What do you get when you are a sponsor of an event, an organization or a charity? Your logo on a banner and a few extra drink tickets? For too many brands, it’s a well-meaning marketing idea, but it doesn’t move the needle much — not without a direction behind it.
The first thing you must do to get the most out of your company sponsorships is to treat it like you would any other event. Sure, your CEO may have a special interest in this particular sponsorship and you can use that to your advantage, but don’t let that break your normal workflow and the setting of performance and return metrics. These metrics don’t have to justify your sponsorship in the same black and white ways buying media does, but it should be a part of the conversation.
Then, set your return goals. Do you want to get good publicity? Do you want to be seen as a thought leader in a particular area? Were you hoping to get access to a great networking event? Clearly state your goals and then measure your success.
Activate with Content
Many brands are failing to get the most out of their sponsorships by missing the great opportunity to collect and deliver content to a targeted group.
This is done in 4 steps:
- Build excitement of the sponsorship both internally and externally. Also build a list of attendees, other sponsors and any special presenters.
- Engage with the audience at the event. Use hashtags, retweet, converse. The same best practices of “talk with, not at” apply even if you’re paying to have your logo on the banner.
- Deliver content to your audience. Post photos, event roundups, blogs, videos — any rich media that shows your involvement as a sponsor and an active member of the audience.
- Follow up with the audience you gained, the people who were promoting your content and your message and with the other sponsors. Generate new leads and brand promoters by extending your sponsorship.
Don’t just be a bumper sticker on a car; give your sponsorships the respect they deserve and treat them like any other marketing campaign and generate ROI.