Marketing QuarterBack Consulting
Most small businesses understand the importance of sponsoring and participating in community events. It’s great for public relations and it gets your business exposure. But that’s not all.
It's much more comprehensive and versatile than you might expect.
There are all kinds of opportunities to sponsor and participate in events where your business is located. Here are just a few:
•Chamber of Commerce •Parades •Festivals •Charities •Little Leagues •School Fundraisers •Marathons, 5K Runs, 10K Runs, etc. •Gun Shows •County Fairs •Art Shows •Home Shows •Boat Shows •Holiday Toy Drives
You will find the list of event opportunities either in your community or near the community where your business is located goes on and on when you start to do some research. It's important to be be selective and target only the events that will benefit your business.
You don’t have to participate in every event. When you read the list below of how an event can be used in your marketing mix, you may feel that you don’t have the time, but you really should take part in at least two or three events throughout the year.
Here’s a list of how just ONE event will benefit your business prior to the event, during the event and after the event:
•Create an “Events” page for your website. Shows website visitors your involvement in the community where your business is located. It also helps to keep your website “fresh” by updating it with new content. •Organizations who organize events usually will have a website. You can have information about your business and a link to your website on that organization’s website. This creates both a citation and an in-bound link to your website which is great for SEO or search engine optimization. • Prior to the event, it makes for a good press release from your business both on-line and off-line. Talk about your sponsorship of the event and what it’s all about. Distribute the press release to local newspapers and publications as well as submit to on-line press release services. •Create an email marketing campaign announcing the upcoming event and “eblast” it to your database of email addresses. •Write a blog article about the event, it’s history, how it benefits the community and your sponsorship. •Make posts about the event on the social media pages for your business •Create a direct mail piece for the event that invites people to the event and an opportunity to receive a special offer when they stop by your booth or table at the event. •Feature the event in a print advertisement. Create a coupon with a special offer that ties into the event. (Ingredient 15) •Set-up a booth or table at the event. You and employees of your business who are comfortable interacting with the public should be stationed at the table. Go out of your way to talk and interact with people. Be cheerful, friendly and inviting! There is nothing like meeting people, shaking their hands, looking them in the eye and talking with them genuinely. They will remember you and your business. •Hand-out brochures at the event. •Have a drawing for prizes at the event. Require people to fill out a card with their name and email address in order to enter the drawing. Add the email addresses collected to your email database. •Giveaway an inexpensive promotional item at the event. Make sure that promotional item has your business name, logo, tag line, telephone number and website address clearly listed. For example, pens are a great advertising promotional gift. Promotional pens are inexpensive and something people will actually use and are less likely to toss in the trash. •Make sure you and your employees who attend the event give out your business cards to people you talk to. Also make sure to collect business cards from people. • Take photographs during the event. •Send a thank you card to people you talked to at the event. Include a special offer for them if they visit your business. •Send an email marketing campaign specifically to the email addresses you collected at the event. Include a special offer for your business. •Write a press release about the event and submit the press release both on-line and off-line with a couple of photos you took during the event. •Post photos taken during the event on the social media sites for your business. •Write a blog about the event and post it along with photos taken during the event. •Send an email marketing campaign that includes your event photos to your database of email addresses.
You get a lot of mileage from your event sponsorship and participation. Make a video during the event and you can add even more Ingredients to the mix.
It’s difficult to find opportunities that market and promote your business and allow you to interact with the public in the same way that events offer.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you identify, plan and execute event marketing for your small business.
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