“Brand social,” this is the tagline of an Orlando-based Internet marketing company, known as Shorty Produkshins. Branding socially should be a common marketing objective found amongst industries around the globe. Through Web 3.0 and the “always on” culture that we encounter each day, social branding attributes to the evolution of how we successfully market our brands and do business in this new age.
According to HQSocialMedia.com, “80% of the top 100 fortune companies are using at least one social media profile to engage with their customers.”
Many of these companies are even including their own social communities within their pre existing sites or link to an independent social network of brand enthusiasts. There are many benefits for this, especially if you own a company that is known for hosting events.
Taking social branding to a specific niche, event branding has become a necessity for venues, promoters and organizations as time decides our marketing destinies. The difference between a static website and an actual social network is far and many.
There are a few reasons that event branding is important:
- To market the event, of course.
- Calendar of Events and Schedules
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Link Wheels
- Link Pyramids
- Changes in time/location
- Personalization & Interactivity
- Information & Content Collection and Distribution
- Investors & Sponsors
- Connecting Event Goers
- Converting Event Goers
- E-mail/SMS Lists
- Invites through performers and event goers
- Builds suspense and enthusiasm.
- Brand Monitoring
In marketing the event, there are of course many items of importance. There are items that must take place regardless of a social presence or not. These items include but are not limited to press releases, event listings, article placements and supporters. In today’s world, a website is a must. If you don’t have this, people will forget about the site or remain confused as to what the event is or if they would like to participate.
Professionalism through a site is important. You must give the consumer an impressive first impression of the brand and event. The better the site looks, the better. The more innovative the site, the more likely your brand awareness will lead to brand interest and possibly brand loyalty.
Through a social network, especially one that users are able to connect through social logins (a simple connect to their Facebook and/or Twitter accounts), users are able to “become part of the event.”
Social networks give users a sense of personalization and interactivity. They are able to add and consume content, while simultaneously giving the brand feedback almost immediately about this content. It is also a way to monitor the brand’s reputation and to address any issues one may have about the brand.
The brand automatically has a street team intact on the online platform, because people tend to invite friends and family. Additionally, when they add this content, it will more than likely stay on the site, even if the user isn’t active. If this content is related to the event or brand, this strengthens the brand’s presence for this and future events. They can share this content within the site or offline through Twitter and Facebook. Videos and audio of performers and venue locations will attract brand interest.
Those commenting on content with statements like, “Oh, my goodness! That event was sooooo fun!” or “I love this artist!” could bring brand trust to new and existing consumers, because this institutes as a testimonial. Testimonials are very important to a brand and brand products. It shows demand and love for a brand. This helps build trust and a need to experience it on an individual basis.
Through constant updates, clicks, constant content additions, linking in, within and outside of the site, the infamous “Google Spyder” knows to check this site more frequently than it would a static site. This is the same reason that having a blog on a business site is often advised to business owners. These updates keep the site fresh, interactive and important to keeping users returning for more content.
This insures their presence at your event, because they are reminded of the event, have gained high anticipation and curiosity, have been peer pressured into attending and have met others that will be -- just in case they would have attended by themselves.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important, especially when “competing” with other events and brands that throw events on a regular basis. Through SEO, we rise our website in the rankings and hold higher visibility to the rest of the world. The higher we rise, the more our site is viewed with quality and trust.
Any links attached to this site will also gain trust by search engines and will be crawled, as well. Link Wheels and Link Pyramids are now formed through one-way, two-way and hierarchy backlinks. These are very important in dealing with quality scores and things of this nature. The more Link Wheels and Pyramids that can be built will lead to higher placement and, obviously, more traffic!
Another important item in successful SEO is “time spent on site” and “return vs. new visitors.” If a user returns to the site, that means they can trust the site. In turn, the engine can trust it a bit more. In returning, these users show loyalty. The more they become active on the site and the more time they spend on each page, the better the impact on SEO efforts!
A social network will rank higher due to the time spent consuming content on each page! That means your site will rise organically and that less money will have to be spent with Pay-Per-Click advertising through search engine marketing.
Often is the case that people want to attend events but have no one to attend with. This also solves that problem. It even convinces people to come that really didn’t think that wanted to or were able to attend. Carpooling is another benefit in saving gas, helping transport those who do not drive and economical reasons. At this point, people feel privileged in attending, because it has become a 24/7 community that projects itself into real life.
People want to meet the other people at the event that they have been speaking with Online! Through their planning and conversation, projections are able to be made based on pre-sale tickets and planning within the site itself!
Other reasons to use event branding via social networking as a source of marketing is that it is very efficient in communicating with your users. They feel that their opinion matters. They thank you for considering their opinions. They become curious if their opinions will be implemented into your brand. Furthermore, your site can be updated regularly and additions can be made immediately to audiences.
Changes in date, time and/or location can immediately be addressed. SMS (text messages) and E-mails can be sent to all users directly from the platform to inform them of changes, simultaneously. Reminders can also be sent. The “journey” can be recorded through blogs in creating a Brand Story for future accords. Calendars can also inform users of upcoming events or deadlines.
Finally, and one of the most important reasons for branding your event socially -- investors, sponsors and investors! We all want an additional revenue stream, don’t we? Well, sponsors want to know where they’re going to be presented to the public’s eye. They want to know that their money will buy them placement for awareness of their own and that people will actually see this placement.
Vendors may take advantage of selling or advertising within your site, a site where you can make money allowing them to do so. And last but not least -- investors, they want to know that their money will produce a return. This means more than just providing these “angels” with a business plan. Higher funding can and will be obtained through this online portfolio and Brand Loyalists to prove there will be a positive return on investment that will benefit all parties involved.
After gaining such a deep insight on event branding, it would be foolish not to try to implement it into your business structure and marketing plan. From Search Engine Optimization to investment opportunities, creation of such a platform will ensure success for your brand’s events for years to come. Whether your brand throws parties or holds weekly or annual events, this is something that is almost becoming a standard to early adopters. Act now and “brand socially” today!