2 Part Series: Part 2 — Best Paid Strategies for Marketing Your Event Online
Finding the right marketing strategies for your event can be expensive and confusing. That’s why here at Superevent, we decided to take this opportunity to help.
This is our second post in a 2-part blog series to help you learn the best paid and <<free strategies>> you can use to market your event in a way that fits your audience, your budget, and your timeline. Enjoy.
If you’re in charge of putting together an event, one of the single most important things you need to manage is attendance and ticket sales.
Which means, depending on the type of event you plan on running, one of the best solutions to get people in your doors in probably through paid advertising.
Unfortunately for most people, embarking into a paid advertising campaign is easier said than done. For many organizers without a little know-how of where to advertise or how much to spend, their event advertising budgets can end up in the red before they even realize it.
Thankfully, as we discussed in Part 1, with the right guidance, the cost of event advertising doesn’t always have to be prohibitive.
Let’s dive in and see how you can begin using paid advertising for your next event.
GETTING STARTED WITH PAID ADVERTISING
If you’re hoping to run ads and not break the bank, One of the best places you can start is to make sure paid ads are actually the right choice for your event. Click To Tweet
While this may seem counter-intuitive, more often than not, a less-than-successful advertising campaign is the direct result of trying to reach a community that isn’t interested in your event or isn’t even reachable through traditional online marketing platforms.
To that end, here are a few questions you can start to ask yourself before marketing your event:
- Can I track how well my ads are performing with my ticketing service?
- Who is my target audience and can I reach them using paid advertising?
- Is my warm audience large enough that it’s worth advertising to them? If not is there an effective funnel in place to nurture my cold leads?
- How much can I afford to spend to get a customer?
If you have answers to these questions, then you’re in a good place to start! You’ll use your answers to help you find the right platform to use, the budget you can create, and the length of time you’ll need to run an effective campaign.
Now that you know paid advertising is the correct solution for your event, we can begin to look at some of the most common types of paid advertising platforms.
Facebook ads have been changing the landscape of advertising since their launch in 2004.
Today, Facebook offers two different ways to promote through their platform: boosted posts, or posts created through their Ads Manager or Power Editor, and each of these two platforms certainly has their own pros and cons.
For example, boosted posts are really simple to run if you only want to reach your warm audiences or more basic cold audiences.
Likewise, Facebook’s backend platforms can seem prohibitively complex but unlike boosted posts, they can also offer you a full suite of targeting options, retargeting capabilities, a/b testing functionality, and the ability to start tracking actual conversions.
If you’re interested in starting a Facebook ad, a super simple strategy for getting started, especially if you’ve run your event multiple times, is to upload your past customer base or email list, and let Facebook do the targeting for you with a lookalike audience.
If you do choose to use Facebook’s Ads Manager or Power Editor, you can also use them to create Instagram ads— which is very handy, (and yet another reason it’s helpful to step away from simply boosting posts.)
If you do choose to set up your Instagram ad, there are a few things to consider before starting:
- Make your ad look like native content: The best ads on Instagram are always the ones that don’t seem like ads at all.
- Use Hashtags: Instagram loves hashtags, and having them in your promoted post is a must. A simple way to start using them is to look up popular trending hashtags for your industry, or even create a specific one for your event.
- Use Marquee and video ads as well as static images: Marquee and video ads are a new way to reach Instagram’s audience. Each of these options can still look like native content while more easily capturing your audience’s attention.
The last big gun in social media advertising is Twitter.
If you’ve started using one of Facebook’s backend platform, moving to Twitter ads is no problem. The platform was modeled after Facebook and offers much of the same in terms of functionality.
However, Twitter ads really set themselves apart because they allow you to directly target individual people’s followers and individual hashtags. Therefore a very simple strategy for using Twitter ads could be to find industry leaders or prominent hashtags for your event and use them for your targeting.
Lastly, moving outside of social media marketing is Google Adwords.
Google Adwords works by bidding on commonly used search terms for your target market. Ergo, if someone enters a question or selected keywords, Google knows to show your ad to that person.
While similar in many ways, Google Adwords and social media advertising have one primary difference. Social media advertising is interruptive — while Google Adwords is intent-based, which means your audience is actively searching for what your ad offers them.
Ultimately, this boils down to having to do a good bit of research into your target market and thinking about what terms they might be searching, and how their intention relates back to your event.
For example, if you’re running a life coaching event, someone googling “best inspirational speakers” may or may not be interested in buying a ticket or coming out to a weekend-long event, whereas someone googling “self improvement workshops” clearly has more intent to attend an event in person.
One simple and really easy strategy to use Google Adwords, is to search for other events that are similar to yours, in your same area, and could appeal to your same customer, and begin bidding on their search terms to show your ad.
This puts your event higher up in the search ranks, and still targets your ideal customers.
While paid advertising isn’t the easiest thing to learn on the fly, with a little dedication it can do a lot to bolster ticket sales.
While paid advertising makes it easy to get your event in front of people, cold leads won’t always buy on first glance. This is why it’s so important to keep testing your audiences, have a great ad