In this article, I’m not going to just provide you with 17 random ways you can advertise and promote your event. Instead, I’ve compiled an even larger list of event advertising ideas and asked people to vote on their favorites leaving 17 of the best ideas to advertise your event. Also, see How to Increase Engagement During Trade Shows [13 Top Tips] and Printed Advertising Flags [Promote Your Brand].
I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you get people coming to your event.
Note: This list includes mostly free ways to advertise your event which is always nice but it also includes paid ways which can help a lot as long as you make your money back.
Here’s the list so you can take it in at a glance but keep reading to learn the advertising details behind each idea so you will be better prepared to implement them. This list will break down into a lot of different sub ideas and ways to advertise an event so make sure to check it out.
- Social Media: It’s not overrated & does work if utilized well
- Leverage Online Groups On Facebook
- Publish new Blogs/Content That Is Optimized
- Attractive Ticket Buying Process
- Utilize Your Network and past Attendees
- Prospect New Emails
- Send Emails To Current Contacts, Lists, and New Prospects
- Instagram and Facebook Ads On Your Budget
- Guest Posting
- Networking And Sharing
- Google Ads: Create affordable google ads that target your ideal attendee
- Engage With Audiences That Attended Similar Events
- Collaborate With Similar Past Event Hosts
- Create A Video
- Local Signage, Graffiti, Posters
- Local Billboards
- Event Posting Classifieds
- Bonus: ?? At the end of this article, there is a video with bonus tips but you have to read to the end… Or just scroll there but I want you to read the whole thing so you can learn in all 🙂
Let’s learn more about each of these ideas and get your event promoted!
1. Use Social Media To Promote Your Event
You can leverage social media in many ways to advertise, hyped-up, and promote your event.
Create and use your event hashtag every chance you get. Create a specific tag that is associated with your event.
Use all your social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and any others you use)
Post daily leading up to your event. You should start at least 2-3 month in advance promoting your event. Announce it as soon as you can and post about it regularly so it’s top of mind for people. Include details and dates or links to learn more about it so people that are interested can plan for the event. Ask people to add it to their calendar. We live in a lazy world and telling people what to do is the best way for people to think, “oh yeah I should add this to my calendar so I don’t forget.” Posting regularly will also remind people of when it is and after so much repetition your event will always be top of mind for interested people.
Use Instagram stories a lot too!
As Victoria from Eventtia said,
“From creating entire narratives to running quick surveys, Instagram Stories is the quickest way to interact and engage with your audience.”
Always include a call to action on your posts. CTA’s include:
- Buy tickets now
- Click the link to learn more (This is when you post a teaser and have full details on a ticket-buying webpage)
- Watch the video
- Join in on the experience (people love experiences and having fun and interested people will want to be a part of your event)
- Early bird special
Positing in a variety of ways will help your event stay top of mind without sounding repetitive and boring. Here are some event posting ideas:
- Announcement teaser: Click the link to join the experience and learn more
- Who’s coming: Post about special guests and others that are apart of the event
- What will the weather be like: When you’re a week out from the event post about weather conditions
- Share with your friends: “Are you excited for (insert event)? Invite your friends and share the experience!
- Thanks for registering! See you there: Say thanks to recent registrants and tag them in the post
- Another teaser but with different info than the first one
- Post a video: Whether it’s a short animation, a slideshow with music, or shoot a live action, videos are the most engaging kind of posts
2. Leverage Online Groups On Facebook
Do some group searches on Facebook that are relevant to your event and join them. Start to engage with members throughout the group feed by commenting and liking posts. Then when you’ve become a more known member from your engagement post about your event and ask group members to share your event and join in on the experience.
3. Publish New Blogs/Content That Is Optimized
Basically, do some SEO. If you are new to SEO or if you don’t have someone that can create and optimize some content for you, then this might not be the best use of your time and consider skipping this tip. But, if you know how to do some keyword research in relation to your event and create optimized content for it. Then do it.
