In the last 10 years digital promotion space has changed so much it is basically incomparable to its former self. This reality can be both incredibly daunting and surprisingly motivating as there is so much to learn but at the same time it has challenged what would have been your competition to reinvent themselves as well; it has levelled the playing field. Today we are looking at the best promotion opportunities to reach the largest audience with the least possible effort. What we’re saying is that although event promotion is by no means an easy step by step process, there are tools and techniques that allow you to optimise your efforts and succeed faster. We challenge you to incorporate some of these tools and continue to develop the techniques that work best for you.
Know your Product and your Market
What are you selling and who are you selling it to? With new events these questions can be hard to answer and the answers that you come up with might not be right the first time around. The important thing is to create a model that you can develop and divert from in the future. What makes your race unique from the increasing amount of other races that are popping up locally and around the country?
While you don’t need to pay an extortionate amount for high quality photos we do suggest you take every measure to make sure you’re using good quality camera equipment and most importantly make sure the images are in focus. Try to collect images from previous years or similar events that you have been involved in or even gather a group of friends, don some running gear and get out to stage a shoot. In your photos you should capture the elements that best illustrate what it is that you’re trying to market about the event itself. If it’s in a scenic area be sure to show this in your photos. Whenever possible try to show photos of groups of people having fun, often people just want to share that experience. If they can see people having fun, its more likely that they will want to be involved. Get artistic, entice or tease your viewers, you don’t have to show everything and some photos do a good job of sharing these qualities, below we’ve included a number of photos that show these qualities.
The location is a huge part of what makes your race unique, use this to your advantage . What does this location offer that is unique or convenient? Is it easily accessible by local transit? Does it have nice views along the route that should be part of your marketing campaign? Are the amenities something that runners would appreciate?
4. Social Media
Twitter? Instagram? Facebook? YouTube? Which platform should you use and are you losing an opportunity if you aren’t utilising all of them? This bit is going to be quick, if you’re organising an event there is no doubt that you’ve already put some serious thought into this aspect of digital marketing.
Stick to the platforms that you are already using or where your target participants hang out. You don’t need to spread your time trying to keep each platform active. We’ve found that based on age demographic, an increasing amount of organisers are directing their energy towards building up their communities on Instagram and Facebook. There are benefits to using these two platforms , when focusing on paid advertisements they communicate effortlessly.
Twitter is dying and though some try to tout the continuing value of it, if you haven’t already built up your community here, don’t bother, you won’t reach people overnight. YouTube is great if you’ve got the skills to implement it. Perhaps you have a staff member or a friend who is savvy with video compilation, use their skills and you’ll find that video sells. If you haven’t got a contact with these skills don’t sweat it, video can be time consuming and expensive and it’s not the only way to sell. What we will say is take advantage of the analytical tools available to gather data on the success of your event.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.— Margaret Core, CAE, VP Marketing & Industry Event
Measurement and knowing where your audience is coming from is the first step to knowing where to focus your efforts. The size of your event doesn’t matter, every event manager can benefit from analysing data.
5. Post your race on Race Space
Of course we’ve dedicated a section of this article to ourselves but not to sell you on Race Space. There are many platforms out there that you can utilise to broaden your reach. Similar to Eventbrite these pages offer you a hassle free ticketing solution and generally charge you a small percentage of the ticket price(which you can offset to the participant if you want). Differing from other platforms of this type, Race Space has focused on building a real community of runners and collaborates directly with organisers. Race Space also offers a seamless promotion package for digital marketing management for those organisers who need that bit of support.
6. Old School Marketing Don’t forget about the more traditional types of marketing. Email has become the more targeted version of direct mail but print material and tangible marketing still works. Rather than blowing your entire budget with direct mail try taking your flyer or brochure around to running clubs, running shops, gyms and cafes most of them are very happy to support local events like yours.
This post is the first of a series of Race Event Marketing; how to best market your race in the ever changing digital age. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible and the different tactics you can use. This monthly series is brought to you by our Head of Digital: Sean Errey. Sean’s digital marketing experience comes from a multitude of backgrounds including the food industry, e-commerce, charity and event management. With this combination of influences he has developed unique ideas for Race Marketing in the digital age.