The digital revolution has changed the face of event marketing. No longer held in a bubble, the reach of your event could span far wider and deeper than you think.
But, of course, you need a strong event marketing strategy. As part of your overarching marketing plan, you will also need specific plans that dovetail with one another.
Social media strategy for your event is one of those plans. Or it should be. But even when it is, it isn’t always a plan with a vibrant strategy propelling it forward.
The Colour Graphics print marketing team work with clients to create strategies that work, both in terms of offline and online channels, and bringing the two together.
What are the ingredients of success?
#1 Priority: Engagement
Your event attendees have various expectations of the event, depending on what it is. But a commonality across all events is engagement.
Attendees expect the brand to engage with them.
But this doesn’t mean throwing a few tweets out with a few @mentions. It’s more than this.
If you don’t have the budget nor the people to be staffing your social media platforms for every minute of your event, if you do nothing else use social media as a listening tool and an information gathering too.
#2 Creating a buzz: Intrigue
We are a thirsty bunch, we are impatient too. And we are waiting for brands to impress us.
There are many reasons why social media go viral, and sometimes, it is not always for the right reasons.
The Colour Graphics print marketing design team have worked with customers to create intrigue and a buzz with a strategized event marketing campaign by;
- Starting the campaign with a series of well-design posters (and other tools) that pique people’s interest.
- This was followed by a timely campaign online too.
- A rolled-out announcement on social media was used, continually linking to new printed media being dispersed.
- A hashtag campaign mixed with QR codes are great ways of linking and tracking where people are coming from.
#3 Important: Drive it
Some event marketing strategies are a huge success, and others leave a brand wanting.
There are many reasons why this happens but one is that the strategy is not being driven. Or the fuel runs out halfway through. Or no one is assigned to drive it forward and we all know what happens when a driverless car malfunctions.
As much as it needs a person driving it, an event marketing strategy also needs to have the detail to it.
#4 Essential: Pulling it together
Social media strategies for events doesn’t and shouldn’t be a standalone feature. The beauty of the online world is that it can integrate with your offline world (and vice versa).
- Pre-determine a short #hashtag for your event and use this on printed media as well as online.
- Use your offline printed material to advertise what is happening and when, directing people to the event’s online noticeboard and other pages.
#5 Add-on: Information
Social media can be used as an announcement platform too but make sure that you have a number of channels to convey important information to people.
If lunch is moved to a new time or a speaker is replaced at the last minute, tweeting it is all fine and good but not everyone is on one single platform.
#6 Improve: Reach
Being wary of spreading yourself too thin, adopt more than one social media platform.
On one hand, we are told to get to grips with one and do it well but in the real world, getting to grips with three and doing them well is a certified way of reaching a wider audience.
The likelihood is, you have already worked out on which platforms your customers, fans and followers hang out, so no need to reinvent the wheel.
#7 Time: Pre, during and post event
Many event marketing strategies, offline and online, fall short at the final hurdle. And that is the concept of time.
Every brand understands the need to promote their event before it happens, after all, that’s how bums are put on seats.
Promoting the event during it is slowly catching on, with brands utilising their own social media tools such as live events, live tweeting and so on.
But there is a third time band and that is after the event. How much of post-event buzz do your leverage?
As an established design and print agency, Colour Graphics has worked with a large number of clients on successful offline and online marketing strategies.