The Long Tail Of Event Promotion

long tail

Capturing the long tail

In the field of search engine optimization, the long tail refers to optimizing website content for a very specific search phrase, such as insulating light filtering honeycomb shades.

The idea behind this practice is that while the pool of interested prospects may be smaller, the conversion rate is substantially higher.

And while there’s a plethora of content on the web, (sadly) much of it isn’t all that helpful or illuminating. Truly informative, concise and unique content attracts and retains website visitors because of its value to readers.

The long tail of marketing

The long tail can also be used to express a marketing technique for a particular product, service or event. To maximize visibility, your promotion process must be ongoing, enduring and deliberate. And like the specificity required in long tail search optimization, utilizing the long tail approach to market an event requires drilling down to identify a series of narrow and specific benefits.

Banish the bland

Showcasing events or product demos are an effective way to demonstrate the value of your product or service. But securing your target customer’s attendance at your event can be challenging. Robust, focused and creative promotion is required to ensure your message gets heard in today’s cluttered digital world.

Let’s use an example. Say you’re promoting a live event about dog health. Since almost 50% of US households include a dog (according to the ASCPA), the potential target market for the event could be quite large. You bring in vendors and presenters with expertise in various areas relating to dog health, and market event benefits like learning about the best foods, treats and toys for your dog. You create a couple of paragraphs and send out a mailing, an email newsletter and a series of social media posts sharing your marketing message. But like the healthy dog treats, the message is bland.

So what is a better strategy?

Taking a long tail approach to the event, develop a series of very specific benefits for attendees. The benefits may not apply to a group as large as all dog owners, but they connect sufficiently with a smaller sub-set of dog owners that they’re compelled to register for the event. Honing in on an emotion or “pain point,” such as frustration or sadness, helps your marketing to resonate.

Revise your generic message from “learn about the best foods, treats and toys for your dog” to a series of more emotive, specific and narrow benefits like Stop forcing medicine down your dog’s throat. The event suddenly becomes a need for the reader whose precious companion has an illness requiring daily medication.

Be sure to cover the W’s

As you craft your benefits, assess them to be certain they cover the key questions.

  • The Why: To encourage action, your message must be user-centric. Develop compelling reasons important to your reader to encourage them to open the email, click the link, keep reading the event description. What frustration, pain point or need does your prospective client have that you can hone in on?
  • The What: Utilize creative executions. Punchy, playful, pithy phrasing demands that viewers pay attention. Imaginative images drive action. Some of the most effective marketing is minimalist.
  • The How: Drill down to specifics and create a series of individual benefits for attendees. For each benefit, develop an individual promotional post or message. Don’t forget platform-specific magnifiers like hashtags for your keywords.
  • The Where: Post your content in a mix of platforms and channels where your target customer spends time. Think beyond just your business social media accounts; try a wide variety of platforms.
  • The Who: Yeah, you’re targeting the potential client or customer. But you can forge a path to an ongoing stream of new clients through a partner or collaborator. Seek to develop relationships with influencers, bloggers and potential partners.
  • The When: Not just once and done. Conventional wisdom says that seven exposures to your message are needed before a recipient is compelled to act. With the input overload in our online culture, it isn’t easy to get your prospect’s attention. While repeated efforts are required, Remember that “what” above to compel action — and be sure to measure your results.

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