Event marketing is the process of promoting an event and a means of reaching the audience the event is intended for. Event promotion has become pretty problematic over the past 10 years with the evolution of digital tools. This has divided the process into not only the traditional outbound flyer but added an inbound part promoting your event online.
Many companies, and especially local non profit groups, are confused by the amount of online platforms and how exactly to use them. Those responsible for marketing events often have a personal profile on many of the social platforms making the task daunting and intimidating. This results in poorly attended events, frustrated hosts and sponsors.
With so many new parts to event marketing, a systematic approach is key. It helps to divide the tasks between four different people with different skills: Brand, Content, Social, and Link Management.
Step 1: Brand - Create a branded flyer and a banner that can be used for your event tab. We prefer to use Google Drawing as it enables many people to collaborate on one project. When done export the flyer as a pdf and print on Vistaprint. We enlarge all our Drawing Templates x3 for a higher resolution for print.
Step 2: Content - Write a press release of at least 300 words about your upcoming event.
Step 3: Link - Submit your press release to local newspapers to print. Also find some national online newspaper outlets where you can upload your article.
Step 4: Content - Create a shorter condensed version of your press release and load it to your website blog. Do online research on the different featured parts of your event and find a photo for each. Such as a photo of the venue, the band, food trucks, beneficiary of fundraiser, and last year's event, etc. Add a photo after each related section discussing that part.
Step 5: Social - Using the published blog create five posts about the event. For example one about the venue, the band, the food trucks, the beneficiary of the fundraiser, and last year’s event and who attended. Do some basic social searches to find specific but different #tags to include in each post. Each posting will be posted with the blog url. When you paste it into the post section it will load an image, make sure you select the correct image related to each post. Schedule your posts for one a day starting at least 10 days before the event. Post your 5 postings twice so that you have 10 total posts.
Step 6: Social - From your public business page create an event tab for the event. This can be done on Facebook and Google Plus. Add a short intro paragraph about the event with a read more and the blog link to drive traffic to the website. Invite your friends to the event and share it through to your personal profile and local related local groups.
Step 7: Link - Find the url links of online published articles of your press release. Add them to your blog neatly creating a hyperlink inside a word...featured in Top News… Find national third party sites such as Yelp and Evently where you can also create event tabs. Load the banner jpg and a read more link to the blog.
Step 8: Brand - Export your banner as a jpg and load it to the social media event tabs. Export your flyer as a jpg and load it to the wall of the event tabs. Create a short announcement post about the event and post it with the loaded flyer to your page walls.
Step 9: Social - You can expand your target audience by sharing your 5 create posts through to their specific related groups such as a foodie group, musicians group, families with kids group, etc. Make sure you do so in a non invasive manner using words related to the group interest.
Step 10: Link - Create an email using a free tool such a Mailchimp or your gmail if you have mail merge set up feeding to your email list. Load the social media banner, add an intro paragraph about your event with a read more link to the blog. Add a section with separate line items in bold with a bigger font for Time:____, Date:_____, Where: ____, etc. Load your flyer at the end and send.
With many team members helping this huge process can turn into fun! It is important to try and do the whole process to make sure you cover as many media outlets as possible. You will reach some people via social media, some via email and some from organic searches finding your blog. Either way we all communicate differently and to ensure you reach as many as possible you do need to expand your marketing reach.
We do regular event marketing for our clients as part of their marketing fuel plans. Using our benchmarks the above process can be done using six of our three hour benchmarks if we are doing it for you.
It is important to be realistic with your expectations if you are managing a board of volunteers. We are experts in this field and what takes us 18 hours could take you and your team 36 hours to execute from the beginning to the end. If you need help with your next event promotion, please contact us!