FROM THE BLOG  |  October 11, 2022

BOOST Your Brand Awareness… Local Event Marketing

Using local event marketing to enhance brand awareness 

Boost Your Brand… Local Event Marketing Edition 

So, you’ve got a great brand, and you’ve continued to see steady growth, but did you know local marketing accelerates growth – specifically local event marketing? Its true leveraging events in local communities where your brand is present is vital to boosting visibility. Marketable events do more than get customers in the door, they build awareness and excitement for your brand! 

And you know what’s better than one event? A whole bunch of events across your locations… the more you host, the more people will hear about your brand. But what if you don’t have the manpower or bandwidth to manage all the hubbub of running events? What if I told you, with the right strategy your local team can do more and do it better? 

Well, the good news is, they can. With over two decades of supporting multi-location brands, we know how to get it done, and in this blog, we’re pulling back the curtain on how some of the most recognizable brands are taking event management up a notch. Keep reading for some pro tips that’ll help your team take event marketing to the next level! 

Start with a plan… 

Event marketing is a great way to boost brand awareness, but it’s not as simple as throwing a party and crossing your fingers that people show up. There’s definitely a lot more to it than that. Often, it’s not always easy for local owners to get started. It can be difficult to decide what type of events you should host or how you should spread the word about them. 

It’s best to plan the event at the corporate brand level. Removing the guesswork helps franchise owners get excited about local events. Your plan should outline a few things: defining responsibilities, determining best practices, creating a schedule that keeps everyone on track, and providing all the materials your location owners need to succeed. We recommend making plans modular; think of it like a multiple-choice exercise. Each section of your plan, advertising options, entertainment, and swag (to name a few), should all have options the franchisee can pick from that align with your brand but also give them the ability to build something that feels like a fit for their unique location.  

Generate buzz… 

Let’s face it: events are great! 95% of marketers agree that events help you connect with your customers, they’re a great way to showcase your brand, plus they’re fun! The biggest challenge is getting people to RSVP or even show up… Paid ads are effective but can be really expensive. If you’re looking for an affordable way to get your message out there, look no further than organic social media. On social, you can reach a huge audience, beyond your current customer base, for no cost at all. 

Encourage your location owners to create a Facebook event page and post a countdown on their personal and their location’s social media pages. The corporate marketing team can build customizable templates that speak to your brand but allow individual locations to plug in their specific details. Not only will this create a sense of urgency and generate buzz about an upcoming event, it simultaneously boosts brand awareness! 

PRO TIP: Although digital ads can be expensive, boosted posts are an affordable way to reach a broader audience. Boosting a post is different than running a full ad campaign because it doesn’t require special creativity. It enables your franchisee to share a post from their page beyond the page’s followers using specific location and demographic details to reach their ideal customer. It’s also less in-your-face than typical social ads because it “suggests” a relevant post to the intended target.  

Keep the momentum going… 

The success of an event relies on steady marketing before, during, and after the event. Chances are your goal with any event isn’t to spend more time blowing up balloons and giving away free swag. If your goal is to bring new customers through the doors and increase retention and brand loyalty, then keeping the marketing momentum going post-event is just as important as your pre-event efforts. With attention to brand messaging and consistency, your location owners can maximize the ROI of any event.  

When it comes to sharing photos and videos of an event’s best moments, social media is once again going to be your best friend.  Nudge the event attendees to also post on their personal accounts using a unique hashtag or setting up a social wall. User-generated content is a more authentic review of the event – their friends and followers will likely trust this way more than a business’s official account, and they’ll be more receptive to hearing about it from a trusted source.  

Make sure to provide or at least suggest a strategy for how your location owners can gather data from event attendees, especially their email addresses. Events offer a way to grow your contact list and consistently share information about future events, promotions and LTOs, and lots of other local or brand-related news. This is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s loyalty program! Create flyers, bag stuffers, and bounce-back cards that highlight the program but are specifically themed for the event. Doing this ties the two together and gives you the info you need to stay in touch.  

It is a good idea to share content from a local event at a national level too. Not only is this a great way to repurpose content on your brand’s main social account, but it’s also positive reinforcement for the location owner to continue hosting events! It shows location owners that you’re a good partner and that you’re in it together. When you’re actively trying to help, they reach more people and goodwill speaks volumes to your franchisee! 

Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.  

Brand consistency is the most important thing, hands down! Even at the local level and with local events, fuzzy logos, mismatched brand colors, and poor print quality can have a big impact on the integrity of the whole brand.  

When it comes to branding, nothing is more important than consistency. Consumers need to see exactly what they can expect from your brand every time they interact with you—whether that interaction happens online or in person. This consistency builds trust and drives sales because customers know exactly what you’re about when they see your name or logo again and again—and it helps them make informed choices about where to spend their money (and where not to). 

So, provide all locations with easy-to-follow, replicable strategies and all the event marketing materials they’ll need before, during, and after the big day. From brand assets to customizable marketing templates for both printed signage and social media – making it easy will increase adoption. Make sure the actionable plan we mentioned earlier includes suggestions for executing those strategies and is generally a fit for all of your locations.  

Finding the right co-host… 

Event marketing is a powerful way to connect with your customers at the local level. But managing hundreds or even thousands of individual events isn’t the best use of time for your corporate marketing team.  

The solution? A partner for localized marketing support!  

Branded events, boosted by effective promotion, are essential for faster growth on all levels. And finding the right marketing partner to support them can help you streamline and optimize events, promotions, and other localized marketing efforts while protecting your brand. 

At UMI we understand the ins and outs of event marketing and customer experiences. We helped one of our clients double the attendance at a grand opening (compared to previous efforts), collect 500% more customer data, and exceed their sales goal by 40% with sustained sales past the event! Just saying. 

Check out the full case study here

Want to learn more about UMI and how we help brands grow? Drop us a note here – we’d love to tell you more!