There are many ways to announce an event, and after watching our clients deploy countless different event marketing strategies to do so, we wanted to share a technique with you which we consider to be one of the most effective.
Background: The Challenge of Effective Event Marketing
With so much information flying at people every day, it has been getting harder and harder for event organizers to get the word out about their events. Your customers are bombarded with thousands of Facebook ads, emails, Tweets, and Instagram posts every day, and you need a well executed strategy to break through this clutter.
Drop boulders, not rocks:
The analogy we like to use when talking to our clients about effective event marketing is this: Think of your customers as a river of opportunity, and your marketing efforts as rocks. Imagine that you are standing on the edge of a dike, watching the opportunity rush past you and wondering how to make the most of it.
You can attempt to throw lots of small rocks in the water, but they will just wash downstream with little impact. Instead, you could grab the biggest boulders you find, line them up, and drop them into the river at the same time. This creates a dam that captures and contains the opportunity, and ultimately wields the biggest impact.
Here’s what NOT to do:
Consider this example: You have a top 100 artist announcement to make. You are very excited about the news, and as soon as you have the contract confirmed you take to Facebook and make the announcement to all your followers. You then update your website the next day, and approach some media partners about helping to spread the message. Finally, you add on a small budget here and there based on how ticket sales are progressing to help push your event towards sell-out pace.
What effect will this event marketing strategy have? To be honest, very little. Remember, each one of your customers is flicking through thousands of social media updates every day. It really doesn’t take a lot for your message to get buried beneath the rest and go unnoticed. Hence, we like to recommend what we a call a Coordinated Media Launch Approach.
Event Marketing at its Best: The Coordinated Media Launch Approach
Lets consider the same Top 100 artist announcement we mentioned above, and apply this new event marketing strategy. Here’s how:
Create a media-release: Put all the critical information regarding the event together in one media document to coordinate the announcement across all your media platforms/partners.
Select an on-sale date: Pick a date a few weeks in the future so that people can’t buy tickets yet. Keep them hungry.
Plan early-bird incentives: Create a strong financial incentive for people who purchase tickets on the on-sale date, such as a 25% discount for the first 500 tickets.
Pick a media release date: Determine the exact date and time that all information regarding the event will be released to the media.
Coordinate with your media partners: Let all of your media partners know exactly when the information should go live. Make sure they all synchronize their marketing efforts to launch at exactly the same date and time.
Schedule your social media updates: Prepare all your social media posts in advance to go live on the media release date. Apply a big up-front budget boost to make sure your message reaches your full audience. Also ensure that:
– Your team is fully involved: Get all of your employees, contractors, sub-promoters and partners to like, comment & share your key posts as soon as they go live to give them a boost.
– You’re Remarketing: Amplify your message with targeted Facebook remarketing and paid boosts directed specifically at people who like the artist/s in the announcement.
– You’re hosting contests: Create a contest in advance to launch at the release date with viral incentives for people to share the news.
Schedule your email newsletter: Your pre-prepared email blast should also be ready to go out on your media release date.
This is an event marketing strategy that we have seen work particularly well. Like in our previous analogy, it combines all your marketing efforts and releases them at the same time to create a REAL impact. Plus, it’s an exciting feeling to wait for your media release date, knowing you’ve gotten rid of your small rocks and replaced them with a bunch of well-coordinated marketing boulders instead.
Need a hand?
myZone is always here to help any of our clients update their event marketing strategy. Feel free to contact us to help you maximize the impact of your marketing efforts, and create a real hype around your next event.