Hosting an event takes a lot of planning and preparation to be successful. There is so much that can go into it and the logistics of event planning are just one element that can be a daunting task to take on. With so much work and pressure to make sure it is a success, an event planner’s biggest fear is to not have anyone show up. So how can you market your event to get the best turn out and make it success?
Marketing your event online is probably the easiest and most productive way to get people to register and attend your event. There are a variety of ways to ensure your success using content led marketing, social media, event planning software and other online resources. We will discuss some of these great tools, their benefits and why you should consider using them for your next event.
Email marketing software and services are one of the best methods to get the word out for your event. Some email marketing service providers have preset templates that look professional, organized and have a higher chance in getting a recipient registered.
According to this infographic, anywhere from 25-40% email invitations are opened and the same percentage of those who open them, actually click on the links provided within your email. Some quick tips for using an email marketing service are to make sure your emails are mobile friendly, include images, send them out earlier in the day and make sure to provide many links to register for the event within the message.
Spreading the word via Facebook or Twitter will help to create more buzz about your event. People often use social media to share details about the event 17 days before the date on average. Encourage participants to tell their friends and followers will definitely help your event get exposure and increase attendance, after all, their friends will be going too. Roughly 65% of people with social media profiles post about the event while it is taking place. Take advantage and help them promote it with a unique hashtag for your event.
Search Engine Optimization
Using search engines and rankings your event page is another great way to market the occasion. Although it may take some time to start getting results, search engine optimization can be one of the strong ways to promote events that occur annually or regularly. It has been shown that 89% of people attending an event use major search engines to aid with making a final decision in the purchasing process.
A majority of decisions and traffic is directed to websites that are “above the fold” or at the top of the page. Being at the top of major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing put your event at a distinct advantage, creating one of the best ways to increase registrations. Because SEO takes time and sometimes it’s hard to track which tactics are having the greatest positive affect, consider using an analytics tool and also make sure you have implemented Google’s free analytics and webmaster tools.
The registration process is another important way to use the internet to your advantage. There are many ticketing platforms such as EventBrite, Verdini, Explara etc. you can use that are designed specifically for event planning. These platforms enhance visibility and discover-ability of your event to your relevant audience. Offering incentives or discounts to sign up early are ways to get people to register, which are often built in pricing features with most ticketing services.
The right content created to around your event can yield exciting results provided you produce and release the content plenty of time before the event launches, and that you promote the piece in the places that your target is hanging out online. Some good content ideas include articles, ebooks, print material, and designed images related to the agenda of your event. After you decide which medium you’ll be using to reach your audience, you need to decide where to publish.
Figure out which social media channels with be most effective, what kind of results leveraging your blog will bring, and even if print holds promise. After all of this, make sure the you are keeping track of how many people download the content, share the content, convert to leads, or actually register for your event. This type of data is best kept track of and analyzed with a data visualization service or some type of salesforce integration software. You can read more about these key metrics here.
More people are consuming content on their mobile devices than ever before. The most recent statistics project mobile traffic to websites surpassing traditional desktop traffic by March 2017. Simply put, you cannot afford to miss out on the chance to engage users on their phones and expect your event to thrive. Your focus for mobile marketing should be around posting live event updates, sending SMS text updates and using QR codes on flyers to drive traffic to mobile event pages. Additionally there are mobile apps available to list events.
Social Media Publicity
Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or some other social platform to spread the word about your event, there are some best practices and tips and tricks you should not overlook. For example, linking to any content you’ve created about your event from your Facebook status is often overlooked. You can also share compelling facts from your story, or even ask for a like.
On Twitter, of course you can tweet links to your event content or event landing pages. But don’t overlook thanking those you retweet you or using hashtags. Also, being active on Pinterest and Google+ can lead you to communities with untapped potential for spreading the word on your event. The content created earlier around the event can further fuel your social media activities and become a portal between the social channels and your registration page.
These are just a few important tips that you should consider when putting together your next big event. There are many other marketing strategies that you can implement, but these general guidelines should put you on the right path in becoming an expert event planner.
About the Author:
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry.
Image Source: Flickr Cycdor Conference
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