How do you know your event marketing was successful? Which marketing channels worked and which didn’t? Answers to these questions are critical to your organization’s growth and improvement. And more importantly, critical to your event success. Events can fail simply because the promotion and engagement leading up to the event didn’t cut it. 

The first step to avoiding this mistake can be learned from superstar marketer, Leann Yutuc from Inventa. Leann is a big advocate for the importance of goal setting and data tracking to measure the success of your event marketing. Leann’s SMART goal setting tips and data tracking hacks are summarized below. 

Watch the full webinar recording for more tactics on traditional, email, on-premise and social media marketing. 

Step 1: Finding Your Event Marketing “Why”

Before you can start marketing your event, you must figure out your “why.” This is the overall goal of your event. It’s what you want to accomplish, whether it’s revenue, increased engagement or something unique to you. This key piece of information will steer your marketing campaign and help you set your goals with a clear focus.

Step 2: Setting SMART Goals to Measure Your Event Marketing Success

So, you’ve got your event planned, you’ve figured out your “why,” what’s next? Before getting started on your event marketing, Leann recommends setting SMART goals to give you a clear direction and way to measure your success. Let’s dive into it!

S – Specific

If your marketing strategy is going to be successful you need to ensure it is directed at your target audience, so identify WHO you are targeting and where you are targetting early.  An important question to ask is, what platforms are your audience on? For example, if your audience is an older demographic you may want to focus on Facebook and email, while if it is a younger audience, maybe Instagram or Twitter is where you spend your time. The first step to a strong marketing campaign is knowing WHO you are marketing towards. This audience must be specific. If you are too broad you may not be targeting your supporters or some of your efforts might be going to waste. 

M – Measurable

For a goal to be valuable you need to be able to measure it. That way you can improve and build off of the learnings. Leann had an excellent point that goals need to be measurable throughout the marketing process, not just at the end. This way you can adjust and improve your strategy as you get closer to your event. 

Example: If you’re wondering what exactly should be measured, some great examples for social media are likes, comments and reshares. For email marketing, you’re looking more at open rates and clicks. 

A – Attainable

Unrealistic goals can feel just as unmotivating as not having any goals. It is important to ensure the goals you set are attainable based on your constraints. An example of constraints could be your budget or time commitment. If you are unsure what an attainable goal looks like for you, it’s a good start to set a goal for a short period of time. That way you can determine a strategy to meet the goal and at the end of the period assess how close you got and make a new goal accordingly. 

Example: If you’re trying to increase social media followers your short-term goal could be ten new followers on Instagram in one week. You could plan to do your usual posts plus one story and depending on how successful that is, create new goals appropriately. 

R – Relevant

Earlier, you landed on the “why” of your event, stick with that and keep the objectives and goals of your event in mind. Your marketing tactics should be in unison to ensure a solid and clear message. 

“You want to ensure that all of your marketing and all of your tactics are always in harmony with your event design.” Leann Yutuc, Inventa

Example: If you are setting goals for an upcoming event, goals relevant to your number of clicks may be much more relevant than goals of new followers on social media. These goals may well relate, and it is possible to have both goals but ensure your top goal is relevant and brings you closer to your “why.”

T – Timely

It’s better to do one or two strategies well than too many strategies poorly. There is no need to attempt every marketing strategy; it is more important to go where your supporters are. If a strategy isn’t going to get you closer to your end goal, rethink whether it is worth your time. Timely goals must have an end date, otherwise, they are impossible to assess. 

How to Track & Measure Your Event Marketing Success

Measuring the success of your campaign may seem like a problem for later but it is important to start thinking about how you will acquire data when you are planning your strategy. As Leann says: data is key. We need to gather it, analyze it and understand it to be successful in a marketing campaign. 

“Always, always track along the way” – Leann Yutuc, Inventa

There are numerous ways to gather data to measure the goals of your marketing campaign. Depending on your budget and time commitment, collecting data may look like spreadsheets, social media tracking tools, email tracking tools or website analytics. 

Example: If your goal is difficult to track, an effective yet simple idea is to add one question to your checkout experience asking: “How did you hear about this event?” This gives you important feedback on where you should focus your marketing efforts. 

P.S. Yes, you can add custom checkout questions on Trellis!

The topic of measuring success ties right into those SMART goals we talked about earlier. Having goals allows you to measure and evaluate your tactics. As Leann mentioned in her webinar, the biggest question we can ask at the end of a campaign is, “Did our marketing tactics help us achieve our event goal?” Asking this question, allows us to dial down on what worked and what didn’t; with that information, you can adjust and improve your marketing tactics for your next fundraising event! 

To ensure you have all the marketing tools possible to help your next event succeed, watch Leann’s full webinar here for a deeper dive into SMART goals, event marketing, and measuring success.

Find a Fundraising Event Software that Meets Your Needs

Custom checkout questions, branded event pages and links, and easy social sharing are key event platform requirements to help you meet your event marketing and fundraising goals. Look out for these features when picking your event software platform. 

Get started learning about how Trellis can help you raise more money with your next fundraiser on a live or recorded demo!