All businesses require promotion its necessary to stay ahead of the competition. For this purpose, events are held in order to create brand awareness and attract customers towards the brand e.g. the launch of the company or a new product, or hosting an event just to create hype about the brand. This article discusses a few channels through which companies can execute the perfect event promotion strategy.
As the No. 1 marketing channel at present, text blasts are one of the most effective forms of event promotion. Companies can use a text blast to send out invites to potential customers and personalities (bloggers, celebrities etc.). A website link can be added within the text message which contains details about the event, and interested customers can use this as to mark their presence (i.e. tick going or interested if they intend to attend). The link can lead to the webpage of the company for details or maybe an event created on Facebook where people can even ask questions and interact with the hosts of the event. The second use of hyperlinks can be to purchase tickets for the event. Customers can use it to make online payments and also show the QR code at the event entrance instead of the hassle of purchasing tangible tickets. It is more convenient, faster and you are much less likely to forget your phone at home than tickets!
Timing is an extremely crucial part of sending out invites via text. For example, if a brand sends out an invite for an event too early, people are likely to forget about it when the time comes. Similarly, if the invite is sent out too late, people may already have other plans or too little time to make the necessary arrangements for attending. Hence, the right timing of sending out texts can be a big factor in defining the turnout of people at an event.
Moving on to the cost of sending out promotional text blasts, this is one of the most budget-friendly means of communication. Companies can send out mass text messages at a reasonable price through a web-based SMS marketing platform such as ExpressText. These platforms also allow tracking of the response rate i.e. the brand can easily see how many people received the text message, how many responded to them and how many clicked the hyperlink within the text for details.
Another channel for event promotion, email marketing also brings about a high Return on Investment (ROI). The process is simple as well. A single email can be sent out to a large number of users through just one click, and yet each can be customized to the recipient’s name. Email is a more formal means of sending out invites as it is used mainly for work purposes. It can be effective as statistics show that users check their email every morning.
As with SMS, hyperlinks can be added within emails which can be used to view details about the event, as well as purchase tickets online. However, in the case of emails, the length is usually longer as opposed to SMS (which are more direct and to the point with a certain character limit). Thus, details of the event can be added within the email so it is easier for users to get all the information from one page and respond with any queries if required.
Again, the right timing can make all the difference. An email 2-3 days before the event is the perfect time in order to ensure a maximum turnout of attendees. Moreover, ‘call to action’ buttons can also increase the effectiveness of emails e.g. Click here for more information or Purchase a ticket here. This is also likely to prompt the recipient to attend the event as well. Engage the user by making the event sound exciting, with phrases such as ‘An event like never before!’ or ‘We are back, bigger and better!’
Perhaps the most engaging form of communication to this date is social media. The reason could be because companies can play around with visuals, live videos and other features in order to attract customers. If a company plans to host an event, they can start advertising through social media even months in advance. For example, before the launch of a new phone, a company can create a Facebook event page (as mentioned earlier in the article). Interested users can subscribe to the event page in order to receive all updates about posts. The brand can post teasers and trailers of the phone’s design and features. Countdown videos and pictures can be uploaded to gain hype and create a momentum before the event begins. Hashtags can be used to go viral all over social media e.g. #GalaxyS9. Lately, companies have also been using celebrities to endorse the brand or event e.g. paying celebrities to attend and promote the event by uploading videos letting their fans know that they will be attending, thus urging them to attend too.
Applications like Facebook aid businesses in event promotion. Facebook will send out a reminder notification to users one day before an event, thus making a company’s job easier. It will also send out notifications to users whose friends are going to nearby events, which majorly impacts the turnout. All marketers have to do is make sure to promote the event in such a way that people want to be a part of it e.g. Coachella. Social media is perhaps one of the only channels of communication that requires the least amount of effort as long as there is a high amount of creativity. If a company is successful in creating hype about an event, users will make it go viral by posting pictures and videos at the event using the designated hashtag. The only cost incurred in social media marketing is paid ads on different applications such as YouTube and Instagram, and that too isn’t very costly.
Word of mouth
Perhaps a surprising discovery is that word of mouth is an extremely strong factor in influencing consumers. If you think about it when making a big decision such as buying a car, do you buy based on just facts or do you take referrals from people who have an experience with the product? Similarly, even for day to day decisions such as deciding where to eat, do you choose based on other people’s opinion of the restaurant? Most of you would say yes. So whether consciously or subconsciously, what other people say has an effect on our buying patterns. This is why, especially in this day and age, companies need to focus on customer satisfaction and overall experience instead of just a good product or service.
Word of mouth can either ruin an event’s turnout or rapidly increase it. If marketers manage to create the right atmosphere, people will want to go with their friends and family. They will be discussing it with acquaintances and colleagues at work, and that’s how the event will be promoted. However, in a situation such as where a company hosted an event previously that was not a success, it is likely that negative word of mouth will heavily impact the turnout. If people hear that a certain event was bad last year, they will not be willing to attend this year. Thus, marketers need to ensure that they market an event in such a way that it creates positive word of mouth.
Radio might seem unimportant in today’s world, but suppose you are going to pick up a sibling. Your phone’s battery has almost died so you can’t listen to songs. What do you do? Turn up the radio. Even now, radio can be used for event promotion. Companies can target specific age groups and subcultures based on their likes and dislikes e.g. a rock band concert will be targeted at teenagers and other close age groups only.
It may seem like radio marketing is easier as there is only an audio message, but to make sure it is effective it is very important to set the right tone, pitch and other features of the message. If the voice is full of life and exciting – with changing pitches, people are likely to listen as opposed to a dull and monotonous message. Similarly, an audio message shouldn’t be too fast or too slow.
These 5 channels can be used to promote events so that they may be successful. All it requires creativity and strategic planning, as almost all methods are very budget friendly so even smaller businesses can benefit from them.