You've set the date and booked a venue. Now to make sure it’s an absolute success, you just need to make as many people show up as possible.
Sometimes that's easier said than done. While traditional forms of advertising like billboards and radio still work for some industries, it’s crucial to learn how to promote an event online for true success in 2020. After all, you simply can’t afford to miss the opportunity to reach more people than ever.
Luckily for you, we've collected 10 bullet-proof tips and tricks that are guaranteed to boost the attendance at your next event.
Your event website or landing page is the cornerstone of all your online promotion efforts. Your event page has to do the tricky job of being both informative and promotional; it needs to provide prospective attendees with all the administrative details of your event, while also convincing them that the event will be a fantastic experience they can't afford to miss.
If you don’t have the time and budget for event marketing software or creating an entire website for your event, you can simply create a landing form in a matter of minutes using Paperform. This will allow you to combine all the crucial elements of an event website (including event details) and a registration form into one beautiful marketing page.
Here are some other key things you need to consider for your website or landing page.
People might be looking for an event like the one you're hosting right now. Instead of just creating a landing page with the name of your event, try to describe it using relevant keywords.
For instance, here's the search engine result page for the keyword “marketing conference London”. Notice how this website uses the same keyword for the page title:
To quickly find relevant keywords that receive a decent number of searches per month, try Ubersuggest. It's free to use and can help you find a keyword or two to target your landing page towards, allowing you to reap the rewards of organic search traffic.
As they say, pictures speak louder than words. To attract your audience’s attention, use compelling visuals on your website. If you have pictures from previous events, that’s great. If you don’t, no worries: search for some appealing stock pictures or hire a designer to create graphics through Upwork.
Also, if you are going to have speakers at your event, make sure to include their pictures and bio. Attendees are more likely to attend events where the speakers have impressive experience that makes prospective attendees look forward to their talks, or some kind of entertainment that meets their interests. Also, it’s always great to see the real people behind the event.
The whole point of promoting your event online is to get people to register for it. While putting up a basic Google form for registrations might seem tempting, it's important to note that the internet is rife with cases of registration form abandonment.
A recent study found that more than 80% of participants had recently abandoned at least one web form mid-way.
Combating form abandonment comes down to a few different things:
Get started with your own dynamic registration form to avoid abandonment and ensure high signup rates.
At Wave.video, we find it to be very effective to promote an event online with a teaser video. This tactic works especially well for online events (like webinars and live videos).
In the teaser video, ask the speaker to introduce her/himself and share a brief summary of what the event is going to be about.
You can then share this teaser on social media, send it via email, and use in other promotional activities for your event. Slice and dice teaser videos using tools like Wave.video, to create more share-worthy social content.
If you are organising a festival, lecture, or any other local event, it makes sense to collaborate with event-generating websites like Eventbrite and get mentioned in their newsletters.
Normally, such websites have their own list of subscribers that are interested in various events, including yours.
If you're planning on hosting multiple events over a long period of time and all your events target a similar demographic, a Meetup Group is a great investment. Why? Because it allows you to to build a community filled with the kind of people who will be attracted to your events.
Focus on creating a group that resonates with your ideal attendees. If your event is all about entrepreneurship, create a Meetup Group about Quick Business Growth Hacks, where members can interact, share valuable tips and have conversations with one another.
By the time your event rolls around, you'll have a community of Group members you can market your event to. Here's a guide to get you started.
Here are some other things should consider on when promoting your event through social media.
Make sure to come up with unique hashtags for your event. This will help you find the event-related content and re-share it with your audience.
To make sure people don’t miss your tweets and Facebook posts regarding your event, post often. Schedule several posts a day on different social platforms.
A great way to gain traction and attract signups for your event is by promoting it on Twitter or Facebook with a paid ad. Make sure you create custom targeting for the ad to only show it to people who live in the city where your event is being held.
Here are a few ideas of what you can include in your organic and paid posts:
Make sure to send a sequence of emails to the people who have signed up for your event in order to build anticipation.
Remind people of the time and date so that it's fresh in their memories, share any important news and keep excitement levels high by sharing any sneak peeks or fun facts ahead of the event.
A great side-effect of this is that once you've built an email list from one event, you can easily promote any future events to the same list of contacts.
If this is your first foray into the event marketing world, here's are some easy ways to build an email list from scratch.
Generally, people are happy to help out, especially if you make it easy for them to do this. To help people spread the word about your event, prepare a series of tweets/posts and email them to the attendees.
Examples of pre-written tweets:
You can also just send the links to your own original tweet or post so that your audience can retweet and repost.
During the event, don’t forget to tweet, share pictures and quotes from speakers. Also encourage attendees to tweet or Instagram during the event. This way, your event can gain exposure with new audiences.
Showcasing how awesome your events are is bound to attract more attendees for your next.
In the tweet, make sure to tag attendees or speakers and add the event hashtag. Attaching a visual (image or better yet - a video) will also give your tweets more exposure.
Your audience might have some questions prior to the event. Start a meaningful conversation by reposting them on social and answering them in detail.
For instance, the service that we use for hosting our webinars allows asking questions in advance. We can then take these questions and turn them into tweets, visuals or even short videos.
This way, your followers can have a sneak peek at what exactly is going to be covered at the event. Kindle their curiosity and encourage them to sign up and learn more.
A great way to encourage more registrations is by offering existing attendees an incentive like a small discount or a VIP pass for referring their friends to your event.
Live videos are a great instrument when it comes to promoting your event online. Viewers are 10 times more likely to comment on a live video than one that was pre-recorded.
The live video format gives customers a peek into what’s going on at the event. It also encourages interaction with your audience, since people have an innate desire to be part of what’s happening.
You don’t have to have a rehearsed script or prepare for the live video too much. Being natural and spontaneous is what’s going to gain you more viewers and help to promote your event online.
Once your event is over, don’t stop promoting it for future attendees! One of the easiest things you can do is writing a recap blog post.
Personally, I love doing recaps after events, like webinars or offline industry conferences. This is an easy way to repurpose your content and provide more value to your audience.
For online events like webinars, live videos, and interviews, simply transcribe, add relative links and visuals - and voila! Your blog post is ready.
For conferences, write up a summary of the sessions with your own insights. People will love reading a note from a real person, not just another agenda.
If you don't have a blog yet, we recommend to check out this comprehensive guide on starting a blog from scratch.
Learning how to promote an event online might seem daunting at first but it doesn’t have to be. With smart planning and a bit of creativity, your event will be the raging success it deserves to be.
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