So, suppose you run an event management business. How do you market it online? Do you just slap on a website and sit back? I think not.
For you to get meaningful and sustained business online, it is not enough to have just a website, you need to have a website that establishes you as an authority in your field of business. You want it to be that if someone is online and thinking of event management in Kenya, they will not miss to think about you. Now this is quite hard to achieve, do not get me wrong. However, the Internet is an equalizer and you can accomplish this by pursuing a steady well thought out and bold plan. In my estimations, it can turn out to be a really cheap (relatively) but efficient marketing strategy and while you may not be the biggest in the industry, your marketing will make you seem just as big if not bigger than anyone else.
The big idea
If I was planning my wedding, I would be so very excited and I would want the whole world to know about it. If I could, I would have a column in the newspaper about my wedding plans and the day itself would be splashed all over the papers so that the whole world sees how wonderful my big white wedding was. And my relatives all over Kenya and possibly the world would see.
Of course I am not some Prince so I cannot have my way like that. What may work to achieve similar objectives, is a simple website. What if I had a very simple site, like a tiny blog, where I could update the whole world – including all my friends and family all over the world, of my wedding plans and share photos as I move closer and closer to the big day? Then on the big day itself I would chronicle the whole day on my little site (vua a live blog or live tweeting). That little site will live forever on the Internet as a “digital journal and photo album” of my wedding. I will tell almost everyone about it and they will all come visit – probably even my kids’ kids.
Now, most people aren’t web savvy enough to do this, and they may be too busy to do it anyway. What if you, as their event manager, offer such a service for all the weddings and other events that you organize? You would immortalise your clients’ events on the Internet and they will probably share the links to those mini sites with all their friends. Now, of course, on each mini site you will make it clearly known that the event was organised by you. The more events you immortalise this way, the more people share the mini sites with their friends, the more your name spreads on the Internet.
On the wedding/event days themselves you could even announce that the day’s proceedings and pictures will be available online at some web address, on Twitter, Facebook, etc so everyone will go away thinking “wow, these organisers are thorough” and they may visit the sites and find a link to you, and so on.
You will probably also be one of the very few event organisers that do this and it may turn out to be a major selling point and perhaps even a source of additional revenue – not to mention that once you get a number of event mini sites up, you will establish your name online and get precious “viral” marketing.
Can you imagine a gleeful bride showing off her wedding on Twitter and facebook and in all the conversations your name as the event organisers comes up again and again? Can you imagine one of the really really hot parties in town having a website where there is a live update for all that is going on at the party (with pics, music and snippets of video) – won’t the people who did not make it wish they were at the party?
What would it take to do this?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, all the above is quite cheap and easy to do, if you partner with someone who knows what he is doing. Believe it or not, making this happen can be done for under Kshs 15,000/- per event (at least going by Nickel Pro rates). The idea is to make a mini-site for the event, and offer live blogging and live socail media updating on the day of the event itself.
- After doing a few such events, you may actually be able to charge extra for this
- Your customers will be probably “wowed”
- You will get material cheaply for your company blog
- You will be an event organiser at the forefront of technology
- Your customers will be effectively recruited as people who market you online by telling their friends and family about the mini sites you created
- You will quite possibly get “viral” marketing effects
- Your name will spread in the online space
- It is quite probable that you will get many new customers who learn of you solely online
This is not a short-term marketing strategy.
What do you think of this idea? Could it work? More importantly, who has the guts to try it out? No balls, no babies!
Photo courtesy of AZrainman.