E-mail marketing. Web site development. Search engine optimization. Banner ads. Social networking. This creates the impression that print is irrelevant, but in fact, the opposite is true. Don’t let the ubiquity of Internet data fool you. Print has power, including the power to drive online activity. One of the most effective ways to build an online presence is to use print.
Helen Laird | AMA Events
Thanks to the Internet, many more promotional avenues are available to event organizers than ever before, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional offline media and much easier to track and measure.
But how do you decide which avenue is best for you? Will it be the increasingly popular social media? Or perhaps a dedicated page on your website? Let’s consider some methods you can use to promote your next event.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a microsite is simply a small website, containing only about five to 10 pages. Events management is a great example of when to use microsites because it can be quite niche and specific.
Microsites allow you to gather all the information about a particular event in one place, away from other news and information. You can direct your delegates to one location, where they can find all your promotional materials (flyers, posters, emails, etc.).
A microsite also gives you the opportunity to manage your entire event. You can integrate ticket-buying and delegate-management systems into your site. The site can be used to post news, information, comments, and testimonials during and following the event.
Social media is an ever-growing part of marketing, and that doesn’t look likely to change in the near future. Using the channel can be an excellent way to build buzz, exchange ideas, and engage with customers, clients, and industry professionals.
You can create a Facebook page and encourage people to “like” it by using incentives, such as a discount on ticket prices, for example. You can create a hashtag for your event to track discussions on Twitter. If your event is large enough, you could create a designated Twitter account for delegates and others to follow.
A Promotional Page on Your Site
A promotional page is by far the simplest way to promote your event online. But does that mean that it’s the best way? Not necessarily. It’s a cheaper way, certainly, and it can be done more quickly. And if you’ve got a content management system (CMS), creating and managing promotional pages will be easy.
Because such pages will be a part of your website, you’ll already have a built-in readership willing to hear your latest news and views. And then, there’s brand equity: Putting a page on your website immediately links the event to your brand. Your audience should think, “Oh, it must be good. I’ll sign up!”
So, What Is the Best Way to Promote Your Event?
If you had to choose only one approach, a microsite would be by far the most comprehensive. Ideally, however, you would want a hybrid approach: You need a comprehensive, integrated marketing strategy that encompasses not only online methods of promotion but also offline methods.
Of course, each company is different, and a comprehensive strategy is not always feasible—especially if time and money are tight. But you should definitely consider at least two of the approaches as part of your marketing plan. Do your research, know your target market, and plan your strategy accordingly.
Ask OlleyMay about our event marketing services.