Event marketing gives businesses the opportunity to build strong, long-term relationships with communities, consumers, and lifelong customers. 79% of U.S. marketers say that they use events to generate sales, and 21 to 33% of business marketing spend is going towards events.
Building buzz and hype before your events has never been more important, the competition to get the right attendees in seats has never been higher.
If you are an event manager or marketing manager or director, and you are trying to plan for your next event, here are some creative ideas to leverage social media to generate buzz and excitement for your next event.
1. Paid campaigns
The first step to beginning a paid campaign to promote your event is to select the audience you want to target via social media. However, trying to determine what specific audience you want to target can be a challenge.
Here are some questions to ask to help you determine the right, realistic audience:
- Does your target attendee fit within a specific demographic or geographic?
- Where is the event located, or where might attendees be attending from?
- What are attendee prospects interested in?
- What industry or type of work are attendees in?
- What level of experience do attendees have in their industry?
Once you determine the parameters for your audience, the next step is to set up ads for your event. While it is encouraged that you test out ad copy and ad types that might work best for your organization and the event you're hosting, here are a few ad content ideas to get started:
- Event creative on your website - Create videos and graphics from past events that highlight the best of your experience and place them prominently throughout your website. Use paid media to promote those pages.
- Pre-event giveaways - Run social contests that give participants a chance to win a free event admission ticket if they share the word about your event on social media.
- Keynote promotions - Consider leveraging your keynote speakers to help you create content to promote in the form of interviews, contributed articles and other assets that you can then use to promote your events.
- Live streaming - Showcase all the excitement and work that you and your team are putting into planning your events with a weekly live stream that takes attendees backstage. For multi-event programs live streaming at the event itself helps to generate buzz for your upcoming events.
2. Content insights
One of the best ways to promote an event is through content. Evergreen content is your event's best friend. Here are some types of content that you can leverage to promote your next event on social more effectively.
Articles and blogs
If you have published a blog post or two around a specific topic that is relevant to your event, then you can leverage that article or blog to promote your event via social media. Blogs and articles are a great way to provide advice or a solution to a problem that affects your audience.
Perhaps one of the easiest and most potent methods of promoting your event with blog posts is to leverage articles about past events. For example, DoubleDutch often writes an article after each event, highlighting the content that attendees took away value from. They then share that content heavily across social media platforms for free event promotion. Here's an example of one such blog post highlighting the StorySalon event in New York.
White papers and case studies
One idea for creating white papers and case studies is to take discussion topics, breakout sessions, or questions from post-session Q&As and write about them. Or, you can even take polling and survey responses from your event app and use that data in your future marketing content. Small statistical findings from surveys make great snippets in case studies or mini infographics for sharing on social.
Podcasts, interviews, and videos
Audio and video have proven to hold the attention of an audience longer than other types of content. If you have videos from other similar events that you have hosted, then be sure to leverage those videos when promoting your next event.
The goal here should be to create more evergreen content. Evergreen content requires little maintenance, it can pick up backlinks, build page authority, and work for your business and brand again and again.
3. User-generated content
If your events include sessions or keynotes presented by individuals from outside your organization, those individuals are often excited about the opportunity to be on stage and cross-promote themselves and their company. Requesting that they help generate promotional content, and then share that content on social media is an easy ask.
In addition to presenter created content, many of your attendees are dedicating a considerable cost and amount of time to be attending your event. They are often excited to be there and would love an opportunity to contribute to the success of your event. Asking these attendees to give you testimonials, participate in interviews, or contribute other user-generated content is something you should be doing at all your events. Those testimonials make compelling social media ads for your events.
4. Create exclusive offers and contests
Pre-event promotions exclusively offered to attendees will help create excitement around attending your event. This also gives you another content gateway. You can create a handful of social posts promoting “backstage perks” for attendees who are going to your event, early bird specials for attendees who register early, and more.
Regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C, your business can benefit from pre-event social media marketing. And with a little planning and preparation, the possibilities and opportunities of event marketing are truly endless.