Top 5 Tips for Local Event Marketing
In an age of digital vastness, the opportunity to market your business becomes saturated with social media options like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even the popular business tool LinkedIn to name a few. But what is one common factor these social media outlets are missing? How about social interaction? Meeting your customers face to face and putting, not only an image to your brand, but a personality and tone behind your business. Digital and social marketing tools are widely popular and hugely beneficial, but it is equally important to get out and properly introduce yourself as a local business to your community. If I’ve caught your interest, great! We’re going to go through the Top 5 Tips for Local Event Marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
It’s important to understand the audience you are marketing to and come up with a plan of how to seamlessly transition your marketing styles per audience. You want to be consistent in your business offerings but the way you would approach a crowd of 20-somethings at, perhaps, a home show should differ from the way you approach a crowd at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Some of the ways to accomplish getting to know your audience would be to conduct some research into the demographics that would be attending this particular event, look into competitors’ clientele and assert your edge off of that, and do some “social listening” by looking at your own social media pages (or competitors) and noting some of the reviews/comments customers have provided.
2. Market Your Marketing
Now that you know your audience, targeted them and have an event planned, you should be taking every opportunity to promote the event. Remember earlier when I mentioned social media being hugely beneficial? This would be a prime example of how free social media campaigning can draw crowds to an event and discover your local business in person. Create a social media event invite and take opportunities to have fun games and trivia, to drive engagement. You can post questions relating to your business and the first person that answers those questions, correctly in the comments section, can redeem a small gift if they attend your event booth. Utilize the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” tactic and work with other businesses to promote your event; ask to put up flyers in their storefront in exchange for displaying their business cards or discount offers at your table. If the event is large enough and your budget can accommodate it, go all out – print campaigns, email blasts, radio, even a direct mail campaign – exhausting every marketing opportunity available to you is key in driving customers to you and your product.
3. Show Me Your Swag
Giveaway items should be an integral part of your event, even if that means budgeting for these items over other costs such as larger booth space. Co-branded swag is a great way to build brand awareness and give an edge to your event booth; it will also go a lot further outside of your event compared to paper material that will likely end up in the recycling bin. It’s important for your swag to have flare, be unique, and be functional; putting something new and fresh into the hands of your potential clients will lead to them showing off their fun new item – hence, increasing the marketing of your brand without you lifting a finger or spending any extra dollars. A recent event surrounding a large travel agency (primarily focused on cruise lines) was attended and our swag of choice was a lip balm/sunscreen stick combo. This giveaway item was a hot ticket because we thought of our audience, invested in an item that would serve them, and ensured the item could be co-branded in order for our brand to be memorable. The following year, our booth was sought out by clients just to see if we offered the same giveaway.
4. Short and Sweet
At the end of the day, past the glitz and glam of your booth space and giveaways, the real purpose is to make a name for yourself and your business. Don’t expect people to remember every detail of what you can offer, rather, present key points on what problem they have and how you can provide a solution. A good way to approach this would be printing these key points on the back of your business card or a dedicated postcard; this will serve better than attempting to have a drawn-out conversation with one potential client and missing the opportunity to speak to another. Find a way to capture information of the people that visit your booth – this can be a simple signup sheet or a competition collector (think a bowl where people can drop in their info for a chance to win a prize). After the event, you can use this information to follow up with each one of these potential customers and open the door for further discussions on how your business can help them.
5. Rinse and Repeat
Persistence is key in any marketing endeavor and the best results come from those that stick with it. Being present at one event may gain you some good leads but making a name for yourself, in your community, will take the time and effort of attending multiple events throughout the years you’re in business. Attend as many events as you can, whether it be small community gatherings at a local coffee shop to large annual trade shows. Being diverse in the events you attend will lead to greater diversity in your clientele and create a much more expansive reach for your business. The more people you can identify as having a problem that you can provide a solution for is key to continued growth and success.
Owning and managing a business is no easy feat but our team of Marketing Assistants are here to help in any way possible. Feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to talk more about your event options and help you pick some of that awesome swag.