How sponsorships and event partnerships benefit businesses in quarantine
Sponsorships are a key pillar in any businesses’ ability to reach new audiences. In a world under quarantine, it can be tough to find relevant events and other sponsorship opportunities. But as the world figures out how to operate under social distancing rules, certain events are finding ways to thrive.
It's important to consider the benefits that sponsorships can bring your business. Because as with all advertising right now, when the competition is low, it's a great time to put yourself out in front of audiences. So here are some of the top reasons you should sponsor events right now.
Build Consumer Confidence
Any customer that’s willing to attend an event right now likely has trust in the hosting company. Aligning your brand with a company that already has high customer confidence will also help build confidence in your brand. The public perception of your brand will be just as large as that of the event host.
There has been a misconception lately that sponsorships can only build consumer confidence if they are for charitable causes. While customers do value seeing brands align with charities right now, that doesn’t mean that traditional sponsorships are any less valuable for your brand.
The potential for return on investment with event sponsorships is high. People are there to experience the event and will naturally learn about the sponsoring brands while they are there. Customers are more open to discovering new products and services.
You have your audience’s attention much more than when they can ignore your ad at home or in a print product. These are all people that you need to follow up with after. Build a solid post-event marketing plan around the leads that you capture. Make sure your sponsorship artwork, video, booth, etc. has a solid way of either capturing contact info or driving people to your website.
Be sure to look at the ROI on your sponsorship and use that info to consider future sponsorships and where to invest your money. Getting in front of the right audience in the right way is something that comes with practice.
Reach your target audience
One of the more valuable reasons to sponsor an event is that you can reach a highly-specific audience.
"For example, our Bicycle Across South Carolina event has an audience of people who are generally active, interested in outdoors and a healthy lifestyle," event sales manager Claire Linney notes.
"This audience matches well with a business like a chiropractic center who wants to reach active people in the community. We can create custom sponsorships that allow the client to connect with attendees one-on-one to build new relationships and generate new leads. In this example, the chiropractor can connect with “active lifestyle” potential patients.
Gather audience insights
Events are a great place to gather valuable information on your potential client base. You get to see what the spenders in your community value and how they like to engage with brands. Demographic data and audience preferences can help you build nurture campaigns. You can learn how and when to talk to your audience in the way they prefer.
Work with the event host to make a plan for capturing that data. Show that you have an active and growing interest in their audience. This will make future partnerships with the host business easier and more beneficial to both parties.
Our annual Family Expo attracts thousands of parents, and a previous financial firm sponsor saw strong return on their investment. "The in-person data collection allows them to have the contact information of these event attendees to re-connect with a follow-up about their services specific to families," Claire said.
"Because the consumer has already met the financial group in person, they are warmed up and familiar with the business, and more likely to respond. "
The bigger the event, the better the visibility you’ll get. As the world continues to open up and allow people to gather (at a safe distance), people will be hungry to attend events. Look at your opportunities throughout the end of this year and beyond.
Your sponsorship plan doesn’t have to be focused on the present. Although there are unique events that are benefitting from the need to socially distance ourselves. Drive-in movies have made a resurgence, and are a great chance to advertise in a theater-like experience.
Event sponsorships are a good way to meet non-competitive companies in your area. Always be on the lookout for new partnership opportunities.
Look at the ways that audiences benefit from learning about all of the brands that are sponsoring the event. Maybe there are creative ways to partner with another brand that drives audiences to each business.
Competition is low
As mentioned before, the world is in a unique place in which many businesses aren’t comfortable or able to spend dollars on sponsorships. Unfortunately, these businesses will continue to struggle when the COVID-19 crisis fades away, as they won’t have set themselves up for future success. History shows this has been the case whenever businesses stop advertising during a crisis, and eventually fall behind their competition.
Social media opportunities
Being a part of an upcoming event opens many doors on social media platforms that are great for capturing attention. There are tons of unique ways to promote your participation.
And using the native tools that platforms like Facebook have for events allows you to become a full part of the event’s promotion. Facebook allows event pages or promoted posts to tag a partner business. Whether you are the venue hosting the event or just a paid sponsor, you can appear as an official partner on the event’s social media promotion.
This is a great way to gain new followers. As a part of your promotion, you can potential work out an arrangement for the event host to encourage their followers to follow your business as well.
Social media users are ready for interaction, and are the easiest leads to warm up and get them to click over to your website.
Find sponsorship opportunities as they become available
If any of the reasons above sound like they would lead to higher sales for your business, then now is the time to start planning your event participation for the year. Event dates may have had to change over recent months, but the world will keep moving forward and people are ready to find a new normal.
To find out more about upcoming events and other sponsorship opportunities in the Charleston area, talk to your Post and Courier advertising sales representative, or contact us here.