Once you've poured the necessary blood, sweat, and tears into your event required to ensure your attendees will have a good time, how do you guarantee anyone will actually show up? Here we look at five key ways in which you can boost your next event to encourage maximum turnout.
Guest post by Sophia Vaccaro of Eventbrite
You’ve invested time, effort, and dollars into your event, and you’re confident attendees will have a blast. The only problem is your marketing budget is light. But if you don’t spend money promoting the event, how will you get the word out?
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to market your event for little to no cost. To help you find the smartest places to invest your time, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best ways to promote an event online.
1. Harness the power of email
Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing methods out there, and it’s relatively inexpensive. With Eventbrite, you can email up to 2,000 users a day right from our platform. We also offer integrations with MailChimp and Emma, allowing you even greater flexibility when sending email invitations and follow-up messages.
With these integrations, you can:
- Schedule email sends based on certain triggers (bought a ticket, opted-in to the waitlist, etc.)
- Track ticket sales and revenue generated per send
- Sync new attendees and update existing attendees in real time
- Design eye-catching campaigns
2. Let attendees spread the word
One of the best free marketing strategies is to inspire your attendees to spread the word for you. With Eventbrite, you can create affiliate programs to inspire promotion from your most ardent fans.
When they join your affiliate program, they will be sent a unique URL that will allow them to earn a small referral fee for each ticket sale they generate with their link. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful — and underused — marketing tools, so don’t miss out!
Note: Creators, not Eventbrite, are responsible for referral fee payments.
3. Upgrade your SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a web page to show up higher in the results generated by a search engine. This is achieved, partially, by using keywords. You can think of keywords as what would be left if you distilled your event title and description down to its essentials (i.e. “San Jose food festival”). As the #1 most authoritative ticketing website online, Eventbrite helps your event listing populate higher on Google search — without you having to raise a finger.
To move up the ranks, here are our top additional SEO tips:
- Include the top keywords in your event name and event page URL
- Make sure your event description contains at least 200 words of original text (not copied from your website or another event listing)
- Use your event name and keywords in your event description
- Add images with relevant file names that include your keyword
- Link to your event page from your website and social networks
4. Lock down your social media strategy
Your social media strategy should depend on the size and scope of your event. If you’re hosting a one-time gathering of local food trucks without an entry fee, you can probably get away with a simple Facebook business page and Twitter account. But if that’s not the case, you need to sit down and really hammer out a plan.
A great first step is to take advantage of Eventbrite’s integrations with Facebook and Instagram, which allow buyers to complete their ticket purchase without leaving either platform, reducing drop-offs and forgotten carts.
Here are a few more key ways to make a splash on social:
- Dream up an official hashtag and use it everywhere — not just in your social media postings, but on your website and any printed materials.
- Promote your event across all of your social channels — and don’t forget about often-overlooked real estate like your organization’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profile pictures and background images.
- Create a content calendar that will keep postings up-to-date and frequent. Include the cadence of your organic posts, paid ads, and any social influencers you’d like to involve.
- Draft a formal agreement with your event’s talent, hosts, and sponsors to cross-promote your event to their networks.
5. Track everything to stop wasting time and money
If you’re going to invest in online promotion, you need to know what’s working and what’s not. Luckily, one of the best things about digital marketing is that you can measure your results.
On your Eventbrite Organizer dashboard, you have a plethora of analytics data at your fingertips. With a few clicks, you will be able to generate reports that will help illuminate which channels generate the highest sales, so you can make sure every dollar is being used wisely.
For the top Eventbrite reports and when to use them, check out this post.
Sophia Vaccaro: Bay Area native, snake enthusiast, and live music lover Sophia writes fantasy books for young adults and blogs for Eventbrite. So far there has not been much crossover, but only time will tell.