As an event planner, your target audience may change from event to event, and your marketing strategy will change with it.
An effective marketing strategy will have communication aimed at a particular group of people. This group is the “target audience.” They’re your ideal attendees for a specific event. Marketing your events is way more manageable when you sell the right experience to the right audience.
You want to know your target audience to direct your marketing where it will be most effective and save you resources. Targeted marketing will help you to personalize your marketing. Whoever receives your marketing materials will feel like you know who they are and are offering them something they genuinely need.
In a nutshell, a clear idea of your target audience is linked to the need that your event business solves. Your target audience is the people with that particular need or interest.
Understanding Intent And Outcomes
Before initiating a dialogue with your target audience, you should clearly understand your intent and why it is worth people’s time and money. You must establish these two things:
1. The Centre Of Your Event
Studying your audience involves a lot of external looking and analyzing, but it also requires introspection. What is the primary purpose of your event; is it to promote a product or a service, to immerse attendees in a particular experience, or is it educational and training-based? Situating your event in its appropriate category will lead you to understand the need you are fulfilling and what to make the main focus of your marketing strategy.
2. Your Ideal Outcome
You also need to have a goal that you want to achieve with that particular event for your attendees and your business. Ideally, your goal will be quantifiable, like receiving a certain number of attendees or selling a certain amount of products or sign-ups for your service. You may also have brand-related goals like increasing brand awareness, gaining more leads, or targeting higher-end clients.
Study Your Target Audience
It will help to study your target audience so that you can create a marketing strategy that will speak directly to them.
Not knowing your target audience could present serious issues to your marketing strategy and your actual turnout. If you don’t know your audience’s unique context, you won’t be able to make it possible for them to attend your event. Your ticket prices could be too high, your venue could be inaccessible, your programming could be irrelevant, or your timing could be inconvenient for them.
Related: Event Data Collection Methods for Event Pros
To make sure that you are not out of touch with the people you are trying to reach, you have to know the unique details of who they are.
The first step to defining your target audience is to determine their demographics. You need to know the exact age, gender, ethnicity, location, education, occupation, income bracket, and marital status of the people you want to come to your event. It will be impossible to do your digital marketing if you don’t have them. You will need them for all your social media ads, and if they are wrong, the money you spend on your ads will be wasted because they will not get any engagement. So, defining the demographics of your target audience is crucial because you have to make sure that all your paid promotions reach them.
Psychographics refers to the measurement of people’s attitudes and interests in addition to objective information like demographics. It is now possible to see who is interested in your events and their reasons for being interested. Defining the psychographics of your target audience will help you write more effective SEO content. After all, you’ll write marketing copy that your ideal audience searches for. Using psychographics, you can build up an audience of like-minded people across demographic boundaries like location, age, or gender.
3. Your Target Audience’s Media Consumption
You can also look at broader analytics like social media platforms, specific pages, campaigns, and hashtags that people of your target audience follow and engage with.
Related: Setting Up A Social Media Content Calendar for Event Marketing
Analytics such as conversion rates and leads from your current online presence will tell you more about your target audience. And what platforms enable the best conversation between you and them.
4. Construct A Persona Profile For Your Ideal Attendee
Once you are clear on the online behaviors of your ideal audience, create a fictional representation of the kind of person you want to attract. What industries are they interested in, how do they socialize, and where do they spend their financial resources?
You can even define the job titles that your ideal attendees hold and their daily routines. This will help you create programming in your event that will draw them in. You will have already defined the persona of your ideal attendee multiple times if you host the same types of events regularly. But you can add to that or take away depending on the specifics of your next event.
5. Analyze Your Previous Attendees
This will give you insight into what works and how you can improve to reach more of your ideal attendees. You can get reliable feedback from people who have attended your events and follow your social media pages.
You can send out a survey asking your audience what their highlights were from your last event, what speakers or performers they would want to see in future events, venues, and themes that they enjoy as well as examples of other events that they are interested in that you could consult for inspiration.
6. Why Do Your Attendees Come To Your Events?
You can also tease out the finer details of your audience’s engagement, like their personal motivations for coming to your events. Under the umbrella terms of “networking” and “socializing,” your attendees come to your events have specific reasons. They could, for example, be interested in exploring different venues or be drawn in by your themes because they have personal significance to them. You can then tailor your marketing strategy to use content that speaks explicitly to those sentimental reasons.
7. Learn From Your Competitors
To better speak to your target audience, you can also look at your competitors and how they communicate in their digital marketing. You want to look at their social media pages, websites, the types of content they use, and their posting frequency and patterns. Look at how often they post images or videos and the structure of that content. You can also consider the tone of their voice, i.e., how their social media and web copy is written. You can use this as inspiration for your own digital marketing.
8. Get Personal In Your Marketing
When you know what your target audience is hearing and the tone they hear it in, you can develop your own unique voice. Your brand voice must not be disconnected from your events, so if you are in the wellness industry, you want to talk about wellness and trends in that event industry. You will engage your audience better if you have a specialized, personal ring to your social media posts. Don’t be shy to post your opinions on current issues and be conversational, especially on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
9. Focus Groups
An “old school” way of bridging the gap between your events and your target audience is to have focus groups. It can be as easy as inviting people to a quick virtual call and asking them directly what they think about your events. Having conversations will give you insights that you can trust because they will be coming from the people you are trying to reach. You can recruit your participants from your social media pages or your subscription list.
10. Adapt To Accommodate Your Audience
Your audience from your last event will not necessarily be the same audience you’re focusing on in your next event. For starters, your event may be different from your last one. Secondly, your marketing may have attracted new people not covered in your research and social media profiling. With every event, you have to think of your target audience as a new group of people that you need to get to know and develop a relationship with.
Target Audience Includes Sponsors And Vendors
Remember that your target audience is not just prospective attendees. You are also speaking to other stakeholders like sponsors, venue owners, caterers, decorators, and other parties that could be involved in your type of events. You don’t only want people coming to your events – you want to attract potential partners and opportunities for future events. Therefore, make sure that your marketing speaks to everyone in your target group and draws them to your messaging.
Related: The Massive Guide To Event Marketing For Small Business