The brick-and-mortar success of digitally native vertical brands has effectively challenged the narrative that e-commerce alone is the best way to succeed in the age of Amazon — and businesses have taken lessons from some of their tactics. Chief among these? Creating more experiential events.
Experiential marketing is on the rise, and many businesses are exploring ways to use dynamic in-store or pop-up events to drive foot traffic and win new customers. Giving consumers something they can't get online (whether that's attending an in-store Q&A with a designer, or previewing a new menu item) has become critical.
This is particularly true as Google has expanded its new event discovery experience, displaying structured results of events near a user, both in mobile search and on mobile Google Maps. This allows users to see an overview of key facts about an event (e.g., start time, location, and ticketing information) without having to navigate to the event page.
Your events can't generate business if they don't show up for customers in these search experiences. Here are some best practices for marketing your experiential events so that potential customers can find them in the moments that matter.
Ensure that every event has a unique URL.
To appear in Google's search experience, *each event needs its own URL — for every location where the event is taking place.*That means you need a unique event pages on your website for every event — at every location. This specificity is a must. Google will not accept one page that has all of your locations listed. These pages must also contain the right markup, following the latest Schema.org best practices. You should also list your events for each location on other discovery sites, like Facebook and Eventbrite, so more people in your local communities can find out about them.
Make sure your event information is everywhere — and that the details are accurate.
It's important that the information about your events shows up everywhere attendees are looking for it.
This means that every dedicated event page you created should contain all of the facts that someone would need to attend the event, as well as all keywords you think they would search against to find your event. These Google experiences in mobile search and maps display information like event title, event description, start and end time, ticketing, and more — so all of this information needs to be listed and easy to digest. You should also include photos that set the mood for your event and help you stand out.
Build on what works for your business.
When you follow these best practices, on-brand events can be a great way to boost search impressions and drive foot traffic from new and existing customers. But don't assume that "more" always equals "better."
The best strategy is to leverage the kind of events that are relevant to your business (e.g., beer tastings if you run a brewery) and that therefore will 1. Align event discovery with the purpose of your core business and 2. Be more likely to resonate with your customers.