2016 saw the rise of virtual reality, live streaming and more integrated communications within the events space. Now it’s the start of 2017 and every event professional should be looking at their marketing plans and strategies to kick-start the year. Read on for Identity’s guide to marketing for events professionals in 2017.
USE SOCIAL TO TELL STORIES
Social media is no longer an option – it’s absolutely essential. Get your event onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram months ahead of your dates to ramp up engagement and excitement.
And it’s essential that you have a strategy. Posting updates and general information is fine for education purposes but social media is also a great place to share stories and create consumer interaction. You’ll want to focus on content which drives an emotional response from your readers – let them see the backstage workings of your event planning including “warts and all” behind the scenes to really get your audience involved.
One of social media’s biggest advantages is how instant everything can be in terms of how content is both posted and consumed. Utilise this to your advantage by updating your social platforms with live content during your event – it’s an incredibly effective way to really hype up the day.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience to raise awareness of your event and drive registrations, so don’t overlook its power by getting carried away with the latest shiny new tools. You’ll still need to plan your email updates carefully ensuring you reach your recipients at key tactical points – and don’t forget to nurture any new leads collated at events!
Think about how you could integrate some of your new marketing efforts to your email marketing – for example, maybe you could include your latest live video upload into your next e-newsletter?
Blogging is the original content marketing and it remains an integral component of first class digital marketing. Blogs can humanise your business giving it personality and a “voice”. More importantly, they are a powerful way to establish authority with your business, both in terms of readership and how Google manages your ranking in search engine optimisation (SEO). Google loves a good blog and by updating with engaging, interesting and expert content on a regular, consistent basis you are almost guaranteed to see a return on this investment with an increase in organic search traffic.
Blogging well in advance of your event will give your readers time to digest information and provide them with the key facts about what to expect. A post-show reflection blog (or two!) is also always a good idea – it gives people who were unable to attend your event a chance to catch up on what they missed, and allows attendees to reminisce and recapture the experience of the day.
Every event professional must be thinking mobile first with all marketing communications in 2017. Global share of web traffic is now dominated by mobile devices, making up 50 percent of the overall share, compared to 45 percent for desktops/laptops. Seven out of every 10 emails are first opened on a non-desktop device, and 50 percent of people grab their smartphone as soon they wake up! So it’s absolutely paramount that every message that is delivered from your brand is considered from the mobile experience first, as that’s very likely where the majority of your audience will be consuming that content.
LIVE VIDEO STREAMING
Live video streaming is one of the biggest growth trends in digital marketing and now a key weapon in the event professional’s arsenal. Record and broadcast the most important parts of your event, such as keynote speakers, busy footfall and gamification live to connect and engage with followers both at and away from the event. You can and should also encourage attendees to live stream, which would further raise awareness of your event. There are several different platforms which you can use to broadcast live video content, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope. Experiment with each and see which one produces the most engagement from your audience.
2017 is the year to make your digital marketing plan as integrated as possible – the tools are there and so is the technology. So remember: think mobile first, invest in humanising your brand with stories, don’t forget email marketing and blogging, and go live! To find out how Identity could help in all these areas at your next exhibition or event, please contact us on telephone number 01323 469111 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.