To stand out in today's crowded event market, adopting an "always on" marketing strategy is crucial. By consistently producing relevant, engaging content and building a community around your brand, you can generate buzz and attract loyal attendees year after year.
In today's hyper-connected world, promoting your event through social media has become a crucial part of any successful marketing campaign. However, simply creating a few posts and sharing them sporadically is not enough to create a buzz and generate a loyal following.
In order to truly stand out and ensure that your event is well-attended, you need to adopt an "always on" marketing strategy - one that emphasizes consistent, ongoing production of relevant, engaging content that keeps your brand at the forefront of people's minds.
In this article, we'll explore some practical tips for using an always-on approach to promote your event and generate consistent excitement among your target audience.
What is the meaning of event promotion?
At its core, event promotion is all about generating excitement and building anticipation around your event with the goal of attracting attendees. Whether you're planning a music festival, a business conference, or a webinar, event promotion is about capturing people's attention and convincing them that your event is the place to be.
What are the challenges in event promotion?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of creating a killer event promotion strategy, let's talk about what's changed in the world of events, the challenges that event marketers are facing and why you need to embrace a new mindset to succeed.
What is an event?
First, what even constitutes an event anymore?
Events used to be pretty straightforward - you'd pick a date and a place, send out some invitations, and hope people showed up.
These days, thanks to the magic of technology, events have taken on a whole new life! From webinars and virtual conferences to live podcasts and social media takeovers, events are happening all the time, in all sorts of new and exciting ways. But with so many events vying for people's attention, it's harder than ever to stand out from the crowd.
If you used to have a killer social media marketing conference every year, but now attendance is dwindling, it's probably because the competition has gotten stiffer.
How do you promote an event in this new world?
If you read other blog posts giving tips for event promotion you will only see tips for marketing before the event — what to do two months in advance, two weeks in advance and two days in advance. This is because many event organisers think promotion is just a short-term thing leading up to the event - a flurry of social media posts, email blasts, and other tactics aimed at driving attendance.
And although it is important to partake in these exercises, it is not a sustainable way to keep attracting attendees year after year or month after month, nor is it optimal for your business.
Corenda explains that the three biggest problems in event marketing are:
- Event websites tend to suffer greatly from extended traffic droughts: since conventional marketing methods are periodical, this means you have to start from scratch every year to drive in traffic. And since we know you can’t see huge organic results in a short amount of time, this means you need to stretch the purse strings every year.
- No brand loyalty: in marketing, brand repetition helps people develop trust with the brand. The more familiar someone is with a brand, the more likely they are to purchase from them. If you take a traditional marketing approach, and pop up once a year, then your previous attendees and newcomers will have no real connection to you. You just become one of many brands competing for attention in a crowded social feed.
- High cost per acquisition: if you haven't been working to continuously build traffic to your event site, don’t post often enough to maintain a following on social media, only have a small email list of those who attended your event last year, and aren’t giving away gold blocks at your conference, then chances are you are going to be spending a lot of money realing people in.
If you want to market your event successfully without breaking the bank then you need to turn your event promotion into an ongoing process.
It's about constantly promoting your ideas, your values, and your brand, and creating a real sense of community even when your events aren't going on, so that when you have another one, you don't have to convince people to come - they'll already be lining up.
4 tips to fuel your on-going event promotion strategy
1. Post event specific details before, during and after your events
Don't limit your event promotion to just the lead-up! To make the most impact and build a lasting following, it's important to stay active during and after the event as well. By sharing engaging content and highlights during the event, you can entice those who couldn't make it to regret missing out, while keeping attendees on a high long after it's over.
Don't be afraid to remind them of what they learned, the connections they made, and the experiences they had - this can help build a community of loyal followers who can't wait to attend your next event!
If you need some ideas on what to post and when, then check out 9 video ideas to market your digital, physical or phygital event on social media.
2. Develop a social media strategy that is not solely connected to your event
To build a strong, engaged following that will stay with you long after your event is over, you need to give your brand a personality and have it show up more than once or twice a year. This means developing a social media strategy that incorporates the topics you already know your experts in along with other topics and interests that your audience cares about.
