Where to Market Your Next In Person Event for the Best Results
Today we will be talking about marketing your in person event. We’ll cover where to focus to get the word out about your workshop, mastermind, conference, or other in person event. Online marketing isn’t just for online events!
Events Where You Can Promote
Promote these by showing and sharing information about the event in your social media and email list.
Each partner is responsible for marketing the event on their social media and through their email lists. This is nice because you share the work and cost of ads.
All of the responsibility for marketing is on you, even if you empower affiliates and/or joint venture. You are the project manager.
Classes, workshops, preview events, conferences, and VIP coaching events all fall into these three categories.
Planning Your Next In Person Event
It seems like it used to be much easier to get people to show up at events. You just sent out invitations, let people RSVP, and they showed up, right? It was never quite that simple, and today people receive multiple invitations to events daily and only choose to attend ones they perceive as a high value use of their time.
Many business owners don’t market their event early or often enough and end up disappointed in the resulting low turnout. You need a well-executed play to attract and enroll your clients. Here on some tips on how to plan your marketing strategy:
You need to warm your audience to the idea of your event instead of going straight for the sale. Most people need to be exposed to an idea multiple times before they really pay attention. Plan to announce your event well in advance, and remember, the larger your ask (time and money from audience) the longer you will need to market.
Serve First, Sell Second
Try this the other way around and people will tune you out and move on. People don’t like to be sold, but we love to buy! When you start with useful, helpful content and the intent to serve your ideal client, it’s easy for your audience to see the value you bring to the table. Wow your audience with fabulous free content and they will pay you to take them to the next level.
Do this by writing articles that speak to the topic of your event, or create a podcast or video. Your medium is less important than consistency in publishing and the value you present. Offer content upgrades to simultaneously build yourself up as a trusted resource and build your list. Send your new contacts your welcome series to warm them up.
Don't Do Social - Be Social
Don’t plaster your messages about your event all over social media. Instead, invite people to connect with you and use calls to action letting them know exactly which action they should take. The more engaged you can get your audience the better. Absolutely post your articles and supporting images for your event to all your social media networks, but don’t let that be the only thing you post.
Play To Play
The days of free Facebook traffic are over, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Now more than ever quality content counts, and putting a few dollars of advertising behind it can get more of your ideal clients to see it. Once you’re a few weeks out from your event, publish your strongest blog article and post it to Facebook. Tell your power partners when it will post and ask them to give it a quick like, comment, and share.
Once you have a small amount of engagement make your post into an ad. Your ad will keep its social proof and give you a little more bang for your buck. Don’t sell into your event just yet, since you are targeting a cold audience, but do make an irresistible offer for a download. You can use a special thank you page that offers the event once the download has been accepted. If you get any opt ins to the event, yay! If not, you will have either the opportunity to email or retarget depending on their behavior.
Download your event marketing checklist and get ready to host your next amazing event!
Where Should You Market Your Events?
On your website
Create an events page or calendar, landing/sales page, and blog article related to the topic of your event.
Your Email Database
Use what you already have. Be sure to create email announcements and newsletters about your event for the people who already know, like, and trust you.
On Your Social
Guest Podcasts & Blog Posts
Tweet images, articles, and other content related to your event.
Create an event post and link it to your ticketing platform, run ads, post about the event on your page and in your groups, post on others pages and groups where allowed (follow the rules and please don’t be spammy), and post sparingly on your personal page.
Announce the event in your personal profile under projects, on your pages, and through articles in Pulse with a related topic. Be sure to include a call to action or opt in.
Use LinkTree, a must have Instagram tool. Spread the word about your event in your feed and stories and through ads.
Speaking on other people’s podcasts and writing a blog post for others allows you to reach their audience. These are particularly useful for major events especially if they repeat
Places like Eventbrite and Eventful
Don’t forget about all the people you already see in person. Announce your event at networking events, speaking engagements, and your other events.
Tried and true paper marketing methods still work. Advertise your event in newspapers (both physical and online), church bulletins, neighborhood sites, and press releases.
