There is nothing more deflating than an event to which no one comes. But take the other side of that coin: an event that has gained social traction and taken on a life of its own can provide the impetus for great things, and there’s no better morale booster than a full house.
Want more good news? It doesn’t take big money to successfully promote an event. In fact, an event advertised on a shoestring can easily outperform one with a generous marketing budget. The key here is connection: engaging with your desired audience from the get-go and keeping them engaged until the big day.
That’s easier said than done, of course, which is why those big-budget marketers so often miss the boat. Here, I’ll walk you through some ways that you can keep your audience connected from the time they hear about your event to the moment they walk through your doors. Longer, even: your event attendees have the potential to become your most avid fan base, supporting you and your organization for years or even a lifetime.
There’s conventional marketing; posters in cafes or street corners the old fashioned way. There’s social media marketing; capturing your audience where they are (their virtual lives). This includes videos and event posts on Facebook, and even influencer posts if you decide to go that route. There are also promotions on discovery sites, and doing some discovering of your own: finding people and circles who actually care about your event, and bringing your event story to them.
Let’s go through these event marketing strategies one by one, and look at how to create excitement for your event.
Promoting your event with posters and flyers
You’ve all seen them: the billboards covered with layers upon layers of posters and flyers, some with phone numbers blazoned in enormous font, others with pull-off tabs creating a haphazard fringe. Postering is one of the oldest ways to announce events, and it’s still worth your while printing out some A4s and going out with a pocket full of thumbtacks.
So long as you do it right. Unless your event is happening in the Alaskan backwoods, where nothing ever happens, a basic printout of your event name and the important details (what, when, where) is not going to catch any eyes. Use colour. Use imagery. If you’re going to go out there and plaster something up, put up a poster that will create a connection.
I’m not telling you to buy the most expensive graphic design software and hire an image designer (remember, I promised I’d tell you how to do this without big money?), but your result should look as if you spent three or four figures on it. There are low budget ways you can get a pro-quality design for a pittance. Is free graphic design software worth anything? Well, it certainly can be. Postermywall, for instance, provides a free drag-and-drop editor with access to thousands of design templates that cover all your bases—and then some. Imagine yourself as your ideal audience, scroll through these event flyer templates, and choose one that has the potential to really resonate; then, customise it by simply changing the text and imagery if you want. Whether your event is a party, a grand launch, or a fundraiser, PosterMyWall has something for you. It’s almost easier than filling in a form!
Social media marketing: down to the basics
Let’s say you’ve spent some time on the event flyer maker at PosterMyWall and created a poster that represents—visually and semantically—exactly what you are about. If your target audience finds themselves in a café where your event flyer is posted and doesn’t notice it, there is just one reason: they’re staring at their phone.
Smartphones are the way we stay connected to our friends, our families, and our favorite causes. They might detract something from real life, but they give as much as they take, and targeted promotion is what they do best. That’s why you haven’t really begun advertising if aren’t promoting on the big social media giants: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Again visuals are key. Research shows that tweets with images receive 1.5x more retweets than those without, and Facebook posts with images trigger 2.5x more engagement than those with only text. You can create attractive Instagram posts, Twitter images, Facebook visuals, and other social media graphics by customising professionally designed social media graphic templates in those sizes, or you can use PosterMyWall to resize that one really good poster you made into a series of images perfect for each of your social media channels with the free Resize button in the editor.
With PosterMyWall’s direct publishing tool, you can publish to different social media platforms directly, so you don’t have to download and re-upload every promotional graphic video that you make – saving you a lot of time and hassle.
Video advertising: action wins
On social media channels, you’re not restricted to still images. Videos have a way of making that scrolling finger pause midway, and once you’ve got a loaded pause, you’re more than halfway to a happy attendee.
