One event marketing plan to guide them…Is that how the quote goes?
Great events don’t just happen. They require detailed preparation and careful execution, in addition to a solid event marketing plan. Because without one, your event will go undiscovered.
But what puts one event marketing plan above all the rest?
Join us on a journey through the key points you’ll want to address. Plus, gain access to an event marketing template that you can use for your own promotional endeavors.
Is An Event Marketing Plan Just an Event Plan? No.
You might be wondering what an event marketing plan even is? Is it the same thing as event planning?
The terms “event planning” and “event marketing” are often used interchangeably. And while they are intertwined (or in an ideal world they would be), they come with different responsibilities.
Event planners focus on event logistics, taking the event from idea to execution, while event marketers typically concentrate on tactics that promote the event.
No matter what you call them or how many hats they wear, event marketers promote and drive results. They need to plan each channel individually–posting cadences, micro-promotions, sponsored PR, and a myriad of other approaches–to ensure your event reaches the right customers.
To do that, you need an event marketing plan.
What Is an Event Marketing Plan?
An event marketing plan is the promotional strategy you are going to use to get the word out about your event and create buzz. But don’t be fooled by its simplistic definition, an event marketing plan should be multifaceted and incorporate a number of factors to ensure you reach your audience.
Primary Factors To Consider When Developing an Event Marketing Plan
The first step in creating an event marketing plan is understanding exactly what your event is and what you hope to achieve by hosting it.
Consider factors such as the following when building not only your event marketing plan, but also your event as a whole:
- What you hope to achieve
- What type of event: virtual, in-person, hybrid
- The timeline of your event (peep our event planning checklist to help with that)
- What channels you’ll need to promote your event
- Who you want involved: presenters, speakers, event sponsors
- If you’ll record your event to use as on-demand or evergreen content
- If you’ll run early-bird events or other offers.
- Why people should attend your event.
Ultimately, having a strong understanding of what kind of results you’re looking to gain from your event will help focus your marketing plan to achieve them.
Want to save millions on your content and event marketing strategy? Think about combining them by repurposing your event content. Read our article on content marketing for events: how to repurpose your event content.
Popular Event Marketing Channels To Include in Your Plan
Okay, on to the good stuff. What should actually be in your event marketing plan? First determine which marketing channels are best suited to your event. Let’s break down a few tried and true methods for you to consider.
Email marketing is the cornerstone to successful event marketing.
Look for virtual event platforms that integrate with your existing email tool. If you don’t have one, consider adding one as soon as possible. An email marketing automation tool can help you navigate a mountain of email communications, freeing up time and ensuring no one gets lost in the mix.
When you create your marketing emails, focus on smart, relevant subject lines and easy-to-read, mobile-friendly designs. And be careful about sending too many emails at one time. No one likes a spammy inbox.
When it comes to free promotion, nothing beats social media.
From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to TikTok, social media reigns as one of the most effective marketing tools for events.
While promoting across all platforms can help, focusing on platforms popular with your audience will generate the best results.
If you’re willing to put some extra money behind your efforts, consider running a paid social campaign to expose a highly targeted audience to your event. Don’t launch and walk away though. Consistent optimizations and testing different types of ads is key to paid success.
Blog posts are an easy way to get the word out and provide additional details that might otherwise get lost. They’re also great to include in your promotional emails or to post on social media.
Feature profiles of event speakers or guests, provide snippets of the agenda on an ongoing basis (encouraging visitors to return to your blog), and cover any newsworthy issues relevant to your industry or that tie into your event.
Don’t forget to include several reasons why your target audience should attend.
Pulling influencers across social media platforms in to help you spread the word can also be an impactful part of your event marketing plan.
Reach out to popular influencers on social media channels of your choice, but stick to those that align closely with your audience for maximum relevance. There’s no point in working with an influencer that has no experience or relevant attachment to your field.
YouTube is another excellent tool for event marketing.
Create short promotional videos to run at the beginning of existing videos on your channel.
If your channel features videos in a discussion or conversational style, include a talking point about your upcoming event.
Not only does your business website offer prime real estate for your event, but creating a separate event website to drive and ideally convert attendees through is a crucial component to your event marketing plan.
While promoting your event on your business website establishes authority and brand identity, the event website allows you to provide attendees with a better glimpse of what the event will be like, further encouraging them to register.
Looking for some promotion inspiration? Check out these 27 Creative Event Promotion Ideas For Your Next Online Event.
Make Sure Your Event Marketing Plan Generates Anticipation
Create a marketing plan that builds on existing elements to optimize effectiveness and create excitement. If anything, you need to make sure your event marketing plan answers the, “What’s in it for me?” question for prospective attendees over time.
Add Consistent, Relevant Content To the Plan
A successful event marketing plan needs ongoing information. It’s not something to do once and then forget.
Continually update your content, sharing new information as details become clear. This will help you optimize your plan for maximum results.
Flashy and Cool Might Generate Attention, But Make Sure You Let Users Know Exactly What Value You’re Going To Provide To Them
It’s not just about creating attention-getting content, you have to deliver value if you want people to take interest in your event.
Providing Value Means Tailoring Your Marketing Style, Voice, and Content for the Decision Makers
One of the main components of successful marketing (or anything really) is communication, and an event marketing plan is no different.
To get the right answers, you need to speak to the right people in a style that they understand. You might attract a lot of attention from individuals within an organization, but unless those people are decision-makers who see the value in your event, you’ll be hard-pressed to get the results you’re hoping for.
Tailoring your marketing and communication style to those who have the power and authority to buy will help your event succeed. Speak to the pain points or industry-hurdles that decision-makers face to help communicate the value of your event.
Your Event Marketing Plan Should Consist of Multiple Events Leading up To the Big Show
Content marketing can be an effective method of getting the word out about your event in the weeks or months ahead of its launch. Events that offer an insider-view or a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what to expect can create a lot of buzz.
Consider a series of interviews with presenters or featured speakers who will be participating in your event, whether it be via podcast, webinar, blog, etc. These not only help educate your audience and generate excitement, but they also associate your brand with industry leaders, boosting brand authority, and trust.
Create Your Very Own Event Marketing Plan With Our Easy to Follow Template
Because every event is unique, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. But there are some common approaches that work for almost everyone.
3-4 Months Before Your Event
- Choose a virtual event platform and launch your event page and event app.
- Announce the event on social media, through an email, and in a blog post, highlighting featured presenters and early registration discounts.
- Reach out to share the announcement with partners and influencers.
2-3 Months Before Your Event
- Create content to share regularly through emails, on your blog, and across all social media channels promoting your event.
- Focus on reaching your target audience and showing them why they should attend.
1-2 Months Before Your Event
- Continue to build content, including case studies from customers, endorsements from influencers and event teasers. Promote this content across social media platforms and in emails.
- Send a press release to media outlets relevant to your industry and event.
- Start running social media ads focused on getting attendees to register.
The Week Of Your Event
- Continue sharing content across all channels to catch any last-minute registrations.
- Build hype for those who already registered by sharing an insider look of the event and what’s happening behind the scenes.
- Establish your plan for content creation and sharing that you will run during the event.
This event marketing template is just the first step. A successful event marketing plan is an organic, living thing. The best event marketing template requires you to strategize what you can, while being prepared to make adjustments along the way, depending on how your event comes to life.
Execute Your Event Marketing Plan With SpotMe
Ready to launch your event marketing plan? SpotMe’s virtual event platform is a great starting point to help you build a robust event space online, giving you the foundation for your event marketing plan. Reach out today for a free trial.
Take your plan one step further with Your Marketing Team’s Guide To Generating Leads With Virtual Events.