Non-profit organizations have a lot of work to do to make their events successful. Not only do you need to find a venue and secure sponsorships, but you also need to get the word out to potential donors and attendees.
But don’t worry! With a little creativity and effort, you can reach your target audience using a trick, I like to call ‘the seven touches of event marketing.’ In this article, we’ll discuss what the seven touches are, each of the seven touches and give you some tips on how to use them effectively.
So, whether you’re planning a charity auction, a golf tournament, or a gala dinner, read on for some helpful advice on how to market your event successfully.
The Seven Touches in Marketing
When it comes to marketing your nonprofit event, you have a variety of tools at your disposal. You can use email, social media, direct mail, and paid promotion, among others. But to really make the most of your resources, it’s important to use several strategies simultaneously. After all, the more people who attend, the more money your organization will raise!
One way to reach people is with the “Rule of 7.” This rule states that it takes an average of seven interactions with a brand before a purchase will take place. For example, you might want to send an email to your contact list, post about the event on your social media profiles, and send a direct mail piece to past donors and sponsors. By using multiple channels, you’ll reach more people and increase the chances of getting donations and attendees.
Publicity and promotion are also key for events. You can improve event marketing by using online promotion, events calendars, printed programs, media relations, signage, and more. With a little planning and effort, you can create a successful marketing campaign for your nonprofit event!
Below, we have seven different avenues to reach potential donors and attendees for your non-profit event.
- Create an Event Website
Creating an event website is one of the first things you should do when planning an event. This is your online home base, where interested attendees can learn more about your event and how to register or buy tickets. This can be a unique URL or hosted on your nonprofit’s website.
Your website should be easy to navigate, with all the information potential attendees need readily available. Be sure to include Event Details (date, time, location, etc.) and, most importantly, ways for to register for your event! Registration creates a database of previous attendees that you can reach out to for future events.
Most importantly, make sure your website is up and running before moving any further in your marketing efforts. The sooner people can learn about your event and start registering, the better!
- Flyers, Posters, and Business Cards
The second of our seven touches is one of the most old school advertising methods: printed materials to distribute around town. One great way to do this is by using flyers, posters, and business cards.
Flyers are a common and effective way to promote events or businesses. They are easier to design than ever with apps like Canva and can be distributed around town easily. In addition, they are affordable and can be used to target a wide audience.
Posters are also a practical form of distributing information to a wide population. They are often used in high traffic areas, such as near entrances or exits, to ensure that as many people as possible see them. Posters create excitement for an event and generate interest in attending.
Finally, business cards are a great way to promote your event and give people information about it. They are small and easy to carry around and can be given out to potential attendees or donors, or even left around town at registers of popular shops (just make sure you ask first!). Unlike flyers, business cards tend to have better longevity and are more convenient to carry around.
Make sure you use QR codes on these printed materials to link viewers to your social media or website for the event! This also helps registration that was mentioned above in point one!
- Social Media to Market Your Event
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your nonprofit event. You can use it to connect with current and potential supporters online, fundraise, and reach new audiences.
To be successful with social media for nonprofit events, it’s important to be consistent in your postings, post regularly, and engage with similar organizations. By taking a week-by-week approach and looking at examples of what’s worked well for others, you can choose the best channels to post on when creating a social media marketing plan for your nonprofit event.
Another great way to market your event is by involving local influencers or ambassadors. These are people who already have a large following and can help promote your event to their fans and followers. Social media is a great place to start, but don’t forget about other channels like print media or word-of-mouth marketing or even radio!
- Radio Advertising
Another touch, which is often overlooked by event planners, is radio advertising. Radio can be a great way to reach a large audience in a short amount of time, and it’s a great way to create event-specific branding. Be sure to include all the essential details in your ad- time, date, location, and ticket information- and make sure it’s catchy enough to stick in people’s minds.
Reach out to local radio stations for spots or even interviews to share about your organization’s message and your event.
- Email & Newsletters
Nonprofits should focus on engaging their community to get the word out about their events. Email is a tipping point for permission marketing- meaning that your supporters are giving you permission to interact with them. This lets you market the event to people who are already invested in your cause. Make sure when you invite people to your event through email you provide a link to registration or purchase tickets.
- Mail & Print Advertising
Using mail and print advertising is useful if you have a group of repeat attendees who need a reminder of the important event coming up. Think of this like a wedding RSVP – it’s useful for your nearest and dearest to have as they’ll place it on their fridge as a reminder of your event! This style of marketing however can have diminishing returns for a small non-profit. If most of your mailing list won’t attend the event and won’t spread it around via word of mouth, it may be useful to invest more heavily in the other methods to spread the word. Mail advertising should be reserved for previous attendees and VIP donors.
- Word of Mouth
When it comes to marketing your nonprofit event, using word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. But what is word of mouth marketing, and how can you make the most of it?
Put simply, word of mouth marketing is a two-way communication between a customer and a brand. It requires genuine and meaningful customer engagement, and it’s a great way to cultivate relationships with potential donors. In fact, research has shown that word of mouth is the primary factor in influencing donor decisions.
So how can you make the most of this powerful tool? First, make sure you’re marketing to the right people, emphasizing the importance of the cause and cultivating relationships. Then, make sure your event is top-notch! Offer VIP experiences, unique opportunities, and special perks, and make sure your attendees have a great time. And lastly, use all of your other marketing channels to promote your event. Paid promotion can be extremely effective, but don’t forget about free modes of promotion like social media and email marketing. With a little bit of effort, you can get the word out about your nonprofit event and raise awareness for your cause!
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to marketing your non-profit event, but using the seven touches can help you hit all the right notes and get the word out.
There are a variety of tools at your disposal to reach potential donors, sponsors, and attendees, so start brainstorming and get creative! The more people you can get on board, the more successful your event will be.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the seven touches and start planning the most successful non-profit event yet!