How to use local events to win new customers.

Published: Dec 12, 2018
How to use local events to win new customers.

Location-based businesses like hotels, restaurants, banks, or retail stores are built around communities. Events happening in your community, whether they be large or small, are great conduits for interactions between your businesses and the community – regardless of your business type. In other words local events create an opportunity for your business, but if you want to benefit from events there are some planning and execution efforts you must consider.

Chances are, at some point you’ve probably typed a phrase like “events near me” into Google. When you type that exact query into Google or Bing a very generic event search is triggered; on the other hand, specific queries like “rock shows near me” will result in rock music related results. The results page from your search will have a list of events relevant to the “rock show” query, and you’ll also have the option to filter or reorder results based on a specific date, or by qualifiers like “today,” “tomorrow,” and “next week.”

So how can we use event search queries?

Businesses are taking advantage of these “event” related searches by promoting the events themselves on platforms like their website and social media channels, and they’re doing this as a means to reach new or existing audiences. The key to getting good results from this strategy is first defining the target audience, be it business, leisure, families, or Millennials. Create audience-oriented messaging by doing keyword research and understanding the strengths of your business in the context of the event; is it close to the event location? Are you a sponsor? Does your business have a unique product, or special for the event? Once the messaging is created, a tailored social content marketing plan and corresponding pay per click advertising plan can help you get even more dramatic results. Don’t forget that once your plan is executed, it is equally important to track the performance; page traffic, social shares, number of leads from “special offers” pages, and track your Return on Investment.

Here are just a few benefits of listing local events on your site or social media channels:

  • Local and engaged customers will return to your business
  • Local events create buzz, and an opportunity to get the most out of traditional and online media
  • Get the word out, promote offers, demos, or launch new products/specials.

As a local business owner, your challenge is to be prepared for an event depending on the size and leverage the many opportunities it presents. People will want immediate answers to their needs and questions, whether they are looking for the ideal hotel room, or are looking for things to do while they’re in the area. In moments like these people will look to their mobile phones. These moments of intent based information searches are called “Micro Moments.” According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones to influence a purchase decision while in a store, this largely happens because smart phones and search help people solve unexpected problems nearly instantaneously – like asking “where can I find parking?” or “Coffee shops near me.” If you want to be well prepared, you must be ready to seize opportunities presented by these micro-moments.

If you want to optimize for micro moments, you might have to work on the following key areas:

  • Easy to deploy, search-engine friendly local listings – Does your website content management system let you list local events dynamically? In a way that search engines will discover?
  • An attractive website – dated websites lose faith among searchers.
  • Search friendly designs – pay attention to adding items that take a long time to load on your page.
  • Mobile friendly – if your site isn’t mobile friendly, getting on top of the results pages is not likely.
  • Quality directory listings – this allows your company to be trusted by search engines and show up in the search results.

Milestone has helped many clients manage their events with Milestone Social and our Event Calendar; these tools provide efficiency to users creating content and posting for events. You can create a comprehensive content marketing plan easily by scheduling posts to go live across multiple social media profiles and viewing the analytics per post afterward, On top of that we designed a workflow aspect, so that tasks can be delegated easily to employees in your organization.

Year-round content generation for events might seem daunting, but our Event Calendar can automatically populate with events in your direct vicinity, content and all. You can even segment certain types of events you want to highlight with a click, so there is no real work for you to capitalize on the events that are bringing potential customers to your area.

To learn more about online management of local events, please send us an email at [email protected] or call us at +1 408 200 2211

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