By engaging with them and creating content that adds value to their lives, whether it's through helpful tips, entertaining stories, or thought-provoking discussions, you can build a loyal following that sees your brand as more than just a sales pitch. When it's time to promote your event, they'll already be invested in your brand and excited to see what you have in store!
Quick tip: Don’t focus on pleasing the algorithm. Focus on making better content that your followers will love.
And don't overthink it! Start posting right now and post often (try for at least three times a week). We recommend that you start with video, since social videos are shared 1200% more than any text or picture.
In fact, try out one of these three video templates and create your first social video right when you finish this article.
1. The ‘Weekly Roundup’ Template
Since you’re just getting started you might feel like you have nothing to say. Grab some headlines that are associated with your industry and toss them in this template. Your audience will appreciate that you are sharing useful information.
2. The ‘Today at The Office’ Template
If you follow any influencers on social media, then you probably see the positive reaction they get when they share personal details about their life. The same goes for you. Your followers want to know the faces behind your brand. Use this template to show what you’re up to on a normal day when your event isn’t happening.
3. The ‘Ask Us Anything’ Template
Nothing is better than good old fashion engagement. Talk with your audience and not at them by doing an AMA and putting the answers to the most sought after questions in this video template. Your followers will really appreciate the effort.
3. Slowly build up your next event
Hopefully by this point, people are starting to feel connected to your company so that when you have another event approaching, you have some brand cred to back it up. The only way to truly check this is by building up your next event early and giving yourself the time to see how people are engaging and if you’re generating more buzz than before.
Start with some teasers on social media and send out some promotional emails. If you see more people engaging with your posts, liking your content and asking about dates then you should be giving yourself a pat on the back because the strategy is working.
9 ideas to build your attendee list
Now that you have more followers and some brand recognition, here are some creative ideas to take your event sign ups to the next level.
1. Early bird registration
Encourage people to register early for your event by offering a discounted rate or other incentives. This not only helps you generate revenue early on, but it also creates a sense of urgency and excitement around your event.
2. Create an event-specific hashtag
Use a unique hashtag for your event to make it easy for attendees to share photos, updates, and feedback on social media. This helps increase engagement and can even attract new attendees.
3. Run a contest
Use social media or email to run a contest for a chance to win a free ticket or other prize related to your event. This can be a fun and interactive way to build excitement and engagement leading up to your event.
4. Collaborate with influencers
Partner with social media influencers, bloggers, or other relevant personalities to promote your event to their followers. This can help you reach a new audience and generate buzz around your event.
5. Create engaging content
You spend so much time creating engaging content for your event, try creating engaging content in other formats such as blog posts, videos and ebooks. This can help establish your brand as a thought leader and generate interest and buzz around your event.
6. Use email marketing
Build an email list and send your awesome content as well as regular updates and reminders about your event to keep it top of mind for potential attendees. You can also use email to share valuable content and resources related to your event's theme or industry.
Quick tip: Not sure how to build an email list? Try gating some content that your target audience finds really useful. If you are providing them with value then they won’t mind giving up their email for you.
7. Partner with Sponsors
Secure sponsorships from companies and organisations in your industry to help promote your event. This not only helps with promotion, but it can also provide additional resources and support to enhance the attendee experience.
8. Run paid campaigns to reach new audiences and retarget old ones
Use social media advertising or other online advertising platforms to reach new audiences who may be interested in your event. You can also use retargeting ads to show ads to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your social media profiles. This can help keep your event top of mind for potential attendees and drive more sales or sign ups. Be sure to track your campaign metrics and adjust your targeting and messaging as needed to improve performance.
9. Promote past testimonials
If you have hosted events in the past, consider promoting positive feedback and testimonials from previous attendees. You can share these testimonials on your social media channels, website, and email campaigns.
Not sure how to format your testimonials? Don’t overthink it. Just use the “I Was There” video template.
The event must go on... and so must your marketing
To keep your event fresh, exciting, and packed with enthusiastic attendees, you need to create a marketing strategy that's just as awesome as your event itself! By constantly promoting your brand and building a loyal following of fans, you'll create a buzz that lasts long after the event is over, so people will be counting down the days until the next one.
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