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Guest Blog: MissionTix Event Marketing
Hosting events is becoming more and more popular for organizations and companies of all sizes, even those not in the actual event industry. However, the necessary event marketing that comes along with throwing that bash or organizing that race or drawing attention to that cause is sometimes overlooked. Check out this guest post by Rita Anand, of our affiliate company MissionTix, to see how you can take advantage of all the digital options available to your organization.
Event Marketing in a Digital Age
Event marketing requires a unique and creative mindset. Each client has a different preconceived notion of how an event should be run and what will determine their event’s success. However, it is understood that in today’s digital age, an event’s marketing plan is time sensitive and will need to be monitored day to day, as the event approaches. At MissionTix, we take a digital route to satisfy our clients’ quickly changing needs. And with this combination of commonsense solutions, such as knowing how and when to reach the target audience, mixed with some advanced knowledge of digital engagement, every event has the potential to be a smashing success.
Know Your Customer
In any marketing plan, an important first step is to know the target audience your business caters to: who is interested in your product or service? Since our customers are ticket buyers, we focus on the type of customer that purchases tickets in each event genre. This includes various genres of music (including music festivals), food festivals, beer and wine festivals, non-profit events and fundraisers, races and marathons, sporting events, family-friendly events, or even educational lectures and conferences. Each event type has a different target audience with varying interests, and requires a different approach in marketing. Not only do interests affect your marketing, but also the size of your event and the reach it may have will affect the geographical area you want your marketing to reach. If your event is a multi-day festival, your reach may be more than the local market, as people will travel for a weekend if they are interested. If it is an annual event, you may have more interest in people traveling once the event has become well known. These all factor into your geographical reach. If your event is a smaller concert at a local venue, your reach may just be your city and surrounding suburbs.
With 74% of all Internet users taking advantage of social media, focusing a portion of your budget in this area usually ends up being almost a necessity. MissionTix not only utilizes advertising on social media, but plain ‘ole posting helps us in our local market. We focus on tagging venues, events and promoters to expand our reach, as well as sharing in local and interested groups. This bypasses the need to spend the extra money on promoting a post on Facebook, and keeps us focused on finding customers who will be interested in the actual event. Facebook also gives producers the opportunity to create event pages that can engage customers to interact with you as well as each other. This also gives you the space and opportunity to create a hashtag to engage on-site.
As for paid media buying, MissionTix utilizes its very own Advertising Network, which allows a dedicated marketing manager to drive advertisements to your client base. We divvy up your budget through a few types of targeting:
- Behavioral Targeting, which focuses on an individual’s Internet behavior.
- Categorical Targeting, which chooses websites to advertise on by categories they fall under.
- Driveback Remarketing, which allows clients who manage their own websites to target those customers who visit their website that haven’t already purchased a ticket for their event.
- Search Retargeting, which uses the most powerful search engines to traffic advertisements to customers who search for related terms. - Mobile Advertising, which gives clients the opportunity to harness the power of mobile through in-app advertisements and mobile-friendly websites.
- Social Advertising, which is where we spend our money on Facebook. This allows us to choose the type of Facebook page we show our clients’ advertisements on.
By making recommendations to our clients on how to spend a budget, we are able to control how much money is spent on each type of target, and readjust day to day, or as necessary. Normal advertising cycles for our smaller events start a month prior to the event, giving us a week of trial, and three weeks of readjusting to get the most conversions (i.e. ticket sales!). For a larger event, we are able to readjust monthly with new creative and budget recommendations.
We also love contests and applications at MissionTix. Recently we launched our first client application for The Shindig, which can be found in both the App and Google Play stores. This gave attendees the ability to enter a contest to win a free T-shirt, navigate to parking, check out the line-up, connect to social media and give feedback. Both of these things drive engagement and create subtle reminders of future events.
So your event is coming up and you’ve spent the time (and money, most likely) getting customers to purchase tickets. How do you turn them into repeat customers? On site, we recommend turning to social media. With that event page and hashtag ready to go, advertise on site for engagement. Allowing sharing with friends, taking pictures on site and requesting opinions of customers keeps them engaged and reminds them of the event later down the line. If you collect data from your clients (emails are the most important form of communication), you can encourage “Trust in Us” type purchases for future events like pre-sale tickets, or even fan club tickets.
Overall, event marketing utilizes the same tools that all marketers should be taking advantage of at every opportunity. Expanding your reach is necessary, affordable and easy…with a little time and energy you can make it work for any event!