There’s no doubt that online promotion is key to the success of any event. In this industry, reaching out to as many people as possible is always desirable, and ensuring that your target audience is aware of your event via online promotion is the way to guarantee a healthy turnout, high levels of interaction, and plenty of ticket sales.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite tips and tricks of the trade to help you hit those big numbers via online promotion. Read on to find out more!
Email marketing campaigns for online event promotion are your new best friend if you’re looking to boost attendance, and a snappy, well-planned series of promotional emails has the power to make all the difference. Even if you are using an online registration or promotion platform for your event, there are fundamental methodologies for e-mail campaigns you'll still need to consider.
Let’s take a look at how to use email marketing for events, and how to ensure your message is hitting the right targets.
Ideally, your email campaign should ideally begin somewhere around the region of twelve months ahead of your event. This is because in order to do email-based online promotion effectively, the key is to have the time to send multiple emails as part of your campaign.
Setting up an email schedule
Setting up a well-spread email promotion campaign that acts as a steady - yet building - flow of persuasion and information regarding your forthcoming event.
Here’s our ideal time scale for email pre-event promotion:
- 1. A year prior to the event: Your first email notices are sent out, giving the basic information and urging your customers to mark the date in their diaries.
- 2. Six months prior to the event: Second emails are sent, drip-feeding some more juicy details.
- 3. One month prior to the event: Send out two emails, featuring some great shareable content, introducing your hashtags, and maybe including itineraries or further enticing details.
- 4. Two or three weeks prior to the event: Send minimum one more email, reiterating the above.
- 5. One week prior to the event: Send another email notice, building the anticipation and urging last minute reservations etc.
- 6. One day prior to the event: Your final email should be sent, and should double as a kind of ‘welcome’ package to really push the excitement home.
Top Tip: Make sure you don’t repeat too much in your emails. Keep them unique, and treat each email send-out as its own individual mini-event.
Segmenting the Recipients of your Emails
If you want your online marketing campaign to be efficient, effective and bring the best results, then you’re going to have to segment your recipient list.
Most reputable email marketing tools will allow you to easily segment your list according to interesting criteria, such as when they joined your list, how many links the recipient clicked on from your emails within certain timeframes, or how many of your emails they’ve actually opened and read through.
However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You can also split your list up by other criteria, too. Focus your attentions on recipients who have previously attended your events, or who have personally been in touch with you to get more information.
From there, you can also segment your list by age, profession, geographic location, hobbies and interests, etc etc.
Your mission is to make your online promotion material stand out from the crowd, and to generate a buzz around your upcoming event. Take a look at these tried-and-tested tricks of the trade, and consider using them in your next email campaign.
Link to guest blogs
Consider asking speakers or partners to contribute blogs or other shareable content for your online marketing campaign. Add links to these blogs, diaries, or welcome notes in your email, and encourage your contacts to share them on social media.
Your event will need a hashtag - this is something which nowadays, is very much par for the course. Make sure you feature your hashtag in a prominent position in your emails, and ensure it starts flying around social media as soon as possible.
It’s been proven time and time again that emails with lots of visual content are more memorable and noticeable than those which don’t. Pack in plenty of photos, videos, links to Instagram accounts and other visually-enticing material.
If email began revolutionising the way we communicate with customers, clients, and potential attendees, then it has been social media that has taken the next giant steps.
Today, social media platforms allow us as event managers to reach out to ever more people, share all kinds of content, information, and tempting treats, and really ramp up the sense of anticipation regarding upcoming events.
The trick to making a social media online promotion campaign work is to keep your followers updated, keep the material you’re sharing original, and spread your message across several platforms.
An ideal social media campaign schedule should look something like this:
- Twitter: 8 - 10 tweets per day
- Instagram: 1 -3 photos / videos per day
- Facebook: 3 - 4 posts per week
- Linkedin: 2- 3 posts per week
By following this kind of schedule (which, of course, can be adapted to suit your audience), you should be able to maintain a steady presence on these platforms, and keep your attendees clued up regarding your event.
Each major social media platform is different, and should be treated as such. What works on Facebook won’t necessarily fly on Twitter, and vice versa. Keep in mind the following points to ensure you’re hitting the right notes on each site.
1. Use Twitter for spreading your event’s hashtag, as well as for linking your attendees with your keynote speakers and partners.
2. Use Facebook for creating and sharing viral content. Visually arresting material, likely to kick-start conversation, is the ideal material for this platform.
3. Use Instagram for sharing photos and videos, and establishing the mood or theme of your event.
4. Use LinkedIn for technical information, deeper articles, essays and blogs, and more high-level information.
Social media platforms allow event organisers to keep an eye on how their promotional material is being received.
Analytics tools will give you a unique insight into how engaging your posts are, and will also allow you to see optimal times for sharing content.
As we’ve seen, online promotion prior to your event is absolutely irreplaceable in today’s fast-paced environment.
Your customers expect and demand to be able to receive information while on the move, your event benefits from their engagement… everyone’s a winner.
By harnessing the power of email campaigns and social media marketing, your forthcoming event can genuinely generate a powerful buzz well in advance of its set date; something that has been proven time and time again to make a massive difference when the day finally arrives.