It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a massive corporation. If you’re not giving your customers an experience they can actively participate in, you’re behind in the game. You’re missing out on a slew of opportunities to get people talking about your business in person and online, and bringing real, actual people into your shop. Think like a customer. Which would you rather have? Something you read on the side of a bus, or something you get to participate in?
Local Event Marketing: The Key To Getting Your Name Out There
Let’s talk about Experiential Marketing. Experiential Marketing, or Participation Marketing, is the strategy of actively engaging your consumers in the growth of your brand. You’re inviting your customers to work WITH you. If you’re a smaller business, you might be thinking right this second, “how on EARTH do I accomplish that?” Allow me to explain:
You Gotta Know Yourself
What kind of business are you? Big, small? Brick and mortar? Once you have a sense of your own business identity, you can start to build a digital plan around it.
You Gotta Know Your Region and What Events Are Happening
If you are a smaller local business looking to get your name on people’s minds, this is huge. Find out what kind of events are going on in your area. Look at your local chamber of commerce website and check out what’s happening throughout the year. What brands are coming to town? Can you piggyback on their event? Can you partner with them?
You Gotta Have a Plan
You can’t just start to post on social media platforms willy-nilly and magically expect any kind of engagement, following, sales, or growth. Potential customers are going to glance over and then keep right on going. What’s in it for them? What can you PUT in it for them? What platforms can help you with that? (Hint: Twitter is number one for this)
You Gotta Start Early
Start planning as soon as you know about the event. Your crunch time for maximizing effectiveness is three to six months in advance. Brand ambassadors, swag, giveaways, tweets, promotional material, and marketing materials should be ordered and ready to go.
You Gotta Be Willing To Unclench a Little And Give Stuff Away
Giveaways and freebies are going to add value to the customer’s experience. They walk away with something from the event you gave them, and they will be reminded of it and YOU.
You Gotta Go For It
When I worked at an agency, we did a large event at X-Games geared toward children with a very well-known brand during a huge event. We had to reach out to local vendors and businesses to support our event and make it happen. We created an adventure for customers with freebies, treats, and fun. They walked away from the brand experience with memories they will never forget. THAT’S what you want.
Big brands are building their big experiential marketing events up to a year in advance. They decide on venue, promos, prizes, and hashtags. They have teams in the field getting things set up and looking for local brand partners. Brands and agencies are often looking for smaller local businesses to hook up with. Say yes. It drives traffic to your location.
To maximize the potential for you, reach out. It’s harder, sure. But hit the streets of town and ask. Hotels are a great place to start because you want your business in front of their customers while they are attending the big event.
Learn More Here:
I recently was interviewed by Debi Davis of the Plus Your Business Academy on G+. You can watch it below to get a better idea of how you can begin your plan for local event marketing and your business visibility today.
I know. You want it to be easy and it doesn’t sound easy. But if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for, right? You can do it. I can help. With my background in speaking big brand language, I can help you get the right people seeing you at the right events.