Design & Promote, an Internet marketing company with offices in Naperville and Chicago, offers its top tips for marketing your next event. Learn how to ensure a large turnout and successful event using SEO, blogging, social media, website widgets, backlinks, and more expert Internet marketing tactics.
As a Naperville Internet Marketing Company, businesses around town often reach out to us with questions about getting the word out about their events and in turn increasing turnout. Putting on any event, big or small, requires a lot of work for a successful outcome. More than just preparing the physical event, you need to be ready to get your event noticed. The Internet can easily be the most valuable tool for event marketing- that is, if you know how to use it.
Design & Promote has ample experience with marketing events. Each month, we host a free seminar with a different topic related to our services, as a way to educate local businesses and individuals. Our team has also worked to help other companies, like Naperville Ribfest, KidsMatter, and the Naperville Humane Society, to market their events. To help spread our knowledge, we’ve created a foolproof plan to market your event with simple tips and all of the useful links you will need to guarantee your success.
- Start early (a month or more)
Getting a head start on your event marketing is essential, both to facilitate the process and augment your success. With a clear plan and deadlines for the small steps in your marketing plan, you will reduce stress and avoid the last minute rush to get more attendees or change other aspects of the event. The start of your marketing campaign will depend on the type of event, but an event should go into marketing mode at least a month before it takes place. Here are some important elements to remember why an early start is important:
- Some items have longer processes that take time before a finished product can be put out.
For example, press releases need to be written, approved, and submitted. Extra time ensures that these items prove fruitful for your campaign.
- You might need help from other people.
If you might need to ask for help from others, do it in advance to make sure that they have the time to get the favor done.
- It takes time to gage attendees and know how much more pushing you need to do.
With an early start, you will be able to check numbers of guests attending and determine your marketing strategy from there on out. If attendee slots filled up immediately, there is no need to continue to actively promote your event up to the date. But if sign-ups are inconsistent or lagging, take it as a warning to look for other ways to push out your event and make sure you have a full house.
- Have a registration page on your website that’s easy to get to
When planning an event, one of the first steps is creating a page for it on an event site for people to sign up. However, what is less obvious to many individuals is the difference it can make when you direct registration to your website instead of an external event page. Even better is to have a visible button to sign up right on your website’s homepage.
- It’s easy- just use a ticket widget!
Creating a registration page on your website is a lot better for your business and it’s easier than you might think. Add a widget on your site to get ticket purchasing ability directly onto your site. Most of the time we use the Eventbrite Widget, but here are some others to check out: Constant Contact, Cvent, SimpleTix, ExtremeTix, and Ticketbud.
- Having registration on your website is better for SEO
Basically, a registration page is always a good idea. From an SEO basis, using your website gets you more backlinks and more positive content for Google to notice. Moreover, you are in control of what goes on your site, which is especially useful if you need to edit information. Finally, what better place to put an event so that people can learn more about your company and get them looking at the rest of your site?
- Submitting your event to community calendars can really help
If you want people to find your event, you need to be putting it out there. The best way to do that is by submitting your next one to the plethora of local event calendars that will draw people in and increase attendance. Here’s why it’s essential:
- If your event isn’t on the calendar, people will go to another event
Many people look to local event calendars to figure out what they’re going to do each week. If your event isn’t on there, they’re going to attend another event that is on the calendar for that day.
- For the little bit of work, it’s going to pay off big time
When it comes to event marketing, event calendars are one of the biggest ROI out there. Events are free to submit and only take a few minutes- in return, you will get free advertising and exposure, and maybe even a backlink to your site!
The Design & Promote team has created the ultimate guide to Chicago and Naperville event calendars for you to use.
(These are just two examples of Daily Herald event calendars, but there is one for every city, so check out the ones most beneficial to your event.)
(Again, there is one for every major city, so add your listing accordingly.)
- Write a blog post
An event is the perfect occasion to write a blog. The advantages of blogging are threefold: you get a new topic to write about, adding a post to your site will increase its rankings in Google and benefit other online marketing areas, and writing it will increase your event visibility and participation. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Incorporate all essential details into your post
A good event post needs a catchy headline, appealing graphic, and the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) in the event description, plus the cost. Another helpful hint: if your event is paid, offer early bird tickets to get people to commit early on.
- Turn it into a Facebook event
Once you have your blog post created, use your social media as a promotional outlet, too, but creating a Facebook event on your company’s page linking to the blog post and inviting your friends. Try to get your employees to do the same.
If you need additional help marketing your event, contact us at Design & Promote. Our Naperville Internet Marketing company specializes in graphics, flyer and brochure design, press releases, and event submission strategy to help you complete your event marketing plan. We’ll ensure that your event is a success and runs smoothly, with optimal turnout and in turn more business for you.