Just Add Water: Using the Buzz Around Major Events for Promoting Your Business
It couldn’t be any easier than this. A major event and your business. It’s a match made in heaven. Here’s how to promote your brand using an age-old marketing strategy that more than half of all companies have forgotten.
Regardless of the kind of business you run, you need a way to promote your business. Events are one way to do that, but not many businesses do it anymore. Mostly, it’s because of the perceived expense. But, it’s also because of a lack of awareness.
We’ve all been trained to pay more attention to social media, direct marketing, and pay-per-click than to event advertising. A 2015 survey by The UPS Store and Inc. found only 42 percent of small business owners use event marketing as a method of marketing their business. This was second only to social media.
But, event marketing can, and does, have a great return on investment so long as you plan and follow through on the event.
Choosing The Right Event
Choosing the right event is the first step. Start by defining your objectives – what you want to get out of the marketing initiative. Next, make sure that the event can host you as a sponsor. Not all events are set up for all types of businesses. For example, if you rely heavily on roller banners for advertising, your venue needs to be able to support placement for those banners.
If they can’t, then that’s not the right event for you.
You’ll need to also pay attention to the attendees for the event. Find out how many people or companies will be there, as well as the demographics, region, and any other relevant information. So, for example, if you market fishing equipment, you wouldn’t want to advertise at an event geared toward teenage gamers.
You might want to advertise at a hunting expo, and you’d definitely want to advertise if it was an outdoor enthusiast expo.
Next, the layout. The logistics of an event can have a huge impact on how well the event marketing goes. You’ll want to position yourself in high-traffic areas so you gets lots of foot traffic. This isn’t always possible. And, even if you can’t get prime real estate at an event, you shouldn’t automatically skip it. But, it’s something to consider.
Finally, ask how the event will be promoted and how long it will run. If it’s not heavily promoted, it might not matter what the demographic is – you won’t get enough leads to make it worthwhile. Along the same lines, if the event only lasts 2 hours, how much traffic will you get, really?
Make sure you follow through on every lead you get. Make your participation memorable, fun, and use demonstrations and promotional items to make it interesting. Try to engage with the audience. And, remember, attendees will often post photos of the event that were memorable. So, if your booth was one of those places, then you may end up with free advertising online.
Ben Llewellyn is the co-founder of Ultimate Banners. Ultimate Banners is a specialist large format printing company based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Ben has been working within the printing industry for over 7 years.