8 Ways to Crush Your Event Outreach Strategy
You don’t need a huge marketing budget or celebrity endorsements to fill a room. You need only to work the hell out of your social media. The key is implementing your strongest game plan as early as possible. Here are 8 of the best practices to crush your event outreach strategy.
Perfect Event Branding and Messaging
Before you can spread the word–you better know the word (it’s not mum). Outreach strategy is not the time to make things up as you go. Before you get started, fully prepare the “what”, the “why”, and the “who” of your event. What’s the story, and how do you go about telling it? Perfecting, focusing, and understanding the branding and message of your event is the starting line of your event outreach strategy.
Directing your message clearly will require understanding what speaks to your target audience. From text, photos, even color scheme–media used in your outreach is an ideal way to captivate the guests you’re trying to attract to your event.
MommyCon–as you may have guessed, is reaching out to moms primarily (dads secondary). Their facebook is everything a new mom is drawn too and enough baby cuteness to make your heart explode. These images speak directly and clearly to the target audience, create an emotional response, and reflect the purpose of the event.
When it comes to brand and messaging, no guessing is involved. The purpose and story behind your event are front and center.
To avoid confusion or diluting your brand –> consistency is key. For this reason, you won’t find Mommycon posting puppy photos anytime soon. In order to capture your audience’s attention, you’ll have to stay focused on your delivery.
Optimize Event Website (or Page)
SEO isn’t as scary as it seems, but much more helpful than you realize. Your event outreach strategy is actually laced with search engine optimization–whether you’ve realized it or not!
Think of SEO as the microphone used to reach your target audience who hasn’t found you because of a direct search (organic traffic). Captions, hashtags, media, backlinks are powerful tools to really s t r e t c h your event outreach strategy. These are people who wouldn’t even know about your event without SEO–let that sink in!
Driving organic traffic to your event site is every event planners dream, but sometimes a witty hashtag isn’t enough. That’s when you pull out the big guns, data highlighting, and microformats. WAIT! I promise it’s not as techy and complicated as it sounds.
Ever ask Google a question and receive the answer in the search results (without having to click the link)? This is because the site jammed information people seek out, that ultimately ties into the purpose of the event. Here I Googled “how to support animal rights” and sure enough, the top site (even though its paid) is the only one to directly answer the question in its meta description.
Two clicks later, I’m booking my next ticket to their event being held in a city near me. Driving organic traffic that converts to a booked event ticket is serious #eventgoals
Just remember, the magic of SEO requires time and a consistent flow of content. So, start ASAP and make it meaningful.
Social Media Marketing
Social media really is the holy grail of your event outreach strategy. In 2015 a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers showed 85% said they used social media. Additionally, 58% of all those surveyed said they follow brands through social media. The age demographic breakdown for social media users who follow brands is as follows:
- 35% of 55-64 year olds
- 35% of participants 65 years
- 85% of 45-54 year olds.
- 92% of 35-44 year olds
- 95% of 18-34 year olds
Trust me, your target audience IS online.
“There are so many, which platform do I use? ”
Great question. All of them–to a certain degree. Here is a Social Media Outreach Strategy Checklist on the best practices for each platform.
The key here is discovering which one reaches your audience best.
Once you discover that your potential guests are more interactive, and you have a higher conversion rate from, let’s say-Facebook, you’ll want to pursue that channel more consistently. But, to really crush your event outreach strategy, it’s more beneficial to understand exactly why your engagement rate on Facebook is higher, then apply that strategy to your other channels.
Tracking links are an easy way to measure where your event outreach strategy is creating the highest conversion rate.
Having strong interaction and conversion rates are great, but what you’re really after are shares. According to hubspot visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
Use Professional Quality Event Images
Even though most of our social media usage is through a mobile device, doesn’t mean the images posted should be. A 13 megapixel “selfie” shot isn’t going to cut it if you want to make a strong impression with your event outreach strategy. Here are examples of professional quality event images to help you rank in the likes and shares.
More than high quality, these photos should clearly express the brand and message of your event. Consider a viewer never reads the caption, would they understand the photo represents your event?
Now comes the offline work that may take a little more elbow grease.
Get a press release by pitching ideas to TV, newspapers, etc. In these cases, it’s best if you know someone who knows someone. Like perhaps partners and influencers in your upcoming event.
Partners and Influencers
Partners and influencers are there to help uniquely position your event and add value to create the best experience for your attendees. Selling your event as an experience improves being found through search, and helps you stand out from the competition.
“People don’t buy tickets to an event, they buy tickets to an experience. Position your event as a romantic date night, a fun gathering for friends, or offer another emotional benefit, and buyers are more likely see themselves in this context.”
— Riley Rant, Managing Editor of Rally
Your event partners will be adjacent products and services and your influencers will be individuals with a large audience (and same target market). In many ways, this is their event outreach strategy, too. Tag and post content onto their pages to tap into their audience.
In my four module course “ How to Market your Event like a Boss Lady!” we hone in really discovering how partners can expand your marketing outreach.
Leverage Your Speakers Audience
Guest speakers and performers have what you want–a solid following. Collaborating your event outreach strategy with your speaker’s audience can more than 10x expand your reach.
Don’t rely solely on the speaker to market the event or their appearance. Promote your speaker using a photo with impactful text overlay. Tagging and hashtags are a great way to reach the speaker’s audience.
IRL Relationship Building
One of the strongest and more tangible event outreach strategies is building relationships with your potential attendees. Make appearances at relative events, hosting a meetup, or even a live stream Q & A puts you in direct contact with future guests. This is not a time to sell but a time to build. Hook your audience with infectious and informative interaction.
Phew! You made it. In order to crush your event outreach is will take a consistent effort but it’s well worth it when you squeeze your way through a crowded venue.