Mastering event marketing: 4 proven strategies for success

Whether you’re hosting a small webinar with clients or throwing a community-wide potluck, your goal as an event marketer is likely the same: to get the right people through the door. 

But how do you know what catches your target audience’s attention, and how do you incorporate it into your marketing materials?

Understanding what resonates with your audience, meeting them where they are, and using innovative marketing channels are all key elements of an effective event marketing approach. This guide will help you glean new insights into your target audience’s motivations and leverage them to boost RSVPs. Let’s get started!

1.Reach out to social media influencers

You’re likely already leveraging social media to promote your organization’s events, but you might be overlooking one of the most powerful assets social media has to offer: influencers. With thousands or even millions of people tuned into their accounts, influencers provide a valuable opportunity to boost your organization’s visibility and attract attendees to your upcoming event.

While influencers can be difficult to contact, much less book as a marketing partner, you can try these strategies to secure their support:

  • Start small. It’s probably not realistic for your organization to go after the most popular influencers right away, but you have a much better chance of engaging influencers with a smaller following. 
  • Leverage your existing connections. Partnering with an influencer you already have a relationship with is more likely to succeed than starting from scratch. Gauge if your organization’s staff, audience, or board members have any connections with influencers and if they would be a good fit for your marketing campaign. 
  • Make appealing partnership packages. Ensure the marketing partnership’s value proposition is clear from the beginning by offering appealing benefits. For instance, you could highlight the brand exposure that accompanies working with your organization, as well as offer incentives like VIP invitations to the event.
  • Offer them creative input. Remember that, while the marketing campaign is for your event, you’re still using an account tied to your influencer partner’s brand. Make the collaboration a true partnership by offering the influencer significant creative control over the marketing content. You could offer them multiple options, such as a guest blog post or a social media takeover, to ensure that you’re both happy with the campaign outcome. 

Influencers present a golden opportunity to market your event but remember that they should only represent one part of your larger social media marketing strategy. It’s also important to produce engaging, informative content that resonates with your audience. Structure your influencer marketing plan to align with your existing social media content plan to ensure a cohesive experience for your audience. 

2. Embrace video marketing

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how valuable a video can be for your marketing strategy! With short-form video’s above-average ROI of 30%, your organization has a lot to gain from adding video content to your event marketing plan. Here are some simple ways that you can implement video content into your event marketing approach:

  • Create event teasers. Build excitement around your upcoming event by sharing short videos teasing aspects of your event, such as behind-the-scenes clips of the venue, the food, or your keynote speaker preparing their speech. 
  • Use existing event footage. If you’re marketing a recurring event and have exciting footage from one of your past gatherings, leverage it as marketing material.
  • Share event recap videos. Even after the event, your footage can be useful. For instance, you can use footage that shows the overall atmosphere of the event and highlights your organization’s success. 
  • Leverage live streams. Many social media platforms have free live-streaming capabilities that you can use to interact with your target audience. If your event features a guest speaker or entertainer, consider hosting a live-broadcasted Q&A-style interview about their part in your upcoming event. 

Not a cinematographer? No worries—you don’t have to be to get started. Ensure that you invest in a smart device that you can record on, a fast internet connection for live streams, and video editing software so your content looks professional. 

3. Use ChatGPT

AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, are becoming more prevalent, and it’s easy to see why. With some practice, you can use ChatGPT to optimize your event marketing approach and content by:

  • Streamlining the content creation process: From generating FAQs to email subject lines, you can use ChatGPT to conquer writer's block and write engaging content.
  • Finding relevant facts: Using ChatGPT-4, you can ask the AI to comb the internet, cutting down the time required to research effectively.
  • Leveraging live-chat support: Use a GPT-powered chatbot as a resource for event attendees who might need a quick answer to a question. If it doesn’t know the exact answer to a question, ChatGPT can provide the event coordinator’s contact information to direct them to the right point of contact.
  • Collecting feedback: After the event ends, you still have valuable data to collect from your attendees. Rather than a static feedback form, ChatGPT can ask questions conversationally, yielding more nuanced feedback from event attendees for your future use.

The sky’s the limit with ChatGPT, and it’s getting more advanced every day. Take some time to explore its capabilities—you’re sure to get some use out of it for your marketing campaign.

4. Personalize your marketing emails

Email is a tried-and-true organization marketing tool, but are you using it to its full potential? Your audience gets dozens (if not hundreds) of emails a day, so it’s your job to cut through the clutter and grab their attention. 

The best way to do this is through personalization, which involves segmenting your audience based on shared characteristics, such as their engagement history, demographics, and geographic location, and developing different email streams that align with their preferences. For instance, when planning an event, you might reserve in-person invitations for supporters living within your general area and send virtual invites to those living outside of it. This attention to detail will help boost engagement. 

To segment your email lists, automate your efforts with a powerful CRM and email campaign management software. Maintain data hygiene within these systems by continually updating relevant contact information. Doing so will help you stay up-to-date on your target audience’s interests.

Next Steps for Starting Your Marketing Campaign

Now that you have these tips in your back pocket, you might already be picturing your future marketing campaign. Before you begin, remember to set achievable goals that position you for success. Start with clear objectives and break them down into actionable steps to add nuance to your campaign. Don’t forget to keep your organization’s vision for the event as your primary focus and build your campaign around it. Before you know it, you’ll have RSVPs flooding your inbox!

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