So nobody wants to come to your event yet. How do you generate the kind of “buzz” around your events that gets people joining your mailer, buying your tickets – and sharing your content during the event too?
It might surprise you to learn, it doesn’t have to take long, and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get there. Here’s our guide to marketing your event on social media in 2023, with a video-based strategy that gets chairs filled and mailing lists long:
Before your event starts - To build hype and awareness among current and potential audiences
During your event - To maximise its reach, achieve your event marketing goals, and maximise your return on investment
Afterwards - To extend the length of your content, increase reach and create brand awareness
Why should I use social media for event marketing?
To maximize reach
Use social media to market your event because it’s a great place to reach the broadest possible audience. You can drive brand awareness and push more traffic to your event page by building that all-important hype.
To target specific audiences
Speakers and sponsors have likely already built their own communities, which you can leverage by engaging with them. Social networks have done all the hard work for you in cultivating communities – now you just need to swoop in to the right ones, and build some excitement!
To boost your social engagement
Your social media marketing goals just breathed a sigh of relief: with all this relevant, thought-through content aimed at your audience, you can get weeks of content from your one event, to help achieve your broader social media marketing KPIs, and sell more tickets. Win/win!
Which social media channels should I use for event marketing?
With attention spans waning, the channels you should use for event-based marketing are the ones with the strongest reach. For many, that’s Instagram (Reels), LinkedIn and Twitter. Right now, video plays a huge and growing role on social media: short-form, snappy clips fill feeds, grab the audience’s attention and bring them closer to the action.
3 reasons video is crucial to successful event marketing
1. Great stories get great engagement
Video opens up your ability to tell more powerful stories that keeps eyes lingering for longer, and gives your engagement rate a boost as a result. Plus, filming new faces at your events means fresh content for weeks to come – and people really love seeing people, not faceless corporations (who knew?!)
2. Easy, bite-sized content
Don’t get lost in a sea of scrolls. Video takes up more space on phones, which means more chances for your event to be noticed. And with more bite-sized content, you can give your content a longer life with the ability to cut up, repurpose and repackage your video content for different purposes.
3. Keeps your audience on-platform
When was the last time you actually clicked the link in bio? Don’t push your users elsewhere: make their time worthwhile, create content they’ll want to digest, and hey – they might just stick around.
How to create great social media video content: before your event
As soon as your event itinerary is confirmed, you should start your pre-event posting. There’s a reason why Glastonbury sells tickets before they’ve even confirmed their performers (but we’re not promising people will start camping out before your event – that would be odd!).
What should my marketing goals be before an event?
Your pre-event marketing goals should focus on driving ticket sales, creating buzz and excitement around your event – and with excitement should come some social sharing, to amplify your reach. So how do you get there? By making videos, of course!
4 ideas for video content to create before your event
1. The ‘Make The Most’ template
Why relegate the FAQs section to the bottom of your event page? Build excitement among potential attendees by sharing how attendees can make the most of the whole day.
How to use it: Whether it’s a video on your team’s go-to spots for lunch, coffee and post-work drinks, a video on how to make the most of a morning or afternoon at your event – or even for the freebie freeloaders (guilty!), why not create a tongue-in-cheek “how to maximise your goody bag potential” video? The more you talk to your audience in their language, the more they’ll listen.
2. The ‘Looking Forward’ template
People resonate with people. They’re more interesting than a faceless corporation, and it’s not hard to see why! This template works so well for exactly that reason – in place of a bland graphic with what’s to come, inject a truckload of personality!
How to use it: Share the topics your team are most excited to hear your speakers cover, the itineraries they’ve added to their calendars, and ask your team members to share the parts of your event that are getting them the most excited!
3. The 'This One’s For You' template
Ever scrolled past an event on LinkedIn thinking you couldn’t possibly get anything out of it? That’s because it was badly marketed. Help your audience feel seen and build that all-important FOMO. The more that employees and HR teams see themselves represented, the more likely they’ll attend!
How to use it: Pull out key themes of your event; speakers, topics or even the category of companies attending, and build videos around all the ways you’re catering to those specific needs. Ironically, the more videos you make targeting different niches, the broader you’re casting your net – and that’s a good thing!
