Most builders, developers, and communities we work with consider on-site events an important part of their marketing strategy. Whether you are planning a grand Grand Opening or a simpler Open House, events offer a way to get new prospects to your property and nurture existing leads further down the funnel.
Often, however, we find that our clients aren’t used to including digital in their event marketing plan. They may use email to notify people of the event, but otherwise, they rely heavily on direct mail and flyers.
Here at Immersion Active, we’ve found additional ways to boost the awareness and attendance at your events, as well as improve nurture and follow-up afterward. Here are 9 tips you can use to integrate digital into your event marketing:
Here are 9 tips to help you create a successful event:
1. Mining your existing database. There is likely hidden gold within the database of potential buyers that you have right at your fingertips. Look for information that has been captured within your database that would make the prospect suitable for your event. Are they interested in a specific location or price point? Is the event happening at a time that they are interested in buying? Try to make the experience as personal as possible by explaining in your invite why this event is perfect for them.
2. What to include in your email invite
- The purpose of the email. Make sure that your subject line is clear and concise and explains the purpose that the email was sent.
- Why should they come? Clearly explain the value proposition for your event.
- Event details. Day, time, location and what they can expect during their time there.
- How they can confirm their attendance. Clear instruction on how to RSVP and why it is important to do that in advance.
3. Event registration landing pages. Make it as easy as possible for them to RSVP immediately when the invite is sent. Capture just enough information to contact them further.
4. Online retargeting to people who have already shown interests. Take the database mining one step further and retarget those contacts through social media and paid search to serve them ads about your event. Link those ads to your event landing page for a positive user experience
5. Integrating your direct mail with online retargeting. It takes multiple touches with a prospect to have them take action. Single channel campaigns are never enough. Communicating across channels not only optimizes results but often improves the experience of the prospect. Use your mailing list to retarget through social. Add data appends to your mailer to further track the number of visits from your direct mail drop to event RSVPs.
6. Social, social, social. Social media channels have become an integral part of digital event promotion and engagement. These channels give users the ability to like, comment and share with connections that you may not have even had on your prospect list. Ensure that you are using multiple channels to appeal to and reach as many potential buyers as possible. Here are a few best practices:
- Facebook–This channel provides the ultimate way to share the event and post to those who have expressed interest in attending. Promotion on this channel can never start too early but more frequent communications should ramp up 4 weeks out.
- Instagram–Photos and short video are perfect for this channel. Tease what they will see the day of the event.
- Twitter–A great channel for engagement leading up to and even during the event. Is your event big enough for a #hashtag? Are there photo opportunities at the event that attendees could post with a #hashtag. Look to Twitter for questions about the event and be prepared to respond quickly.
- Pinterest–Appeal to potential buyers that are into aesthetic appeal. Showcase your best photos of the interior and exterior shots. Think aspirational, showcase the home and lifestyle that they have dreamed about.
- LinkedIn–Promote to potential real estate agents and business prospects. Include a short write up of the impact that your event may have on the community whether it’s business or residential.
7. Blog Posts –If it’s a large event, like a Grand Opening, writing a blog to promote your event and assist in the organic unpaid promotion from increased SEO. The blog can be updated, or additional blogs can be written to highlight different parts of the event or even countdown to the day of!
8. Track everything. With today technology and ability to market multi-channel, there is no reason to include any type of event advertising that isn’t trackable. Even direct mail pieces can be tracked with a simple data append and point all recipients back to the event landing page giving you full insight into the marketing mix that is most successful.
9. Nurture Your Leads. Encourage early RSVPs but be prepared to engage with potential buyers before and after the event. Start and continue the conversation with a once a week minimum touch. Content here is key. Showcase the best that your community has to offer and include resources that will help position you as the expert such as tips on downsizing, or activity planners for the surrounding area. Ensure that you have a communication plan ready for both attendees and non-attendees.
An event can be a great way to open the door for deeper conversations with potential buyers because even in today’s digital world face-to-face interaction is often what closes the deal. A digital first, well thought out and strategic event marketing plan will have you prepared to have those deeper conversations with qualified prospects.