Event marketing typically only consumes 20 percent of a company’s budget, according to inbound marketing software platform HubSpot. Meanwhile, 67 percent of B2B marketers consider event marketing its most effective strategy, reports an infographic by WebDAM. Event marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or even complicated to be highly effective. You can set up an event in hours and get started on improving public awareness for your business. Here are some ideas to get started:
Create a Learning Event
Educate your customers on how to use your products while empowering them to improve their lives or own businesses. Host an event at a community center on how to use your sales software, create original jewelry, master organizational strategies or anything else that relates to your business. Then, ask your students what other types of resources and classes they need to succeed to get targeted ideas for follow-up courses. Remember to ask for students’ contact information to start an email list for future events and product promotion. And before you dismiss class, sweeten the deal by offering a discount or free swag to help spread the word about your product.
Start a Meetup Group
Find your ideal target audience by hosting a Meetup group on anything from travel to entrepreneurship to working moms. Events can be held anywhere you want, such as coffee shops or your own office. You can promote your Meetup through social media and to your current contact list. Plus, you also benefit from the exposure on Meetup with a built-in audience who is looking for a wide variety of groups and events.
Before you head out for your first Meetup, invest in a quality smartphone that takes great photos and videos like the HTC One M9. Snap some photos and take video clips during your Meetup and post in real time to your social media channels with a designated hashtag. Ask your members to retweet, post and share the images to reach a wider audience and potential new clients.
Promote at a Farmers Market
Farmers markets aren’t just for farmers anymore. Set up a table to sell your coffee, preserves, pickled goods or original artisan creations. Or participate in a farmers market to promote a related service to produce and fresh food, such as sustainable living products and services or cooking classes. Draw in a crowd by offering free treats and raffle off a free service to create a buzz. Or consider hiring a bluegrass trio to entertain patrons gathering around your table.
Don’t confine your event ideas to what every other business is hosting. Instead, brainstorm on what your ideal customer would want and then provide it. For example, business owners selling athletic shoes can host an event at a climbing gym or offer free group hikes in the area. A healthy juice vendor can host an event at an acrobatic school and give away free samples. Whatever your event, remember to showcase something your customers haven’t seen before to keep their interests piqued and excited to keep coming back for more.
Sponsor an Event
Let someone else host an event for you if you don’t have the time, energy or resources to organize your own. Sponsor a charity or community event to increase awareness of your business. Offer to help fund the event, provide free merchandise or offer consultations in exchange for signage and marketing exposure. Choose a charity that is near and dear to your business’ heart or fundamental ideology. For example, a children’s clothing company can sponsor a festival raising money for childhood hunger, while an accounting firm can give away free consultations and services to a student debt event.