If only those bumper Christmas sales were happening all year round! You’ve probably had this thought crop up in your head quite often, especially when you’ve piled up some decent looking profit from the year-end business. It’s the sort of wishful thinking we slide into once in a while, just for the soothing effect it has on our hustle strained bodies. But this feeling, like the daydreams that trigger it, quickly gives way to the reality; we get on with business, as uneven as it’s always been.
Isn’t there a way to push up sales at other points of the year, and reap those handsome returns that we’d thought were reserved for Christmas?
Maybe you can’t make it happen every single day. But at least, you can claw in much more than you’re currently getting from the rest of your business year. Just think about it: December isn’t the only time when customers get excited enough to loosen their grip on their purses a bit. What about those big sporting events, like the football tournaments, or that annual music concert which practically seizes the attention of your city when it’s around the corner?
You probably already know that major brands do a lot of marketing around these kinds of things. Special events come up throughout the year; the really big ones create a merry feeling with people who follow them (and even some who aren’t necessarily fans). The large corporations know that this feel-good factor makes the public more open to spending money, especially if it’s for purposes related to the event they’re interested in.
Even if you’re not as big as the soft drinks or telecoms giants that splash the cash on sleek season-themed adverts, you can make the most of special events for your own business. It just takes some careful planning and enthusiastic execution of those plans to bring in new eager customers, and record wins from the major events. Here’s how.
Before the Event
Know what events your typical customer would be really interested in
Not everyone is excited about that hyped up music show, even with all the stars that regularly turn up there. Your core customers may not be very enthusiastic about twenty-two men kicking a ball around a grassy field for ninety minutes, talk less following the World Cup with keenness. Don’t assume that they love an event just because it’s quite popular. Find out what their actual preferences are.
When you know what type of events your customers are interested in, you’ll be able to plan your marketing efforts around those, with an extra bit of certainty.
Selling is seldom neat when it’s rushed. And if it’s messy, your target audience will very likely notice that it is. They won’t buy your products. Worse, they might think of your business as tacky and mediocre. This may not be good for the next few months of your enterprise if the word spreads widely enough.
You’re better off planning these things well ahead of time. Organize your marketing strategy. Define your goals and priorities. List the materials you’ll be using. Assign campaign roles to yourself and your staff. Determine what channels you’ll be employing to get your message across.
Partner with others
If the big event is one which requires tickets to attend, you may partner with its organizers to get a number of these tickets. You may then give them out as a reward for purchasing your products (more on this shortly).
Other types of partnerships might work too. For example, you could link up with bigger brands to jointly market around the event. You could do this in ways that give your business and its partners access to each others’ markets.
Just Before, and During the Event
Organize promos and giveaways
Remember the suggestion we gave about rewarding buyers with event tickets? This is where it applies. You may be giving out the tickets shortly before the show if it’s a one-off event; or if it’s a long drawn out thing like the Olympics, you could spread the disbursement throughout the period the event takes place.
One way to do this would be to set up a raffle draw for customers who purchase more than a stipulated quantity of your products within a given period. Winners of the raffle draw get the ticket for the event.
But your promo gifts don’t necessarily have to be tickets. You can achieve an appreciable degree of increase in sales by giving event themed souvenirs as well, like branded show kits, sports jerseys, or other valuable items of this ilk.
Sell event related material
You may also brand some of your wares with the mascot or official designs for the event, and sell them just before and during the event. A good number of people could buy them just because they’re branded in the colours and taglines associated with the show they’re following or attending. Your business can benefit from this well-known tendency.
Spread the word on social media
A lot of us follow big events on social media by tracking hashtags related to those events, or by keeping up with pages that provide regular updates about them. We’re particularly drawn in by interesting, like funny memes, catchy phrases and real-time images from the event venue.
A smart way to leverage social media for events related marketing would be to deploy all of these things we’ve just mentioned: use the event hashtag, post brilliant content, and share updates. Find a way to keep your viewers and followers aware of your brand while they scroll through your page. You should find some useful tips for this here. When you succeed at keeping them around your channels for a while, there’s a chance that they’ll get interested in what your business actually does.
After the Event
Show the world what you’ve done
We chose the word ‘show’ for a reason. You could tell everyone who cared to hear that you rewarded your customers with great gifts at the time of an event, but it won’t get to them as strongly as it would if you shared pictures or videos of you handing out these gifts. You can do this on your social media channels, as well as your blog or other popular sites.
This is the sort of publicity that’ll make people wish they had taken part in your promos. If it makes a strong impression on them, they’ll resolve to participate next time. They’ll join a line of potential customers waiting for your seasonal giveaway doors to swing open again, or they’ll start looking you up already.