Post a blog that is optimized around a search term that has a lower monthly search volume and is related to your event. Then, write a long blog with many images, a video, click to tweets, quotes, internal and external links and share it on your social. Connect with people that are in your space or do work related to your event and ask them to check your post out and share it. This step is the most useful if you do it a few months in advance. If you can get even 100 to 500 visits to your post at that time that could be a good audience to sell event tickets to. Just make sure you have a call to action somewhere in the middle of your post, in the end, and on the sidebar. You could even try a lightbox after a user has been on the page for 6 seconds that sells event tickets.
4. Attractive Ticket Buying Process
Make sure your ticket buying process for the user is easy and straightforward. The most popular event tickets services are pretty good about making it easy for people to buy your tickets.
Implement special sales:
- Early bird sale
- Group discounts
Anything that makes buying look more attractive.
5. Utilize Your Network and Past Attendees
You already have a pool of friends, acquaintances, and if you’ve done events in the past, you should have a list of those past attendees.
Utilize your Facebook contacts and ask your friends to like and share your event page (You should have a Facebook event page).
Post on all your other social media platforms and ask people to share so all who are interested will know about your awesome event.
If you have a list of people (names, emails, and phone numbers) from past events, use it and let them know you’re hosting another great experience.
6.Prospect New Emails
Along the lines of emailing past attendees, you can prospect new emails for people that would be interested in your event.
Here’s how to do this.
First off you need a prospect or email capture tool. Try Clearbit as a free Google extension, Hunter.io is free, and you can try prospect.io which is a paid tool.
These tools will help you find emails based on a domain name. You will search for people in a number of ways and then find a domain that is associated with them. This is a domain that is in their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook page, or Linkedin profile.
You can search for people by hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Search for groups and people in those groups.
You can friend people in groups and send them a message.
If you can find a domain on their profile using one of the tools mentioned above and give the domain a search. The tools can provide you with a list of emails associated with that domain. Pick out the emails that make sense based on title or if the people you found from the social search are listed.
Then send them an email inviting them to join your event.
7. Send Emails To Current Contacts, Lists, and New Prospects
We’ve covered this pretty well so far but as a reminder anyway, SEND EMAILS to all your contacts, old lists, and newly prospected emails. You should send no more than 9 emails leading up to the event separated by at least 3 days apart and no fewer than 7 emails unless your time frame to the event is less than 3 days apart per email.
8. Instagram and Facebook Ads On Your Budget
As an ad platform, Instagram and Facebook can be very beneficial. Facebook had grown in the competition which has driven ad costs up. That could be a downside if your target audience that you are sending ads to is a competitive group. But Instagram has the best impression rate due to its one post view at a time as you scroll down.
Here’s how to start.
Login to Facebook and make sure you have a business account set up on your Instagram page. If you don’t change that real quick from your mobile device on Instagram or you can do it through Facebook in the settings section.
Once you’ve got that all set up, you can promote a post or create an ad for Facebook and Instagram. Just log into the Facebook ad manager and you can set up your audience, budget, ad content, schedule, and other details for Facebook and Instagram.
Run an ad that links to your ticket page and get some sales. Keep in mind you will get better results from a more specific and targeted audience. You can start for $100 and see if you get some ticket sales. It can be tricky to get a positive ROI with small budgets and with audiences that aren’t ready to buy. To increase your conversion rate, you can do a retargeting ad that will send ads to people who visited your website or ticket buying page. This can be useful because you know those people are interested in your website topics and/or visited your ticket page.
Test it and if you get good results you can scale your budget.
9. Guest Posting
Guest posting can be very valuable to not only gain authority on your site and get some traffic but also to promote your event.
Research and find blogs that allow a guest post that is related to your event. Make a list and think of topics you could write about for each blog.
Then reach out and ask if you could write for them. Be brief in your message and tell them about the topic you would like to write about. Make sure to review any guidelines and specs a blog may have on guest posting.
In your post mention your event and link to your ticket page. Depending on the traffic and audience size of the website you’re guest posting on will determine how many views your blog gets and how many clicks to your ticket page it will get.
