How To Develop And Execute a Small Business Marketing Event

How To Develop And Execute a Small Business Marketing Event

CLIENT:  Coffee shop with gourmet food menu menu

LOCATION: Suburb of Los Angeles


GOAL: Expose more locals to the venue to increase sales

Marketing Event

How we created a blogger/Elite Yelper event for one of our clients. Here are the steps we took to execute this event:

  1. Create target list:  We focused on hyper-local bloggers and Elite Yelpers to increase the likely-hood that their audiences & friends would visit the venue after the event.
  2. Research bloggers
    1. Food – in this case it was a natural fit although we have regularly invited food bloggers to fashion events with great results.
    2. Lifestyle – we focused on lifestyle bloggers that showed and interest in food & design (this client’s space is designed very well with Italian marble & crystal chandeliers).  Take advantage of every opportunity to cross pollinate audiences – most marketers will only invite food bloggers to an event like this. Our experience has been that lifestyle bloggers love food events.
    3. Fashion – again these blogs must show some interest in food/restaurants/events.  It’s important that you have done your research and understand the DNA of the blog & blogger.
  3. Research Elite Yelpers
    1. Must be local
    2. Shown interest in food/restaurants
    3. Post well written and thoughtout reviews
    4. Must have at least 100 friends on Yelp
    5. Must have Elite status for more than 2 years
  4. Reason For The Event (in this case it was for new menu items)
    1. New menu item(s)
    2. The client has remodeled the space
    3. New drink program
    4. Introduction of new products
  5. Event
    1. Our client created a beautiful table filled with new and popular menu items (in bite sized portions)  Plan the menu with your client, never just through something together.  Remember if you invited the right people the exposure will be strong good or bad.
    2. Guest count – we find that 20-40 guests allows us to engage with each blogger or Elite Yelper.  It’s important that the owner & manager engage and answer questions during the event.  This client event had 24 guests with only 2 no-shows.  We plan for 40% no shows in cities and 20% in more rural areas.
    3. Pick A Date & Time – in our experience Wednesday and Thursday evening (5-9 PM) is the best time to hold the event. Our client event was on a Wednesday 7-8:30 PM.
    4. Do Something Special
      1. Give every attendee a $25-$100 gift card (depending on your average ticket) We have found that most attendees will spend at least 50% more than the gift card value.
      2. Create a special hashtag for the event & display it during the event
      3. For this event our client poured tasty wines with the food, it was a huge hit.
    5. Marketing
      1. Send out blogger invites four weeks prior to the event
      2. Send out Elite Yelper invites two weeks prior to the event
      3. You will have to use your personal Yelp account to send out the invites & you can NOT ask for reviews in exchange for anything including an invite to the event.
      4. Make sure you Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope & Snapchat from the event
    6. Post Event
      1. Find all the blog posts and repost them on all your social media
      2. Make sure you repost each blog post 6-8 times on Twitter over the next 7-10 days.  We love Buffer for this and many other uses.
      3. Search for every Elite Yelper and share their reviews on all your social media. See our “Yelp Card” we create for each platform, this one is for Instagram.


What were the results of our event:

IMPRESSIONS: > 55,000 via blog posts 100,000 via blogger social media 15,000 via Elite Yelper social meida

BLOG POSTS: (within one week): 4