If you’re planning an event for your business, you have enough to worry about: the venue, the guest list, the entertainment, the food and drinks, the programming, what you hope guests will take away from it and more. If you want people to show up to your event, digital marketing can get the word out and result in free marketing when your followers share event news. But with everything on your plate, you might want to use marketing automation, which can alleviate the mundane tasks associated with event promotion. Marketing automation:
- Sends targeted messages to the right prospects
- Automatically disseminates communications as often as you’d like
- Moves leads along the user journey to get them closer to coming to your event
Using marketing automation means marketing happens automatically, without you having to worry about following up with every single contact. By segmenting users into unique lists, you can send personalized communications that seem tailored to the individual, to increase engagement.
Let’s take a look at several types of prominent marketing automation channels, and how you can use them to promote your next event.
1. Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a system for collecting and storing customer data like names, job titles, company and contact information. You can look at data reflecting how leads and customers interact with your brand, and use it to tie in what matters to them when you promote your event to those customers.
When you have an event and one of your contacts RSVPs, you can note that in the customer’s profile in your CRM software. In future client interactions, you can:
- Mention that you look forward to seeing them at the event
- Ask if they’d be interested in attending if they haven’t RSVP’d yet
- Talk with them about what matters to them based on their CRM profile if you see them at the event
- Ask them how they enjoyed the event
- Tell them about your next event coming up
Before the event, you can check out what types of content attendees have viewed before coming to your event, which can perhaps inform event programming. After the event, you can see how event attendees are interacting with your business, which can guide the strategy for your next event.
Use the CRM marketing automation software to create a database of past event attendees. With this, you can:
- Send out targeted event invitations mentioning you’d love to see them at an event again
- Create marketing campaigns using content that resonates with attendees
- Send discounts and offers to repeat attendees
- Create post-event follow-up messaging
- Disseminate event surveys to gather feedback
CRM software helps you build better relationships with leads by knowing where they are in your sales pipeline, so you can create messaging that positions your event as valuable for each type of lead.
2. Email Marketing Software
Email marketing software is marketing automation for, you guessed it, email. Using data from your CRM, you can segment users into lists, then trigger email messages based on their demographics and the actions they take with your brand.
According to the Event Marketing 2018 Benchmarks and Trends ebook by event software platform Bizzabo, the majority of event organizers believe email marketing is the most effective form of marketing for event promotion. To use email effectively to gain more attendees for your event, use these tips.
Announce Your Event
Make the event announcement worthwhile. Talk about what’s in it for the recipients. Perhaps one email offers a discount code, only for a list of past attendees. Another email could target customers who have purchased from you in the past week – the email could be a special exclusive sneak peek of the event before the “official” announcement goes out a couple days later.
Give a Glimpse of What to Expect
Use photos and videos from past events to give email recipients a visual cue about why they should attend your next event. If this is your first event, you could show off photos of keynote speakers, or include a video from the host about why the recipient should come. You can also display testimonials from past event attendees in the message.
Send Updates That Foster FOMO
FOMO, or fear of missing out, can be a powerful event driver. In every new email you send, you can update recipients on how many RSVPs you’ve added. Or, create a sense of urgency by ticking down how many spots are left. If you add new notable speakers or programming to the event, you can entice users who haven’t signed up for it yet to do so by promoting them.
Get Attendees Involved Before the Event
Drum up buzz about the event before it kicks off by sending attendees a note about how to spread the word on social media. Send an email with your social media handles, as well as a branded hashtag that can be used on social media. You’ll gain new mentions about the event and can screenshot the best ones to highlight in future emails.
Share Content that Relates to the Event
If you have a blog with content that relates to what will be covered at the event, use email to promote that type of content. Email subscribers whose interest is piqued may decide to go to your event.
These are just a few ideas for how to use email marketing automation to promote your event. You’ll want to make sure to send relevant messages to the right users. So – don’t send an “RSVP now” message to someone who is already coming to your event. Set up drip email marketing campaigns based on where people are in the RSVP process, as well as other differentiating factors.
3. Social Media Marketing Automation
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn – your business might be on all these channels and more. Social media marketing automation helps you ensure you promote your event on social media regularly, without having to manually log into every single channel to create and post a message.
Using social media marketing automation, you can link up the channels that you’re on, and schedule messages ahead of time. This way, you can mix up your messaging so that messages go out on varied times, and you’re publishing messages that match the demographics of the followers on every channel. If you have a general message that works for multiple channels, you can easily schedule it to go out at various times on multiple channels regularly so that you maintain engagement.
You can also use a social media marketing automation dashboard to view engagement with your event from social, all in one place. A single dashboard can show you:
- All the places where your event hashtag has been used
- Any mentions of the event and replies to your social media channels
- Direct messages sent to your social media channels
Using a social media automation dashboard, you can easily keep up with event chatter and make sure you’re communicating promptly to those who have questions about your event. You can log in to one place and re-share content that relates to your event.
During the event, you’ll also want to be active on social media, but your team simply might not have the time to communicate consistently. Use social media marketing automation to schedule content that goes out during the event, like telling attendees about an interesting presentation that is scheduled to start soon. You can use automation to make sure you’re communicating regularly, and then log into to your automation dashboard to quickly interact with attendees at the event.
After the event, continue to monitor the hashtag in your dashboard. You can re-share content or pull it to use for a blog recap or email thank you to event attendees.
Make Your Next Event Successful with Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a crucial instrument for making events successful. CRM software, email marketing software and social media marketing automation are just three tools that help you send out timely and relevant messages to:
- Build awareness for your event
- Drive signups
- Create engagement before the event
- Increase social media chatter
- Provide better customer event support
- Ensure event attendees show up and are engaged during the event
- Follow up with event attendees and grow attendance at your next event
Just because marketing automation software automates your processes doesn’t mean you can neglect strategy. Marketing automation is only effective if messages are targeted precisely and if you send out an optimal amount of messages. Overloading users can turn them off. Send the wrong message, and you make leads feel like you’re not paying attention to them.
AlphaMind Studios can help you use marketing automation software to your advantage when you’re planning an event. If you’re new to marketing automation, we can set you up with the best tools and help you create content that is valuable to your audience. If you’re already using marketing automation but want to gain more conversions, especially for your next event, we’ll help you understand areas to improve upon.
Get a free marketing automation software consultation, so you can ensure you’re doing everything possible to promote your next event in the best way.