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How to Market an Event: Evaluating Three Techniques

how-to-market-an-eventI did an informal social media survey to find out how the typical marketer would respond to the question how to market an event and found out something very telling…

Marketing an event is very hard unless you are an expert in influencer marketing.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer and I will show you why by evaluating three event marketing techniques.

Promoting an Event with Influencer Marketing

In a post titled 21 Techniques to Influence the Marketing Influencers, I shared 7 techniques to find influencers,  7 ways to leverage influencers for free and 7 ways to leverage influencers by paying for advertising and sponsorships.

The techniques shared in that post are proven and many of those same tips were suggested by those who responded to my survey question on how to market an event.

Almost everyone agreed that influencer marketing is the most effective way to market an event. However, the problem with influencer marketing is that it’s a lot of work and takes a significant amount of time to get going.

You cannot circumvent the fact that it takes a ton of planning and commitment to influence the marketing influencers.  Professionals in the PR industry focus on solving this problem full-time, and they still have trouble.

So if you haven’t already started with influencer marketing and need to promote an event coming up in the next 30 to 60 days, it’s likely that influencing the influencers to market your event for you will not work.

Promoting an Event with Social Media Marketing

Predictably, the most common response to my how to market an event survey was to use social media marketing.

  1. When I asked this question to my LinkedIn network, most people suggested LinkedIn groups.
  2. When I asked this question on Facebook and Twitter, most people suggested focusing on hashtags and keyword marketing

Promoting an event using both of these techniques are viable options. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that social media marketing is the first cousin of influencer marketing.  As a result, if you haven’t established an influential voice on the various social media websites, most people will ignore your post.

The reality is that you can’t just get on social media and start shouting to the world that you have an event they should attend. That is a recipe for being labeled a social media loser.  This particular problem was explained very well in a post titled Only Losers Sell on Social Media – How to Sell and Not be a Loser.

If you aren’t committed to the advice shared in that post, marketing your event using social media is not an option for you.

Promoting an Event using Email Cross-Promotions

So what about marketing an event using email cross-promotions? None of the people who responded to my survey suggested this technique.

When I shared this technique with people, I was surprised that they didn’t even know what was an email cross-promotion.

Since this is the best kept secret of event marketing, let me explain email cross-promotions to you in detail.

An email cross-promotion is an email marketing technique in which two people partner to promote the other person to their email list.

For example, let’s say I need to promote an email marketing webinar and I had a friend who needs to promote a social media marketing webinar.  In addition, my friend and I both have email list with 500 or so small business owners who have opted-in to get our updates.

We are both confident that our audiences could benefit from both webinars since we target a similar niche.  Thus, it makes sense for us to work with each other to cross-promote our events in our next email marketing campaign.

As a result, I will share the details about my friend’s social media marketing webinar in my next email update to my subscribers.  In turn, my friend will share the details about my email marketing webinar to her subscribers in her next email update.

Using this email cross-promotion technique, my friend and I are both able to double the reach of our email marketing campaign.  What’s more, since we both have built-in credibility with our opt-in email subscribers, we are able to leverage each others influence to establish new credibility with each others subscribers.

The ability to double, triple, or even quadruple your email list while also leveraging credibility with opt-in permission marketing is the magic of email cross-promotions. However, extracting this magic requires that you overcome a few barriers.

The Problem with Email Cross-Promotions

Just like the two event marketing techniques previously discussed, email cross-promotions have problems too.

1. How do you find partners to cross-promote with?  The average person has a limited network and an even smaller network of people who target the same niche.

For this technique to work best, you need multiple non-competitive partners in your niche so that you can scale your reach to thousands more people than you reach now.

2. How do you verify your partner is sharing your event details with their list and measure their results?  If this is a close friend, it’s probably safe to use the honor system, but what if you just met this person on LinkedIn? Will the honor system work?

3. How do you known your cross-promotion partners are sending CAN-SPAM compliant email marketing campaigns?  Will you get in trouble if they are promoting your event without following the rules?

4. How do you establish a repeatable process that does not require a bunch of phone calls and emails to kick-off a cross-promotion campaign?  Will you put your agreement in writing and require that you partner sign it?  Will you get a lawyer to help you?

How to make marketing events with email cross-promotions easy

It’s pretty obvious to me that using email cross-promotions is the best way to promote an event once you solve the four problems above.  Why do I say this?

If you read the post:

9 little known facts that make email more important than Facebook and Twitter 

Disturbing eCommerce data your social media manager is hiding from you and,

Why consumers prefer email over Google to learn about new products

you will see that the facts and data clearly show that email marketing is by far the best way to convert a fan into a customer. So it follows that if you can expand your email marketing reach using high-quality cross-promotions you will convert more customers.

With that said, they way to solve the 4 problems mentioned above and extract the magic of email cross-promotions is to use Nichevertising.  Nichevertising makes marketing events with email cross-promotions easy by:

  1. Making it easy to find partners
  2. Verifying that your cross-promotion email is sent as well as measuring the results
  3. Ensuring all email cross-promotions are CAN-SPAM compliant
  4. Using software and templates to provide an easily repeatable step-by-step wizard that simplifies agreements and eliminates the need for back and forth negotiations.

I highly recommend you try out this new event marketing technique by getting started here. Once you give it a try, please let me know how you think it compares to influencer marketing and social media marketing.

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