Looking to get your leads and retention from “good” to “great?” Try hosting local events marketed through strategic digital and social media to maximize visibility among current and new customers.
Before your business even opens, there are opportunities to hold marketable local events. For a fitness franchise, it may be a pre-sales party to lock in new members at the lowest rates. For others, it could involve an open house or a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting. Once open, a salon franchise may promote makeup tutorials led by popular stylists.
Powerful events build awareness and excitement for your brand, pushing eager customers toward your door.
Your corporate brand may encourage participation in certain nationwide annual events. In addition to promoting these events at the local level, savvy franchisees host additional local events to engage with current clients and prospects year-round. When is the last time you held an event to celebrate your customers?
The key to local event marketing is to consistently promote the event across multiple touch-points. Through strategic digital marketing before, during, and after an event, current customers and quality leads engage with your brand and share the event with their friends, creating more exposure for your business.
BEFORE THE EVENT
The best events are promoted across a variety of channels well in advance, giving prospective and current clients ample opportunity to plan to attend. How far ahead are you marketing your local events?
Generate a sense of urgency and encourage new business by scheduling social media posts that count down to the big day. Create a public, searchable Facebook event page to let people know about it. You can also set up a lead-capture landing page specific to your event, which promotes attendance to your event while also collecting valuable information about potential new customers. All of these efforts can be promoted through e-mail blasts, driving traffic to your event page, website, social media, and physical business location.
Brands can integrate paid digital advertising into their event marketing strategy via pinned, sponsored, or boosted social posts on Facebook. These ads increase brand awareness while quickly spreading the word about your event. When dedicating ad spend to an upcoming event, keep in mind that you want to focus reach on quality, targeted leads who are likely to participate and convert into long-term customers.
TIP: Use brand assets consistently throughout your event’s campaign. Images, videos, flyers, and other marketing materials should drive home a strong and easily-recognizable message about the brand, on par with corporate standards. Double-check all printed and online materials for typos before you print or publish.
DURING THE EVENT
After the news of your upcoming event has reached current clients and prospects, keep promoting the event as it happens, whether it’s a spa day for brides-to-be or a two-month weight loss fitness challenge. Implementing digital marketing tactics during an event helps create a sense of community. Done well, this sense of togetherness breeds brand awareness, referrals, and retention.
To maximize engagement during an event, franchisees can use these digital marketing tactics:
- Make it fun for customers to share photos and videos through a branded Snapchat geofilter
- Create and share Youtube videos of the event across multiple channels
- Use Instagram Stories to post exciting in-the-moment content
- Start a Facebook Group to communicate interact with event participants—and get your staff involved, too! (For example, a fitness franchise could ask its head coach to post a “pep talk” video halfway through a weight-loss challenge, encouraging members to keep pursuing their goals.)
AFTER THE EVENT
We get it—after a big event, you instinctively start focusing on what’s next. But some of the best marketing takes place after an event is finished. Good marketing keeps the buzz going. Promote a sense of pride in attendees by showcasing the event’s best moments through share-worthy blog, social media, and email newsletter content. By showing how fun it was, you encourage others to join next time.
Your event attendees are valuable assets when it comes to post-event promotion. Did you encourage use of a brand-specific hashtag during your event? Search for that hashtag to find publicly posted pictures and videos that highlight your business, your customers, and your fun event. Reposting user-generated content shows clients you’re listening and encourages others to share their own content about your business, too.
A HELPING HAND
Your franchise location should leverage these digital and social media tactics to market local events and maximize growth. Before the event, use exciting brand assets to increase awareness. Building a sense of community through discussion and engaging content is key during an event. Afterward, use content produced by your customers to recap its success. A branded event, promoted properly throughout its lifecycle, earns attention from new customers, loyalty from current clients, and a high level of engagement from all.
For ease, efficiency, and results-driven performance, your business’s event marketing process can be handled by a franchise-focused digital agency partner who understands your brand and works to boost your organic and paid digital and social media efforts.
To learn how iluma Agency’s LocalLight program can make your franchise business shine, contact us today.