Guaranteeing return on investment (ROI) for any event is challenging, but fundamental. Over the past couple of months, in my role as Marketing Director at EventsTag, I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand what works and what doesn’t. We provide social media feeds for the live events of some of the world’s largest brands, providing a digital centerpiece by curating messages, images and videos in real time. This allows consumers to engage directly, giving every attendee a voice.
I’ve now had the opportunity to work with brands including the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks and O2, all of whom have benefitted from embracing these tactics:
1. Prepare your customers in advance
If your customers are arriving to an event and you haven’t already begun engaging them, then you’ve lost the first battle. Creating a ‘buzz’ around your upcoming activation is key to ensuring maximum engagement on the day. EventsTag do this by creating a digital engagement campaign preceding the main activation.
Working with Emirates on its ‘Hello East’ campaign, we created a dedicated microsite for the airline, encouraging users to tweet and engage with the brand long before the first of their ‘Go East Festivals’ began. By incentivising users with the chance to win a pair of economy class return tickets, we were able to populate the microsite with users’ ‘Eastern inspired’ photos, building excitement and engagement for the event series. The microsite helped maximise the number of people posting inspiring images, which were subsequently used by Emirates throughout the activation.
2. Let your customers work on your behalf
At EventsTag, we firmly believe that there’s no better ambassador for your brand than your own customer. O2 and Nike are great examples of brands using social technology to turn consumers, fans and attendees into socially active brand curators and ambassadors. The passion that consumers bring to live events is something that can be so easily captured by companies for their brand benefit. Authentic and direct content creation on behalf of the very people you’re hoping to reach, is easily the most powerful and sincere endorsement a brand could hope for, and can multiply ROI for any given campaign.
Our first ‘We Own the Night’ campaign, for example, saw 8,000 people engage with our bespoke hashtag, leading to over 55,000,000 impressions. Consider for a second that every single one of those 55,000,000 impressions came, not from Nike, but from one of their consumers. At very little cost, and with little effort on their own behalf, Nike reached millions. That’s a pretty impressive return.
3. Develop a post event activation strategy
Many would be forgiven for thinking that, once the last person has left and clear up is well underway, that a marketer’s job is done. They’d be wrong. To ensure you maximise ROI, it’s essential to have a post event plan in place. Try to find an innovative way to keep the activation going. Hold a competition encouraging attendees to share their best pictures on social media. Put together a video of the best user generated content to distribute to attendees. Create personalised content or imagery for those tweeting about the event. All of these are relatively inexpensive ways to squeeze every last drop of return out of the activation.
When working with O2 on it’s ‘Wear the Rose Live’ Rugby World Cup activation, we ensured that #WearTheRose was at the forefront of every fan’s mind, by giving them a reason to engage with the hashtag, to have their voice heard over the crowd. This gave the brand a platform from which to galvanise national support, long after the event was over. This also helped increase brand awareness in a creative way, boosting ROI.
Hopefully these three points haven given you an idea, or at least a little inspiration, when it comes to boosting returns from your events. This is, however, just the tip of the iceberg. For that reason, I’d like to start a dialogue between industry leaders, with the aim of sharing event experiences and helping maximise ROI across the industry.
If you’d like to have your voice heard, simply search ‘Maximising ROI – Industry insights’ on LinkedIn and join the discussion.
This blog is also published on the Drum Magazine