After her incredible performance during the VMA’s, many feel like Teyana Taylor’s team dropped the ball in using that momentum to further her career. How can brands develop a post-event strategy that will ensure they don’t make the same mistake?
Last Sunday, August 28th, during the VMA’s, the world was reintroduced to Teyana Taylor, a young lady who has been a somewhat inconspicuous, yet constant figure in hip-hop and R&B for years.1
Scantily clad in work out apparel, the Harlem native danced, vogued and wowed America during the debut premiere of Kanye West’s latest single, Fade (NSFW). Within minutes, she went from virtually unknown for many Americans to #bodygoals. Almost immediately, the questions began to swirl on social media: “Was she a video vixen? An artist? Why is her body so incredible? How did she get hooked up with Kanye? No, seriously, how is her body so incredible?” At least two dozen top-tier publications began introducing their audiences to Ms. Taylor.
This is it, I thought, She’s finally getting the chance at a big break. However, upon checking out her social media pages, I was disappointed to find that there was barely any mention of the video, future singles, or upcoming projects. I was baffled. Surely, she had a grand plan to parlay this attention into a way to reintroduce herself on a larger scale, right?
In the 48 hours following the performance, it certainly didn’t seem that way.
Today, nearly one week later, she released a video for a freestyle over Kanye’s track, Champions. Unfortunately, the general consensus from some is that it’s too little too late.
Smh missed her chance again. She needs a new PR team. https://t.co/72SyMmhxo5
— Ari (@WINEcoloredKISS) September 6, 2016
There’s a lesson here for brands. In addition to planning launch events for my clients, I also develop strategic after-event action plans. Once your audience is engaged, crafting an ongoing narrative and keeping them tuned into your key messages is a crucial part in turning casual interest into sales.
Here are five elements that every brand should include in their post-event strategy. Keep in mind: The variety of these steps should occur within 24-72 hours following your event. Additionally, it should be a given, but every post-event strategy should include a wrap-up report. Let’s get started.
- Utilize Paid or Manual Tools to For Social Listening: Gauging the sentiment of your target audience has become even easier with social media. You can use paid tools to analyze feedback. However, if you’re wary about investing in a paid tool, there’s a manual way to gather this information. Simply set up a saved Twitter search based on keywords or hashtags associated with your brand name and event. Be sure to do similar searches on Facebook and Instagram (or any other site applicable to your brand).
- Engage Your Audience on Social Media: As mentioned, the two days following your event are a crucial time to engage with your audience. As part of your post-event strategy, develop a plan that encompasses your responses on social media to anticipated questions, praise and criticism. It’s important that everyone is on the same page with how you plan to approach and engage your audience through these mediums. Don’t wing it!
- Don’t Forget Personal Touches: This is pretty much an addendum to the above point. Follow up with your new audience through a personal touch. While tactics will vary by brand, let’s use Teyana as an example. In this case, she could have provided exclusive content on her website or hosted a live video Q&A with new fans on one of her social media channels. For B2B or B2C brands, this could be a simple “Thank You” email to your attendee list, paired with a special offer of some sort.
- Reach Out to the Media: I cannot stress this point enough: Pre-plan your post-event media strategy. In addition to a press release or media alert (if applicable), leverage the chatter and data from your event to prove to the press that you have something worthwhile to say. Recently, the CEO of a tech startup client of mine spoke at a large security conference. Using the attention surrounding that conference, we secured interviews with NPR’s All Tech Considered, TechCrunch and more within three days. Having your media list and pitch planned prior to the event will ensure that you engage with reporters in a timely manner. There is absolutely nothing worse than a stale pitch. Just don’t do it.
- Keep ’em on your radar: Plan out at least eight ways you’ll communicate with your audience over the months following your event. This can include emails, whitepapers, a call from your sales team or what not. As always, this will look different for different brands. But you want to make sure that you’re staying on their radar. Make sure that these “touches” are adding value to your audience and are tailored based on their interests and location. You definitely don’t want to be viewed as spam!
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to keep your audience engaged beyond your product launch or event. As for Teyana, she has a lot of things on the horizon, including a new sneaker that will be released in October and her upcoming role on the fall premier of VH1’s The Breaks. So, I won’t say that she completely blew her shot. Let’s just hope her team finds a way to leverage the heightened attention. And if they can’t? Teyana, girl – just call me.
1 Her career dates back to 2008, when she released her debut single “Google Me”. Since then, she’s been known for her work on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a few more mixtapes and her misadventures and wins in the tabloids.