When companies mention marketing strategies in their meetings, one important component appears out of sudden, that is: “heavy budgets”. Nonetheless, this is one big misconception about marketing, especially in event promotions. This is because there are dozens of ways event management firms can use to promote their events without spending an arm and leg on it. In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can follow for free event promotion.
1. Viral Marketing
If you’re a user of social media, then you probably saw some videos that, for some reason, all of your other friends have also seen. This is because that video got viral and the person behind it probably followed a specific pattern for “viral marketing”.
Viral marketing is a technique that includes word of mouth marketing as well as organic reach. Viral marketers don’t have to spend money on paid ads, influencer marketing, or any sort of paid promotions.
Instead, event management companies create and distribute “shareable” content that catches the viewers’ attention and touches a secret spot that results in sharing. People share videos, photos, or any kind of online content because it alerted one of the “arousal triggers”. And these triggers differ from one person to another, but some are very common among people.
High Arousal vs Low Arousal
Now, content can provoke high arousal or low arousal.
However, there is positive as well as negative arousal for both high and low arousals. For instance, content that gets viewers to be: amazed, emotional, excited, or amused is positive high arousal. Take for example cats and dogs’ videos which are the most viewed videos online.
On the other hand, there is high arousal content that provokes negative emotions. For example, videos or content that makes viewers angry or anxious do get shared, but it might have a negative impact on your event promotion campaign. Likewise, there is negative low arousal like content that provokes sadness, and that should be avoided at all costs.
Your free event promotion plan should focus on the creation of content that is highly shareable, and that provokes high arousal at the same time. This will allow you to get ahead of your competition in brand awareness, growth, reach, and even sales.
Below is a table that will help you in classifying content ideas based on the level of arousal and positive or negative impact.
2. Growth hacking
Growth hacking or growth marketing is a data-driven approach that involves tests, and data collection. Event management companies use the collected data to optimize their results and approach their event marketing strategy differently.
Traditional marketing relies heavily on getting potential client’s information and then flooding them with emails and promotions. On the other hand, event growth marketers alter between marketing channels and test different approaches every single time.
This is called A/B testing, and for example, instead of launching a marketing campaign based on assumptions and gut feelings; event marketers first make a hypothesis about the campaign. Then, they would test it to get results and collect data about user behavior and goal completion.
Finally, after many tests, event management companies can launch a successful campaign that has more chances to be successful. That’s because many hypotheses and assumptions were approved. At the same time, it would save them the time of promoting their event the wrong way.
Alternatively, event managers can use growth hacking with cross-channel marketing. This involves focusing on building a realistic strategic reach plan. Cross-channel marketing is about sending messages, emails, in-app messages etc., and is more about engaging with your customers. Examples of growth hacking include referral programs, onboarding, loyalty.
3. SEO optimization
If your event niche is highly searchable, then there is a big chance they’ll look it up online, and, of course, they’ll go to Google search engine for results. Your job is to appear on the first page for these potential clients, and you’ll only be able to do that if your event website is optimized for Google search. So many factors are involved in the process including link-building, keyword competitiveness, the website hierarchy, and the relevance of your website content to web crawlers.
Search engine optimization or SEO for short will enable you to get thousands if not hundreds of thousands of views on your website if done well. These clients can come from a simple search like “best events about X” or you can grab them by writing blog posts relevant to their interest. This is one of the best ways you can use for free event promotion.
For instance, if your event management firm focuses on health and nutrition, then writing blog articles about getting fit and losing weight — while taking into consideration SEO practices — will reward you with potential clients that can be turned into a sale.
Now SEO is not a totally free event promotion option. You’ll be spending a small amount of money on SEO websites like Yoast, Semrush, Ahrefs. You can also use any other web-based software that helps in finding keywords and insights about your website optimization.
4. Podcasts as a Free Event Promotion
The market size of Podcasts is estimated at $11.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $20 billion over the next 5 years. This is because we live in a busy era, and people want to learn new things while listening instead of reading or watching. This is a chance for your event management company to shine and bring event customers without any costs.
For instance, you can make podcasts relevant to your event and targeted segment interest. Providing these people with free information will turn them into loyal subscribers. You’ll need to filter these subscribers through your marketing funnel and then convert them into sales.
You can upload your podcasts to Spotify to reach out to your targeted segment. In fact, you can market your podcasts with SEO, Viral Marketing, or any free marketing technique you choose and turn your Spotify podcasts into a marketing channel.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t rely heavily on free marketing techniques, since free event promotion takes time to become well-established and profitable. Building your free event promotion strategy should sync with your paid promotions. Event marketing is all about making an equilibrium between your paid-media, owned-media and earned media.