|Offering brand experiences becoming a priority to marketers
Marketers are spending more and more budget on events and a growing number of brands are actively organising or participating in special occasions, where they can offer more of an experience to their target audience. And this doesn’t seem to be a passing trend. In fact, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s latest Bellwether report shows that event marketing spending has gone up for 15 consecutive quarters.
This is a clear measure of how event marketing is seen to offer tangible returns to marketers, especially as the same report shows they are aiming to put themselves in a solid position in uncertain economic times. But interestingly, the Bellwether report also showed increased investment in internet and search/search engine optimisation between April and June 2017. As a result, brands must ensure offline marketing campaigns are integrated with their online channels. If organisations are serious about forging deeper relationships with their target audience, a seamless and consistent brand experience must be offered.
So how can your online channels add value to your event marketing?
Raise awareness with social media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are ideal showcases for marketing collateral relating to your event and offer affordable ways of reaching out to customers, clients and potential sponsors. Accompanying content such as blog posts, tweets, custom graphics and videos with relevant hashtags can also help you reach your target audience.
Design a bespoke logo
Using a unique logo relating to your brand and your event can be a great way to portray a consistent message both on and offline, as it can be used on everything from online videos and social profile pictures to display banners and promotional giveaways such as pens and keyrings. Bespoke branding places more of a focus on the event than your brand specifically, which is worthwhile if you are aiming to target stakeholders who already know your organisation and may react to a twist on what they’re familiar with.
Carry out online polls
Speak to your stakeholders ahead of the event to find out what they want to see from you at your upcoming event. Not only does it boost your chances of getting results on the day, it gives attendees a stake in the occasion and makes them feel valuable. You could even incentivise people into replying to surveys and submitting ideas by organising competitions and giving away prizes such as event branded hoodies as well as giving those who came up with the winning suggestions full credit.
Target influencers in your sector
If you have a good relationship with prominent thought leaders or trade bodies within your industry, approach them and see if they would be willing to support your event. This could mean anything from attending the event themselves to sharing some of your tweets and online marketing collateral.
Live stream and blog on the day
Your online platforms are perfect for boosting participation among those who can’t physically be at the event. Live streaming, blogging and tweeting are now firmly established as ways to showcase what is happening in a very immediate and engaging way. It also gives people a great reason to follow your social channels, as it positions them as sources of unique, relevant and up-to-date content.
With online and event marketing both seeing greater investment, it certainly pays for a brand to make sure the two overlap and complement each other effectively.
Sources / Further Reading
IPA Bellwether Report – 2017 Q2 Markit Economics