The busy tourist season is here, and the marketing engine of the business chamber of commerce is working to make our Delaware River Towns (Washington's Crossing, Lambertville, New Hope, Stockton, Frenchtown and surrounding areas) a true destination, attracting more visitors new and old. One of the ways to attract more attention and visitors is through town wide events, such as ShadFest, First Friday, Fireworks, Bastille Day and more. The goal is to have many people, including some that are new to the area, come see what our towns have to offer. The challenge, how can you make your specific business a destination within this greater destination?
We’ve put together a few quick-tips and ways you can leverage these town events to boost your own business using both traditional marketing and social media.
Before the Event
Create a Related Display: Weeks before, begin to transform your window display with a theme that reflects the upcoming event. Help create the buzz with your display space, and let people know how you will be participating. If you plan to be open, make your store or gallery space inviting for the large number of visitors that will be in town. Keep in mind, people might not purchase anything during the event. It is hard to carry around a large painting or an antique desk with the streets full of people and vendors. However, the goal is to have each visitor leave with a positive impression, and a motivation to come back when it is less crowded.
In your store window, consider using a QR code that will let mobile phone users quickly find your website or Facebook page. This is a great tip all year round, for people who stroll by your store after hours. What is a QR Code?
Use Social Media: Promote the event and any specials you are offering on social media. Weeks leading up to the event, post content about the event and information about your business. This is where you can help create your presence as a destination within the event itself. Invite people to come visit, offering bottled water or light snacks. A respite from the crowds. Post on social media frequently and share across other Facebook groups or consider Facebook ads to help cast a wider net. Leverage the town buzz to create your own excitement.
Find out what the official #Hashtag will be for the event and use this within your own posts, to help add your content to the events search results. For instance, #ShadFest2016 or a general tag like #LoveFrenchtown or #Lambertville for non-event content posts. What is a #Hashtag?
During the Event
Provide a Coupon: Hand out a ‘bounce-back’ coupon to customers who enter your shop if you are open during the event – i.e. “Boom Bucks” for the upcoming fireworks or "Shad Dollars" for Shadfest. Include an offer to help motivate a return visit. "Present this coupon after the event for a 10% discount, or a free... ".
This inspires customers to come back, helps with brand loyalty, and best of all can be tracked. This way you’ll have a better idea of whether or not the event helped your business to reach a new fan base. Be sure to make your coupon standout, with a photo and an invite to follow your Facebook page.
According to a Harvard Business School study, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent can increase profits by 25 to 95 percent. Why not let town wide events and bounce back programs help you with this growth goal?
Create a Presence: If your store is closed during the event, display a special promotion on social media, your web site and in your window display offering a day of event unique promotion. Leverage Facebook Check-ins, or a QC code. These tools can be utilized in various ways to allow visitors to take action and receive a special promotion given out as a fireworks or event-themed coupon. This coupon can be redeemed within the next few weeks post event.
After the Event
Follow Up: Did you hand out bounce-back “Boom Bucks” coupons during the event? Send out friendly courtesy reminders on your social media pages to come and use your bounce back coupons while they can be redeemed. As for those that did not get their bounce-back coupon, maybe they will visit your store during the next event! It’s just another reason to interact with fans!
Continue to Promote: Share photos of people visiting your store during the event. Take photos of the event as well, to show the excitement of our town and share on your social media. Once again, use the hashtags and clearly link your business to the greater destination event.
Review Results: Pay attention to your social media and web analytics to track success or to identify ways to improve your visibility. How effectively were you able to leverage the event’s extra foot traffic? Did you accomplish your realistic goals? If not, what could you try to do differently for the next event? There are many metrics to review and compare from before, day of and shortly after the towns event.
Want to learn about several other ways you can use town wide events to “Amplify Your Voice”, to boost sales for your business? Contact us today for a free 45 minute in-person meeting. We’ll provide you with actionable ideas and strategies personalized to your individual business at no obligation to you!
The Amp Your Voice Team
Our experienced team works with local businesses to build their social media presence and rise further to the top of their market. We'd love to meet with you in person! Contact us.