The execution of an event is no easy task. It takes months to plan, meet with vendors, come up with the event profile and program choose and book venues. You need to do all these before marketing (announcing the event to the public). Your event checklist needs to be completed before you start making people aware of the event.
You need to get people to sign up for your event. If you fail to create buzz around your event, you can’t expect to fill many seats. You need to take up the task of making people aware, gaining their interest in and actually register for your event. Don’t worry: There’s plenty you can do to get this awareness. They include Email marketing, mobile marketing, search engine optimization, and social media.
Data Hero came up with an infographic to help you learn best practices for marketing your event online so you can drive awareness, registrations, and engagement with your target audience.
Brand recognition and social media standing should be aligned so that marketing strategies can be accurate. An event promoter must have a complete understanding of the marketing audience so that the message sent through social media accurately reflects the target demographic. An event promoter’s goal is to send the message to users, they receive the information, and it is clear about the company’s intentions. The company’s intentions are to create a syndicated message that appeals to the target market.
Online, the ideological concept of social media is giving users opportunities to collaborate with others, engage, and share content about an assortment of subjects.
Running online campaigns is much like any other traditional marketing process, including online contests, ads, links, and images to encourage users to participate more in-depth with the event. When running online campaigns, it is crucial to understand and issue information that is most pertinent to the initial timeframe of the promotion. The company must monitor these online contest and ads and regularly updating with new and inventive eye-catching updates to keep users occupied. Marketing campaigns are not about supporting a brand or having the right tools or assets to do so, but more about achieving the delicate balance of perfect timing and appropriate messaging to the right target market. The social media campaign must engage and intrigue users to participate and build hype for this event.
Steps you need to follow
- Set up the event
Make sure you have a complete online presence for your event. That could mean starting with a page on your website, a microsite specifically for the event, a Facebook Page or a listing on a social events site. Don’t start talking about your event in your social networks until you have a destination where you can send people to learn more about the event and to RSVP or register.
- Spell it out:
The most important part of the process of promoting your event in a social and mobile world is to provide all the tools and instructions anyone might need to easily help you spread the word. Whatever assets you’ve set up online as your event presence, you have to let people know they can like it, friend it, follow it, or otherwise connect with it – and invite their connections to do the same.
Create a document containing instructions, URLs, and pre-crafted social messaging such as sample Facebook Posts and tweets that you can share electronically. Distribute your events document as a Word doc, a PDF, a shared Google Doc, a web page, even a file uploaded to a social network. Get it into the hands of your event stakeholders as well as your friends, fans and followers so they can help you spread the word.
- Get social
Human beings are social creatures, and the participants in your event are no exception. Use social event apps to list your event or even manage your event from registrations to promotions and take advantage of their social media integrated. Use these listings as your event destination page or to create additional exposure for your event by reaching wider audiences.Some social event apps include:
- Eventbrite – This full-service social events site lets you manage registrations, collect the money if you’re selling tickets, and puts social tools at your fingertips. If you’re selling tickets, you can even motivate your speakers or attendees to help you promote your event through an easy-to-set-up affiliate program where you can give them a percentage of sales they generate. You can also embed an Eventbrite ticket ordering forms into your website or blog post making it easier for people to register (for free events as well as fee-based ones).
- Lanyrd – From an event organizer standpoint, you can list your event and tie into your speakers and key topics, giving people an additional way to learn about your event. From a speaker standpoint, I love how I can list where I’m speaking and tie into the event listing. From an author event, I can also expand my Lanyrd profile to include links to my books. Lanyrd was recently purchased by Eventbrite – a very interesting merger that will only increase the power of each.
- Plancast – Another place to list your events that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and email as well as popular calendar apps like Outlook and GCal.
- Facebook Events – There is no arguing with the power of the Facebook socialsphere, and creating a Facebook Event has all the interconnected and promotable features you’d expect.
- Google+ Events – This is another viable option for listing your event. One nice feature of the app is the ability for attendees who have RSVPd and are using the G+ mobile app to submit images they’ve taken at your event to a shared photo collection.
- Eventful – An event-discovery app and online events calendar tool with social features.
Applications you can use to promote your event
Users can add their snaps to Live Stories, which are curated collections of user-submitted snaps that document city life, campus activities, and live events. At your event, this gives all your most active attendees and advocates the ability to create a totally user-generated narrative of their collective experience. A Live Story of your event would be a rare and exciting opportunity to see the event through the eyes of every attendee.User-generated content is a powerful (and mostly free) way to promote your event.
Depending on your demographic and your event, encouraging users to snap event highlights is a great way to showcase your content, speakers, and other points of pride all throughout their networks.
