Any small business owner knows the value of brand awareness – and the challenges that go along with increasing it. Anyone who’s ever put time, energy and money into attending conferences and workshops in order to network will be wondering if there’s a simpler way.
Luckily, there is! Want to connect with your ideal audience in an impactful way? Your answer is in event sponsorship. There’s no faster way to gain goodwill, network and increase brand awareness than this!
While event sponsorship is often overlooked as a brand and marketing strategy because we aren’t doing much other than signing up as sponsors, it actually has many positive effects on your bottom line. It’s important to see this as a strategy, rather than something you simply fall into, and you’ll quickly see the return on investment.
Sponsoring events also takes the pressure off you to attend every event running. We’ve all tried to do it, and we all love workshops, but going to everything takes you away from the thing at the core of what you do: running your business. Increased brand awareness without the drain on your resources? Sign us up!
Here are three reasons why you need to start sponsoring events in 2020.
1 | Visibility
With so many companies vying for attention, it can be difficult to get noticed in today’s business world. Sponsoring events gets your brand in front of a large audience, many of whom might not have heard about your business. This is a golden opportunity to take your visibility to the next level.
Think about it. As potential clients read emails about the event, check out the social media, pick up their branded merch, even as they simply gaze about the room, they could be seeing your brand visuals. It goes without saying that the bigger the event, the more media and social media coverage you’ll get both during and after.
This kind of publicity can seriously change your marketing game. It puts you on the map in such a positive way, where clients perceive you not only as a trustworthy name next to other reputable brands, but also connect you with a positive experience they’ve had.
On the practical side, remember that this is a strategy, so you’ve got to go into it with a clear plan. If visibility is the main aim of your investment, you want to make sure they actually have the numbers to make that worthwhile. Whoever you’re contacting about sponsorship, ask them for their email list number or even analytics reports. If they don’t want to share this info, that’s a clear warning sign. Lists of under 500 might be too low; after all, this makes it considerably less cost-effective than simply paying for social media adverts.
While doing this kind of research might seem a bit time-consuming, it’s a vital aspect of using event sponsorship to help your business. We might repeat it time and time again, but crystal-clear goals are the only way to achieve success.Linking your brand to a worthwhile cause can result in lasting support and strengthen the positive image of your company. Click To Tweet
2 | Community goodwill
One of our top reasons to be an event sponsor is community goodwill. You know we talk a lot about numbers – and they’re important! – but sometimes it’s great to get involved in things simply to do good deeds. Whether it’s supporting a local sports team, sponsoring a charity campaign or getting involved with a local organization, this kind of event sponsorship shows people that you’re a business that cares.
Essentially, people like people who do good and consumers love brands that care. It makes them feel motivated to work with you or buy from you. Linking your brand to a worthwhile cause can result in lasting support and strengthen the positive image of your company.
This is also a great way to show how different you are from other companies. Increasingly people are put off by huge faceless corporations; you need to show that you’re different. Again, think strategically. Use market research to find out what your target audience cares about and choose events to sponsor that mirror this.
3 | Building relationships
We all know how key a strong network is. You need to build your presence to solidify your business. However, as we discussed above, sometimes it’s simply not feasible to do the traveling and attending that’s often seen as necessary to build relationships. Event sponsorship gives you the ability to get involved without actually having to be everywhere at once.
Lots of events will offer unique opportunities for VIP receptions or exclusive networking spaces to their sponsors. These, as well as the usual networking events, mean you can connect with other CEOs and CFOs, marketing colleagues and team leaders, even local business owners. These connections, if you follow up after the event, can lead to fruitful and long-term partnerships.
We love the non-competitive relationships that can result from events, particularly collaboration and ideas-sharing. You might end up running an event with another company, delivering a podcast or a webinar with colleagues from other states, or even working on a panel together. This is the joy of being a business owner, and event sponsorship can help you get there.
Cost-effective, high impact and low effort, strategic event sponsorship can be the exciting change your business needs in 2020. Keep the purpose in mind and enjoy this fresh string in your marketing bow.