Using Content and Social Media to Amplify Offline Events
Both content marketing and event planning involve creating an experience for users. The goals often overlap as well. Best of all, social media and content marketing can support and amplify your offline events.
Try these tips to make the best use of your online platforms to promote your real-world events.
Tailor Your Plan to the Event
There are possibly more types of events than there are flavors at your local gelato or fro-yo place. A music festival requires a different approach than an art fair or trade conference. The first step is to consider the who, what, and why of your event and to use that
Consider the Following Before You Start:
- Who: One thing that content marketing and event planning have in common is both require an audience-centered approach. Take time to identify an audience persona. If your event has broader appeal consider creating different content for different audiences.
- What: Look for ways to add value while reminding the audience why your event is special. For example, an author’s book signing at a bookstore may benefit from publishing reviews of the author’s books or short author interviews on their blog or social media. If the event is a conference, content about local sites might interest attendees.
- Why: What are your goals for the event? Align your promotion and amplification with those goals. For example, if your goal is to establish your team as though leaders than opt for a content that showcases that expertise.
Start promoting your event early. Not only does it help previous attendees plan, but it also gives you the chance to build brand recognition in the weeks and months leading to the event. Mix informational and fun content among the more promotional content. For example, an arts festival might feature art-related trivia games or updates about previously featured artists alongside content that promotes the event more overtly.
If you want to introduce a branded hashtag, start promoting it well before your event starts. If attendees become familiar with your hashtag, they may spontaneously live post at the event using those branded hashtags. Be sure to include your preferred hashtag in your Instagram and Twitter profiles.
Take Advantage of SEO and PR Opportunities
A local event can uncover public relations and search engine optimization benefits. Some events are inherently newsworthy, so they provide an opportunity for short media mentions including in the online versions of local media, tourism sites, Chamber of Commerce sites, and trade journals. Not only does this raise your event’s profile, but it also is a non-spammy way to score quality backlinks.
Also, as your event gets more and more established, people will search for specific information about it leading to higher search engine result positions for your company or organization.
Engage Potential Attendees and Influencers
However, engagement doesn’t need to wait until the day of your event. Get attendees involved in promoting and hyping your event. Encourage them to post about the event in advance. A contest can be a fun and effective way to encourage word of mouth and viral promotion. According to a survey of thousands of event professionals conducted by Eventbrite, 96% use social media contests to promote their event and consider it an effective strategy.
According to Event Manager Blog, 39% of event professionals said that the most important element for a live event is engaging the attendees. Even if engagement isn’t the most important factor, it does make the difference between a memorable event and one that is easily forgotten. Contests are one way to encourage engagement, other methods include:
- Photo booth and selfie stations with a branded backdrop to encourage attendees to take and post pictures at the event.
- During announcements, remind people of the event hashtags.
- Consider taking questions or comments via Twitter.
Involving influencers may also generate buzz. Just be sure to keep it real and authentic. People are more wary of inflated promises and hype thanks to the Fyre Festival and other recent scandals. Despite the fact that 63% of the event creators Eventbrite surveyed used influencer marketing as part of their social media promotion strategy. When the influencer is genuinely excited about the event and
Don’t Forget Email
When we discuss web content and social media, people often forget about their brand’s email list. Email marketing can be a powerful way to amplify. In fact, 78% of event professionals told Eventbrite that email marketing is their most effective marketing tactic. Some who track their email marketing ROI said their list accounted for 45% of event ticket sales.
Of course, this post only scratches the surface in how you can use your online presence to promote and amplify an offline event. A solid content strategy is essential. Contact a Writer Access Content strategist today to learn more.
Sam S is an active blogger who manages two publications. Her flagship site covers fitness, food, and lifestyle. She also maintains a book and entertainment blog. In addition to her blogs, Sam is an active guest contributor. She contributes on-going columns for a few publications. These on-going gigs include a weekly consumer tech column, a comparison shopping guide series, and a bylined series on social media marketing and personal branding.