All live events begin with an online presence. The majority of companies – 89% by one estimate – utilize some form of online marketing. You also have plenty of approaches, from social media to email newsletters. Diversify your approach to broaden your outreach. Here are some best practices for organizing an event marketing campaign.
1. Don’t Neglect Keywords
Contrary to what many people are saying, SEO is not dead. All online promotional content should be optimized with two to three longtail keywords. The keywords should include an industry term followed by a geo-location. If you’re hosting a tech conference in London, for example, then the keywords would be “tech conference in London,” or “IT conference in London.” Use the Google Keyword Planner to discover lucrative keywords in your niche.
Include your keywords in all written content, including blog posts and in the description of video content. Adhere to the basic SEO rules. Include the keyword or a close variation of it in the title, in at least one H2 title, and enough times in the body of the text to achieve a 5% keyword density.
2. Show Off Your Social Proof
Never heard of social proof? This is online content from your followers that you share with other
customers. This can be a post that you retweet, a testimonial, or a customer’s Instagram pic from a previous event. Social proof shows that other customers and event goers are active brand advocates. Showing off social proof may motivate others to follow suit. Just as you expect followers to spread your content, the reverse is also true.
The easiest way to show social proof is by reposting other people’s post. You can also get more creative and include a video compilation or slideshow of the posts.
3. Use Retargeting Ads Often
Retargeting ads are way underutilized. If you’re unfamiliar, these are ads that are shown to followers that went through a portion of the sales funnel process but fell short of purchasing a ticket. These people expressed some level of initial interest and are more likely to convert if you reach out to them again.
Retargeting ads may be directed towards those who, for example, clicked on the RSVP page link in an email newsletter but did not secure a ticket. The message in the ads should also apply FOMO, or the fear of missing out principle. FOMO are messages that convey a sense of urgency. An example may be “Only 20 tickets left,” or “Ticket discount offer ends in 12 hours.”
4. Get Creative with Ticket Sales
Don’t just set a ticket price and sell them via event page with a purchase link. Look for creative ways to part with them. How else can you sell or give away tickets? Consider these methods:
• Early bird pricing
• Discount for bulk purchases
• Give them away to those who perform a favorable action, such as refering X number of buyers
• Discount pricing for loyalty and VIP members
• Give them away in a social media contest, either as the winning prize or to everyone who participates.
5. Use a Social Media Wall
Online promotion continues even once the event is in progress. Even though you’re no longer selling tickets at this point, you still want to spread social media mentions. This helps spread brand awareness and helps promote any products you may be pushing at the event.
To drive in-event social media discussion, incorporate a social media wall. This is a digital signage that shows social media posts from various networks as they’re posted in real time. Seeing live posts should prompt other attendees to join in and submit their own tweets or Instagram posts. Encourage all posters to include the event hashtag with every posting.
The Web provides so many angles for approaching your event promotion. Achieve optimum results by exploring multiple methods and tweaking your strategy to improve analytics.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.