A trend that we’ve noticed among small business owners is the tendency to hold off on promoting events via social media, email marketing, and supportive pieces on their websites, often waiting until just a week before the event to announce it. These events are generally not close kept secrets, business owners just delay their promotion, either because they want to create a sense of urgency or they are just plain too busy. While we do agree that for some events – such as flash sales – it’s appropriate to hold out on the promotion, however building anticipation over a few weeks can often boost attendance. Here are our top tips on promoting your events with Digital Marketing:
Make a Calendar:
At the beginning of the month, sit down and make a list of all of the events that you have coming up in the following month. This can include sales, trunk shows, special exclusive offerings, charitable events, etc. In addition to marking the dates of the events on the calendar, make a note of when each type of messaging will go out about the events. Setting these dates in stone will make it easier for you and your team to stick to your schedule and ensure that you get the word out with plenty of notice.
Update Your Website:
You should update your website with information about your events as soon as there are scheduled. While you can create a page devoted to all of your upcoming events, we highly recommend creating a unique page for each event as well. This allows you to put a unique form on the page, giving you the ability to capture those who are interested in attending. It also helps from an SEO perspective as it creates more original content on your site. In addition to an RSVP form, this page should contain the dates and times of your event, the location (even if it’s your address, this should be made clear) and anything that customers would want to know before attending. For instance, will you have giveaways? Will refreshments be served? Will you be offering special pricing during the event? These are all questions you should answer in your description on the page.
As long as a month or a month and a half out, post on your social media letting customers know that the event is on the books. This can be as simple as saying “Save the Date for our Halloween Spooktacular,” but you should at least let people know the date. In your posts, include that additional details will be shared later and link to your event page if possible.
Ramp It Up:
Three weeks out is when you should really ramp things up with your promotion. Send out an eblast about your event, including details to the page on your site on which customers can RSVP. This gives you enough time to resend the campaign later to build the last minute momentum. This is also when you should start to drip out more social posts, with one at the 3 week point, a few posts when you’re two weeks out and 3-4 posts the week leading up to the event.
When your team asks “when will we start promoting the Launch Party,” don’t just say “Eventually;” develop a plan following the guidelines above to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you get the word out in a timely manner. Better yet, enlist the help of your digital marketing team! We’re here to provide online support for your offline activities. Give us a call.