Written by: Jessica Newman
Social media is changing the way events are planned and run, giving new insights into your audience and expanding your reach more than was even thought to be possible. But when the event ends and the guests return to their normal lives, what tactics beyond social media can you use to keep the relationship with those customers and build an even stronger brand? Creating a strong brand and strong internet presence is difficult for any company, but if you are planning events and may not have constant contact with your customer, the battle is even tougher. But there are a few tricks to make that relationship stronger and grow your audience at the same time.
1. Create great content.
This is said again and again, but it is something that is incredibly important, especially when you may only have contact with your customer once or twice per year.
If you are planning something like a conference, get the speakers and organizers involved; have speakers write a blog or two giving people an insight into what they are going to talk about, have organizers give updates on the progress and planning, and answer any questions people might have about your event. Get people involved and get people excited for your event. For example, if you run an event about building wooden ships, the people who come to your event, probably also want to hear about wooden ships other times during the year, so creating a great blog is a great way to keep those people engaged throughout the year.
2. Share the great content.
Now you have the content, but how do you get people to read it? Reach out to the people who come to your event, or people who might want to come to your event, or really anyone else who might find the content helpful Include links to the great content in the email invitations you’re sending out. Have your speakers and organizers reach out to people they might know, post it on social media, get the word out about your content.
Even if you have the best content, it will not get you anywhere if no one reads it. Take the example of the wooden ships again, if you create an amazing infographic about different types of ships, you want people to see it. Use all of you contacts, social media, and any influencers in the community, to show people this great infographic.
3. Use the content to build a better brand
Now once people see your great content, people will (hopefully) begin linking to your content, generating links to your site. Having these links to your site, shows Google that your site can be trusted, and that your site is giving people the answers that they are looking for. Creating this trust is the basis of SEO, this trust will contribute into more people seeing your site in search pages.
Back to the wooden ship example, so you’ve created this great infographic about ships and people have shared it and linked to it, it’s a great resource for people who want to learn about ships. Google can see the links to the site and see that it’s a good resource, and now, when someone is searching for “wooden ships” your page is more likely to show up, bringing more people to your site.
Now how does this all tie back to event planning?
Not only do these things help you create a stronger brand, but when you have a more complete understanding of what your customer wants, you can give them a better experience. When you establish yourself as a thought leader in whatever field you are working in, it gives you a chance to reach more people, people who may have never had exposure to your brand in the past.
Let’s take the wooden ships example one more time. Let’s say you create this awesome infographic, you share it and tons of new people see it, bringing new people to your site and these people already have an interest in wooden ships, and they may want to go to a conference about the building of ships, opening a whole new community to target your events towards. Also, when you are doing the research for this piece of content, you may find that there is a large community of people who are very interested in tall ships in particular, this is a new topic that you can incorporate into your event, maybe having a session on it, or creating another event altogether.
It all comes back to creating content that people want to read, this can contribute to you becoming a thought leader, positioning yourself as an authority, and bringing new people to your site.