Planning an event can be stressful—there are a million and one variables to consider.
Not only that, but you also need to figure out how to get people there. Where do you begin?
From building hype, planning, execution, and following up with attendees, consistent messaging is vital. In this blog post, we’re going to go over proven integrated marketing tactics that we personally used with one of our clients to show how effective these practices can be.
Imagewërks has partnered with Catholic Eldercare for the past ten years, so when they decided to open a new community—Wyndris—in the fall of 2018, they enlisted our help to spark brand awareness and drive acquisition. We agreed that an integrated marketing strategy would be necessary to get the word out, but we also knew that to create the sort of buzz we wanted, we would need to set up a preview event for prospects.
Branding – Define Your Unique Identity
Who are you? Who are your potential customers? What makes you stand out from your competitors? These are all questions your brand strategy should address.
By knowing who you are, who you want to market to, and how you are different from the rest will help you hit your revenue and sales goals and build a reliable brand to help you grow.
Having a strong brand will also help you with your communication strategy across all your channels, allowing you to craft a cohesive message around what your event is about and what your customers will gain by attending.
For Wyndris, since this was a new property, we undertook traditional marketing efforts at the start of the marketing campaign.
Our branding efforts included:
• Naming the building
• Logo development
• Web presence
Consistency is Key
With all of your marketing efforts—from your website, to social, to any print collateral you create—make sure all of your pieces are consistent so your brand message isn’t lost.
Obviously, you will need to tweak everything to work within whatever formats you are using, but regardless of what form your message takes, it should be instantly recognizable to your customers.
You should make sure that everything below is consistent across the board:
Establish an Online Presence – Web and Social
Utilize everything at your digital disposal—display ads, social media, email—to generate buzz and increase excitement about your event.
In our previous experience working with Catholic Eldercare, we recognized that the majority of their traffic was generated through online searches. We utilized the following methods to boost our reach among key targets:
• Search Platforms
• Display ads
• Social media
The majority of our key demographic is very active on Facebook, so we created the 4 events that we wanted potential leasers to attend on that platform. This allowed us to tap into Catholic Eldercare’s extensive network of connections as well as garner organic engagement thanks to Facebook’s algorithms when existing and potential leasers noted that they were attending and shared it on their feed.
We had to ensure that we reached the right audience, so we used a mix of traditional and digital tactics in a very targeted way. These included:
• Direct Mail
• Print advertising
• Area outreach
• Public Relations
Depending on your audience, you can also utilize the following techniques to broaden your reach:
• Name your event something unique and create a hashtag for social media
• Use geofencing to target a specific area around where your event will take place
• Use postal append to re-message lost visitors to your website by sending them event-specific direct mail encouraging them to attend
• Create a giveaway (free tickets/special prize) if attendees share your posts on social and tag people they think should attend
• Invite local people of note in your industry to attend, whether it’s members of your local Chamber of Commerce, past clients who you’ve done lots of business with, etc.
• Utilize traditional advertising with digital billboard ads, radio ads, magazine ads and more if your event applies to a broad demographic
• Have a specified social media person to manage all social engagement for your event, whether that means covering and responding to your specific event hashtag, or generating buzz on a monthly, weekly, daily basis leading up to and during your event—it’s essential to make sure that you don’t set and forget your social media channels
Marketing our events for the Wyndris proved to be a unique challenge and played a significant role in garnering engagement with the community. We had to attract new prospects, while also keeping the ones who already signed leases interested—we had to build a community before the building was even open.
We know what you’re thinking: did the tactics work?
In the case of Wyndris, throughout the 4 events that we coordinated and marketed (3 tours and the Grand Opening event), Imagewërks was able to help Wyndris generate over $1.2 Million in ROI.
Wyndris opened in December 2018 at 52% leased, which was 22% over ProForma goals. The Grand Opening event alone hosted 500 people with live entertainment, tours, refreshments, and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
We take a fresh and frank look at your goals, challenges, customers and competitors. All to develop a brand strategy that informs everything else—from logo and look to message and media. Let’s brand together.