A guide to marketing channels
5 min read

A guide to marketing channels

Understanding how your audiences discover your event or organisation is a crucial part of rolling out a marketing campaign. This knowledge allows for strategic planning and allocation of marketing resources to channels that yield the highest engagement and conversions.

In today’s diverse media landscape, there are numerous channels through which people can learn about events. Using channels most relevant to your audience can help you optimise your marketing efforts. Read on to find tips on channel suitability and how to measure their return on investment.

Choosing channels

Here are some different types of marketing channels and how they may suit your event, target audience and goals of the marketing campaign.

  • Best for: Providing information and call-to-actions for your event or program
  • Use when: You need a go-to place for all details about your event, from schedules to booking information. It’s essential for almost any event as it lends credibility and provides a one-stop shop for potential attendees. It’s also important to consider the accessibility needs of your audience. Providing a streamlined online experience when exploring information and booking tickets will encourage continuous engagement and word of mouth promotion.
  • Best for: Personalised communication and engagement.
  • Use when: You want to maintain engagement with your audience, provide updates, or offer exclusive content or discounts. It’s ideal for building a relationship with your audience over time and can be particularly effective for repeat attendees.
Word of Mouth
  • Best for: Building trust and credibility.
  • Use when: You’re organising community-centric or niche events where personal recommendations and shared experiences can significantly boost attendance. Encourage sharing through incentives or by creating memorable experiences worth talking about. Positive word of mouth shared via social media personal accounts can create a ripple effect of organic engagement which can contribute to brand awareness and help facilitate ticket sales.
Social Media
  • Best for: Engagement and community building.
  • Use when: You aim to create a community around your event, engage in real-time, and leverage user-generated content. It’s suitable for almost all events but requires consistent engagement. Formulate an event-specific hashtag to encourage engagement and allow for easy reposting of user-generated content.
Online Advertising
  • Best for: Targeted reach and analytics.
  • Use when: You want to reach a specific audience based on interests, demographics, or behaviours. Platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising offer sophisticated targeting options and analytics to measure performance.
  • Best for: Local visibility.
  • Use when: You’re targeting a local audience or have a physical location where potential attendees frequently visit. It’s cost-effective for local events and festivals.
Outdoor advertising
  • Best for: High-impact visibility in specific areas.
  • Use when: You want to capture the attention of commuters or individuals in specific high-traffic areas. Ideal for big events with broad appeal or for creating buzz in the lead-up to your event.
  • Best for: Reaching a broad audience through audio.
  • Use when: Your target audience includes radio listeners, such as commuters or demographic groups known to listen to specific radio stations. Radio can be effective for building awareness and can be a cost-effective alternative to TV advertising, especially community radio. Audio streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts also feature advertisements.
Newspaper or Magazine
  • Best for: Reaching a targeted demographic
  • Use when: Your event appeals to a specific demographic that aligns with the readership of the publication or if you’re looking to achieve broad awareness in a local community or specific interest group.

Evaluating channel performance

It’s important to evaluate the performance of these channels continuously and consistently to gain an understanding on which channel yields the best results.

One way to do this is to send a post-event survey to attendees with an event discovery question. Leveraging a survey tool, like Culture Counts’ Question Bank feature, can help you consistently gather insights across different events and programs over time including:

  • Identifying key channels
  • Measuring engagement and conversion for each channel
  • Calculating the return on investment on marketing spend
  • Using insights to analyse and adapt marketing strategy and budget, such as results compared against demographics

This strategic approach ensures that your marketing efforts are not only efficient but also resonate with your intended audience, leading to increased engagement and attendance at your events.

About the author
Lisa Wallace is a Marketing Manager at Culture Counts.