Discuss, announce, and mention your event anywhere else that makes sense for you and your audience.
Using a combination of these marketing techniques is referred to as omni-channel event marketing. The best way to meet your goals is with this multi-faceted approach. One method of marketing, standing alone, will rarely get the job done! Promoting your event using a combination of various marketing disciplines will get more traction.
Omni-Channel Event Marketing Example
Email Marketing: Develop your communications plan for emails well in advance of your event. Because you will need different emails depending on your audiences, segmenting your list will keep you from sending out reminder emails to those who have already registered, while continuing to promote to those who haven’t purchased. By establishing your email plan and messaging strategy ahead of time (just like for any other launch) you’ll set yourself up for success.
Social Media: Make sure you create a dedicated hashtag for your event to be used in all your social media promotion. (Check to make sure it isn’t already in use by someone else.) Use engaging visuals, videos, and animations to draw attention to your tweets and posts promoting your event. Be sure to pin your posts to the top of your pages and profiles. You can use social media to highlight big announcements and generate buzz surrounding your event including promoting speakers, sponsors, topics, and more. Don’t forget to budget for paid social ads!
PR: Public Relations still maintains its value. Don’t neglect traditional marketing methods that continue to bring ROI. Leverage your PR team to drive awareness to your event via media alerts and event listings in relevant business journals and newsletters
Direct Mail: If everyone else is all digital all the time, you may consider standing out by doing something different and sending invitations by snail mail. You could reserve this tactic for VIP invitations and use something bulky so it won’t be confused with junk mail.
Website: Your compelling website is a crucial component of event marketing. This is your hub for all event related information, including a detailed agenda, speakers, hotel and transportation information, meal details, and other activities. All your promotional efforts should be driving traffic here so that potential attendees can get any information they need and purchase tickets. Make sure to display your social share buttons to enable easy sharing and build word of mouth buzz.
Special Guest, Erin Cell
In person events are a whirlwind of planning, marketing, and fun. Erin shares her experiences planning in person events.
Erin Cell is the mastermind behind the inaugural Social Media Day Denver event (2016). In 2017, she did it again bringing together over 200 business owners for Social Media Day Denver: Mile High Influence with a fun evening of Social Media Shenanigans with Joel Comm & Kim Garst. Internationally known and local social media leaders shared their insights and knowledge with the Denver business community.
Owner of Socially Powered, a local social media marketing agency, Erin is my friend, my peer, my social sister in Colorado Women in Social Media, and my accountability partner for all things Amy Porterfield. Everyone needs someone traveling the same path who understands your daily struggles and wins. Erin is my girl.
Find out more about Erin at SociallyPowered
Why do I need to start marketing so early? Can’t I just announce the event a couple of weeks out?
If you wait until the last minute to announce your event, you will miss out on the people who plan ahead. Business people are busy. Adding something into their schedule last minute is not a good idea.
Plus, planning ahead gives you more time to build momentum and excitement around your event!
This Marketing Stuff Really Works
Pinkie promise! Most of the time a well-executed plan gets great results but every now and then you will get a dud. It happens. To everyone. At some point everyone will have a lower attendance than expected (even mentors and people who seem to have it all together.) The longer you keep at it and the more established your audience, the easier it will be for you to attract your ideal prospects and get them to attend. The key is to keep on going. Track your efforts and make changes as needed. You may be able to bump up future attendance by tweaking a headline or changing the time of day you hold your event.
There are so many different options available for event promotion it can definitely seem overwhelming at first (or second… or third) glance! Remember that you must start where you are and work with what you have. Don’t compare your progress to others and don’t think that you have to do all the things right now. Do what you can to the best of your ability and keep showing up.
Getting your system in place will take some up front work, but once you’ve figured out what works best you’ll be able to duplicate your efforts and continue to make small improvements as you go.
I have a question for you.
Answer me in The Social Savvy Geek Show Insiders Facebook Group!
Have you found out about an event through Facebook ads? Did you attend or no?