Finding the right event marketing strategy can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be.
If you're looking for ways to get more people in the door at your next event, follow these tips and tricks to make sure that you're getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
Create an event series.
Events aren't just about the event. They're about building a community, growing your email list and brand, and getting more people to come to your events.
An event series can do all of this and more!
By creating an event series, you'll create a sense of anticipation among your audience members every time they think about coming to one of your events. It will also help you get more people on board with signing up for your email list as well as simply attending your next event—or visiting one of them at all.
Use your list to boost awareness.
You can harness the power of your email list to get people interested in your event.
The first step is to make sure that you have a sign-up form on your website. This will help you build up an audience of people who are likely to be interested in the event and don't mind receiving emails from you, so they can be reminded about it when it's time for them to come along.
Next, use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out asking people if they're coming along or not (with a link back to the sign-up page).
Ask them why if they say no! When you understand why they don't attend, you'll be able to develop a solution for them and for others who might not attend for the same reasons.
Finally, just before the event itself happens send another email with some details about what's going on at this stage before sending out any last-minute reminders closer to showtime just in case anyone was thinking of attending and they were busy that day.
Here are a few things to include in your email:
- What time the show starts and what time people should arrive (this helps people plan their day around it)
- If there's an age restriction for the event or if it's suitable for all ages
- A brief description of what's going on at this stage
Make it easy to share.
In order to increase your attendance and get more bums in seats, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to share your event.
You can use a platform that allows you to track how many people share your event and what channels they're using (Facebook? Twitter? Instagram?)—this will help you understand where the majority of your shares come from.
The easiest way is by using an app like Hootsuite or Buffer. These apps allow users to schedule tweets or posts, so they'll automatically go up at the time you've specified. This saves tons of time because you don't have to manually post every single one yourself!
Incorporate a registration landing page.
You're probably familiar with the concept of a landing page, but if you're not, let me break it down for you. A landing page is a single web page that serves as an online advertisement for your event. It's usually used to collect email addresses or credit card information (or both) from potential attendees so that they can be contacted when your event becomes available.
When setting up your landing page, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have enough room on the screen to include all of the essential elements, such as a clear call-to-action and CTA button that people can click on right away.
- Include images and videos of what people will experience at your event so they know what they'll get out of attending. This way they won't feel like their time has been wasted by showing up only to find out that nothing really happens there!
- Make sure you have plenty of space below all these items so people don't feel like their eyesight is being blocked by too much text or images above them when browsing through the site.
Use paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter.
Paid social media advertising is a great way to reach your audience and drive them to buy your event tickets.
Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users and Twitter has 328 million – that's a lot of people, but how do you know who the right ones are? You can target an ad based on demographics (age, gender, etc.), interests or location.
Leverage User Generated Content (UGC).
User Generated Content (UGC) is content that is created by your audience. If a customer posts a photo on Facebook or Instagram with your logo on it, that’s UGC. If someone tweets about how great their experience was at one of your events, that’s UGC too!
The best part about UGC is that it doesn’t cost you anything to use and can help promote any event or product/service. There are lots of ways you can use UGC – here are just a few:
- Use photos in ads for events
- Include photos on landing pages for promotions/product launches
- Share photos on social media channels
- Create an album on Pinterest for each event so people can easily access them
Go local with geo-targeted ads.
Going local with geo-targeted ads is a great way to target people who are likely to attend your event. On Facebook, you can use the “create an ad” feature and select “hometown targeting” in the “placements” section.
Then select your city or town and decide how far away you want people to be before they see your ad. For example, if there's a festival happening in San Francisco, but you're based in New York City, perhaps only those within 100 miles of SF should see it? Or maybe 500 miles? You get the idea!
The same goes for Instagram: You can set location tags on individual posts and target users who live near your event venue (or even at various points along the route). If someone is attending a conference from out of town and wants to visit nearby attractions during their stay—or if there's some sort of special exhibit or exhibit hall where attendees will congregate—then go ahead and add that location as well!
Re-engage your audience with remarketing ads.