Create videos that represent your brand and provide a compelling reason to attend your event, and the results may surprise you. According to Forbes, videos are shared 1200% as much as text and video, and the increase in click-through rate for promotional video posts can be as much as 96%. Videos can be posted everywhere you’re promoting your event – post them liberally on each of your social media accounts, and on your event page on Facebook.
For multimedia creation, PosterMyWall is again a good option: thousands of ready-made video templates and a large stock video library mean that professionally designed promotional videos are literally a few clicks away. The event promo video maker enables you to customise your videos automatically for each of your social media platforms through the free resize feature, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.
In fact, it’s even a handy image-to-video tool that allows you to animate the visuals you’ve already created. Convert a static design to a video with a single click by simply replacing an image with a video, and watch that engagement go up.
Marketing is never a one-man show, but PosterMyWall’s collaboration options make sharing what you’ve created with your teammates a cinch. You no longer have to attach each iteration of the video design to email or any other platform to get feedback from your team. Instead, share in-app, discuss your event promotion strategies, and get direct feedback.
Event posts: don’t let up on the action
Take advantage of Facebook’s calendar functionality to set up an online event page where prospective attendees can RSVP and discover who else might be there on the big day. If you’re selling tickets, consider doing so directly on your Facebook event page: research has shown that enabling ticket sales on Facebook event pages led to 20% more sales – and, for free events, double the registration.
Don’t let your event page stagnate; keep your fan base energised by relevant posts that remind them why they want to make your event a priority. You can add a Facebook event cover video to add life to your event page and post your event schedule to get people excited about what your event will feature. The idea is to keep your audience engaged and interested in what is coming up. Don’t let them forget who you are and what you’re doing, and increase anticipation by giving a snapshot of your upcoming events.
Again, this is very easy to do with PosterMyWall’s innumerable Facebook cover video templates and upcoming events templates. PosterMyWall also has hundreds of professionally designed ticket templates, and it takes no more than a few minutes to customise a ticket template for your event and upload it as your page’s cover photo.
If you can’t keep up with the regular social media posting, you can sign up for PosterMyWall’s Premium subscription and schedule your posts for the entire season so you can cut down the hassle of posting again and again to maintain momentum.
Discovery sites: finding the people that are looking for you
A survey of 3,000 urban event-goers in the U.S. showed that more than half (64 per cent) checked out neighborhood guides when they wanted to find something to do. That’s a stunning statistic—especially if you haven’t added your event to relevant event guides as yet.
If you’re targeting music fans, post to Bandsintown and Songkick. If you’re planning a conference, make sure it’s up on Eventbrite. Don’t forget local discovery sites either, such as Do Stuff, and make sure each event posting is embellished with engaging, conversion-making visuals. Use PosterMyWall to pull together event posters relevant to each specific audience and stay consistent wherever you post.
Network, network, network
Once you’ve got a few people RSVP’ing to your event, you have new and enormous potential. Each individual follower has the potential to be an ambassador for your brand and your event—and all they need is you to provide them with a few small tools and perhaps an incentive or two before they do so.
Well-targeted infographics, with a well-placed shout out to the upcoming event, can be shared ad infinitum. Providing your first faithful followers with badges and profile picture stickers will give you free advertising to all their friends and family, but that’s not all. It’ll also cement that follower’s status as ‘part of the team’, and ensure that they’ll do whatever they can to make sure they don’t miss the big day.
You can also give yourself a bit of a kick start by contracting with an influencer in your niche to promote your event or post a series of pre-prepared visuals. Customising your visuals to your influencer’s fan base may only take you ten extra minutes on PosterMyWall, but can yield huge dividends. A recent study showed that every dollar spent on influencer marketing yielded $6.50 in increased revenue– and, in some cases, up to $20!
To sum up…
It’s not rocket science. Connect, engage, inspire, and keep it up until the big day. Momentum builds on momentum, and it won’t be long until your tickets are sold out. Don’t put it off any longer and start promoting your event with PosterMyWall today!
This content is sponsored by PosterMyWall.