Contrary to popular belief, you really don’t need a big budget or a celebrity cameo to successfully market your event. Save the big bucks for other areas of your event planning and hosting – you can still effectively get the word out with an impeccable, multi-channel marketing strategy. Read on for suggestions on how to ensure your next big event is well promoted and attended.
Reach out to your social networks on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with engaging content. Create posts that will create an emotional connection with your audience. Now’s the time to be bold, exciting, and buzzworthy. This is where quotes from your speaker interviews and videos can be repurposed. If you don’t have a graphic designer, Canva is an easy and free tool to use to put together digital posters and flyers. A social media scheduler like Buffer can also help you plan posts in advance.
Another way to elicit engagement is to post polls and surveys pre- and post-event. You can get feedback on venue suggestions, what type of upcoming events your followers are looking forward to, and awards-related topics – nominations, recognition, and prizes.
Additional tip: When you publish your posts, don’t forget to use appropriate hashtags and actively like, comment, and share others’ posts. Doing this helps boost your own posts’ visibility!
Take advantage of paid promotion on social media. Running a pay-per-click ad on Facebook or LinkedIn is an affordable way to reach your target audience, and you only pay when users take action. Before doing this, set up an event landing page where visitors can find out all about your event and purchase tickets. Aside from social media, don’t disregard creating paper flyers to distribute in your community as well as traditional advertising with your local radio, TV stations, and newspapers. If buying an ad isn’t an option, send a press release with details on how your event can be covered with a free press pass or two to your event.
Email and Text
Email marketing is still one of the most efficient and cost-effective channels to reach a target audience. If you have an email newsletter, give your upcoming event prime placement. Or, set up a separate email campaign solely dedicated to sending event invites. Craft attention-grabbing subject lines, and keep an eye on email stats such as opens and clicks so you can further optimize each email. Most email marketing systems provide these standard metrics so you can track what’s working and what isn’t.
Pro Tip: Email event reminders and invites three times (on different days of course). The average office worker receives 121 emails every day. Because emails are so disposable and we’re all easily distracted due to multitasking, everyone needs multiple reminders.
Sending text messages is by far the most effective means of communication. According to Forbes, 95 percent of all texts are read within three minutes. If you want to make sure your members are aware of your event, text them. Keep in mind that SMS marketing is heavily regulated to protect consumers and marketers alike (users can opt out). Use common sense, send messages when appropriate, and don’t sound spammy.
Marketing is just one component of orchestrating a successful event. The right tools can help you effortlessly plan, promote, and manage an event for your association. Our online membership platform is fully integrated with event management, communication, and social media tools and features, so tracking member activity, participation, and financials can be done in one place. Streamline online event management and let your staff and volunteers spend more time on your mission – contact memberplanet to learn more about how we can help you manage, engage, and grow.
Updated since original publication on 1/19/18.