Remarketing ads are a great way to re-engage people who have already visited your website, without the need for them to actively "opt in" and sign up for something. If you want to promote your event, or brand, or products—you can do it through remarketing.
Remarketing is easy: Google looks at which pages visitors spend time on, which ones they exit from, and then sends them targeted ads based on that data. You don't need to set anything up - all of this information is collected automatically by the platform itself!
Tap into content partnerships and influencer marketing.
If you've been around digital marketing for more than a few years, you've probably heard of content partnerships and influencer marketing. But if you're new to the scene or the idea of getting an influencer to promote your event isn't something that comes naturally to you, it's time for a crash course.
Before we do that, however, let's talk about what influencers are and why they can be such a powerful tool for event marketers looking to boost attendance numbers.
Influencers are people with large followings on social media platforms like Instagram who have developed solid reputations as experts in their field—in other words they know what they're talking about when it comes to whatever their subject matter might be.
They also tend to have direct contact with their followers who trust them implicitly (and often follow them because of this). This means that when an influencer recommends something via social media (like attending an event), their audience will listen because there's already a level of trust between them and their favorite blogger/vlogger/Instagrammer etc., which makes them feel like they can trust anything else they say too!
That said...influencers aren't just anyone with big numbers; it takes time
Connect with industry leaders and get speaking gigs.
Connecting with industry leaders and getting speaking gigs is a great way to build your credibility, as well as get your message out there. Networking is about having great conversations, and it's also about giving people something they value.
That means you should refer to other people's work when you can, make them feel good by saying nice things about their projects, and be genuine and authentic in your interactions. Ask for help when you need it—you may not want to ask for something directly because it might make the other person uncomfortable or think less of you personally (or both). But remember: everyone has things they need from others; being generous with your time will pay off many times over!
Also be respectful of others' time by following up quickly on any promises made during the event marketing process (e.g., sending links or resources discussed at length), making sure they're comfortable sharing information before doing so yourself (especially if it's personal), providing helpful material after each meeting rather than just asking "What else do I need?"
Speak at Meetups and other community events.
You should speak at meetups and other community events.
By speaking at small events, you get the chance to talk with people in real life. Networking is a vital part of any business, but it's even more important when you're starting out. You'll meet other entrepreneurs who can help you out with advice and connections, as well as potential clients who might want to work with your company (or refer others).
You can also learn a lot from speaking at these kinds of events because they force you to think about your business from an outside perspective for once—you're analyzing what works and what doesn't on stage rather than hunkered down in your office writing code or whatever else it is that freelancers do for hours on end without ever feeling like they've made progress toward their goals because the goalposts keep moving faster than they can sprint toward them!
Attract new audiences with PR strategies.
PR is a great way to attract new audiences. It's not just about getting your name in the news, it's about getting your name in the right news outlets.
PR is also a long-term strategy and an investment—you're not going to get a bunch of press for free, so be ready for some upfront costs and time spent planning out which publications will be interested in covering you. Don't worry though! PR isn't just for big companies with big budgets; you can do it yourself (with some help from friends who know how to pitch).
One thing that many people don't realize about event marketing is that PR strategies are often more effective than other methods at bringing new people through your doors.
It takes a little bit of effort to get the word out about your event, but it's worth it if you don't want to be the only one sitting in a big, empty room!
When it comes to event marketing, you need to be proactive. You can't just expect people to show up because the event is great—you need to tell them about it!
It's not enough for your event to be good; it needs to also have a known reputation. If people don't know that there's something awesome going on in your venue, they won't know how much fun they're missing out on or even where the venue is located. That's why being proactive is so important: if you don't make an effort and let everyone know about the fun stuff happening at your place, no one will come!
If you’re planning an event, don’t forget to market it! The more people who know about your event, the more likely they are to come.
And remember: no matter how big or small your event is (or how much time or money you have), marketing can help attract new audiences and bring in more attendees. So get creative with your strategy. It might just be what makes all the difference between a successful event and one that ends up being just another story told over drinks at happy hour after all.
To learn more about event marketing practices that will help you reach your target audience and increase attendance, get your tickets now to attend our next Event Planner Expo and learn from industry experts how to build your brand and increase your event’s success.