Hosting events is a great way to build an audience, establish a positive reputation, and profit – not to mention acquire inbound links. Whether you have an offline presence or operate strictly online, actually playing the role of the expert is the fastest way to build the relevant and timely (as well as timeless) web citations every website needs - and that remains the single best way to achieve SEO success.
Those responsible for supporting businesses on their quest to receive unique visitors from the search engines must think in creative ways about how to acquire links. One proven way to this end is to work with others to aid in the completion of their goals. For example, a search engine optimization professional might reach out to an event coordinator at a local community organization and suggest a presentation, or better yet, an event. Co-sponsoring an event gives you a ready-made audience of sorts to promote your business.
Let’s say for instance that we own and operate a flower shop. In order to market that product we’ll need to have a content plan for the event that will be of interest to our prospective clients. For example, we may decide to hold an event where senior citizens are taught ‘how to arrange flowers.’ Perhaps a Saturday morning class on ‘growing your own flowers’ for kids and their parents would be well received. Maybe even an event on ‘how to buy wedding flowers’ for brides and grooms to be.
The point of those three examples is that you must host events which are useful in purpose, but which also serve an audience that is those closer to the end of its purchase cycle. Turn first to keyword research tools to find what consumers are searching for and are most likely interested in attending.
Start with Useful, Actionable, Quality Content
The content and structure of your actual event is clearly of great importance, but if you are in pursuit of more and better social citations (using events to acquire Web links is addressed below), then there must be moments when you actively solicit that activity from attendees. In the case of the “How to Buy Wedding Flowers” event for brides and grooms, make it a point to acknowledge your social media profile, perhaps even reward them for a specific action such as a ‘like’ or ‘follow’. If attendees like your event, then they’ll share with their audience and you might just get a few new fans and followers.
Building Links with Event Marketing
When building Web links however, it is necessary to go beyond and perform some traditional link building tactics. While online events such as those organized and hosted on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ certainly serve a purpose (generally social awareness), the aim of an actual event should really be to control the conversation and the experience and that’s usually much simpler when you are on your own turf.
Just because you’re serve an offline community (meaning the actual business is conducted in person), doesn’t mean you should promote it that way exclusively. There are numerous opportunities on the Web to promote online and offline events but here are some of our favorites (in no particular order) and the platforms relied on by the best in local Web marketing.
There are numerous other websites that are worthy of submitting your event to including Everyblock.com, Outside.in, Going.com, Eventseekr.com, Schmap.com, and EventCrazy.com. Where else do you promote local events - online or off?