering attention, and this is especially crucial for raising awareness of special events. The exposure of digital platforms is widespread; catching attention and awareness on there, is, therefore, essential.
Promote Your Event
To see a good turn out and a return on your investment, you need to promote your event. Event promotion is an essential step for any special occasion; not only does it encourage awareness, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to generate hype. It’s important to remember that a vast turnout doesn’t necessarily equal success because not all attendees have the same level of interest or investment in the occasion.
When promoting your event, consider quality event attendees over quantity. To ensure that you are bringing in quality attendees, make sure that you not only identify your target audience but also advertise to them. After all, it’s this specific audience who your event is most relevant to and who’s needs and interests the event is addressing.
6 Tips For Digital Marketing
As addressed in the previous paragraph, it’s vital, when marketing the event, that you ensure that you have not only a high quantity of attendees but also high-quality attendees. In the following paragraphs, we will share six tips for digital marketing.
Influencers are influential and prominent people with a large following, so it would be advisable to research some popular influencers with the expertise you require and invite them to attend your event. When they advertise their attendance, you can expect not only an increase in awareness of your occasion but also a boost to the number of quality attendees attending your event.
While at the event, you should have your influencers interact with the attendees to share information. Furthermore, it would also be beneficial to you if they share their current experiences with their fan bases during the event. These experiences can be shared in the form of pictures, videos, or short “lives.” Assure that you set-up an “Instagram worthy” attraction as well as an event dedicated hashtag.
There are different ways you can give real-time coverage on the event as it is happening, but why is it necessary? Especially if we already have a venue packed with attendees? The reason for this is to provide information to people that could not attend but are nonetheless interested.
While marketing your event, although you attracted the attention of many, a proportion of these people will be unable to attend for various reasons, so it is important to keep them updated, informed, and included. Here are some ways to do that:
- Live stream – transmit video and audio of the event in real-time over the internet.
- Live Tweet – sending messages about the event in real-time via Twitter.
- Live Blog – sending commentary updates of the event in real-time.
During the event, there should be someone in charge of social media marketing, and depending on the way you decide to live feed, they would keep the people at home informed and updated during the event with videos, pictures, and messages.
One of the best places to do your digital marketing before and during the event is on social media. While identifying and defining your target audience, you should also identify which social media sites they frequent. The most popular social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, each of which is great for digital event marketing because promotion is often free or inexpensive for targeting members of a specific demographic.
Create a dedicated hashtag that is short, catchy, and unique to your event, then use this hashtag while promoting the event. During the event, encourage attendees, speakers, and influencers to include the hashtag in any social media posts they make. If you’re new to organizing events or social media marketing, consider taking a course that condenses all this info into bite sized chunks, so you can apply it quickly and get the results coming in.
But before you go off and take those courses, check a course review website where they give an honest answer of whether these courses work or not. That way you can read a review of any course that you’re interested in buying. If you don’t see your course listed there, just contact them and request to review that course.
Interviews with speakers
Having an experienced industry speaker at your event will draw a crowd, so be sure to market the fact that you’ll be hosting guest speakers. To emphasize the importance of the speaker, and generate interest from potential attendees, advertise your particular attendee, by talking about their educational background, area of expertise, and the topics they will be addressing.
Have your speakers’ pre-engage people with online content to market the event and create interest. Furthermore, have your speakers touch briefly on the discussion topics via podcast or webinar – this will further encourage people to attend to hear what else is discussed.
During the event, have your speaker share updates of their experiences at the event with their network making sure to use the dedicated hashtag for maximum exposure. One great way to utilize real-time digital marketing at your event is by asking the speaker to address questions asked via your social media by interested people who were unable to attend. The person in charge of social media marketing can write a reply to the post and tag the speaker (for confirmation that the speaker addressed the question), or the speaker can make a short video response to the subject.
Another way to market interviews with the speaker is by permitting people some one-on-one time to interview the speaker at the beginning or prior to the start of the event. It is an excellent idea to market the individual interviews during the promotional stage and have different methods for picking who will be able to have a private meeting. Some criteria’s that you can consider using for choosing people may be based on their donations, or by having a contest to determine a few winners.
Start promoting before the event
During the promotional stage, you need to maximize your audience’s curiosity and interest. You should promote the event well before the start, and place particular emphasis on the date and time; this is vital because it allows potential attendees to plan their attendance. We recommend starting the marketing at least three months before the event date to maximize the possible turnout.
Also, you should include fun facts about the promotion, such as prize giveaways and information about potential speakers. We also recommend you begin your influencer marketing campaigns during this time – get your influencers to spread awareness and bolster possible attendees numbers using their influence and their social media platforms.
During this time, you should also create a dedicated hashtag and include it in all forms of social media marketing. Encourage your target audience to use the hashtag when referring to the event, as this will help spread awareness.
Word of Mouth
The most traditional and trusted form of advertising has always been through word of mouth, and now in this digital age, word of mouth advertising can be done online. Attendees should be encouraged to tweet, stream, and post pictures. You can also consider streaming the entire evening. Your occasion will then be regarded as a digital event, and in this case, word of mouth promotion will be even more essential as attendees can share the link of the live stream to encourage others to tune into and be a part of the event.
Digital marketing is beneficial for the promotion of an event. Without digital marketing, you would not be able to tap into an extremely vital supply of potential quality attendees. In this modern era of social media, online advertising, the widespread prevalence of the internet, and our daily exposure to it all, you must tap into and utilize it as an avenue to promote your event.
The promotion of your event should ideally start well before the event itself to give people as much warning as possible and to leverage time as a resource to generate interest and awareness. Even after the event has commenced, the marketing doesn’t and shouldn’t stop; there is still a need for real-time marketing during the live event, which can be done through the use of influencers, word of mouth, social media, interviews with speakers, live-feeds and more.