Recently, our team here at Visual Inspiration was part of a very exciting client event. Our client was having a one-day-only preview of a new product it will be carrying as part of summer inventory. Our client’s purpose for this event was to educate customers about the product and build excitement for it. However, our task at Visual Inspiration was to promote the event and get people in the door. So…we sat down with our client long before the event date and fleshed out a marketing campaign for this special day. I’m sharing these details with you today with the hope that before the next special event your business has, you will have a blueprint for success! These ideas will serve as a springboard for other creative marketing ideas:
Before the event:
- Set up a website landing page or banner so website visitors are aware of your event.
- Send email blasts leading up to the event and one additional email reminder the day before the event. (The email frequency can vary based on what you think is best for your business and email contacts.)
- Post about the event on social media. Post types can include status updates about the event, fun product facts, photos of the product, and Facebook/Instagram/Twitter videos about the product, or sharing the event details with a LinkedIn group.
- Create graphics that are optimized for the social platforms you use—Facebook/Twitter/Google+/LinkedIn cover photos, a Pinterest graphic, an Instagram square graphic—all of which you can create in Canva using the templates or custom dimensions option.
- Create a Facebook event with all the event details.
- Host a Twitter chat for people to ask questions about the product and/or event beforehand.
- Write a blog post which details exactly what will be happening at the event and why the event is valuable for prospective customers. Direct people to the Facebook event or to your website via the blog post.
- Have your staff mention the event on their personal social media accounts and share a link to the Facebook event or to your website.
- Create a custom bitly link for your event landing page or Facebook event in order to help measure the interest for it and see which social platform is driving the most clicks.
- Use social media ads to advertise your event to a target audience.
- Use PPC ads on Google.
- Have staff link to the event in their email signature.
- Update your business’ voicemail to include a brief mention about the special event.
- Display signage for the event either outside of or inside of your business.
- Take advantage of old school marketing opportunities such as word-of-mouth and leaving a few flyers around where your prospective and current customers frequent. Reach out to other businesses where you know your customers shop and ask these businesses to mention the event on their social media platforms.
- Select a unique hashtag for your event to use on Twitter and Instagram.
During the event:
- Take a lot of photos to post to social media throughout the day. It is extremely helpful if (and recommended that) you already have an idea for what kinds of “moments” you hope to capture, who will be taking photos, who will be sharing to which social media platform, and how frequently.
- Use live streaming apps or shoot video with your smartphone to post natively to Facebook or Twitter. Capture people using the product; shoot customer testimonials with their thoughts on the product.
- Have something to give away to your attendees—some swag, host a cookout, serve drinks—something to show your appreciation for their interest and make them feel cared for. (Note: If you do have swag to give away, you can share teaser photos of the swag on social media leading up to the event.)
- Have customers check-in on social media at your business during the event and encourage them to share photos of your product.
After the event:
- Write a wrap-up blog post about the event thanking people for coming and including photos and/or videos from behind the scenes of the event. If you plan on hosting more events in the future, you want to be sure your blog exhibits the success of the event and entices people not to miss out on future events.
- Create a Facebook album with all of the photos from the event.
- Upload event videos to YouTube and create an event playlist.
- Similarly, create an event Facebook video playlist with the videos you have been creating and sharing to Facebook.
- Be sure to thank people for coming to your event. Send thank you cards to your customers in the mail or email, post a “thank you” status update on social media, or shoot a video to share on social media personally thanking people for their attendance.
I hope these insights will help you and serve as a guide for ensuring success at your next big event or product launch. And for those of you who regularly host special events, be sure to share your expertise with how you get the word out; I’d love to hear your pro tips! Share them with us in the comments below or tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter.
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