Event marketing is the game changer your business needs

Sometimes the best way to get yourself noticed in this world of social media, paid advertising and digital content is to get out there and see the whites of your customer’s eyes. Hana Dickinson, MD at The Bridge Marketing explains why event marketing is a great way to stand out from the crowd… by gathering a crowd.

Have you ever attended an event?  Been a guest at a conference? Attended an industry masterclass seminar?  Drank free booze at a launch party on the River Thames?  If so, you’ve experienced event marketing. And according to research, it made a great impression.

  • 98% of users feel more inclined to make a purchase after attending an event.
  • 74% of event guests report a more positive opinion about the associated company, brand or product after attending an event.

(Source: EventTrack)

Event marketing is capable of engaging customers, generating a buzz for your brand, and helps foster a long term loyalty that positively influences purchasing choices for a long time to come. In short, hosting an event, or being part of a larger event, is a perfect way to reach the places digital marketing can’t touch, and will even supercharge your other marketing efforts.

98% of event attendees report creating digital or social content from events, and 100% also acknowledge sharing content from other guests.

(Source: EventTrack)

In short, the buzz you create from an event then resonates through your digital marketing, via hashtags and beyond.

What kind of event could you host?

Who is your target audience, and what would benefit them most? Hosting an interactive workshop for people in your industry, inviting guest speakers or having expert presentations by leading names is often a great way to attract people. When you schedule the event, don’t forget to include time for small talk and coffee, to give people a chance to network and relax.

One of the best ways you can make your event stand out is to bring tech into the mix. Surrey based Crystal Interactive are leaders in event technology, their smart wearables, like Klik, have changed the game when it comes to attendee engagement. These LED buttons or badges enable attendees to receive content, vote, and easily exchange contacts with peers via simply touching their devices together. Users can also submit questions and provide feedback through a simple phone app. This kind of innovation opens up plenty of opportunity to engage people during the event, but also boosts…

Pre and post event engagement

Your event might not last more than a day, but don’t be afraid to rustle up some hashtags for your invites, and see if you can nurture the conversation on social media during the lead up. And once the event has taken place, you can keep the conversation going by sending along additional info, extra resources, and anything you can think of to add value, keep the conversation going, and build on those relationships you’ve made.

What can I do to offset the costs involved?

You will need to invest in a suitable venue, fees for guest speakers and hired equipment when you host an event, alongside other costs. However, there is also opportunity to generate revenue through sponsorship packages, and if you can build relationships with local service providers, they may reduce their fee, or waive it entirely, in return for sponsorship space.

For expert advice on how to plan and promote your marketing event, get in touch with The Bridge Marketing today.

What is your brand all about?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It isn’t actually you, or even professionals like The Bridge Marketing, who get to create your brand. In fact, that job falls to everyone else, at least according to one of the leading marketing experts of our time, David Ogilvy, who explains: ‘Your brand is basically a person’s perception of your product, service experience or organisation.’

And now for the good news. The key word in that quote is ‘perception’ and that’s where we can get to work. How? By identifying what your business stands for, how you want people to perceive you, we can then use various methods to shape the way that translates into a user experience, which over time will influence how your brand is viewed.

What, then, is a brand?

 Think about Tesco. What makes their brand? Is it the familiar blue and white logo? Is it the range of products they sell? The free fruit they offer to children? Is it their ‘Every Little Helps’ tagline? Is it the way each store looks the same, no matter where in the country they are?

Actually, their brand is all of these things, and neither. But all these factors, and many more little details, like the colour scheme they use, and the way their delivery drivers dress and interact with customers, all play a part in shaping the image and personality Tesco wish to portray to the world. Every little detail helps people form a picture in their mind of what Tesco is about.

What about your brand?

Think about your internal culture, your pricing, how you communicate with your customers, how you treat people, how your staff dress. Just like Tesco, or any other well known brand, all these things have the potential to impact on how people perceive you. So too does the layout of your showroom, the look and feel of your website, and the tone of voice you use on your social media and advertising materials.

Human nature means that people will form an idea of what they assume you’re all about, what you stand for, and whether they want to be involved with your business from all this information and more. So what can you do to help shape the way they perceive you?

 Tone of voice. This is how you express the personality of your brand through your written materials, such as advertising, social media posts and even internal documents. Finding the right tone of voice comes down to understanding what values you want your business to have, and working from there. Are you friendly? Practical? Knowledgeable? Irreverent or serious? Maybe you’re a bit of each. Knowing what kind of personality you want to get across in your advertising is the first step to defining your brand.

…and don’t forget about font. Because a font can communicate a lot about your personality. Accessible? Professional? Sleek? There’s a font out there that can add that extra dimension to your tone of voice.

Credibility comes from consistency. From the messages you deliver in your advertising to the way you deal with your customers, consistency is key. People want to be reassured that they can trust you to deliver the same level of service every time they give you their money, and consistency on all levels reassures them this is the case.

Logo. Everyone knows what those golden arches mean when they’re looking for a Motorway service station. That iconic symbol lets everyone know there’s a McDonalds, and because the logo is so well known, they don’t even need to see the word McDonalds. Every brand needs a logo, which can be as simple as the name of your company, at least until you reach the level of cultural saturation McDonalds has achieved. Keep it simple, and make sure its clear and easy to understand. Remember, it will appear everywhere from company vehicles to letterheads, so make sure it looks professional.

Colours. Colour choice is more important than you think. Blue, for example, is often thought of as an intellectual colour, that suggests expertise and high-tech design. It fits Facebook just as well as the NHS. So get your mood board out, and start thinking about which colours might fit your business. You might even want two colours. And make sure to check out your competitors, and avoid using the same colours as them.

Going deeper. We’ve talked about colours, logos, tone of voice and even font, and these are all great tools for establishing what your brand is about, but to really define your brand, you have to dig deeper.

You need to have the right people on your team, and be able to help them understand what your brand is about. Some organisations have a brand book, which lays out the values of their company. If you can establish your values, you can find people who understand them, and share them. And when you find people who can get behind your brand, then my advice is to invest in them.

Think about the AA. People may be familiar with the colour of their vehicles, and think they understand what their brand is about. But nothing is going to work better than the AA mechanic who can arrive at your breakdown, and provide the calm, courteous and expert service the AA promise in their adverts.

 Whether you want to re brand or tighten up your current branding, The Bridge Marketing team can get under the bonnet of your branding strategy and put you on the road to success.