Social media offers a world of opportunity for event marketing, and Twitter is currently at the heart of social success. As Twitter grows exponentially, it can be used to reach a large audience in almost any professional sphere. To reach a relevant audience, find and utilise hashtags related to your event, so that you can get involved in conversations with people who have appropriate interests. It is also a good idea to create your own event hashtag, so that people can find and become involved in a conversation about your event. Another advantage of using Twitter is that journalists use it to find news stories. Your event might just prove to be the story a journalist is looking for, and publicising it on Twitter using the right hashtags makes it easy for them to find.
2. Social invites
Some of the biggest social networks have applications specifically designed for inviting contacts to events. Both Google Plus and Facebook allow you to create events, specifying time and location, and invite the contacts of your choice. LinkedIn allows you to assemble the perfect guest list from millions of professionals. Use an advanced search to narrow your results right down by a range of factors, including people within specific professions, positions, and areas. Connect with those who aren’t already first connections, and invite them to your event through a LinkedIn or email message. You can use your own group on LinkedIn to introduce your event to people already associated with your organisation. You can also contact managers of other groups relevant to your event, asking them to let their members know about it.
3. Content marketing
Reaching out to others on social media is a great way to get people interested in your event. But what about those who aren’t in your social media circles, but are searching for what you are offering online? Someone who has never heard of you may be searching for the type of event you will be holding and, when that happens, you want to be one of the first to appear in the search results. Posting on your website’s blog about your event is a way of making this happen. Optimising for key terms related to your event will help major search engines like Google understand what your posts are about, and rank them highly when people type these terms into the search box. Regular updates on your blog might also spark an interest in people visiting your site for other purposes, and who wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise. Event-related blog posts could include updates about confirmed speakers and venues, as well as creative, sharable content like infographics, videos, and top tips to get people in the spirit of the event.
4. Event listing sites
When considering how to get your event to appear at the top of the search engine results for relevant terms, event listing websites are another useful resource. Listing your event on well- regarded event sites means that it is likely to show in the results when people search for related events in your area. So, even if your own website doesn’t rank, your event will still be highly visible. When trying to get events pages on your own site to rank well, optimising them is one factor, but another is gaining links. When you list your event on sites such as Eventbrite and Zvents, they provide a link to your events page from a page that contains relevant information, helping you build a strong link profile that leads to higher rankings. Be aware, though, that some event listing sites use “nofollow” links, which means that they will not affect your ranking.
5. Carry on Marketing
When the day of your event has arrived, don’t abandon the methods you’ve been using to market it. If you play your cards right, your efforts can pay off far into the future through new business leads increased brand awareness. Continue using social media throughout the event itself, providing regular updates and photos of what’s going on. You can even have a Twitter wall, where tweets using your hashtag are projected in real time. Displaying this prominently encourages social engagement from those at the event, and motivates people to remain a part of the conversation even afterwards. Keep communicating and engaging people through the groups, pages and hashtags you’ve created. People often like to see photos and videos from events they have attended, and are likely to want to hear about further events you host. Take advantage of new relationships with potential business partners or customers by paying special attention to your communication with them. All the contacts you have made, both through marketing your event and during the event itself, are a valuable resource for future business and events.
This is a guest post by Laura Hampton from digital marketing agency Hallam Internet explains how to use the internet to promote your next event or conference.