Sponsorship Marketing is often overlooked in a marketing mix, however, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for promoting a business, especially within local communities.
1. CULTIVATE CREDIBILITY
Businesses have few opportunities to build trust and establish rapport with existing and potential customers. Sponsoring a cause, event, or community group can accelerate the process and help spark human interest. Potential customers can begin to identify your brand for its generosity, dependability and supportive nature. By developing trust for your business and aligning their perception of you with positive behaviours, a customer is far more likely to feel comfortable giving you a fair go.
TIP: Associate your brand with another established and well-respected brand hosting an event in your local area. Be sure that the values of the event and host align with the values and messages you want your own brand to embody.
2. BUILD BRAND AWARENESS
Sponsorship is an incredibly effective way to generate exposure without an expensive advertising campaign.
Let’s say you are a local hardware store wanting to generate some brand awareness. You choose to sponsor a community sporting team by purchasing their jersey’s for the year ahead on which they print your branding. Not only has your business gained visual brand awareness every time the sporting team takes the field, you’ve generated PR opportunities that were unlikely to ever make their way to your business. Every time that team makes it into the local papers or the ‘post-match’ nightly news, your brand is finding its way into the homes of your potential customers.
The sponsorship may have cost $1500.00, but a direct-marketing campaign with the same reach could have been an easy $8000.00.
TIP: If sponsoring an event, you will undoubtedly receive brand recognition at the event itself, but don’t forget that the majority of brand exposure happens beforehand. Get more bang for your buck by taking advantage of the event lead-up marketing and securing your sponsorship early on.
3. INCREASE YOUR REACH
When you sponsor an event you reach more than just those who attend. Sponsorship gives you access to a huge new variety of networks and channels of communication. General event promotions will including a mix of email, direct, digital, content, and public relations; and often each channel will be used to appeal to different markets. This means your brand too can benefit from the extended exposure and visibility in markets untapped.
TIP: Never be afraid to ask. Request logo placement in as many places as possible. Flyers, direct mail, websites, email marketing, campaigns, tickets, signage… make the most of it! Ask for the PR strategy of the event to incorporate a press release focusing on the invaluable sponsors of the cause.
4. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Traditional forms of advertising are one-sided. Sponsorship on the other hand gives you that chance to engage directly with you customers. This ability to connect is an opportunity to humanise your brand, develop relationships, and network with potential customers. Whilst it is important you leverage the opportunity to have your logo distributed throughout the community, as part of the perks of partnership you should also be taking advantage of a chance to educate, inspire, and support your audience.
TIP: Don’t wait for someone to ask you for your support. Do some research into local charities, causes, and events and get in touch with the decision-maker on how you can work together. Make sure to discuss with the event host or sponsorship partner who their typical target audience is to ensure it aligns with your own objectives.
5. GENERATE LEADS
Sponsorship is a brilliant tool for creating new leads. There is a spotlight on your business making it easier for opportunities to find you and to stand out from the crowd. If you’ve done your research right, you should be in a room surrounded by key prospects, and the majority of people who attend are likely to know others with similar interests. Not only will you be in front of them in a position of power, but you have also opened up an opportunity to gather referrals to their connections.
TIP: Gaining a database out of your sponsorship is potentially the most valuable perk of a partnership. Make inquiries with the event organizer about access to mailing lists and distribution channels. If the event organizer says no due to privacy reasons, ask if they can deliver your marketing message to the database on your behalf.
6. CONTENT IS KING
One of the greatest benefits that really shows the importance of sponsor marketing is the reputation building qualities of great content. In today’s busy digital marketplace, it’s vital that businesses work to build trust with their leads and customers. Building trust can help your business establish a positive brand reputation.
TIP: Content marketing provides conversion rates about 6 times higher than other digital marketing methods. Give your visitors a reason to come back by providing them with relevant and exclusive content.