Social media platforms like Facebook are extraordinarily powerful event marketing tools, but they shouldn’t be the only solutions you use to promote your events. You should consider complementing your social media listings with tried-and-true email marketing campaigns, which remain one of the most effective and efficient tools for live event promotion.
Don’t get me wrong. Facebook can be hugely beneficial for event marketing, and should certainly be part of your promotional mix. But with an estimated 47 million Facebook Events created each year, there’s a lot of competition out there for your patron’s dollars. You need a more targeted means of reaching and developing long-lasting relationships with them.
Here’s how email can help.
It’s more targeted
Listing your event on Facebook is a surefire way to get it out to the masse, but are these people your likely targets? Consider that as of June 2018, Facebook had nearly 1.5 billion daily active users worldwide. Even if you were to break that down to the local level, that’s still a lot of users. And while a lot of users means a lot of potential ticket buyers, it also means that a Facebook Event invitation will go out to throngs of people that may not be interested in your event. Even with the limitations put on by Facebook, which stipulate a maximum of 500 invitations per event, that represents a very untargeted approach.
Email offers a much more targeted and refined approach that allows you to market directly to customers based on their unique interests and past purchases. Let’s say you have a person who purchased a ticket for a bluegrass festival last year. They might be interested in hearing about your upcoming country music show that’s happening in the fall. You can send them an email letting them know about the concert with a link to purchase tickets directly from you, thereby eliminating the need for a third-party. That’s a highly-targeted and impactful approach that cannot be achieved through Facebook. Encouraging actual buyers to share through Facebook is much more targeted way to achieve word-of-mouth marketing.
It can help generate customer loyalty
There was a time when email marketing took the same “spray and pray” approach that Facebook represents today, but those days are long gone. Today, using detailed and personalized analytics allows you to truly grow and cultivate your customer base over time. Rather than spamming patrons, you’re able to send them information about events that will directly appeal to them based on their purchases or interests. Then, you’ll be able to refine future efforts by analyzing clickthroughs, bounce backs, conversion rates, and more. Lists can also be easily segmented into specific groups based on demographics, interests, and other defining factors.
All of these valuable insights can help you create more impactful event marketing campaigns that drive loyalty and generate future ticket sales. And it doesn’t have to be about a particular concert. It could be about any other type of event your site is hosting, or a fundraising effort to support your organization. Anything that a customer has shown a prior interest in can effectively be used to market to them in a personalized, one-to-one manner that encourages continued engagement and loyalty from that patron.
It can promote your brand
Loyalty is often driven by trust in an organization’s brand. That’s extremely important, particularly for local businesses.
Establishing and promoting a local brand on Facebook is hard because the social media site is so massive and global in nature. When creating a Facebook Event listing, you have no control over the look of the invitation; sure, you can add content and photos, but no matter what you do, it’s going to look like every other Facebook Event post.
Email offers virtually unlimited customization. Want to use your venue’s logo? Go ahead. Make your tagline a prominent part of your copy? Sure! Insert a personalized message to the individual recipient? Yep. Every one of these points goes well beyond just selling tickets. They reinforce your venue’s local brand in ways that a Facebook Events listing simply cannot do.
It’s easier to manage
While sending out thousands of emails may seem like a daunting task, it’s actually much easier than sending out a couple of hundred Facebook invitations. With Facebook, each invitation must be sent out individually; there is no “select all” option. Email marketing programs allow for batch emails to be individually customized and sent out within minutes. They provide the benefits of both greater customization and personalization and greater efficiency.
Email lists are also exceptionally easy to maintain, especially if you manage this yourself rather than use a third-party system. Whenever someone purchases a ticket for a show that person’s email address can automatically be entered into your system. Those email addresses can automatically be populated into your next marketing campaign, no cutting and pasting involved. This reduces the possibility of email addresses getting lost or compromised, thus protecting your customers’ data. It also saves you time and effort from having to continuously monitor and update your lists in a third-party system. Keeping your data internal also gives you a holistic view of your customer that makes all engagement easier.
At the end of the day, an optimal event promotion strategy is one that combines social media and email marketing. Use Facebook to reach a wide audience and garner attention while relying on email to connect with patrons on a personal level, promote your brand, and build a loyal customer base.