You have put every ounce of your sweat and blood into this! This is going to be a big day...YOUR big day! This is, after all, YOUR event.
But then all of a sudden it hits you. Your enthusiasm seems to echo off empty chambers...there's hardly anyone to share your moment.
What went wrong? You ask yourself, stunned.
And then it hits you...like a rock, the realisation sinks in...you forgot to create the pre-buzz!
What is ‘pre-buzz’ and why is it important?
‘Pre-buzz’, in the simplest terms, means creating talk or starting conversations around a product, service, organisation, or brand, or in this case, an event. It is an effective marketing tool that helps capture the attention of the event’s target audience and the media, and increases its popularity among them. By driving conversations among its target audience through various offline and online marketing techniques, it increases awareness and interest among the audience.
How to generate pre-buzz?
The Internet has made marketing much more easier and economical. However, the best marketing methods are those that leverage both online and offline channels to deliver even better results. Generating pre-buzz is one such method. For example, if you have a new event coming up, you need to generate enough pre-buzz and get people to talk about it, both offline and online, before the day of the event, thereby eventually increasing attendance and profits. Different demographics respond differently to offline and online techniques and using them together can help you achieve your goals faster.
Let’s consider some methods used to build pre-buzz around an event.
Conducting door-to-door visits in the areas close to where the event is going to be held is a good way to connect with audiences, especially those who do not access online channels such as social media, and create awareness among them. It allows one to interact with the target audience on a more personal level. Giving information about freebies to be distributed during the event and celebrities attending the event during such visits is a great way to establish a bond with the audience and create pre-buzz about the event. It is also possible to collect information about the target audience, such as their email addresses and phone numbers, while making door knocks. The data collected can then be verified and used to make OBD calls. Through door-to-door prospecting, one can also gauge audience’s interest in attending the event and make necessary arrangements.
On the day of the event, pre-recorded calls can be made to the audience, sharing details of the event such as venue, time, celebrities attending the event and the schedule. This serves as a reminder and encourages audience turnout.
Leaflet distribution/newspaper inserts and postcards:
Attractive leaflets promoting the event and containing useful information can be distributed in areas attracting huge crowds such as colleges and railway stations. The same can also be distributed along with newspapers to reach people living in areas near the event venue to build pre-buzz. Where relevant, postcards containing gift coupons and event details can also be given to select individuals to encourage conversations around the event.
Sending direct mails to people one is still selling event tickets to, helps to maintain buzz. These mails can contain event information and updates. Once they reach a person’s house, they are more likely to be opened than an e-mail. Most people receive a lot of online mails and hardly any paper mails. Thus, a direct mail in the form of a letter or a brochure or a personal invitation can attract more attention towards it. This method is especially useful in creating pre-buzz if the event caters to a local demographic.
One can use unconventional methods such as holding street performances with event-related gear to build pre-buzz for the event. For example, to promote a musical festival, one can have upcoming or amateur artists perform at railways stations or malls and thus drive conversations around the event.
Social media marketing:
Pre-buzz around the event can also be created through social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Create a dedicated hashtag for the event that can be used across all networks, making sure it is not already in use. Encourage conversations among followers with the use of engaging visuals, behind-the-scenes content and animations. Creating an event page on Facebook, using videos featuring celebrities to invite followers to the event, sharing a showreel of previous events, having event-related contests, etc., are just some of the ways to generate pre-buzz on social media. One can also promote tweets and the event page to extend reach and drive conversations.
Search engine marketing:
Promoting the event on a dedicated website through the help of ads is a great way to create buzz and pull the crowd in. An informative website that shares interesting details about the event will help push conversations, generate leads and increase ticket sales. One can optimise and scale paid ads to target specific age groups, genders, interest areas and demographics.
Creating event-related content in the form of articles, videos, audio or infographics is another great way to build pre-buzz. Share-worthy content attracts attention, and people build conversations around it that help generate awareness and excitement around the event, without the need of being intrusive.
Apart from newspaper inserts or flyers, one can promote the event through an ad on a magnet or a bag or a calendar or any other promotional item. These are less likely to end up in the trash bin, are more visible, and are also likely to be preserved even after the event, serving as a reminder.
Mixing and matching these methods to create pre-buzz will help you see incredible results for the event.