3 Ways To Increase Your Brand Recognition and Bottomline with Live Events
Image: Bershan Shaw's 'Love U Experience' Conference held at the Crystal City Hilton at Reagan National Airport
Live events can go a long way to enhancing your brands reach and cachet. Events done right can be a gift that keeps giving. They are a great way to create buzz, get in front of new clients, and show appreciation to employees and past clients. Hosting a live event can help kill several birds with one proverbial marketing stone.
Here are three things you must do to get the most marketing bang out of your event bucks.
1. Generate Web Content: Read any business blog across the web on marketing and consistently the refrain is “Content is king!” But how do you generate that content in an authentic way that doesn’t seem forced? Events are a great way to get much needed web content that can increase your brands visibility. Done right, investment in a videographer and photographer can pay off big time content wise. They can capture enough images, video reviews, and interviews with key people and influencers who may be in attendance to keep your website and social media fresh with new content for months. Have your videographer edit the content into short highlight clips focused to your target audiences and stagger their release on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis. In particular, interviews or statements from key persons in the firm and other influencers who are in attendance, go a long way to enhance the credibility of the content being presented on your site, blog, or social media.
2. Build Social Media Buzz: Creating a BDA (Before, During, and After) social media strategy for the event maximizes the length of time your company will receive returns on the investment. Done right, invitations and other promotions on social media before the event, will help to not only ensure a great turn out, but increases the chances that those who couldn’t make it will share the promotional materials with friends and ask others in their network who did attend, "how did it go?" Properly selected hashtags and (if your event warrants it) a live stream can ensure that people who are not at the event can experience the event alongside those who are there in person or sometime shortly after. Planning ahead will ensure that you're capturing the right content for release on social media in a pre-meditated way that correlates with your promotions cycle, enhancing chances for customer engagement. Ensure your event is planned in a way that attendees are freely sharing their takeaways within their networks.
3. Control the narrative/word of mouth: Events provide a unique opportunity to control the narrative about your firm and thus control the type of word of mouth marketing that your brand receives. A properly planned event will feed attendees the words to say to others they connect with after the event. Brand ambassadors should engage with attendees throughout the event to not only answer questions, but to be proactive in sharing the brand message and purpose for the event. Don’t leave this to chance and hope your guests will intuit the talking points. What may be obvious to you is not always obvious to your prospects.
Remember that all events tell a story, and like in any good story, details matter. Be sure that the plot of your story is consistent & compelling and you will have gone a long way to ensuring your brand is seen in a positive light. For example, it is easy to spend so much time focusing on your brand messaging while forgeting to hire a good caterer, treating the food at the event as an afterthought. However, if you overlook that detail, instead of repeating your carefully crafted talking points, attendees will be saying “it was a nice event but the food was terrible…”, taking the focus away from where you want it. Like a brand new office building or a powerful piece of equipment, live events speak volumes about your brand and can enhance your visibility and credibility in the eyes of consumers. So take the opportunity to make sure you are making sure your event is saying the right thing about your company.
Follow these three key pieces of advice and your events will start to pay dividends in big ways. You just might have a little fun with it too!