If you need more control over the content that goes out, create a branded Snapchat account. Let your attendees get a sneak-peak of what’s to come, or what the event is like behind the scenes. Provide some novel insights into your event planning successes. Offer incentives or create contests for early registration by asking people to snap you a picture of themselves registering for your event and one reason they’re excited to come, rewarding the winning snap with discounted admission to the event. To carry the momentum into your event, pick your top 20 and feature them in your own Live Story on the opening day.
Snapchat’s Discover channels feature stories of highly curated editorial content with a high production value, in contrast with the rest of the Snapchat experience.
Both Live and Discover stories are valuable channels for paid advertising, and Snapchat’s Two Pennies pricing model is based on two cents per view for a 10-second video embedded in the published content. Snapchat provides the number of views and screenshots for both paid advertisements and any contributions to Live stories.
Snapchat has also allowed fully sponsored channels within the Discover dashboard. The concept of having a series of snippets in a story about your brand reinforces the use of your own Live Story in delivering interesting, buzz-worthy content to your audience.
Periscope and Meerkat
Meerkat and Periscope are interactive live-streaming apps that leverage the infrastructure of existing social media giants Facebook and Twitter, respectively, to allow users to webcast themselves and interact with their audience. Audience members can comment, share, and like webcasts.
Periscope has about 1 million users per day that live-stream approximately 40 years worth of footage daily. The interface is cleaner, and you can replay casts for up to 24 hours, providing for more sharing opportunity than Meerkat. As an added bonus, the audience can tap the screen to like the cast, issuing a little heart animation that people seem to love.
Meerkat’s head start and large user base have helped it to remain competitive, and it has two features that have yet to appear on its better-funded counterpart. Meerkat allows you to pre-schedule casts, generating a URL that you can share on other channels to promote the cast. They have also recently released a feature that allows you to stream from your GoPro, giving Meerkat a unique and exciting value-add to the adventure-seeking crowd.
Periscope and Meerkat’s interactive streaming are great for boosting your promotional strategy and generating excitement leading up to your event. You can feature exclusive interviews and “ask me anything” sessions with your speakers and other influencers to gauge interest in your topics. Enlist sponsors and other stakeholders as well, featuring them on your channels and promoting you on theirs. Live streaming is also a great way to reach a new audience at your event and offers some interesting opportunities to reach remote audiences with your event content.
Instagram Stories is a great immersive format for reaching people who might be interested in attending your event. With one-third of the most viewed Stories created by businesses, it’s a promotional channel people are actively engaged with and willing to view.
For event brands, the Stories function helps create a narrative, with multiple videos or pictures strung together to tell your audience a larger a story. Stories can be found both on the feed and your profile page. Once you click on the small circular image, you’ll see the Stories: a series of photos and videos up to 10 seconds long that frequently have filters, stickers, lenses, text, and more overlaid. You can also slow-down, speed up, rewind, or “Boomerang” (looping video) from your videos.
People turn to Twitter for news announcements, updates, and to find out what’s happening. And guess what? Your event is news. It’s what is going on, ideally the most worthwhile place to be for those within your industry! As your event date nears, it’s where your attendees can easily find out key information and check out any last minute updates. Twitter is also popular with tech-savvy millennials. You’ll likely want a few dozens (or hundred) from this demographic to attend. For a successful event promotion on Twitter, you will need to do the following
- Have a dedicated account for the event different from your company’s twitter corporate account.
- Use a dedicated hashtag that’s both powerful and catchy. Your #event will be the beacon that people will use across the social media universe to find information about your event.
- Plan your twitter strategy. It’s helpful to be consistent, to post during Twitter prime time (noon to 1 pm each day), and to vary your tweets. In order to do this and not spend time every day on social media, you’ll want to plan out your tweets. How many will you post each day? How will you space and vary them? Once you figure out your plan, use a tool like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your tweets.
- Have a compelling pre-event engagement strategy
As you tweet about your event, there are a few tricks you can use to help create build-up and make your event more interesting.
-Use images and video to drive interest and make it personable. Images of the actual people who are a part of the event team will help to attract interest. Your visuals will help you express your messaging within Twitter’s 140 character limit
-Include branded event artwork.
-Use a countdown when you are less than two weeks away
-Tools like Storify can help you to make your tweets more engaging with a storytelling social posting approach.
-Incentivize with a Twitter-only contest.
-Make it a conversation by responding to comments and questions and retweeting related tweets, such as those posted by speakers or organizers on their personal accounts.
- Tweet away on the day of the event
Keep the engagement going during the event to encourage social sharing by attendees and to maintain a strong presence for your event online for those who aren’t attending.
- Post-event tweets
After your event has passed, it’s a good idea to tweet about the event, posting photos, video, and noteworthy happenings. The idea is to share the success of your event with those who went but more importantly, for those who didn’t attend. You can also use your post-event tweets to share recordings of presentations, speakers, or anything else of importance, providing value for potential future attendees. This acts to build the reputation of your event for the next date.
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