By Maeva Cifuentes

Hosting an event is one of the most effective marketing tactics around.

We’d love to scream it on top of a mountain, but all we have is a blog on this website: event marketing is on fire!

All you need is a venue, catering, free beer, and people will flock to your event, right? Wrong.

Even though your event might be a marketing strategy en soi, you still need to market the event to get the right kind of attendees to come. Think influencers or potential customers.

So you need the right kind of marketing for the event you’re using as marketing for your brand. Sounds like marketing inception, if you ask me. Here at Meltin, our favorite form of marketing is getting our own community involved. That’s called advocacy marketing.

It’s sort of a ‘by us, for us’ feel. When you get existing customers to become brand advocates, they are the ones who will create buzz about your event and bring more people like them to your events. An advocacy strategy is about encouraging user-generated content to create buzz about your events. Are you more likely to go to an event that a random brand invited you to, or one that friends or family members have suggested?

That’s what we thought.

So how can you use advocacy marketing to blow up your event attendance (with the attendees you want?)

  1. Create content that your community will want to share

Content marketing should be an integral part of all marketing efforts. Encourage your customers to engage with your brand’s content or share it on social networks.

For example: enter a sweepstakes for a free bottle of champagne at the event. Simply enter by tagging a friend in the comment and liking and following your brand’s profile!

Or if your event has a paid entrance, the sweepstakes can be for free entry plus a guest. Customer advocates will bring other people like them (hello, more potential customers!). This is far more effective than traditional marketing methods.

As for the content, create an awesome video of previous events or your brand’s highlights of the last year.

2. Create an augmented reality filter for your event

People love taking selfies, and if you can put your brand directly onto their faces, they’ll be far more likely to share it. Instagram and Snapchat allows brands to purchase their own AR filter. You can set it up some time before your event and target people regionally. Make it funny, make it clever.

Nobody can resist AR selfies. Add something that will make them want to share it, but be sure to include either your brand logo or something about the event on it!

3. Create an official event hashtag

If people are already talking about your event, it’s important that they can find all posts about it in one place. Create one or more official hashtags for your event and make sure it’s visible on all media about your event and at the event itself.

It should be unique, relevant, and easy to type/remember. Start using it yourself across all social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are especially important.

Any events on the horizon?

Know any brands that have an event lined up for 2019? Please share this article with your colleagues! We’re here to chat about how to get your brand into the spotlight.