What if your attendees could be not only active at your event but also active for your event? Here’s how to get your attendees to market your event.
Having a high number of attendees at your virtual events is an essential indicator to understanding how interested people are in your product or service. This metric also speaks to your marketing efforts. Since the surge of social media, brands have turned to influencers to market their events.
While it may be a quick fix to getting your brand’s name out there, many people have lost faith in the credibility of ambassadors as paid partnerships often taint the trustworthiness of a so-called testimonial. Perhaps it’s time to turn to your loyal attendees to market your event, in which case, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Brand ambassadors versus brand evangelists
While many companies pay brand ambassadors to promote their product or brand, brand evangelists are the type of marketers that potential customers will easily trust. These are attendees that are so impressed by your brand that they want to share it with the world.
As opposed to celebrities or social media influencers, brand evangelists’ platforms are relatively smaller, but they play a vital role in drumming up what people think about your brand. What makes them unique is that they don’t require big budgets – they genuinely believe in your brand and what you have to offer. Unpaid relationships with brand evangelists are the most credible and serve as a powerful marketing tool.
What are brand evangelists?
In Layman’s terms, brand evangelism is word-of-mouth marketing. Brand evangelists are regular consumers who are enthused by the company as a whole instead of a particular product. An emotional connection to a brand, company, or organization is what inspires this enthusiasm.
The word evangelism is defined as “a strong advocacy for a cause” – in this case, a brand. Brand evangelists are your loyal customers, who are essentially ordinary people who use their personal brand as a platform to promote your product or service. These customers are loyal to your brand and are proud to be a customer and an affiliate.
Guy Kawasaki, the author of “The Art of the Start” and “How to Drive Your Competition Crazy,” is known to be the father of evangelism marketing. He started as an evangelist marketer for Apple products, and today he does the same for the graphic design platform, Canva.
Here is his definition:
“Evangelism is the process of convincing people in your product or idea as much as you do. It means selling your dream by using fervor, zeal, guts, dream, and cunning… Evangelism is the process of selling a dream”.
Here is your step-by-step guide to acquiring your very own brand evangelists.
Step 1: Understand your target audience
Your first step is to understand who your ideal attendee is. Thoroughly understanding who they are is essential to get to your brand evangelists.
Ask yourself: Who are they? Which demographic groups are included? What do they care about? What challenges do they face? How does my brand solve one of their challenges?
Step 2: Identify enthusiastic attendees to market your event
Once you know some vital information about your ideal attendee, the next step is to sift through your client base.
The good news is that your brand evangelists are already part of your existing attendees, so you don’t have to go out and find them. They have already attended one (or more) of your virtual events in the past. These are the eager beavers in the chat, the ones who are constantly engaged, posting about your event on social media accounts.
Step 3: Connect with them
Remember, brand evangelists, are regular people who have an emotional connection to your brand. Emotional connections are established through relationships, so give them attention and make them feel seen.
Like, comment, or re-share posts that they share about your event, highlight their story on your Instagram account. Do something to show them that you are listening and that you see them.
Step 4: Align with them
The more you understand them, the more you can align your interests. Find things that you have in common with them and find attributes that they value.
For example, if your attendee is a Millenial, this demographic tends to care more about sustainability and environmental causes than most other demographic groups. Find a way to incorporate these issues into your virtual event.
Step 5: Create a community
Find a way to connect your attendees. Create an exclusive club where attendees can network, share their insights and bounce ideas off one another. This community will connect your attendees and give you insight into improving your current offerings while helping them feel seen and heard.
An example of this is Starbucks and their My Starbucks Idea launched in 2008. This online customer community garnered ideas from the public based on feedback and suggestions. In its first year alone, the community garnered over 70 000 new ideas, and Starbucks implemented around 50 of them.
Step 6: Make it easy to market your event
The easier it is to market your event, the more likely your attendees will be to share it with others. Ensure that your content is shareable by recording your virtual events and posting snippets of them on social media.
Encourage your attendees to share your content with their friends. Create a loyalty program with interactive missions, where you can offer discounts or complimentary tickets to events.
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