10. Networking And Sharing
We’ve touched on this a bit but you can expand your networking activities to connect with people that could be interested in your event. The easiest way to do this is to head over to Linkedin and search for keywords in people.
If I was hosting an event for my brewery, I could search for brewery and Linkedin would show me a list of people that work in that space or are connected to it in some way. Then I can send a connection request to them with a nice message. Once we are connected and I’m posting regularly about my event they will see it but then I can send them a message directly and ask if they are interested or would like to share it with their network.
11. Google Ads: Create affordable google ads that target your ideal attendee
Similar to using Facebook and Instagram ads, you can use Google ads as well. If you’ve never used it before you get $100 of ad spend to try for free. Deploy ad best practices such as creating a target audience with keywords and demographics, optimizing for conversions, and writing some good ad copy.
A good tip for when you’re starting small is keeping your target demographic and geography small as well.
Link to your ticket buying page and see if you get results. If your ROI is positive try to scale it with a higher budget.
12. Engage With Audiences are Attending Similar Events
Do some research on social media, Google, and event websites and look for similar events that are taking place at different times. Look for people that comment, like, and share the event and connect with them. Then send this simple message or something similar:
“Hey (insert their name) I saw you were excited about (similar event)! That’s great, it looks like it will be fun. I wanted to let you know about a similar event called (insert your event) that’s at (time and location). I didn’t want you to miss it. And if you can think of anybody that you think would like this event please share it with them. Thanks and have a great day.”
13. Collaborate With Similar Past Event Hosts
If you can network with hosts of similar events both coming up and in the past, you can see if they can provide you with some contacts or people they know that would be interested in attending your event. You would be surprised how willing people are to help a fellow event host out. And if you’re not in direct competition with each other then you can help them out too!
14. Create A Video
A video is the most engaging type of content medium and can be a powerful tool when promoting your event.
You can communicate so much in a short amount of time while getting people pumped for the event. You don’t have to do anything fancy here as long as it’s short, to the point, and has some personality. You can use your phone for goodness sake. I remember when I used my phone instead of a camera for convenience just to get something up and it ended up being super fun and viewers loved it.
If you have some creative friends ask them to help you and brainstorm some ideas. A high concept and simple idea are worth a lot if you have a video to talk about your event.
If you use a phone, make sure you shoot horizontally.
Gif from providerassist.com
15. Local Signage, Graffiti, Posters
Print and place some old-fashioned posters around your area. Try light posts, city corners, grocery stores, and anywhere else you can place a poster. Place them at venues or stores that you think your target audience would shop at. For example, If I have hosted a yoga event I would place posters outside and around yoga studios. You could even ask local stores if you could pass out your flyers at their store or leave a stack on the desk for customers.
Put some signs up around the neighborhood. Be careful not to break any laws though.
16. Local Billboards
Electronic billboards are very affordable nowadays and can be a great way to promote your event. Search online for affordable billboards in your area. You’ll need to create a nice looking ad with a simple URL to make it easy for people to visit and buy tickets.
17. Event Posting Classifieds
Local classified have sections specifically for events so don’t pass up the resource and make a post. It’s similar to a facebook event but with the details on a local classified. You can take out an ad in a local paper and make one online. Craigslist is the most common one countrywide but there are similar services in your state and city.
18. Bonus: Contact local businesses and ask if they would like to be sponsors
Local business is all about promoting their business just like you are about promoting your event. Contact some local business, ask for the owner, and see if they are interested in sponsoring your event. Choose businesses that make sense. Like in our yoga example, if you were putting on a yoga event you would ask a local yoga studio to sponsor it. This should benefit both of you. It allows you to tap into their market and network and it allows them to reach new customers at your event. Keep in mind you’ll need enough people already signed up to make it worth it for them.
Today, people love great experiences and they are willing to pay for a good experience rather than buying some item.
There is a log of ways to promote your event and it mostly involves a lot of work. However, if you organize amazing events and people love the experience, then it would be worth promoting as much as possible. There is also big money in events that yield high turnouts and sales with low costs for a really good ROI.
Here are a view more tips from BigVisionShow
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