No carefully planned event is complete without a proper event marketing campaign. Sure, you’ve set the date and booked the venue, but are you completely certain that your event will have high enough attendance? With appropriate advertising, you are not only ensuring your event will be visited by enough people, you’re also building a name for yourself and setting the groundwork for future marketing efforts. That said, here are some tips you can use to absolutely rock the promotion and make sure your event is packed full.
Create an event page
When it comes to event promotion, no marketing effort is complete without a dedicated event page. This could be a single event-specific page or a complete website, depending on how much time and resources you have available. The page itself should feature a simple, yet compelling description that includes the topic, attendees, time and place. The description should be followed by thoughtful content curation including a timeline, bios, and pictures for every attending speaker and promotional images and videos related to the event.
Make sure your page is SEO-friendly
SEO or search engine optimization refers to techniques and practices used to raise the ranking position of your page in the search engine results page. When executed properly, SEO ensures that your page will be the first thing people see when they use specific keywords in their search. You should include the event topic and the name of your city in the keywords you target. Additionally, the page needs to contain appropriate headings, title and meta descriptions and page links, as well as backlinks. You can use Google Analytics to monitor and track the behavior of your visitors and use that information to further tweak your advertising campaign.
Set up a proper e-mailing campaign
If you have a sizable mailing list, e-mail marketing could easily be your best option. If you don’t, don’t worry, you can talk to your friends, partners, and speakers involved in the event to ask them to spread the word using their own e-mails. Make sure to include a subject line with a strong emotional message that resonates with the reader. Furthermore, add a clickable image or a video thumbnail featuring an interview with the speaker, as well as any positive reviews and feedback from previous events you hosted in order to improve the click-through rates.
Use social media actively
Events are basically social occasions, so using social media to advertise your event is acceptable. You can start off by choosing a short and unique hashtag, related to the event and use it in every post and tweet. Change the links in your online bios to lead directly to the event page. Use Twitter to find relevant local people who are interested in your event and mention them in a tweet about the event. Don’t forget to share your event on Facebook and LinkedIn and remember to cross-reference the event from one social media platform to another.
Submit your event to industry and media outlets
There are numerous media websites, particularly local news sites that will allow you to post your event. The best way to find them is to search for the phrase ‘event calendars’ followed by the name of the city hosting the event. Besides local news, you can submit your event to trade and industry associations, particularly if the event is in any way relevant to their core audience. Chambers of commerce will happily promote any events that are relevant to their members. Finally, send event invites to journalists who cover local events and talk to them about writing a relevant article or doing an interview with the guest speakers. This is an excellent way to get media coverage.
Don’t ignore real-life marketing efforts
Just because we live in an Internet-oriented world doesn’t mean that traditional marketing efforts are of no use. In fact, they are still a very efficient means of getting people genuinely interested in your event. Whether you’re using pamphlets, posters, banners or corflute signs, make sure the message you’re conveying is short, simple and most importantly, compelling. The design should be attention-grabbing, so pay special attention to your selection of fonts, colors and images. If you’re having second thoughts regarding the design, then you might want to invest in a professional designer. They can be somewhat expensive, however, this should not be a considerable issue with a thoughtfully rationed budget.
After the event, it’s time to focus on post-event activities. These include posting recaps and summaries that should include any quotes from the attendees and positive feedback from the visitors. With permission from speakers and the organization, you can have record the event, or parts of it, and use it for additional and future marketing efforts. Don’t forget to thank your guests for attending using both direct e-mail, as well as posts on various social media profiles.
Leila Dorari is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer from Sydney. She has been working with different companies for five years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more exciting.