Like it or not, people often measure your value by assessing the way you communicate it.
If you try to praise your product, they’ll simply ignore you. If you try to make it “fun” and “entertaining,” they won’t get the main idea and forget you. If you try to sell it to them, they’ll probably back off and blacklist your brand.
Whether you’re in e-commerce or trying to advertise your event, the same rule will undertake your efforts: Marketing has become more about connecting than selling.
Along with that, relevant and meaningful narrative has taken the place of worthless advertising, banners, and flamboyant copy.
As the marketing guru Seth Godin highlights in one of his recent books,
“Marketing involves very little in the way of shouting, hustling, or coercion. It’s a chance to serve, instead.”
He also adds,
“Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. It involves creating honest stories—stories that resonate and spread. Marketers offer solutions, opportunities for humans to solve their problems and move forward.”
“That’s all well and good, but I’m not a marketer. I just want to promote my event,” I hear you saying.
No problem: We can help you play by the rules successful marketers follow, those of generating more value, connecting with your potential attendees, and having a positive impact on your community.
These tips will equip you with the necessary information to overcome the “ad-noise” and reach out to the right people (aka future event attendees).
Ready to do some work?
Let’s see how you can promote your event in 2019.
#1. Start long before announcing the event
Whether your intention is to increase brand awareness or attract new leads, promoting an event should be part of your long-term marketing strategy. You won’t be able to gain a mass of attendees if your company or business has no visibility or interacts poorly with its prospects.
Think about it: When you have a blog but no readers, don’t expect comments (except spam) or a big amount of organic traffic.
The same thing happens when you’re trying to promote an event without being active on social media or having an already existing audience that follows you and is aware of your brand or company.
First, you need to make sure that your marketing efforts are giving you results in terms of generating demand and gathering a strong audience. Then, worry about promoting your upcoming event(s).
#2. Display human emotions
Long gone are the days when brands have the same impact as real humans, so stop hiding behind social media posts or blog articles.
Regardless of the type of marketing campaigning, you need to make sure your message is personal and emotional. Sometimes it’s more effective to promote your event through company employees or a directive than just using the business avatar on social media.
Take a look, for example, at Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s using his identity to create online content and, apart from strengthening a powerful community, also attract new clients to his media business or promote different events and products.
People want to connect with other people, not with faceless, emotionless brands.
Use this to your benefit and make the effort to impersonate the identity of your brand and, subsequently, your event with the help of a community manager or someone from your team who’ll be in charge of communicating with the online audience.
#3. Be relevant when talking to people
Whether you’re on social media or other platforms, you can’t act as if your audience is interested in every little thing you have to say.
You can’t just post an announcement about the upcoming event and then sit back and expect people to rush to register.
First, you must craft a series of messages that are relevant for your target group and show (not explain) why attending your event is the best thing they can do. The message should not only describe what’s in it for them, but also provide some solutions to the challenges they might have.
You can start a powerful campaign before the event, interviewing the guests, creating valuable content, and sharing (for free) the information people need to overcome a challenge or change a mindset.
#4. Generate less “me-centric” posts and more “you-centric” content
The “look how cool I am” tendency may be a good enough hook for Instagram, but it’s not always a good approach when you’re trying to convey value and actually connect with your audience and promote your event.
People don’t care how valuable your conference, seminar, or trade show is—and they’ll care even less if your marketing message is “me-centric.”
A change of narrative is needed.
Instead of launching content that describes how awesome your event is, focus on channeling the message on your audience, highlighting their problems and how attending the event can provide them with solutions.
It’s all about them.
#5. Produce relevant story-like videos for social media
The one thing that makes us connect with each other is stories. There’s nothing else more powerful than a message conveyed as a story, especially if you pack it in a video format.
Consider promoting your event by creating a series of storylike videos that will help you transmit a relevant message focused on your audience’s needs while inducing a specific emotion that will help people connect with your brand.
#6. Interact with your target group
There are only few brands and influencers who actually take the time to reply to people’s comments and try to get reactions.
You can’t afford not to do it, especially when promoting your event.
Whenever there’s a comment or a question on social media, make sure to come up with the right answer and share it.
Another important aspect to remember is that your feedback must be personal, so avoid providing generic answers.
#7. Ensure ongoing value even after the event
Another practice to have in mind when promoting your event is to also generate ongoing, post-event value.
Whether it’s access to an internal platform with content or the possibility of getting a discount for your company’s product or services, make sure to mention all the perks people will get not just by attending your event, but long after they leave it.
Connect instead of selling
Launching a social media campaign to promote your event isn’t enough anymore. You must connect with your audiences by sharing with them the same values and interests.
So stop being generic when building your event marketing messages.
Instead, focus on providing “you-centric,” story-like content that is not only personal, but also relevant to your target group.
And remember that promoting your event is just a small part of your long-term marketing strategy, so see it as it is and start working on it long before planning the event itself.