If you host events on a regular basis, you probably have a pretty good idea of what it takes to make sure people show up.
From hanging posters to sending invitations and sharing event information across your different marketing channels — there’s no shortage of event promotional tactics to try out.
But even with so many ways to promote your events, you may still find that things can start to feel a little repetitive when promoting events on a regular basis.
Event invitations, reminders, and save the dates are great, but if they’re the only thing your email subscribers or social connections see, they may start to tune you out.
One of the best ways to overcome this common problem is to introduce content your audience will like into the mix.
By creating content in support of your events you will not only address one of the most common marketing challenges — how to create interesting and engaging content on a regular basis — but you will also provide a much more enjoyable experience for the people you’re try to attract to your events.
Here’s how that strategy could work.
Let’s say a yoga studio is hosting a series of summer classes to help connect with current customers, and to hopefully attract new clients, as well.
They know the summer months are a busy time for people, so they want to create a more compelling promotional strategy to get people’s attention and hopefully generate some buzz about the events.
First, they need to come up with some content ideas.
One of the easiest ways for them to do this is to get together with their staff and brainstorm a list of topics.
Because the content needs to be relevant to their event but also interesting to their audience, they may decide to send a survey to gain insight into what their audience is already reading, and what type of challenges they can help them overcome.
For the yoga studio, this list of topics might include:
- How to fit yoga into my daily schedule
- How to learn more about yoga outside of class
- How to add excitement to a to a yoga routine
Now, they need to outline their content plans and set some deadlines.
First they look at their current email schedule. Because they are already sending a weekly email announcing upcoming classes, they decide to publish one blog post a week, over the course of four weeks.
Not all of this content has to be written. For one of the posts, they may decide to shoot a quick video of an instructor offering his/her advice.
Using what they learned from the initial brainstorm, they come up with a list of posts and assign dates:
- June 1st: How to Find Time for Yoga During the Summer Months
- June 8th: How a Weekly Workout Schedule Can Help You Stay Healthy and Happy
- June 15th: A Summer Reading List for Anyone Who Loves Yoga
- June 22nd: [Video] 4 Tips to Prepare for Outdoor Yoga Classes
At the end of the video and each blog post, the studio will want to add a link to an event homepage, where people who enjoyed the posts can sign up for summer classes.
After all, their goal isn’t just to get people to read or watch; it’s to get people to sign up!
In addition to including the posts in the email announcing the classes each week, they also use the blog posts to create content for social media.
Let’s say their social media strategy is focused on three social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Facebook: Having used Facebook for awhile, the studio knows that images and links to helpful resources have always gotten them the most attention from fans. Using a tool called PicMonkey, they create a word image from one of their favorite tips, and share it with a link to the post. Later in the week, they share the post again, but instead of including a picture they encourage fans to read and share tips of their own.
Twitter: After seeing the photo got so much attention on Facebook, the studio decides to share it on Twitter, and also creates a few more word images with different tips. Because Twitter allows for a higher volume of posting, they could also share individual tips without an image, or even just include the post’s headline and a link to read more.
To take things a step further, they can use Twitter search to see if anyone has shared the post, and reach out to say thanks.
Pinterest: With a bunch of new images, the studio decides to create a new board on Pinterest where they pin the word images, and link to their blog. They also perform a search and find a ton tips from other yoga studios, and add those to the board as well.
As the yoga studio rolls out its new promotional strategy, they’ll want to keep an eye on how people are responding.
By linking their content to an event homepage and collecting registrations online, they will be able to easily keep track of how many people are signing up.
But there are also metrics related to their content that they’ll want to keep an eye on.
If they are including a link to a blog post, along with a link that goes directly to their calendar of events within an email — they can look at their reports, and compare to see what is getting the most clicks.
On social media, they can look at the different engagement metrics — including likes, comments, shares, or retweets — to see what type of content is working across their different channels.
All of this information helps make better decisions, and allow them to improve over time!
- Brainstorm content ideas that are relevant to your event and interesting to your audience.
- Coordinate your content with your current marketing schedule, and make sure that the content you create drives people to take action.
- Use your content to fuel your social media posting strategy.
- Track your results and look for opportunities to improve over time.
Don’t be afraid to start small.
For your first event, you may want to set a goal to write one blog post designed to promote your event, add it to your invitation, and share it on social media. If you don’t have a blog, try creating a video and share that instead.
Content is one of the most important pieces of any successful marketing campaign, and could transform the way you think about how to promote your next event.
Want to learn more? Check out our full list of event resources.