Do you know what one of the most important aspects of marketing your event is? Getting people to actually show up. ‘Crazy’ as it may sound, often church marketing plans consist of the shotgun approach – throw a whole much of money (or very little) out to the wind and hope something hits. Poor marketing often times isn’t a decision, but rather a necessity due to low resources or poor knowledge. Whatever the reason, with a little thought beforehand and these 10 easy tips, you can make a big marketing splash for your next church event.
1. Know Your Demographics
Before you formulate a marketing plan, you need to do some background research and decide who you are actually trying to reach. It’s a waste of money to advertise in places that don’t represent your key demographic. Marketing a parenting class to young families? Check around the city, see where they hang out and make that your starting point. Setting up a huge men’s fellowship? You probably want to run TV ads during the evening news or late night sitcoms instead of daytime tv. Decide what your demographic watches, reads and listens to. Then place your ads (print, digital or otherwise) to align with your research to reach the maximum number of people. This may take a lot of time to research, but in the end you will save time and money.
2. Make a Plan
Now that you know who you are targeting and what medium you should be advertising on, it’s time to make a marketing plan. List out everything you are planning on doing for advertising and their internal and external due dates. Make the schedule easy to read, so you can continuously reference it and stay on task with your marketing.
3. Measurement Your ROI
It’s important to find a way to measure your Return On Investment. Even though your key demographic watches the late shows, you probably want to know if you got any traction from your efforts. Nothing is worse than spending money on the same thing year after year and ‘hoping’ people are coming because of it. If you have event registration, include a field asking where they heard about you… or if you are selling tickets include a discount code (separate for each advertising source). Even if the discount is minimal, people LOVE saving money. Every time they use the discount code, you know they heard about you from a specific place.
4. Create an Event Hashtag
There’s no better way to organize your posts and event media online than creating a hashtag that’s included in your marketing. The hashtag should be easy to remember, and applicable for your event. For example, #youWillNeverBeTheSameAgain is a unique hashtag, but it’s fairly clunky… plus it’s prone to misspelling or forgetting words which defeats the purpose of the hashtag. #neverTheSame is a much better option that your readers will remember and use.
5. Enlist Help
If your event is something that everyone can get behind (helping underprivileged kids, having a food drive, or a women’s conference) consider enlisting help from of members of your organization. Though people are busy with their lives, volunteering and helping always makes them feel good. Plus, nothing works better to create a buzz than word of mouth. Enlist people to help make phone calls. Request that members share social event posts to their timeline to spread the word. Helping doesn’t always mean work, often it begins and ends with talking to someone.
6. Visually Compelling Images
As you market your event, make sure any graphics or visuals you create are compelling and eye catching. People have VERY short attention spans, and their first impression is usually their last. If something doesn’t look compelling, people won’t waste the time to look at it, no matter how important it may be.
7. Stay Consistent
Stay consistent with your ‘voice’ as you market throughout social media, print and tv. Use similar words and phrases throughout to create a cohesive campaign. Though each medium requires its own unique spin, maintaining a consistent voice is important to maintain control over the message you are telling people.
It’s important to followup with people after an initial talk or offer. It often takes people a while to think about attending an event or make a decision. Give people time. Then followup and provide additional information to help them make an informed decision. Often the sheer fact that you remembered them and followed up will speak volumes on the quality of your event, encouraging them to attend.
9. Spend Wisely
No one has unlimited funds… or at least not many of us. Don’t go into the hole just to run some ‘cool’ commercials. Decide if it’s worth the investment. Consider alternatives that would fit better with your strategy. Keep track of what you are spending and make wise decisions.
Lastly, don’t expect everything to go exactly like you planned. Things come up, expenses change… whatever happens, you need to be flexible and prepared to modify your plan often to meet changing demands. Marketing plans should be fluid… always changing and revising.
Are you ready to supercharge your event marketing? Let me know what you are planning to do in the comments below!