Kursha Woodgate looks at the ways in which some simple techniques could really develop the online presence of your event.
An event’s website is undoubtedly the cornerstone of its marketing these days.
Whether you want to check the dates, look at the line up or see who’s exhibiting, Google usually comes up trumps and points you at the desired event website.
As event organisers, you know how important it is for people to find your site, whether through direct search or by reading about your event elsewhere online.
Opportunities for online exposure for your event are numerous and yet many overlook some simple tools that can help with building awareness, brand recognition and the all-important organic search engine rankings (SEO).
Below are a few top tips to consider:
Co-ordinate Timings of Print and Online Communications
Sounds obvious? True, but it has been known to find news releases issued to print media after something has been published online.
I can recall one example, from many years ago it has to be said, where a company announced a new product in an advert and attempted to press release it a month later, hoping that the journalists would not have noticed!
If news has been released in the public domain, it is no longer news. Nothing will annoy a journalist more than re-hashing old news, except perhaps offering them an exclusive story under embargo, only to find that the story is published online ahead of their print publication date.
Co-ordinate online and print and you will make the most of both while building good relationships with media.
Online PR for your Event
There are a number of free online press release services that you can use to help distribute your news online and also build links to your website which can help with search rankings.
Most of these sites are registered with Google News, so their stories will be picked up quickly in Google.
There may be some specific sites relevant to your event’s industry sector or local region you should look into.
Sites like www.pressbox.co.uk, www.prfire.co.uk and www.bignews.biz are great for online PR.
There are also paid for services that will also distribute your press release directly to media, such as www.journalism.co.uk and www.marketwire.com .
Buy Into Blogging
The blogosphere is huge and many blogs enjoy a large following, so don’t overlook the power of mentions and exposure on these sites too.
Investigate your industry blogs, your venue’s blog or news section, any blogs or news feeds on industry association websites and sponsor’s blogs.
You can even jump on the bandwagon yourself as it’s pretty easy to create your own blog these days (honest!). Sites like WordPress and Eblogger make it simple to create a free place where you can boost your event’s online exposure, using different marketing techniques as white hat seo tutorial and others.
Online Event Listings
If your event has a regional focus, there are some great sites for local what’s on guides that you need to make sure you have covered off, including local radio and regional newspaper sites, and online marketing using services as the Dallas SEO Company online.
Another blinding flash of the obvious here, but don’t forget to list the event on your own website, the venue’s site, any sponsor or partner websites.
Get Social and Create a Buzz
Spreading the word about your event by social media is far too large a topic to cover off here!
Remember to create a profile or listing for your event on LinkedIn, Facebook and even a channel on YouTube.
If your target audiences use Twitter, you can build a great event community using #hashtags that will extend beyond the event itself, but more on that next time!