19 methods for how to advertise an event
Here are 19 methods you can use to advertise your event effectively:
1. Identify your audience
When designing the advertising strategy for your event, start by defining your audience. This can help you curate your content toward certain groups and deliberate on the most relevant places to promote your event to ensure your audience sees your messaging. For example, if your audience primarily uses social media to learn about upcoming events, you may choose to advertise using social media platforms. Other types of audiences may prefer to get advertisements for upcoming events by mail or through word-of-mouth.
2. Define your budget
It can help to know what your spending expectations are at the start of your project so you can optimize your efforts and focus monetary resources on worthwhile investments. Determine your budget for hosting the event, creating promotional materials and distributing advertisements. Some types of advertisements may cost more, such as filming a commercial, while others can be relatively inexpensive, like distributing paper flyers locally. Knowing your budget can help you plan your strategy.
3. Schedule your advertisements thoughtfully
Once you’ve defined your audience and your budget, consider the timing of your advertisements. Advertising at the right time can ensure you gain your audience’s attention and generate momentum for your event. There are event management tools online that can help you organize every stage of your event, including advertising campaigns.
Related: 50 Ways To Market an Event
4. Focus on design
Understanding your audience is an important step in designing your promotional materials. Try to keep content accessible, audience-appropriate and simple. Typically, a major goal of event advertising is to communicate information about your event, including where it is, when it is and how event-goers can get tickets for your event. Consider making your copy in a way that captures the attention of the intended audience but is also easily understandable with a clear call to action.
5. Use mailing lists
Rather than sending the same content to everyone in your mailing list, consider organizing your contacts into categories that single out your target audience or past event-goers and cater your content to them. For example, only send invitations to in-person events to customers who live in the local area. Another option is to adapt the design and content of your advertisements to suit different types of audiences from various mailing lists.
6. Advertise on social media
If you already have a social media following, you can use your channels to reach your audience and generate enthusiasm for your upcoming event. Marketers without an existing audience can use paid advertising to target their audience and increase exposure to their content. Consider your audience when deciding the platforms on which to advertise. For example, it may be helpful to use professional networking sites to advertise for a conference or speaker series. Concerts and festivals may connect more with audiences if you use newer platforms to advertise your events.
7. Optimize your keywords
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a useful strategy for reaching additional event attendees. To do this, it can be helpful to know common words people use when they search for events and to curate your content around those keywords. You can also add links to your advertisement to improve its ranking on search engine results pages.
Related: Definitive Guide to SEO Marketing
8. Create a buyer profile
Consider compiling information like age, location, occupation and hobbies of your target audience. You can use this information to find similar individuals who may show interest in your event. Some social media sites allow you to identify potential guests based on their similarity to your previous buyers.
Events with similar target audiences can be great places to market your own event. If venues or event hosts aren’t your direct competitor, you may be able to partner with them to extend your reach. Use networking to spread awareness about your upcoming event and to build connections with others who can help to advertise your events.
Related: Your Guide To Networking at Events
10. Advertise on event discovery sites
Event discovery sites, neighborhood guides and local calendars can be good places to market your event as well. You can reach large amounts of people, most of whom are already looking for events to attend. There may be an event discovery site that attracts members of your target audience already, and you can use their existing following to build excitement for your event.
11. Re-engage with interested individuals
Some content publishers can track individuals who showed an interest in your content but ultimately didn’t take the step to purchase a ticket. A useful strategy may be to reengage with interested event-goers to see if additional reminders encourage them to purchase tickets. For example, you can send reminder emails to prompt interested individuals to buy event tickets or visit your website.
12. Hire a professional photographer
Event photos can be a great way to market future events, keep event-goers engaged and generate positive associations with your events. If you have photos from a past event, you can use them to give your audience an idea of what to expect at this event. Images can also enhance email and social media advertisements to better connect with audiences.
13. Use influencers or brand ambassadors
Some past event-goers may have large online followings. Identifying individuals that may be able to help you promote the event within their social media channels can help get the word out. Influencer advertising can be an effective strategy because it can inform potential audience members about your event in a more subtle, natural way.
14. Host a giveaway
Giveaways and competitions can be great ways to inspire excitement for an upcoming event. Free tickets and merchandise might encourage interactions with your content. If you are using a social media site to market your event, consider using hashtags and motivating giveaway participants to interact with your page by liking, following and posting content of their own.
15. Make an event hashtag
Hashtags can be useful strategies for measuring reach and engagement. Encourage your audience to use the hashtag prior to, during and after your event to increase awareness. By tracking how many people use or share your hashtag, you can learn about how effective your outreach strategies are.
16. Sell special tickets
VIP tickets, group tickets, early buyer specials and bundles can be enticing ways to generate enthusiasm for your event. Group tickets and ticket bundles can also encourage event goers to do some of your marketing for you if they try to get friends or family interested in special ticket options. Offering limited-time ticket sales can also be a great way to prompt customers to make their purchases early.
17. Connect with your audience
Consider engaging with past event goers and interested individuals on social media. Answer questions about the event and ask your audience to post pictures of past events. By interacting with current and potential event participants online, you can create memorable experiences which may encourage loyalty.
18. Keep advertising conversational
Try to keep your marketing efforts accessible by using conversational language. Brand ambassadors and social media influencers can use more subtle promotional tools that keep your marketing efforts casual and light. Being conversational in your tone may also help your target audience relate to your brand voice, which may encourage more engagement from potential customers and event participants.
19. Plan your posts
Schedule and curate your content to optimize your ability to reach audiences, such as by sending emails during non-standard times to maximize the likelihood event-goers might engage with them. Bold and attention-capturing subject lines and posts can be helpful tools for elevating your event. Creating a plan for post distribution can also help you track engagement. When you plan your outreach approach, you may get better results from your advertising strategy.