When you own a small business, every piece of your marketing strategy is important –from face-to-face outreach to online reputation, to events. One thing small businesses tend to underutilize is the integration of different elements to support one another. Event marketing, in particular, can use a boost from other tactics like public relations and digital to help make the affair a success.
When it comes to events, the goals for PR and digital are the same: Get the word out to as many people in the target audience as possible. One additional objective of digital is to engage with customers. In this post, we’ll take a look at the digital tactics that can be used to support the amazing events your small business is hosting.
Setting Up Your Events for Success
Once you’ve solidified the details, there are several ways you can utilize digital and online tools to encourage attendance. First, you’ll need to set up a Facebook event. We recommend doing this from your business page, so your company will show up as the host. Fill out the name, time, and date of the event. You should also add a brief but comprehensive description, tagging any other relevant pages (i.e., vendors, caterers, musicians) to extend your reach. Once the event has been created, it will show up on your page just as a post would – with the description as the caption. You can then invite friends from your personal Facebook page, encouraging them to attend and to invite others as well. To build excitement, post updates in your event page that highlight different aspects of the occasion or serve as announcements. This not only reminds potential attendees about it, but also it gives them more reasons to attend and allows you to connect with them. If you aren’t happy with the projected attendance, you can put a little money behind it and extend its reach by boosting it.
You can also share your event details with groups such as I Love Memphis, Choose901, and the Greater Memphis Chamber, and ask that it be featured in their newsletters or shared on their social media channels. Speaking of social media, you should be sharing links to your event across all platforms to increase the chances of more people learning about it.
Digital at Your Events
Hopefully, the digital tactics above yield a great turnout for your event. But the incorporation of digital shouldn’t end at awareness. During the event, there are several ways you can use digital to engage with your attendees and even reach other locals.
One way to do this is the use of a hashtag. Creating a hashtag allows people to see posts from other attendees and share their own experience through a medium that is easy to find. To encourage use, consider giving away a prize for the best event-related post. Not only will this provide great user-generated content, but it will encourage friends of attendees to come when they see the posts on social media.
Another great way to connect with attendees through digital is with a Snapchat Geofilter. Depending on the length and location size of your event, you can create a custom filter for your audience to use for as little as $5. Images using your filter will be shared on Snapchat and other channels, increasing the reach of your business. Other interactive and digital tactics to increase awareness and engagement include a photo booth, social media contests, and email blasts. Be sure to collect contact information at the event so that you can add those who attend to your mailing list.
And just like that, your event marketing has come full circle. You used digital to support your event and your event, in turn, supported digital. Using digital tactics to help increase event attendance and engagement allows you to get more bang for your buck and make your small business the talk of the town.
Start planning your next event and digital strategy, today!
inferno is an award-winning brand development, advertising, public relations, design, and digital marketing firm based in Memphis, Tennessee. Visit creativeinferno.com for more information. You can also follow inferno on Twitter (@creativeinferno) and Facebook (facebook.com/creativeinferno).
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash