10 Reasons to Start Planning Your 2021 Event Sponsorship

2021 is on the horizon and there is no better time than now to make sponsorship plans. COVID-19 has affected the event landscape in a major way. Events are changing, and so should the way sponsorships are planned and executed.

Every business in the market wants to create an image of success and authority. But it’s not very easy when you are competing with the large, already established, companies. Through event sponsorship you can leverage the power of credibility.

If you are thinking of stretching your marketing budget, here are 10 reasons why you should sponsor an event.

Brand Visibility

Sponsoring an event brings your business in the limelight. The event you sponsor puts your business in front of a global audience and gets you a lot of mention in the social media and press. The bigger the event, the bigger the reach.

And in an era of virtual and online-hosted events, reach is actually increasing. More people are open to the idea of attending an event from the comfort of their couch. You don’t have to rely on only reaching the people who enjoy public outings. Under COVID lockdown measures, both audiences are engaging in virtual events.

Lead Generation

With event sponsorship you reach a huge population at one place. You get to meet your target audience and approach them all under one roof. The event organizers also provide a list of attendees which you can use for email marketing.

Business Relationships

Event sponsorship is an opportunity to meet non-competitive companies from your industry and in your area. Sponsorship is a way to collaborate, rather than compete. You can learn more about other businesses that share your target audience and likely hold the same values, which could help plan future partnerships.

Increase Sales of Products

With event sponsorship you get to increase your sales. You can put your products in the hands of your target audience and let them experience it. You can also pass on some free samples which will lead to increase in sales. In the virtual space, you can give product or service demonstrations. You can even have an easy way for the viewers to click through and sign up to learn more, opt in to email messaging or just make a purchase!

Show Social Responsibility

Event sponsorship is a way to show that your business supports a cause or mission about which your customers are passionate about. It helps you to build an image in the society and connect with customers on an emotional front.

Enhance Content & Social Media Marketing

Sponsoring an event gives you a lot of content for ramping up your strategies. Events can put your brand name in every possible social media platform including the event’s official website boosting your reach on social media.

Improve Your Company’s Image

When your business sponsors a big event with a wide enough base, the public perception of your business is as big as the host of the event. People see you as big professional and reputable business.

Learn More About Your Target Audience

Event sponsorships are an opportunity to meet your target audience, though not always in person. Virtual events will continue to be popular even after we start returning to in-person gatherings. But both types of events allow you to interact with your audience.

As a sponsor, you can work with the event host to hold an interactive Q&A segment as a part of a virtual event. Get the audience engaged and learn what they’re interested in, and ideally tie it back to what your business does.

Sponsorships are Affordable

Radio, television and print ads continue to work well and even work together. However, these take a great deal of your time and could potentially be out of your budget. Event sponsorships save you the time and money of having to target an audience. Let the audience choose to come to you through the event.

Get a Strong ROI

All in all, event sponsorships get you a solid return on investment. You get to approach your target audience, increase your sales and you get a list of leads to follow up with afterwards.

Event sponsorship is a deal with a lot of benefits. So start planning how this could fit into your 2021 budget now, before sponsorship slots fill up. Events often live or die based on sponsors, so showing that you have interest and can help support live and local events can help everyone involved.

Better 4 Business: Facebook or Instagram

Social media has become a dominating platform with 3.2 billion users worldwide. Facebook and Instagram making up a large portion of that use, especially when it comes to business and social media marketing.

While the excitement of using social media to gain more business is intriguing more than ever, you may not need to utilize both social media platforms to see immense success.

The decision and comparison can be overwhelming. We have taken the top attributes of each and broken them down for you to decide which is Better 4 Your Business.

Facebook 4 Business

Facebook, being the matriarch of social media, has many attributes that it brings to the business table.

Industries like alcohol, Food & Beverage, sports teams, hotels, and non-profits being the breadwinner of engagement. So, businesses do well.

For starters, a wider audience. Facebook has 1.6 Billion users, while Instagram has about 112.5 million. This audience is heavily diverse but has an older audience. What those numbers tell us is that Facebook has more opportunity for more people to see your content, paid or organic.

What those numbers also tell us is that while there is a high potential for more people to see your content, they most likely will not see or engage with it. Facebook has a significantly low engagement rate of only 0.09%.

This is why targeting ads is so important. And Facebook does this factor in a great way.

The implementation of an interactive carousel ad. This ad format has shown great success for a B2B audience. This leads to retargeting.

Retargeting tracks when prospects visit your site and then display a relevant ad to that user when they are on the platform.

Using a look-a-like audience to target the ideal audience is also a feature that Facebook does well. You can specifically target individuals with a specific demographic, interest, etc. This helps to strategically pinpoint an audience rather than hoping your ad reaches who you want it to reach.

In addition, retargeting via Facebook not only gains a more specified audience but plays well in SEO tactics.

“Facebook retargeting, in cohesion with SEO tactics, places an undisputed level of efficiency. Rather than targeting a new demographic of customers, using the pixel you are targeting users who have shown the initial interest based on SEO.” Seo Marketer

Another point worth mentioning is that Facebook’s online shopping presence is top-notch. Facebook Marketplace is a mogul in social media shopping.

Outside of shopping, Facebook’s business pages are highly reputable. In fact, having a Facebook Business Page unlocks several benefits for your business in the long run.

Insert Instagram.

Instagram 4 Business

Instagram has captured social media like its iconic logo. So much so, that other social media platforms actually use its design as a model, Facebook included.

Instagram is the trendier of the comparative duo. The demographics reflect this. Instagram tends to attract the younger audience, millennials more specifically.

What is most intriguing about the fact that a young audience drives Instagram stats, is that users report that they follow at least one business religiously.

Another thing to note? One-third of Instagram users have made an online purchase within the Instagram app. Sixty-percent of users uses Instagram to seek out new products, or have discovered new products using the app. This is why the influencer industry is booming!

Perhaps the best part of advertising with Instagram is that about 72% of marketers are currently making use of it.
Instagram also shines in social media for the median 1.22 percent engagement rate it carries. The lowest engagement industry is retail which is .67 percent.

That’s nearly 7 times higher than Facebook’s median engagement rate. In fact, this is 5 times higher than the highest engaged industry on Facebook.

Now, to be fair, again – Instagram does have a significantly lower amount of users than Facebook.

One thing Instagram undoubtedly does well at is the Instagram shop capability. Similar to Facebook’s carousel feature of showcasing products or a list of services in a way that does not feel like you are being sold to, this does exactly that.

Instagram also uses the same targeting, retargeting, and look-a-like audience models as Facebook. Actually, Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. So, while they are two different companies, the puls side is that they both use Facebook Business Manager to post ads.

Then, the most obvious difference between Facebook and Instagram is that Instagram is more visibly pleasing. For most ads that you are served within the app, you do not even realize that you are viewing an ad. The flawless advertising makes Instagram a successful platform in this sense.

Best 4 Business

So, who reigns champ? Let’s review.

Facebook has 1.6 billion users compared to Instagram’s 11.2 million users. However, Instagram’s median engagement rate is nearly 7 times higher than Facebook’s. While this may attribute to more users causing the engagement rate to water down, breaking down the engagement rate per industry returns the same results.

Instagram is also geared towards a younger audience, but an audience that yearns to shop. Facebook also has a great Facebook shopping capability, the site shows great plays in carousel advertisements.

Additionally, having a Facebook Business page may hold a greater weight than not having one. Facebook Business is a noteworthy complement to your website and business.

Also mentioned above the fact that Facebook owns Instagram. So, regardless of which you prefer, both have the same advertising tools out of Facebook Business Manager. You won’t be jipped of that aspect if you choose exclusively Instagram.

Honestly, the two things the decision boils down to are what you want your content to be and who your audience is. Are you looking for more pictures or videos? Younger or older audience? Broad or specific audience? Breaking those down will help you to decide which is better 4 your business.

Another truth?

Having one over another will not hurt your business. Having both definitely will not hurt your business. What will hurt your business is not accurately strategizing your content and advertising on these platforms.

What could be Better 4 Business is partnering with The Post and Courier.

Highlights: Steeplechase of Charleston 2020

November 15, 2020, starts with sunshine and smog rolling over the hills of the Stono Ferry Racetrack. Clouds pushing through bringing soft rain throughout the morning as people trickle into place. The skies open up and give way to miraculous sunshine just in time for the races, leading to a gorgeous fall day at Steeplechase of Charleston.

With amazing sponsors and numerous tailgaters, Steeplechase of Charleston 2020 is one for the books.

The opening ceremonies kick off with a high note as Grammy award-winning artists Quiana Parler and Charlton Singleton from Ranky Tanky perform the National Anthem for Steeplechase of Charleston. All of which stream internationally on the National Steeplechase Association (NSA), Blood Horse, and Horse and Country TV! Click here to watch! 

As the riders begin to take off, Opening Ceremonies sponsor Hopkins Law Firm gave the first “Riders Up!” followed by Mark Peper of Peper Law Firm who also gave a “Riders Up!”

A Crowning Achievement!

Steeplechase of Charleston became the qualifier of NSA’s trainer and jockey of the year Hall of Fame

trainer,  Jonathan Sheppard, and jockey, Gerard Galligan, who both left with winnings from 4 out of 5 of the races, a total of $50,000 in purse money. Read more about the winners here.

Another big winner? James Schelb winning the first-place raffle prize, a trip to Haig Point on Daufuskie Island! Charlie Black coming in second-place winning the raffle prize of a unique equestrian bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon. The raffle overall raising $2,100 for Hollings Cancer Center. Fun for a good cause!

Vendor Village

Between the races, guests enjoy the opportunity to explore the vendor village. Whether it was holiday shopping for designer boots at Charleston Shoe Co., handmade jewelry from Georgia Jewels, or boutique handbags from Darling Clutch Co., the most extravagant gifts were found!

Then, come time for a recharge, guests stop for a snack at Flight food truck or nitro cold brew from Pourly Grounded Coffee.

A popular destination throughout the day: LuXe Mobile Cigar Lounge.  Guests found an immersive cigar experience and a moment to take in all of Steeplechase.

Enjoyed By All!

