If you are an event planner, local marketing and local SEO are important to help people discover and support your event! Local event marketing requires both online and offline, in-person strategies. Digital event marketing can add an extra boost to your event’s local SEO that expands your reach to new audiences and so that it’s easier for your followers to find your event. Here are 10 marketing must-dos for event planners that get big results.
Your event’s brand identity is your public face. Before you start marketing your upcoming event, create an event branding kit so that everything is ready to go. Your event branding kit should include:
- event information such as date, time, place, URL, social handles and other key facts
- event coordinator contact information
- event FAQs
- link to a Dropbox file with key event graphics, photos, logos, videos and other marketing materials
- link to the event online ticket sales
- link to your Facebook Event
- sample social media posts, email, texts, etc to make it easy for board members, staff, volunteers, sponsors, partners and other stakeholders to promote in their networks
2. Get Listed On Local Community Event Calendars
Many cities and local newspapers and magazines have print and online community calendars where they post local events – for free!. All you have to do is find these and submit your event information to them. Online community calendars provide important backlinks and give a boost to your local search engine optimization.
3. Flyers, Postcards Or Event Posters At Neighborhood Businesses
Create an attractive flyer promoting your event and ask the owner of nearby local businesses to hang the flyer in their window or leave the postcards at their register. Offer a special promotion to event attendees who mention the neighboring business.
Example: My dog groomer has a bakery next door. If you mention you saw their flyer at the groomer you get a free regular coffee when you purchase a pastry!
4. Promote On Social Media
Organic social media campaigns is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your event’s audience. Although most social media marketing is free, there is a real cost in time to design and execute a social media marketing plan to promote an event on social media.
- Pick the right social media platforms
- Use branded Hashtags
- Enlist Influencers
- Hold a Contest
- Recruit Brand Ambassadors
- Tag your sponsors
Social media posts that use images with ALT tags and geotags add a local SEO boost to your event marketing.
5. Use Facebook Events
Create a Facebook Event to promote your nonprofit’s event. You can keep track of who has RSVP’d or said they are Interested. Supporters who sign up as Going or Interested to attend will receive reminders and can spread the word and invite their Facebook contacts. Facebook notifies people of local events coming up in their area.
- Your Event Page can link to other pages with more information, to buy tickets or your cause’s website.
- After you create your Event, you can update the post, share it on different pages or social media channels, or promote it on Facebook as a paid ad.
- Facebook Events can also be configured to automatically send an event reminder to anyone who indicates they are interested by Liking the event.
6. Create GEO Targeted Facebook Ads
You can expand your reach with paid social media advertising in addition to free social media posts. Geotargeting is delivering content to a user based on their geographic location. For your event, you can create Facebook ads to target users in a specific geographic location. Facebook ads can target people in a specific city, county or state, and within X many miles of that location.
Commonly called PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, these Facebook ads can target potential event attendees based on other demographic information in addition to their location.
7. Cross Promotions With Community Partners
Recruit community partners to help sponsor and promote your event. With careful planning, you can enter into a mutually beneficial cross-promotion with a community partner where you each get results you can’t achieve on your own. Your event can get more visibility and growth if you
- Nonprofit partnerships with compatible nonprofits can expand your reach to include your partner’s supporters and followers
- Corporate sponsors can help fund your event, as well as promote your event in return for recognition such as
- display your corporate sponsor’s logo on event signage, on your website and in any event promotional materials
- tag sponsors corporate sponsors on social media posts
- thank sponsors in press releases, printed materials, your post-event communications and with a personal written thank you letter
- Brand ambassadors and influencers who are fans and followers of your event or cause can promote your event on their platforms and reach their followers who might have never heard of your event.
8. Press Release
6 -8 weeks before your event, write a press release promoting your event and pitch it to local media, bloggers and influencers who are interested in your cause or event. Follow up with your contacts to confirm your event will be covered. Invite journalists to attend your event to cover it in person and send them a complimentary invitation or event pass.
There are also many free online press release platforms to list your event – and get a local SEO boost!
9. Media Partners
Is there a journalist who always covers or attends your events? Is a media outlet sponsoring your event? An event media partner can be a big boost to your marketing and drive traffic to your website and attendees to your event. Media reps have many local activities to choose from – it’s not their job to promote your event. In return for their coverage and promotion of your event, you need to promote and thank your media partner just as you’d recognize any other event sponsor.
Media links help your website’s local SEO!
10. Email Marketing
Email and newsletter marketing is an inexpensive and effective way to keep in touch with your Email marketing is not DEAD, say content marketing expert Catherine Russell of hireCatherine. Emails and newsletters can be a huge asset in selling tickets to your event and spreading the news about your event to your target audience, fans and followers. Recent research shows that 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, while only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed. A mailing list is a top tool used by online marketers to connect with customers and increase their sales and is an important part of successful event planning.
Event marketing is a complicated and strategic job that requires wearing many hats and juggling many responsibilities. Event planners need strong organizational and communication skills to pull it all off and put together an event that generates buzz and attracts attendees!