How digital marketing helps digital events – Guest blog by Collaborate Global
We’ve partnered with the brilliant Collaborate Global for this guest blog to help provide an insight into how digital marketing is essentail when running an event. If you’re thinking about running an event and need that extra spark, get in touch with Collaborate Global to create something your audience will never forget!
Collaborate Global have worked on all forms of digital events, from Rita Ora’s hybrid music video to international supplier forums and internal comms events. From the most creative, to the most professional, we have worked with the biggest and in some cases the smallest too.
Events and marketing go hand in hand, and a digital event and digital marketing therefore are a match made in heaven. If you are hosting your event digitally, you need to drum up an audience in the same fashion. We wanted to share some tips and insights into strategy, marketing and how you can reach the widest possible audience with your virtual event.
Picture this, you have built a beautiful set alongside your production agency, now what? Well, the event is there to tell a story in a way. It is there to allow you to create a narrative and invite people in, allowing them to experience your brand in a way that is completely controlled by you. The build-up process is key to driving traffic to a registration page. What I would first focus on is your current audience.
Reach out to those who are fully invested in the brand, make it a personal approach to ‘gold’ customers. The people who purchase your product, the ones who are active on your website or the ones who you know care already. They will want to come. It is the outer audience that you can now look to hook in. Big brands have thousands of followers on Instagram who wouldn’t event blink if you told them you were putting on an event. You need to target these people and give them a reason. Always think ‘WIIFM?’ ‘what’s in it for me?’ that is what people are always thinking, even when clicking onto this blog. The people who have made it this far will be looking for a nugget of information to further help them.
The key piece of the event jigsaw that we always push and strive for within Collaborate is strategy. Knowing who your audience is allows you to tailor the experience directly for them. You may know that the fans of the new MINI Cooper are also interested in automobiles, however, what if you can tap further into the pot and find out if they are interested in gardening, nature, the outside or walking. The secondary layer of the event becomes clear – you may be selling a MINI Cooper, but what does the set look like, what kind of activities are you going to ask people to get involved with?
So, how can digital marketing play a role in strategy? Well, when working out the audience for any digital campaign it is the strategy process that will decide whether you’re on to a winner or a loser. Keyword research allows agencies to see what terms are being used, where those people are located and then in turn understand the audience that you are trying to reach.
What’s your hook? We discussed in the paragraph above about the need to lay out for people what this event will bring to them, how it will change their life in a positive way. That is all well and easy to do when the audience already half knows your brand. But the key to future engagement is going to be – bringing in a new audience. Social media now becomes your best friend.
When planning for an event the hook lives and breathes within the heart of it. When working on Goodwood Revival 2019 the hook was interesting content based around cars. The delivery of this was a live recreation of the original filming of the Italian Job. We had a highly engaged and excited audience and they were all enjoying the content, they knew what was in it for them, we knew what the hook was and Goodwood knew that to market the event successfully they had to register interest with people who were passionate about cars but also loved entertainment. This wasn’t a motor museum but more – ‘Motoring Meet The West End’.
Events are built on community. This is something that digital marketers can tap heavily into. Everyone is part of a tribe, whether you know it or not. Whenever I run, I nod to other runners, whenever bus drivers pass by each other they wave, expectant mothers give a sympathetic smile to each other and a waitress off duty visiting another restaurant is likely to leave a good tip. These are all examples of everyday tribes.
An event brings ‘your community’ together. In the wild tennis lovers walk past each other not knowing their shared passion. Car lovers can be sat next to each other on a bus and not engage in a conversation. But at an event, you’re bound by more than demographic links. It doesn’t matter that you’re not family or neighbours. A middle-aged brick layer can go to watch England play at Wembley and be singing his heart out like he’s in the Church Choir for 2 hours!
Understanding this community allows for event managers and agencies to tap into the heart of an event. Building on the strategy and the hook leaves only room for natural growth within the community itself. If you can get 10,000 rowing fans to Henley and put their desired sport in front of them and people with common interest next to them, the event will therefore naturally fuel itself internally.
Working with a digital marketing agency allows you to broaden this community. People come and people go, working with the right digital marketing agency can help you attract new people into their new favourite community.
You may or may not have heard of the term ‘fear of missing out’ but I can probably assure you that you have felt it. That feeling of seeing your friends on a skiing trip while you’re at home cleaning up dirty nappies. It doesn’t have to always be that miserable. But, if you are a fan of anything, then there is always going to be something that you are missing out on.
Now it is not a digital marketer’s job to tap into this fear and boil it to the surface. But instead, they are there to help put the hook in front of the audience in a way that allows them to make up their own mind. Marketing should be empathetic. In current times people cannot easily part ways with their money on things they don’t need. However, what we aim to do with an event is create a platform and content for the 1% who can’t live without us.
It’s not all doom and gloom!
A good event and a good digital marketing campaign combine all of the above on their own. And then in turn, a good event can’t live and breathe without a good digital marketing campaign to go alongside it. The two must exist in harmony. In a world where we are seeing more digital content and audiences are engaging and interacting more online, it is the event companies job to create content and a sense of community and it is a digital marketing agencies job to drive new, relevant members to that community.
When Malbec look to host a virtual wine tasting experience with guest talks from their top growers and brand innovators, it isn’t the everyday buyer from Tesco that they are looking to hook in. An event organiser understands that strategy, the story and the content they need to input in order for it to be accepted by the right audience. It is therefore a digital marketer’s job to build strategy around who the audience is that they are trying to reach, to build up the story, to put the lead magnet in front of the relevant people and to produce ROI data based on the success of the campaign.
To get in touch with Collaborate please visit www.collaborateglobal.com or email them at [email protected]
Content and Marketing Manager