How to Market an Event – Part One: Digital Marketing
Step one, web page. You need this. The number one place people are going to go to find out more information about your event is the web. So whether you have a dedicated site for your event, a page on an existing site or blog, or an Eventbrite page, you need a place for people to go online to get up to speed with what’s happening.
Got a page? Great. Now what goes on it? Start with an easy-to-digest synopsis of what the event is all about. Try to answer the Who, What, When, Where and Why of your event in a skimmable paragraph or few. Assume you have only a few seconds to capture your readers’ interest and try to lay out the most important or compelling stuff first.
After you’ve got these basics in place, consider fleshing out your web presence with additional content related to your event. This could be written articles or video content; speaker photos and details; logos or other event branding.
Next stop, email. Getting your event into peoples’ inboxes is a great way to increase awareness. Some simple things to remember in any email marketing effort:
Make your subject line pop. An enticing subject line is the first key to higher open rates. Get opened with these tips from WordStream.
Send at peak open times. MailChimp has insight into best times to send based on research studies. Try experimenting with different mailing times to find the best open rates for your particular audience.
Include useful content. Video thumbnails, speaker updates, event schedules or menus, testimonials, surveys – There are plenty of things you can include in your email to make it interesting, valuable to your subscribers and shareable.
Repetition. Schedule reminder and follow up emails to continually update and remind people about your event.
Your social media outlets are an obvious, but powerful, way to get the word out about your event. Try these tips to improve your social marketing:
Create a hashtag for your event. This makes your marketing more searchable and can create a buzz when other people start using it.
Follow new people. Find people on Twitter and Instagram by searching for those posting about similar interests. Use Facebook’s Boost feature to promote your event to a targeted group.
Schedule recurring posts across platforms. This is even more important in the social sphere than with email. It’s easy to be missed or lost in the constant stream of content. Ongoing sharing is good.
Make your content engaging and shareable. Offer incentives for sharing your posts. (Be careful not to conflict with site rules!) Include sharing buttons on blog posts and other content. Anything you can do to encourage other people to share your content with their networks.
Run a contest. You can do this on Facebook. Set up a contest, make the rules clear and make the prize something worthwhile, like free tickets to the event or a gift pack from a sponsor. Contests help generate excitement around your event.
These concepts will help get the ball rolling on your event promotion, but there are many more things you can do in the digital sphere to promote your event. Got a tip that’s not on this list? Post it in the comments below and let us know about it. Thanks!