As Marketers we should be well accustom with creating Marketing plans. (Be sure to check out our Marketing plan guide!) It is vital that you do the same when planning an Event. By creating a Marketing plan for your Event you are defining your events purpose, what you want it to achieve and how exactly you’re going to go about doing that. Planning and preparation is everything. This post discusses the five steps you can take to create a Marketing Plan for your Event.
1. Set goals
Decide what you want your event to achieve? This is something you have to decide and will be totally unique to you. Your goals could be anything from a tangible goal such as; gaining a certain number of attendees, or raising a particular amount of money if it is a charity event. Additionally event goals can be intangible, for instance your goal could be something like creating brand engagement.
2. Define your audience
Find out who is your target audience for your event. This will ultimately influence your content marketing and promotional methods.
3. Set your budget
Speaking as someone who plans events for a living, they can be expensive. It is possible to fall down a rabbit hole. You need to consider all the costs that your venue will incur. This is everything for the physical event itself such as; Venue Hire, Decor, Refreshments, Favors and any Equipment or Staff your event may require. Your budget will also concern everything regarding the promotion of said event. Including Print, Social Media, Email Marketing and PPC ads. If your event is a virtual event, you will probably have low physical costs, if any at all. With most of your budget being used for promotional costs. Either way you need a clear budget so you are aware of how much capital you have to play with when making your event a reality.
4. Create your Event Hub
You need to decide how potential attendees/ticket holders will be directed to information surrounding your event. Maybe you will be creating an Event specific website. If so, SquareSpace is an excellent platform to use for anyone lacking web design skills. Additionally, maybe you’ll be simply updating an existing website with a landing page for the event. It’s entirely up to you However it does need to be considered as this will most likely be the place where attendees will purchase their tickets and visit to find information regarding the event.
If you are creating an event website or updating an existing one ensure that your SEO is up to scratch. Backlinks are a super way to increase your web traffic. Reach out to websites that could include a link to your website. Create a blog on your site, this is a proven way to increase your SEO standards. Also ensure that your site is littered with the appropriate keywords to ensure you are maximising the most out of your SEO.
5. Create a killer Content Calendar
How are you actually going to promote your event? Are you creating a specific website for the event or perhaps a Social Media event page? Will you be using email marketing? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.
Social Media –
If you’re going to be using Social Media to promote your event, decide on which platforms and create a Content Calendar. Marketing out the specific days you will be posting, on what platform and what type of content you will be posting. Appropriately organising your promotional content is essential. This will ensure that your event is promoted properly and you have clear plan on your Social Media activity. There are numerous free Content Calendar templates for you to choose from or even have it written out on a whiteboard beside your desk for easy viewing. Once you have your Content Calendar created it’s time to schedule your content, Hootsuite is one of my favourite apps for doing this.
Email Marketing –
If you are going to be using Email Marketing Campaigns to promote your event or engage with your attendees leading up to your event be sure to include the dates you are sending out your emails on the Content Calendar. With Email Marketing platforms such as MailChimp you can also schedule your campaigns in advance. The Content Calendar will end up becoming your best friend and most useful tool in your event planning. It is such a beneficial way to clearly manage your content schedule and workload when promoting your event.
Implementing your Plan
So you’ve taken the previous steps to truly flesh out your Event Marketing Plan. It’s now time to actively implement your plan and stick to it. Once your event has actually taken place be sure to refer back to the Event Marketing Plan when evaluating the success of your event. By doing this you can evaluate whether your goals were met, whether your budget was stuck to and whether your content calendar was implemented as originally intended. Analysis of the success of your event is vital it allows you to understand if there are any elements of the Event Marketing Plan you would edit if running the same event again. It is important to understand that different types of events will require different promotion and content. However by using these five core steps you will be on track to creating a solid Marketing Plan for your event,