Why you need to ensure your Pre-Event Engagement Strategy is up to scratch!

To get your event off the ground, you MUST build anticipation around your event. 

By learning the ins and outs of content marketing you can develop a sustainable movement and voice behind your event. 

Of course, the day of the event is the most important, and therefore it gets the most attention, but the lead up to the event also plays an extremely vital role. Think of it like Christmas, would people get as excited for the day, if there were no parties, or decorating of the tree, or even the Christmas jumpers? No! It’s the activities leading up to the day that make Christmas so special. People like to know what’s in store for them, and what there is to get excited about it! Find out more!

Things to consider

1. Product marketing and event marketing are extremely different. 

When you market a product, you are trying to generate visitors (whether that be online or in store), so that you can then tailor the face-to-face experience for the customers to engage with. Event marketing is backwards. The engagement comes first as a way of getting people to buy tickets and through the door. On the day you can then generate a large amount of purchases or visitors. 

Nowadays there seems to be a trend where forecasted attendance figures are at a low, but is this because of the lack of changes being made to promote events more effectively and to the right people?

2. Content Marketing

This is widely considered to be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing today. It includes creating a wide variety of content including articles, white papers, blog posts, infographics, videos, interviews and so on. Content marketing can play a significant role in generating pre-event hype, but it must be utilised in the most effective way. But don’t be fooled – it’s not easy!

We’ve pulled together some examples of what NOT to do, demonstrating how bad content marketing can be risky business: 

  • Scarcity Content Marketing

Creating a scarce supply of tickets can sometimes twice the number of transactions, HOWEVER, this has been a tactic used for many years now and consumers are becoming wise to it. Therefore, we would suggest being as honest as possible with your content, and resist the short term wins to ensure that long term damage isn’t done to your reputation.

  • False Content Marketing

Most definitely share posts from attendees from previous years, this is a great way to draw attention to your event. However, you must be authentic with your content, as false content is easily sniffed out by prospects. Did you know consumers read 7 reviews on average before taking action?

3. Content Marketing Ideas

Don’t let the ‘what not to do’s’ bother you. There are plenty of positive and effective ways to use content marketing to generate pre-event hype. Here are 4 great ways to strengthen your pre-event content marketing strategy to get your event off to a great start: 

  • Chose the Right Platform 

Content is only as good as it’s platform. Even the most incredible piece of content will fail to have the desired impact if it is not seen by the right people, at the right time. What’s ‘right’ will completely depend on your target audience. A good example of this is the audience statistics for Instagram; 37% of 16-24-year olds use this platform, while only a very small number of 55-64-year olds do.

  • Tease Your Audience

A teaser campaign can be hugely effective in drawing in the audience. It’s where you release short snippets of content across an elongated period, creating a buzz around your event. A good example of this would be the ‘Prongles’ campaign that was released by the popular card game team, ‘Cards Against Humanity.’ It was surrounding a completely fictious new crisp brand, which the audience were not aware of, the way they teased this campaign peaked the interest of consumers and got them talking. Little did they know it was a prank all along. 

  • Give a Sneak Peak

Get creative with your content to generate interest. Try and think outside the box and move away from the basic event details. Why not try blog posts written by your speakers or interviews with your exhibitioners? This provides a unique insight into what attendees can expect – getting them excited for what could be in store for them if they attend. Did you know that only 10% of people can recall something they’ve heard, as compared to 65% of people who see the same information? In a nutshell, be fun and appeal to what the consumer wants!

  • Long Tail Optimisation

Research suggests that we are generally more interested in local news and information than we are about national or international level news. While national awareness of an event can be beneficial to an event, local marketing may have a greater impact. Try to include long tail keywords in your content relating to location, ensuring your content is seen by those most likely to be excited based on geographical area. 

A Time For Change

At a time when content marketing is one of the most effective and efficient ways of reaching target audiences, event planners should now be reconsidering their existing approaches in generating pre-event hype. Planners should be thinking of ways to utilise content creation and content sharing to boost event awareness while simultaneously drumming up excitement to improve attendance figures.