Even Southern Charm star Madison LeCroy and The Righteous Gemstones actor Danny McBride are spotted taking in all the excitement of Steeplechase 2020!

The volunteers and Steeplechase team pulled off a wonderful, safe event.

Thank You!

A huge thank you to all the vendors for providing both their time and their resources to enhance the Steeplechase experience. The day would not have been the same without these amazing businesses and organizations! View the full list of vendors and sponsors here.

 

Digital Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

What is ‘Digital Marketing’? 

If you’re a business owner, you hear this a lot.  In short, digital marketing is the term for your company’s online marketing efforts.

Tools To Use 

Google search, social media, email, online advertising, and your website are all examples of tools you can use to enhance your company’s digital presence. 

Do I Have to Pay For All of Those?

While social media, email marketing, and your website are not technically paid advertising. Each avenue contributes to the overall online presence of your business. 

When people naturally come across your social media posts, for example, the sharing of that content helps reach an even larger audience without any cost to you!

Is Social Media and a Website Digital Marketing?

It is important to have a website and social media profiles to be an information location for potential and continuing customers.

A great example of digital marketing is having a review section on both your website and social media for customers to tell others how great your business is. 

A website is also key to having your company on the digital map. 

By having a well-put-together website, your business will be found easily by potential customers via Google search. It is also a place for online ads to be linked to when seen by potential customers in other areas of the internet.

How Does My Investment Help Me With Future Marketing? 

Another reason to invest in digital marketing is that it is the easiest way to reach your target audience: online. 

This will allow you to see real-time, measurable results from your marketing efforts. You can adjust as you need to, and using that data to create future advertising. 

Using your website and social media, you can funnel money into your marketing to best reach your target audience. 

Paid digital marketing efforts include displays and banners, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and boosted social media posts and Facebook Ads. 

 

Find out how you can apply digital marketing to your business with the Post and Courier here!

How to Promote your Award-Winning Success in 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for businesses across the globe. But our annual Charleston’s Choice awards have shown that customers want to keep showing support for their favorite local businesses. So we wanted to help winning companies highlight their success and adapt award celebrations to a changing environment.

The Charleston community nominated and voted for the top businesses in a variety of categories. Now is the time for you to highlight your honors and give your business the extra boost that awards can provide.

Here in Charleston, customers are always on the lookout for Charleston’s Choice honors, as it shows a business is the best of the best. And this goes for all types of awards any business might be recognized for. Let your community know you’ve been recognized through these branding and promotional strategies. Almost all of them can be done digitally and virtually so that you don’t have to rely on in-person customers.

Brag in your email marketing

You’ll want to make sure that you’re bragging about your award everywhere you can. Emails are a great place for that. You can make specialized emails focused on your award. Or simply add in the honors to your existing communications.

If you have a regular newsletter, dedicate a special edition to announcing the honors. Make an event out of it and catch subscribers’ attention by detailing how and why you won.

What makes your customer relations the best in the business? Why is your business the top tourist hotspot? Awards carry prestige by nature. But customers want to know just why you’re the best.

This is also a good place to start incorporating the award logo into your branding. This would be temporary and wouldn’t be applicable in all branding locations, so there’s no need to rework your logo. So find the best way to pair your logo with the award branding and place that naturally in your emails. Have employees update their signatures to include that your business is an award winner.

Show off the award with pride

Take advantage of this time to promote your award in the digital and physical space. SEM campaigns can show web searchers that you are a business worth looking into. And traditional web page ads catch the attention of audiences in your area, if you are employing geomarketing capabilities.

Businesses with a customer-facing storefront will have an easy time showing off their award. On-location signage promotes your success to all potential customers or clients. 

But businesses located within a large office complex in their own suite don’t have the opportunity to flaunt as much. Local billboards are a good substitute and open you up for even greater reach.

If physical ads by the side of the highway aren’t your thing, you should at least be showing off your victory on your website and social media pages. Update your website’s hero image and fancy up your homepage for a few weeks to celebrate. Maybe even run a contest to show you want to celebrate with your customers, not just tell them how great you are.

Other benefits of winning awards

If you haven’t gotten your business entered into awards, consider the added benefits outside of attracting new business. The prestige of being an award-winning organization affects all aspects of business.

Awards can bring growth to your business internally as well. It’s not always about showing off the award to the public. Current staff will be able to take pride in the work they do and the company they belong to. It’s an opportunity for a great boost in company morale. So even just putting up the award logo around the office can have great effects.

The celebration events for the awards themselves can also be a great opportunity for employees of winning businesses. Award parties can be a place to network with other winning businesses and build new business relationships.

Our Charleston’s Choice celebration brings together local businesses and gives them a chance to show the community why they were selected for the top honors. Restaurants and beverage companies can share their award winning creations with attendees.

There is always value in building your face-to-face engagement with your community. Event sponsorships can enable you to directly reach your community and professional peers. It is a great way to build your brand image.

Signs, advertisements and published announcements are the wide-reaching way to show off your accomplishment. But, an event sponsorship gives you a more intimate way to connect with potential customers or partners.

Finally, it should go without saying that a little time to unwind does wonders for everyone.