4. The 'Keynote Speaker' template
This one’s self-explanatory! The minute you’ve got a speaker confirmed, shine the spotlight all over them. This will encourage the speaker’s followers to attend your event and start growing awareness.
How to create great social media video content: during your event
Telling people at the event to follow your social channels? Keep your accounts to-the-minute fresh with updates, to maximise your impact and broaden the event’s reach.
You can save on time by using these templates for your event screens too, for pre-planned event comms and speedy announcements people just can’t miss (“HAPPENING RIGHT NOW: popcorn war in the Main Hall”).
Remember that all the content you push to socials should make them feel as close to the action as possible.
What should my marketing goals be during an event?
Marketing goals during your event should focus on making your buzz as loud as possible. This means focusing on views and engagement. You want to make everyone feel like they’re in the centre of the excitement, and make anyone who isn’t attending feel like they’re catching the best bits (and have just enough FOMO to want to attend your next event!). This is your opportunity to maximise your brand’s reach and create evergreen content that can outlast your event’s lifespan. No pressure!
3 ideas for video content to create during your event
1. The 'Keynote Quote' Template
If a quote can light up a room, it’s probably gold for your social channels too. This template on Storykit is the easiest way to spot speakers’ big “aha!” moments and quickly transform them into easy-to-digest videos.
How to use it: Make a note of a great quote as soon as you catch it, then fill it over the top of a picture of your speaker (ideally one you’ve got at the event, depending on how speedy your photographer is!). Then pop it into the template. Yep, it’s really that simple!
2. The ‘Meet the Mods’ Template
Use your event screens and social channels to give attendees some behind-the-scenes insight into what’s happening, when, and why it’s interesting by letting event organizers and moderators give their take on what not to miss.
How to use it: Make a few of these that you can rotate on your event screen for each day of the event. People love seeing faces, so grab the person you’re featuring in the video and record a few short video clips of them with your phone to make this extra engaging. Check out our selfie-guide with tips for capturing video-ready portraits.
3. The 'Ask The Speaker' Template
For those who didn’t make the leap to buy a ticket, this format lets you sell the value of your next event, and provides a great behind-the-scenes bonus for existing attendees. It’s a win/win template, and a great chance to get maximum brand awareness from your speaker’s audience, too!
How to use it: There are two ways you can be smart with this template. First, only ask good questions that you think your audience actually wants to hear the answer to. Be ruthless! Secondly, ask as many questions as possible, then trim down, and you’ll be able to make multiple videos from your single conversation.
How to create great social media video content: after your event
Event over? Your content shouldn’t be! You should have a powerful bank of testimonials, speaker clips, and everything in between by now. By sharing post-event content, you’ll be opening the floor for attendees to share their glowing feedback, and you’ll create the kind of FOMO that could have people asking for next year’s tickets already!
What should my marketing goals be after an event?
Your post-event marketing goals should be all about driving strong engagement and mobilizing your event’s attendees on social media, to boost your brand awareness. That’s why you should be using video to extend the life of your content as much as possible.
2 ideas for video content to create after your event
1. The 'I Was There' Template
Why try to make your event sound impressive when your attendees can do it better? We just can’t resist seeing what a smiling face has to say: and we trust them more, too! That’s why this template is a gold mine for your post-event marketing content. Just find a friendly-looking attendee, grab some video, and keep moving!
How to use it: Consider asking questions that go beyond simply what they enjoyed – ask them for the funniest moment, or the most powerful quote they heard. The more you can reel the audience in, the better.
2. The 'Main Takeaways’ Template
If you serve up the best bits of your event in bite-size chunks, how could your audience resist? Package up your punchiest, most inspiring moments to deliver post-event marketing with serious polish, and help it shine on social feeds.
How to use it: Consider asking questions that elicit a deeper response – ask them who their favorite speaker was and why, or the most valuable insight they gained from the event. The more information shared, the more engaging and informative it will be for your audience.
Phew – who knew you could get so much great content out of one event? We hope this guide has inspired some new ideas and served as proof that you can still make your event a roaring success on your social channels without breaking the bank or burning yourself out. Best of luck, and we’re only an email away if you need us!