Make a noise – but make it work

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Make a noise – but make it work

A study of event marketing and brand marketing executives by FreemanXP and the Event Marketing Institute has uncovered the most effective social media channels to reach target audiences before, during and after events. Results show social marketing is important but not always effective

[dropcap style=”normal”]A[/dropcap] new study, The viral impact of events: extending and amplifying reach via social media, shows most marketers acknowledge delegates are increasingly sharing event content through social media and believe their companies’ amplification of event social content to reach a broader audience is a top priority. The study, soon to be released in full, provides estimates of the social media impressions generated at past events, the most impactful social channels, and guidelines for enhancing social content.

“This research proves what we’ve been saying: the integration of social and live marketing channels is becoming one of the most powerful tools for brand marketers,” says Chris Cavanaugh, executive vice-president of brand strategy and business insights at FreemanXP.

“With the right planning and a robust content marketing strategy, brands can use the integration of social media and live events to engage audiences and extend the reach of their messages before, during and after live events.”

The research confirms that face-to-face marketing is one of the most powerful ways to amplify connections between brands and customersKevin Ritch, EMI senior director of member services

Key insights from the study include:

87% of marketers believe attendees and visitors actively share event content

50% of leading event marketers specifically budget for social efforts, and 97% expect to increase or maintain their spend levels

While a total of 70% of the top brands ranked social marketing related to event programmes as ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’, only 16% say they are ‘very effective’ at generating viral impact from their events and only 21% say they are ‘effective’

Top brands that serve both B2B and consumer markets believe the most effective social media platforms are: Pre-event: Facebook – 77%; During the event: Twitter – 73%; Post-event: Facebook – 55%

Only 13% of B2B marketers believe their organisations are ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ at generating impact from social efforts, yet almost two-thirds believe this marketing effort is a top priority (‘Very important’ and ‘Somewhat important’).

Respondents reported the average social media impressions total is 1.4m per event, and for companies with over US$500m in revenue, the average is 1.8m per event.

“The research confirms that face-to-face marketing is one of the most powerful ways to amplify connections between brands and customers,” says EMI senior director of member services Kevin Ritch. “It’s just another reason that event and experiential marketing is growing as quickly as it is.”

Carried out at the end of 2014, the study surveyed brand marketers and event marketing executives at 100 large corporations, representing a range of industries. The full study will be made available for download on FreemanXP’s website. It also includes recommendations for brands on the best practices for social media engagement.

Founded in 1927, Freeman is a global partner for integrated experiential marketing solutions for live engagements. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with 70 offices in North America and the UK. Freeman produces 135 of the 250 largest US trade shows, and 11,000 other events worldwide.