When you organize events, you know that it is rare that the event sells itself. To sell tickets, you must have a marketing strategy that effectively promotes your event and reaches your target audience. You know you need to use social media, email, and word of mouth to boost ticket sales, but the best marketing strategies follow a timeline and logical sequence, with each promotion reinforcing the foregoing.
Of course, it is impossible to make a perfect, comprehensive marketing plan. After all, every event is different, just like the timeline, budget, and target group. Yet there are a number of general tactics that can help you create your own event marketing calendar.
In this article we provide the best tactics, each with a detailed explanation:
1: Marketing strategy prior to the event
One of the most common mistakes in marketing is made even before it is even started. Too many organizers forget that they can create an event page and publish it on the internet in order to arouse interest, even if not all the details are complete.
Once you have created an announcement page, you have a central place where you can send people. You can collect data about the early website visitors and build your SEO status with Google.
If you decide to follow this route, you can also provide an incentive for those who are interested in doing a pre-register. For example, you can be the first to give them the opportunity to buy tickets when your sale starts.
The next action point in your pre-event marketing strategy is to tell people why you are organizing the event. This is your mission statement.
If you are not sure why it is so important to have a mission statement or to explain why you are organizing an event, take a few minutes and watch this Simon Sinek video (you won’t regret it!)
You can use this as a basis for the rest of your pre-event marketing and to convince people of your idea and the necessity of your event.
read more: selling tickets online for an event
Timely use of social media is an important way to create momentum for your event promotion, build a community and carry out the mission you wrote about in your blog (and which you can refer back to in your posts).
At this point, you must already have a hashtag for your event, which you also use in your messages on social media.
Remember that you can take advantage of the immense range and the enormous diversity of social media. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn may be obvious, depending on what kind of event you organize, but also think of Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, etc.
Approach from partners
Marketing partners can be essential to the success of your event. So make sure you approach potential collaboration partners, brands and media partners on time, long before the event is officially launched. In this way, they can help you to advertise from the very beginning.
2. Marketing strategy at the launch of the event
Emails about events have an opening rate of 26% , much higher than typical marketing emails . Email must, therefore, be at the center of your campaign and ticket sales. Now that your event is ready to be put in the spotlight, you need to take out the first large email round of potential visitors, including those who have registered in advance.
If you are new to Eventbrite, this is a good time to view these Help Center articles:
- Create and send email invitations for your event
- Create (or import) contact lists
Even if it is unlikely that your event will be picked up by the national press, it is still worth sending a press release through free distribution channels.
If you use targeted keywords in your press release, everyone who has set up Google Alerts with those keywords will see your message. Perhaps it is picked up by local, specialized or industry media, not to mention blogs and other personal, influential sites.
If you want more attention in the press, don’t make it a dry story. Go beyond the date, location, and price, but instead focus on one or two unique perspectives.
Angle 1: why your event is completely new, strange, a milestone and so on. Consider whether someone would smile for a moment, or take a second look at it. if they saw the event in their Facebook news feed. If so, a journalist might also pick it up.
Angle 2: emphasize the human aspect. Do you (or someone involved in the event) have a fascinating life story? Have you overcome setbacks or challenges? Is there a strange or funny story that has to do with how and why you organize this event? Telling the human story is a universal strategy of the regular press, so try to respond to it.
Blog and social media
Your second blog post must focus on the benefits of attending your event. Who are the main acts, guest speakers, or suppliers? Edit the content of this post and use it for a series of announcements on social media.
Now it’s time to ask your partners for marketing support. Your event attracts the most attention once it has just been launched and everything is new and fresh from the press.
Don’t let your partners work too hard for you. Instead, it is advisable to write the emails and social updates yourself, and simply ask them to copy and paste them.
Try to have all these promotional activities take place more or less simultaneously. Even if you reach the same people, all activities together can have more impact, convey the importance of your event and reinforce your message.
If you want to keep track of how effective your various marketing partnerships are, you can use custom tracking links.
3. Marketing strategy on a daily basis
Regular communication via e-mail, social media, and blogs
Now you have reached one of the most difficult stages in event marketing. The first excitement of the event launch is over. Now you will have to roll up your sleeves to hold your attention.
The best way to achieve this is a cycle of content creation, promotion, and social involvement
media and email campaigns.
If you continue to send sales messages, the novelty will soon be gone and your audience will lose interest. Alternate them with valuable, interesting content that your target audience will appreciate and find useful.
You can then use your social channels to promote this content to your audience, invite them to respond to it (or create your own content) and keep the conversation about your event going.
Email is also a great support tool. This allows you to present your content directly to your audience and offer them something that is more interesting than the (umpteenth) request to register for your event.
Publications and guest contributions
Blogging on your site is important, but to attract new visitors you will need to reach a larger audience. This is best done by posting guest contributions or publishing articles that others would like to share.
Which form this takes exactly depends on your event. For conferences and B2B events, this is relatively easy, you can write an industry report or offer a white paper with the best tips from all your speakers.
At events for consumers, this may be less obvious. You can create interesting infographics, gifs or other visual elements, write about trends or produce a series of YouTube videos or podcasts to attract attention.
Discount (s) for early birds
As said before: once the first excitement of the event launch is over, you have to come up with more reasons to encourage people to register (preferably as soon as possible).
You can use the ‘Early bird discount’ for this. You then increase the prices of your tickets step by step as the event approaches.
The rest of your marketing activities must focus on stimulating interest in order to generate peaks in your ticket sales.
In this phase of your event, it is also time for paid promotion. There is no point in starting this too early if you have nothing to sell. But if you wait for the event to arrive, you will not give it a chance to have a sufficient effect on the results. So whether you use paid social media (promoted messages) or Google Adwords, PPC and retargeting, if you are going to put money into your campaign, this is the moment.
Each of the above options can be switched on or off as desired. Focus your expenses for a few weeks on each new ticket type that you launch. This helps you to reinforce all your other marketing activities and thus maximize reach and impact.
4. Marketing strategy with the last call
The final round of e-mail, social media & blog
Whether you have been promoting for months or weeks, in the end, it is almost time. With just a few weeks or even days, to go before your event starts, this is the time for a final marketing push.
This will probably take the form of a final stream of blogs, social media updates, and e-mails.
If you use networks such as LinkedIn Groups or forums, you should use the concept of ‘social proof’ at this stage. Show who is already attending the event to convince others to be there too.
Your latest blog posts, social media updates, and emails should now have a more urgent, sales-oriented message. You have built up a relationship with your audience over the past weeks or months, now it is time to call clearly and directly into the action and to convert that long-term strategy into ticket sales.