Events are powerful ways to engage people. It’s a chance for you to interact with your audience directly, showcase your brand and product, and also build a buzz around your business.
For an event to make an impact and be successful, you need to have enough attendees taking part. You have to promote your event through different channels and build excitement.
Here’s how to market your events online and maximize attendance.
Unless you already have a large and highly engaged following, doing on-the-spur events will lead to poor attendance.
You need to begin marketing your event at least a week in advance and maybe longer depending on your industry and the type of audience you have.
Many B2B events confirm attendance a few months ahead of time to allow people from around the country and even the world to fly in. While small brands and social media influencers with active online followers can announce an event a day or week in advance.
Here are two questions to ask to know how early you should promote an event.
How engaged are your audience members and followers?
If you get plenty of post views, likes, comments, and more in a short time after you post something, then you can promote your event a short time in advance
How long is your event going to be?
If you’re making a quick announcement or hosting a brief event, then it’s something you can promote for a short while because it won’t take much too much of your audience’s time. But if you’re hosting an event that’s an hour or longer, then you need to give your audience the chance to schedule it and free themselves for it
Promoting your event early enough doesn’t just help you reach your audience. It also helps you troubleshoot any technical issues and even change your content for the event to match people’s expectations.
Create event-specific landing pages
When you promote your event on social media or through email marketing and ads, it’s important to link to an event landing page.
An event landing page is made with a landing page plugin and it’s where the real conversions happen – based on what’s on your landing page, your audience will decide whether to join your event or not.
Here’s what you’ll find on a compelling event landing page:
- A clear topic. Your audience needs to know what to expect from your event and the benefits they’ll get from it
- Who’s hosting? Let your audience know about you and your brand and why they should listen to you
- Time and location. You need to be very specific about the time and means through which the event will take place. Remember that you may have a global audience and need to mention the time for different locations or link to a timezone planner that helps people
- A call to action. Your goal is to get people to actually sign up for your event. So, it’s important to add calls to action on the landing page asking people to register. If you have a lot of content on your page, intersperse calls to action bars and buttons to remind people to register
- Outline the benefits. Your biggest focus needs to be what users get from being part of your event. It can be to learn something new, connect with other people, and more
- Create social sharing. Adding social media buttons to your landing page will make it easier for your audience to share your event with their peers
To build your event registration form, use a good form tool that will collect data and help you immediately form an email list. You can then update your participants easily about important information via email campaigns.
Use inbound marketing techniques
Since events are carried out and consumed just once, you’ll need to focus on inbound marketing techniques to ‘push’ people to join them.
Inbound marketing includes ads, social media posts and videos, billboards, and anything where your content is placed uninvited before your audience’s awareness.
Outbound marketing includes content like blog posts and YouTube videos where you help people with a problem and offer value first. If your audience is happy with what they see, they’ll connect with you and buy from you further down the line.
Inbound marketing doesn’t always include paid marketing. But you will have to create social media posts and blog content with the potential to get a lot of engagement and go viral. Make sure that you share your event on social media and through ads to create the most buzz possible.
Offer additional content to participants
A great way to build goodwill and trust in your audience is to give them something for free that has value. Whether you’re hosting a free or paid event, adding on freebies and special offers will give people a reason to connect with your business.
Gifts like ebooks, free videos, and other content on your event landing page will convince users to at least sign up for your email list even if they don’t want to do an event.
You can also send free content to your event participants before the event to prep them. Or engage your participants after the event by sending them extra material and special offers just for them.
It’s a universal fact that people love surprises and free gifts. Making use of them in your event marketing is a sure-fire way to get more attendance and engagement.
Back to you
Hosting events is a must-have in your marketing strategy. When you do them regularly and do them well, you’ll add a face to your business and also build your brand through direct engagement.
Use the tips given here to market your business before and after the event. And of course, use the event itself as a chance to build your relationship with your audience.
Look at what works and what doesn’t and over time, you’ll be able to fine-tune your events to create the best effect possible.