Creating an event marketing plan can be overwhelming. After all, if you don’t spread the word about your event, you’ll have no chance of selling tickets. Marketing matters – a lot!
Don’t worry because I’m giving you a heads up on 10 of the often overlooked event marketing opportunities that can drive ticket sales for you without investing a lot of money.
1. Awesome Ticket Sales Page
The most important thing you need to do in order to sell more tickets to your event is to create an awesome ticket sales page filled with sales-boosting features.
If your ticket sales page uses low quality images or poorly written copy, then you’ll lose sales immediately. Take the time to ensure your ticket sales page is as good as it can be before you start promoting your event.
2. Automated Email Marketing
Yes, you should send email messages to your client and subscriber lists letting them know about your upcoming event, but don’t stop there. You need to push people through the marketing funnel by first making them aware of your event and then enticing them to attend.
I’ll talk about this process a bit more in #9, but for now, understand that you need an email marketing tool that will enable you not just send messages but also automate your email marketing campaigns.
3. Facebook Sharing
Where do most people find out about products, services, and even events these days? Facebook. That’s where people spend a lot of their time every day, and your event needs to be there, too. Set up a Facebook Page if you don’t already have one and start inviting people to like it.
Next, publish content that is meaningful to your event’s target audience and sprinkle in some self-promotional posts about your event, too. Upload images and video to make the event and your page more personal and to build an emotional connection with your audience.
4. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads can work very well for event advertising. The key is to publish the right kind of ad and make sure the right people see it. You can follow the link to learn my five-step system to creating Facebook ads that work.
Retargeting is a form of advertising where people who have already visited a specific page on your website are shown your ad. You can do retargeting with Facebook ads. Follow the previous link for more details. The process is very easy.
Here’s an incredibly simplified explanation. You just insert some code into your ticket sales page (called a Facebook pixel), and Facebook will show your ad to people who visit your ticket sales page when they return to Facebook. They’ve already visited your ticket sales page, so they’re clearly interested in your event. It might just take another view of your ad to convert them to buyers!
6. Twitter Posts
Start publishing posts to your Twitter feed long before the event and even before tickets go on sale. Here are some tweet ideas to get you started:
- Early bird registration has started (follow the link to learn more about why early bird discounts are so important)
- Early bird registration is ending
- Event countdown (# days until the event – get your tickets before it’s too late)
- Tips for attendees (e.g., no coolers, parking information, weather updates, and so on)
- Shout outs to thank sponsors
- Updates about performers or speakers
- Links to any articles or blog posts published online about the event
- Quotes and testimonials
- Thank you to anyone who shares your event on their Twitter profiles
These are just some of the things you could talk about on Twitter to keep your event top-of-mind. A typical tweet has a lifespan of just 18 minutes (meaning nearly all of the views of a tweet happen within the first 18 minutes after it’s published). Tweeting once is not enough. Just make sure you also tweet useful and meaningful content for your audience or your Twitter feed will look like one long ad. No one wants to follow an ad.
7. Tweeting Specific People
As mentioned in #6, you can publish tweets to anyone who shares your event on their Twitter profiles (just start the tweet with @username). It’s also a good idea to tweet to online influencers who are followed by your event’s target audience and tell them about your event.
Another idea is to send a tweet to people who register for the event if you have their Twitter usernames. When people see that friends, colleagues, and relatives bought tickets to your event, they’re more likely to buy, too.
You can even send tweets to bloggers, magazine editors, and local news reporters, so the event gets on their radar screens. You never know who might decide to share your event to their audiences or write about it on their blog or in their magazine or newspaper.
8. Guest Blog Posting
Guest blog posting is useful in a few ways. First, it puts you in front of an audience of people who are likely to be interested in your event (if you’re publishing guest posts on relevant sites). Second, it helps you establish a relationship with the blog owner who already has the eyes and ears of your target audience.
Third, it can give you valuable incoming links to your website and ticket sales page. Google ranks pages with a lot of incoming links from authoritative sites higher in search results, so in time, guest posting can even increase the amount of search traffic you get.
To get started, identify the blogs where your target audience already spends time (make sure they’re relevant to your event). Review the posts on the blog, and come up with an article topic that hasn’t already been covered and fits the blog. Check the site to see if guest posting guidelines are available, and follow those steps to submit your post. If guest posting guidelines aren’t available on the site, use the contact form on the site or send an email to share your idea.
9. Creating Free Content
As I mentioned in #9, you need to push people through the marketing funnel in order to encourage them to buy. This is where free content coupled with a great email marketing strategy can make a huge difference in your event ticket sales.
Start by offering a small freebie, such as a short ebook or checklist. Use a tool like OptinMonster or LeadPages to offer the content in exchange for email addresses. Once you have a person’s email address, you can start sending them marketing messages. However, make sure you have a strategy in place.
Use your email marketing tool to automatically send subscribers the freebie, and let them know you’ll be sending them an additional bonus item in a few days. Automatically send them a second freebie in your second message, and repeat. If recipients still haven’t purchased tickets by the end of this email sequence, you can start a second sequence offering different content.
Most importantly, the content you offer shouldn’t be self-promotional. It should be useful and relevant to your event!
Did you know that 40% of visits to a ticket sales page do not result in a sale? That’s because most people don’t buy a ticket on the first visit. They hear about your event and want to learn more about it before they actually buy. For this reason, it’s extremely important to remind them about your event! But how do you get their email addresses if they haven’t bought a ticket from you yet?
Fortunately, there are some tools available that make this very easy for you. AttendStar’s Remind Me feature is an example. When a person visits your ticket sales page they can sign up to be reminded about the event using a form right on the sales page. Within the AttendStar system, you can set up six emails every ten days that are automatically send them to people who join your reminder list.
Each Remind Me email includes details about the event time and location, and you can include a link to content that will make them want to attend and motivate them to buy a ticket. It’s the perfect way to convert more of those people who don’t buy on their first visits to your ticket sales page!
Your Next Steps
Of course, you don’t have to use all of these marketing tactics to promote your next event, but the more you use, the higher your ticket sales should be. Remember, none of these event marketing opportunities is very expensive, so you can begin testing any of them immediately.
What marketing tactics have you used to promote your events? What works best for you? Share your experiences in the comments below.