So far in the Ultimate Guide to Event App Sponsorship series, we’ve covered strategies to consider before the time comes to take action. Now, that time has come. In this article, we’ll get our hands dirty by talking about mobile event app advertising tactics. In our previous post in the Sponsorship Super Series, we discussed how to make your sponsorship packages more appealing. Now that you’ve structured your packages like a pro and you’ve painted a rosy picture of what your sponsors can achieve, it’s time to deliver on your promises. Below, you’ll find some industry best practices you can employ to wow your next sponsor. Let’s start with a quick run-through of the types of content you can use to advertise on your event app.
Types of Event Advertising Content
You’re probably used to seeing your sponsor use visual elements, such as images and logos, to communicate their brand messaging. This is usually most appropriate when your sponsor wants to remind attendees of products or services. For example, a static banner ad for a car-manufacturing sponsor might include a picture of the newest model, along with a price and the company’s logo.
The purpose of this format is to communicate a specific snippet of information to your attendee. However, don’t overdo the amount of information that you present at once. The compact nature of mobile advertising necessitates a very simple message. Think of your informational banner ad as the open door to a conversation. Your sponsor can continue the discussion in more detail when a viewer clicks through to an external page. An example of an informational ad is a banner for a new computer with a brief list of performance specifications that arouse the curiosity of attendees.
Whereas other forms of advertisements indirectly elicit lead-generating actions from your attendees through education or incentives, these types of advertisements use explicit calls to action to elicit direct behavior, whether that is visiting a sponsor booth, downloading a free e-book, or booking an appointment with on-site sales staff. Help your sponsor make the call to action on this type of advertisement clear, large, and conspicuous enough to get viewers to click through. “Buy now!” is a common example of an invitational ad. One feature, in particular, that is becoming increasingly popular is the clickable “button”. The visual trigger that it creates can drastically increase click-through rates.
A free, discounted, or otherwise incentivized offering can be very enticing. Incentive ads are effective in combination with other ad elements. For example, an attendee can be attracted by an advertised discount and, upon clicking it, they can be directed to a sponsor booth or given a digital brochure for more information. A sponsor that provides spa and relaxation services can entice people to their booth by releasing an in-app alert advertising free 10-minute shoulder massages, during which they can educate the attendees on the benefits of massage. They can follow this up with a further incentive to learn about their company by rewarding attendees who visit their profile on the event app and complete a survey with a digital coupon for 50% off a full service.
Are You Content with Your Content?
Now that we have that brutal pun out of the way and we’ve covered different types of content, lets briefly discuss sponsor advertising. Choosing the right type of content to display in your mobile event app advertisements requires more thought than you might expect. Different types of content will require different actions from viewers and will engage them in different ways. That’s why you should understand your sponsor and your attendees before considering the varied options at your disposal. This goes back to finding the right fit between your event strategy and the strategy of your sponsor.
For example, let’s say you’ve discovered that your attendees are the primary users of a service that your sponsor is selling. However, they are not the decision-makers within their organizations. As a result, they would have to make a pitch to decision-making gatekeepers. Should your sponsor: A) create a banner ad offering a 20% discount if attendees purchase at your sponsor’s booth, or B) create a banner ad offering a free downloadable guide that includes step-by-step instructions for convincing decision-makers that the company needs XYZ service.
Chances are, option B will be much more useful to the target audience and will be more beneficial for your sponsor’s lead generation. Choosing the right event app features for advertising by aligning your attendees’ needs with your sponsor’s objectives can make a huge difference to the efficacy of the exposure and engagement they receive on the app. If you’re not sure how to do this, your mobile event app vendor should have a wealth of good ideas. In addition to choosing the right type of content, timing can also be important. Time-sensitive content may be viewed entirely differently depending on when it is consumed. A notification to all attendees a week before the event that says, “Visit Booth #321 for free coffee courtesy of Sponsor X,” might be forgotten due to the lack of timing and context. That same alert, distributed as a direct notification the morning of the event, will be well received as attendees are thinking about breakfast and hunting for a caffeine fix. A well-timed ad such as this is pure service, and your attendees will appreciate it. Whatever specific objectives a sponsor has, the basic function of every ad is to drive action; keep this in mind as you decide upon ad format. With a deeper understanding of sponsors and attendees, you will be better prepared to work with your sponsor to select the right media.
Time to Take Action
So you’ve worked together with your sponsor to develop the ideal message in the perfect format. However, your work isn’t done yet. Even the most compelling ad won’t drive results if you have a poor call to action. There are many options at your disposal, which depend on your goals.
This is the most passive call to action. If the goal is to increase the awareness of a brand amongst attendees, your call to action might involve things like asking the viewer to follow the sponsor on social media.
Click-Through For More Information
This type of call to action can be used to direct an attendee to another page within the app, such as an exhibitor profile or downloadable material. A sponsor might want to do this if their goal is to educate attendees about a new product or service.
Click-Through With Action
This can be used to drive registrations, sign-ups, booking, etc. Ensure that the ad presents a strong incentive to take the requested action. Words that convey value include improve, benefit, and optimize. In some situations, the best call to action may require driving an attendee to an external sponsor website outside the event app. This is usually not an optimal solution, as it moves the viewer away from your event app. However, if your sponsor requires it, a well-designed event app will have the functionality to do this.
A pop-up can be useful when your sponsor wants to display a larger custom advertisement without attendees having to navigate away from your event app. These types of ads demand attention and, as such, can be very effective when employed correctly. They have been shown to increase click-through rates dramatically, despite the negative connotations that have been associated with traditional desktop pop-up ads.
Deliver, as Advertised
So there you have it, a quick and dirty run-through of the best practices in the mobile event app advertising space. Now that you know how to tailor your ad formats, messaging, and calls to action to your attendees and sponsors, you’re ready to make the most of your advertising. The in-app advertising we’ve mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next article in this series, we’ll cover 12 creative ways to repurpose your app features to deliver value to your sponsors. In the meantime, if you’re looking for more event app advertising inspiration, be sure to attend a free webinar by signing up below. One of EventMobi’s dedicated team will be walking through the full suite of features that can be repurposed in a variety of creative and value-added combinations. Now go forth and wow your sponsors!