3 Best Ways of Using Online Marketing to Attract Event-Goers
High attendance is considered an indicator of an event’s success but gathering an audience may pose a challenge. You can face it with strong marketing and solid promotion, making the venue full of enthusiastic and engaged attendees.
There are many ways to spread the buzz about an upcoming event, but the choice mainly depends on the target group.
#1 Social Media:
Be sure who are you talking to
Define your attendee persona profile and make your marketing stronger. Get to know your audience, understand its profile in order to determine the effective methods of reaching them. Isn’t it easier to talk to a person you know? Think about attendees’ needs, interests and include these in the event.
Before you start the marketing campaign – make sure you understand who it is targeted to. Useful info included in the profile is: what are their specific expectations, needs, what motivates them, and what they are afraid of.
Good example picturing the essence of creating attendee profile is HSU case with Midnight Mafia 2018 music event. The organizers in order to ensure strong ticket sales enabled fans to sign up with their Spotify and Facebook accounts. This step turned out brilliant. HSU was able to collect valuable data from both sources, resulting in deep insights into fans’ preferences and characteristics, ranging from who they are, where they are from, and what kind of music or what artists they listen to. This allowed to create hyper-targeted social media campaign and consequently – selling out every ticket.
Choose the proper channels
It’s not necessary to establish communication through every possible line. Actually, it not only appears time-consuming but also ineffective. I propose a better solution: focus on a few particular channels (base your choice on persona profiles), but make your communication more vibrant and frequent.
Plan the content, considering the budget
Content – possibly the most important value of event promotion. While marketing your event, reflect on the type of content you need, think what will be the most appealing to your future attendees and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Open up to the possibilities today’s social media offer – of course, the choice depends on your target group, but gifs and animations seem like a cool idea.
Remember, a video is the most engaging type of content. According to Content Marketing Institute, adding it to your social mix means audiences are 10 times more likely to engage and share your post. But it costs the most as well. Images attract attention and awake interest, but if you add some motion in form of a video, it can make a huge difference. Also, graphical content like aesthetic infographics does a good job, so it’s worth to use it in your communication.
As essential as the type itself is the idea – think over what you can share before the event. Maybe a piece of information about the event, venue, a behind the scenes clip or speakers’ introduction in an original way? You can also provide some professional facts connected to your event’s topic or present the short overview of its previous edition (It’s worth to collect content during the event with a view to the following edition. Record it, take photos, collect opinions – you are already creating promotional materials). Possibilities are many – try to choose the most relevant and best personalized to your audience.
Sneakers Event Paris 2015 promotional video material:
Best of Volusia/Flagler Preps Awards video introducing a speaker:
Run a contest with prizes
Ultra Music Festival content with ticket giveaway:
Coming up with an idea of a catchy yet directly connected with your event hashtag is a goal here. Using this keyword suits every stage of the event. It’s not only about communication and promotion. A hashtag enables to gather the content of yours and your attendees’ in one place and lets you keep track of buzz about the event. Just remember to keep it short and simple!
Speak the language of benefits
Remember to show your attendees the value! Most people don’t see it at first glance. They need you to visualize it, give them a picture of what they can gain from attending your event. Whether it is knowledge, potential clients or business contacts, or pure fun – be sure they are aware of these opportunities.
Are there going to be cool giveaways, mouth-watering catering or awesome speakers? Take advantage of it! Maybe the caterer is able to deliver you some delicious-looking pictures or the speaker can share a video preview (the post with your event’s hashtag and @-tagging of a speaker may spread virally). Such content affects the imagination and makes people believe they’ll regret it if they don’t show up at your event.
Example of such a sneak peek:
— Paul Lancaster (@lordlancaster) 22 listopada 2017
#2 Influencers – opinion leaders:
Influencers with loads of fans are a great option for event marketing – they reach your potential audience and their opinion really matters (they have significant power to affect the purchasing decisions of others). Find the people, who are connected with the industry you’re in and offer a cooperation to leverage their reach. Invite them to your event, the known and esteemed guests are an additional advantage. Maybe engage your keynote speakers to promote your event – after all, your attendees come to the event to hear their presentations. You can also consider a collaborative contest with prizes to interest a larger group.
There are various ways you can approach such cooperations. Clarify if your potential partners are interested in barter deal or traditional payment. Regardless of the agreement type, remember to check if the person really reaches your audience and the coverage isn’t bought (watch out for fake accounts!). Ask them to show you recent statistics of the account and check who is engaged in their posts, comments, and tags.
Once you establish a cooperation, take advantage of it in every possible way. Preparing special packages with some gifts signed by the influencer, aesthetic event invitation, all these kept in intriguing and eye-catching design – who wouldn’t share such a giveaway on their social media today?
Kat Von D promoting SEPHORA’s launch event of the new cosmetics line:
Wyświetl ten post na Instagramie.
Gary Vaynerchuk using a LinkedIn channel to promote Business Squared event:
#3 Online Ads
Are you familiar with a situation when you look something up online, and after a while, you’re bombarded by ads of it on a completely different site? Yes, me too. That’s the power of online advertising. So, why don’t you use it while promoting your event?
Google AdWords, Social Media Ads
While adjusting online ad campaign on social media, there are criteria such as interests, content liked, preferences, friends, demographics, and location. Such a strict targeting creates a big probability that you reach the exact group of people, who are interested in your event.
There are more and more possibilities appearing – you can choose if your ad is displayed on a desktop, mobile or both. It does matter regarding the target audience – for example, if you want young people to come to your event, you’ll rather decide to run a mobile campaign.
Pro tip? If you need some benchmarking and insight into the competitors’ ad campaign – you can do so. Facebook offers an option “information and adverts” section – it’s present on every fan page and enables you to see all active advertisements, so you can run yours inspired and with some ideas in your mind.
In the case of Google AdWords, there is a question: Shall I choose text or banner ad? Here is the difference – text adverts appear when someone writes a particular phrase in Google (so the person usually knows what they need) whereas banner pops up on a website and is visible to people, who not necessarily look for a particular event. Think over which one suits your target audience more.
The well-targeted ad leads to a rise of awareness about your event and boosts ticket sales.
The only thing that constricts you is the budget. Although such an advertising might be an expensive venture – don’t worry! There are many other types of it.
If you acquired some partners, use their mailing lists to reach the wide audience of people. Even if this method seems to be very direct and efficient, remember about legal issues – after all, you deal with personal data. Be attentive to the law in your country and the laws of the countries of attendees you can reach. Targeting the European Union residents, you must follow GDPR rules, that prohibit i.a. using emails of individuals who have not consented to communication. The tricky part here! The regulation doesn’t apply to the citizens of the European Union but its residents, so if a native American stays in Europe – they are also involved. That makes it difficult to promote safely through this channel since 25th of May 2018.
Remember, personalization is key. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Would you rather read something looking like spam or the text that approaches you with your real name? The second case makes your audience feel more important, special. Also, take care of information and visibility – create your banner with the event name and date. Don’t let your receiver forget about this.
Keep in mind
Remember that each event (even within the same industry) is different with its unique objectives and target audience. Some ideas will work better than others, but methods above work out with any type of event if selected and adjusted well. You can also think about combining them in order to create an ultimate promotional campaign with an excellent result.