Events are one of the most important tools in your marketing plan. Event promotion can help you build brand awareness among the community and the event itself can help you build brand loyalty among your current residents. Events offer cost-effective ROI, giving you a chance to connect with a large audience about your services with a smaller investment than a print or media campaigns. There are a thousand good reasons to make events a central focus of your marketing efforts. But there is one big hurdle to overcome: event promotions. Promoting is where you make or break the event. The more people show up, the bigger the success the event will be and the bigger the payoff in marketing terms. You need to get the word out there and then continually remind and encourage people to come. How you do that has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Today’s seniors and their families are relying more and more on technology to connect with the world and gather information. That means the most successful event promotions are the ones that put that technology to work.
How to Put Tech to Work in Event Promotion
Utilizing Your Website
Your website should be a hub of information about your community. That includes all the events happening on site. While a calendar page is a good central location to list upcoming events, don’t bury that information in one spot. Creating a banner for the front page of your website can be an eye-catching way to capture the attention of website visitors. It’s an easy way to disperse information while offering a continual reminder to frequent site visitors. Make sure you use your website to follow up on the event, too! Create a separate landing page where event participants can view photos and videos. This is a great way to start working on promoting the next event now.
You can also use your website to encourage people to sign up for the event. Provide a call-to-action and link it to a sign-up page on your website or an event page through a service such as Eventbrite (more on that below). That way you’ll be able to get an estimated number of guests and build an email list to help build excitement.
Online Tools to Spread the Word
Email Nurturing Pays Off
If you have an email marketing list, put it to work. Capture the email of people who attended your last event and let them know another one is coming up. Make sure that you have the resident’s email as well as the emails of their family and friends who visit them. An on-site event is a great reason to come visit their loved ones and increase your engagement numbers. Set up automatic email reminders about the event, too. Even if people don’t open the email, seeing the name of it in the subject line will keep it at the forefront of their minds.
An email is a great place to build in links to your event page on your website or a system like Eventbrite, as well. Link the sign up within a call-to-action on the email and encourage people to RSVP.
Use Sites like Eventbrite, MeetUp
There are websites that do a lot of the heavy lifting of event promotions for you for free or at a nominal expense. We recommend both Eventbrite and Meetup. People use these popular sites to search for events like yours. This makes it easy to connect with a target audience. Once they’ve RSVP’s to your event, you’ll have an email list of interested participants who can help you create buzz around the festivities. Eventbrite makes it easy to sell tickets, too, if that’s something needed for your particular event.
Harness the Power of Social Media
Facebook and Instagram Ads
The great thing about purchasing ads on Facebook and Instagram is your ability to target a particular audience. You can target people who like your community page, or even target residents in a certain age group within a specific geographic range. This makes it easy to promote your event much more effectively than an ad in a local publication or a flyer at the local coffee shop. It’s a targeted use of your marketing dollars to a conversion-ready audience.
Boost Your Facebook Event
It’s free to create an event on Facebook. A lot of people look for events on Facebook and maintain it like a social calendar. Making sure your event is there for them to find is the perfect first step to take. The event card will give them all the important information. If they mark that they are “going” or “interested”, they will continue to get event reminders in their newsfeed. That keeps the information fresh in their mind and increases the chances that they’ll show up. If you want the most bang for your marketing buck, invest in boosting the event. This turns your event into an ad. It promotes your event to a larger audience, showing up on more screens and giving them the chance to learn more.
Show Off at the Event
Get the Action on Video
People are watching more video than ever before online! A video is a powerful way to share your message in a short amount of time. Use the footage in future event promotions or in other digital marketing materials. Get footage of the facility as well as plenty of shots of people enjoying themselves at the event. Post it on the event’s page on your website as well as throughout social media to get people excited for the next one.
Facebook or Instagram Stories
Both Facebook and Instagram give you options to go live at your event. Do it! Going live allows people who weren’t able to attend to take part virtually. You can gain a huge audience this way, and it can actually have the same impact as in-person attendance. Give the live audience a tour of the event and allow them to watch various activities and speeches. Get residents and staff to talk to the audience about what they are enjoying and why they should attend next time. You’ll be able to increase your influence without paying for more party supplies.
End with a Survey
Make sure you touch base with event participants after they go home. This is beneficial in a few ways. First, thanking your participants for coming increases the chances they’ll come back again. It also gives them an opportunity to connect with your sales team. Secondly, it gives you a chance to get to know what they liked and what you could improve for the next time. Send out a survey to event participants via email, social media, and your website. While you’ll want to keep the survey short to increase participation, don’t only rely on “yes or no” questions. Provide space for people to give you in-depth feedback. Make time for your marketing team to review the results and make more plans for the next time.
Struggling with Event Promotion for Your Senior Living Community?
408 Marketing can help! Working with senior living communities for more than 10 years, we know how to reach out to your target audience and bring them to your next event. Along with all your senior living marketing needs, we can help you develop a powerful event promotions plan. Get in touch with our team now to schedule a consultation to learn more about our digital marketing services.
Is your event marketing not quite getting the results you had hoped?
This Event Promotion Checklist Includes the Following
√ Two phases of event promotion; did you know there were two?
√ Complete checklists for all aspects of your event and tips to make it better than ever; Easy!
√ A complete event marketing strategy from how early to begin planning to how to follow up for lead conversion; yippee!