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Looking for more ways to market your next event? Alongside direct marketing and press release distribution, blogging can be a powerful tool.
Blogging has grown to mass proportions, making it an excellent way to reach a wide audience. 77 percent of Internet users read blogs and spend 23 percent of their Internet time on blogs or social media. Furthermore, 70 percent of consumers learn about companies through articles opposed to ads, and 61 percent of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
With the wide range of people who read and are influenced by blogs, blogging has become a powerful marketing tool, and you can use it to market your next event in the following ways.
Blogging on the Company Website
There are several techniques you can use to get the word out about your event on your company website.
The first is to use your blog as a platform to announce the event. This can be written in press release format and posted right on the company website. That way, you can easily reach your subscribers and stakeholders who already have an interest in your organization. You can also share this announcement on your social media channels.
The second way to gather interest for your event from your company blog is to write relevant and useful blog posts and then call attention to your event in the conclusion.
This strategy will help attract new readers who may have not heard about your company before. Readers are interested in how you can help them, so if you offer help first and then follow-up with an invitation to your event, it’s likely that you’ll attract more attendees. You’ll also earn more social shares because of the nature of the content, which will get more eyeballs on your event announcement.
Let’s take an example of using this tactic. Imagine you’re hosting a fundraising event for an animal shelter. Think about what possible donors—who are likely pet owners themselves—would want to read about in a blog post.
Around the holidays, you might write a post on great gifts to get your dog this Christmas. That way, you pull in dog owners and animal lovers. At the end of your post, you could include a call to action along the lines of, “Want to help out other pets? Give the gift of a home this season,” followed by the details of your event.
Don’t be afraid to use these two strategies together on your blog.
Submitting Guest Posts
If you don’t have a company blog or you’re looking to get the word out further, consider submitting guest posts to sites with the audience you’re trying to target. Be up-front that you’re looking to promote your event, and many blogs will be happy to accommodate by sharing a link to your event page at the end of your post or in your author bio.
This tactic is a lot like the one we just talked about, where you write a typical article useful to your audience and then call attention to the event at the end of the post. The difference is that you’re publishing the blog post on a different site to reach new audiences.
Be sure not to duplicate content and to pay attention to the target blog’s audience. An animal shelter fundraiser will target pet blogs in the same geographical area, not health blogs based in another country.
Getting Popular Bloggers to Write About Your Event
If you don’t have the time to write blog posts on your own or you’re looking for more media coverage, another way to take advantage of blogging is to get popular bloggers to blog about your event. This is similar to guest blogging, except you won’t be writing the post. It comes with numerous benefits, including that it can save you time and money since the blogger is doing most of the promotional work for you once you work out your agreement.
Contact bloggers in your niche and let them know about your upcoming event. Kindly ask them if it’s something they’d be interested in covering on their blog. There may be times when you have to pay for a sponsorship, but that’s not always the case. To entice more bloggers to write about your organization, invite them to your event.
If you know of bloggers who have attended your event in the past, or who are planning to attend this time, get in contact with them. They’re clearly already interested in your event, and chances are their friends and followers will be, too. You might offer an incentive, such as free admission, to convince bloggers to cover your event.
Keep these tips in mind when contacting bloggers:
1. Don’t send a press release without an invite to the event; it’s rude.
2. In fact, don’t send a press release at all. Personalize your pitch, and bloggers will be much more likely to respond.
3. Remember that media coverage isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. Build a relationship with attending bloggers for a better chance of earning coverage. For example, subscribe to their blog and social channels, and comment on their blog posts leading up to the event and long after, especially if you plan on inviting them back next year.
Keep in mind, however, that inviting bloggers to your event does not guarantee positive reviews or live coverage, but it can still lead to cost-effective marketing, exposure to new audiences, and a boost in brand awareness.
Blogging has become a form of mass media that unfortunately many businesses are still ignoring in terms of public relations and advertising. However, blog posts can be powerful in getting the word out about your event. The key is to write blog content that people are truly interested in and to publish that content on blogs that potential attendees read regularly.
Blogging isn’t your typical media outlet. Conversations are much more personal, and content is typically written to educate or entertain readers. Keep these ideas in mind when writing blog posts designed to market your next event.
How will you utilize blogging as your next event approaches?
Mike Wallagher is a blogging enthusiast who currently writes for HostingFacts.com. He helps small businesses and WordPress users to get online by choosing the right web hosting provider for their site/blog. You can get in touch with him via Google +.