Yesterday, I ventured out to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in warm and sunny Rochester, New York. It was a pretty big deal ... Traditionally warm & sunny and Rochester, New York in mid-March, almost NEVER go together. We'll take it where we can get it!
During the parade there were floats/displays from various local businesses and a few upcoming events. As the parade went on, people everywhere had their cell phones in hand and were texting, talking, Facebooking, Tweeting, etc. That got me thinking ... Almost everyone today has a cell phone that's capable of at least text messaging. Is there a way to use one event and a bunch of semi-attentive people with cell phones to market your event?
Here's an event marketing idea you should consider ...
If you're going to promote your event in a parade, at a tradeshow booth, with a banner, etc. ... Try and get people to virtually interact with you. All the events and businesses that had floats, banners, or billboards in the parade merely stated the event name and their dates. (A decent start, but also a huge missed opportunity!) You need to go beyond just listing the name and date of you event. Take the opportunity like a parade to get people to take immediate action. Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you solicit your event at another without permission. Spent a few dollars for and purchase advertising, a booth, or a featured spot.
SMS Text Marketing
To get this idea to work ... You're going to need a SMS (text message) marketing service. I did a quick Google search and found this company ... eztexting.com. (FYI - I've never used them before, so I can't comment on their service.) What I do know, is that the EzTexting service allows you to text message a number and automatically send a link or return text message. The great part about SMS Marketing is that it's permission based. That means that the people texting you are doing so because they're legitimately interested in your event! You don't want to be stuffing people's cell phone numbers into a service with their persmission!
If you have a parade float or booth, use a direct response message, like the one below, to get people to take action:
"Text the Keyword SAVE to 123456 and Save Up to 35% OFF the (Name of Your Event) tickets! Date and Times. Visit us at: YourEventWebSite.com for more details."
The text above is based on a direct response offer. You're not merely informing someone about your event, but you're also making them an offer that prompts action. If you can't use "Up to 35% OFF," what can you use to get people to act? This is really important - make sure that your offer is compelling! People need to read the offer and say to themselves, "that's a great deal, I need to do it!" Thus, prompting immediate action.
After They Text You - Send Them a Special Offer
When people send you the SAVE text message, the automated response should thank them and send them a unique coupon code or online link to purchase tickets. Using a unique coupon code will allow you to track the effectiveness of your specific marketing materials. In this case, how many people showed interest or purchased tickets because of your efforts at another event.
Feel free to use the idea above and let me know how it works out.
Here are some additional event marketing ideas to promote your event ...