We all understand the power of a personal recommendation; when someone you know and trust tells you to check something out, you’re much more likely to do so.
Once you have got a few people signed up to your race, the chances are they’ll talk to someone about it or want to do it with a friend. We all understand the power of a personal recommendation; when someone you know and trust tells you to check something out, you’re much more likely to do so. This presents a window of opportunity, which if done correctly, can increase the organic reach of your event and harness its social momentum.
Here are a few ways that you can use your participants to help market your race.
Referral programs engage your current participants and reward them for promoting your race within their social circles. The great thing about promoting your event through a referral program is that you don’t have to put your hand in your pocket unless someone actually buys a ticket. What’s more, when it comes to rewarding ambassadors, it’s often not cold, hard cash they’re driven by. This means you can offer them a discount on tickets, exclusive merchandise, or at-event perks – all of which can work out cheaper than paying for traditional advertising.
Compared to discounting, referral marketing is a very different proposition. Yes, you are still providing monetary incentives in some cases. But rather than give those out as price reductions to people who register, you give them instead as a “reward” to people who get others to register for your race, usually at full price.
You are basically creating mini race ambassadors that can hope to secure a free or discounted entry for themselves by enrolling others into the race. Many marketers believe referral strategies have the lowest cost per acquisition than any other form of marketing, so it’s worth at least trying.
In terms of the way a typical referral program would be structured, there are three key components to think of:
Your referral recruits may do all the leg work for your referral program, but to get them to sign up you need to do your bit first.
The first place you should publicise your referral program is your website. Make sure the incentive structure is clearly articulated and all relevant information is available through your website’s registration page and your Eventrac event profile pages in your description.
You should include your referral program on your ticket confirmation emails to participants too. While you might naturally want to steer towards a simple “10 signups = 1 free race entry” model, it’s better to keep the incentive structure open-ended. That way, if a participant has more people to refer, they have a reason to do so. If 10 signups suffice to secure a referrer’s free entry in the race, use a VIP pass or free T-shirt to get them to the next 10 – and so on.
A referral program can be launched at any point leading up to the race. Generally speaking, the earlier you have it in place, the better.
Leveraging your early-bird participants can be a great way to kickstart your referral program. More often than not, people who register early are more passionate about a race and thus more likely to want to share it with their friends and network.
A Facebook Group is a place for group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. They let people come together around a common cause, in this case your event, to organize amongst themselves, discuss issues, post photos, and share related content.
There are several reasons why you might want to build one of these for your event. Marketing is just one of them! You get to know what topics members are drawn to and what discussions really interest them. You can also use it as a rapid feedback tool. Communities can help organisers retain customers, boost their SEO by bringing in search traffic from relevant questions, and generate sales leads. If you want volunteers, it’s a pretty good place to look for those people too. You’ll be able to use it as a hive of activity, to tap into the power of personal recommendation by keeping your participants engaged.
Here are a few useful pointers when setting up a Facebook Group:
Social media is vital for event promotion, but you can’t just rely on your own accounts to spread the word — you have to get event-goers to share it as well. Not only can it help your brand reach more and more people online through effective social media campaigns, but it can also improve your rankings through search. Here are a few ways you can get people to share your content:
So there you have it. Try and incorporate at least one of the above the next time you're crafting your Facebook posts, and hopefully you'll increase your audience online and ultimately take your race to the next level.
The team at eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of eventrac. We are here to help.