If you’re ready to stir things up and bring in new customers to your local business, there’s no better way than hosting a local event. Whether you hold a grand re-opening, debut a new product or service, have a storewide sale, host a charity event, or just throw a big party, hosting a successful event can increase your brand visibility, bring in lots of foot traffic, and greatly benefit your local SEO campaign. Here are ten benefits to be reaped from local event marketing.
1. Get News Mentions and Brand Exposure
A properly marketed event can attract lots of media attention, especially if it’s charity-related. Pay close attention to other local events and see which media representatives are attending and promoting them. Get names and contact information for your own event. The bigger and more unusual the event, the better the media coverage will be. Try to come up with an angle that will make your event stand out from the crowd. All of the marketing efforts you put towards your event will also benefit your brand, as even those who don’t attend will remember the promotion and may stop in later to check out your business.
2. Increase Foot Traffic and Sales
On the day of the event you’re sure to see a swarm of foot traffic, as people flock to your business for your sale or promotion or to participate in your event. Be sure you’re prepared to handle the volume, with extra staff on hand to keep things running smoothly. You’ll not only see greater sales during the event, but if you make a good impression then you stand to gain many more regular customers.
3. Reach a Targeted Audience
If your event is centered on a particular product or service, then those who attend will be potential customers that are particularly interested in that product or service. For instance, if you’re a salon who specializes in hair extensions and you put on a demonstration where people can see the products and how they’re emplaced, ask questions and explore the options, then you’ll likely attract anyone within a 30 mile radius who is interested in getting hair extensions. By tailoring your event to the type of customers you hope to attract, you are able to target your desired demographic exclusively.
4. Interact With Your Customers
When hosting an event, you have the opportunity to meet and interact with your customers on a personal level, and market to them directly. They’ll get to see your products or services first hand, and meet the person behind the business. This creates a memorable impression and establishes a relationship you can’t achieve through any other form of marketing.
5. Make Valuable Connections
In the process of hosting an event, you’re bound to make a slew of valuable contacts and connections as you go about the marketing process. From news media contacts to caterers to neighboring business owners, your virtual rolodex is going to swell with business cards from a variety of important people about town. The next time you host an event – or help a neighboring business to host an event – you’ll be ready!
6. Boost Your Local SEO Campaign With Valuable Citations
As you promote your event, you’ll naturally list it on every local calendar that gets published, online and in print. Each time the event is listed, your business name, address, and phone number will also be listed, giving you valuable citations that will boost your rating with local search engines.
7. Get Lots of Valuable Web Page Links
Make sure that wherever your event is listed online, you include a link back to your website, which will benefit your local SEO campaign immensely and boost your search engine ratings.
8. Social Media Benefits
Be sure to leverage social media before, during, and after your event, to create a buzz that will have them tweeting to beat the band. Encourage attendees to check in at your event, take photos, and post them to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Foursquare. Create a hashtag for your event and promote it well in advance, then post it prominently on your big day so that customers will remember to use it for their social media posts.
9. Get Positive Reviews
A fabulous, memorable event is a great way to pick up some positive reviews on Yelp, Google+, and others. While Yelp frowns on anyone directly asking for reviews, it is acceptable to post a “Find us on Yelp” sign in your store.
10. Get Material for Your Blog Posts
If you maintain a blog, you undoubtedly have days where you find yourself struggling to come up with compelling subject matter. Hosting a local event will give you volumes of content for your blog before, during, and long after your event – and then you can start planning next year’s event. Be sure to ask your readers for feedback and ideas for the next one!