Ask any online entrepreneur or marketer: No matter how awesome or valuable your website is, if you fail to promote it, nobody will know about it and you’ll have zero impact.
The same thing is true for your event website.
Putting all of your time and effort into creating a website is just a small part of the mission. The hardest part kicks in the moment everything is up and live.
Then you have to promote your virtual event platform and make sure people will find and check it. And that’s not easy, considering the huge online clutter we have to battle every single day.
SEO might be a great thing to work on, but considering your timeline (the launch of your page and the date of your event), this strategy is not always advisable. You’ll probably launch your event website a few months before your conference or trade show, which will lower your chances of gaining a strong Google positioning (a task that requires a longer period of time).
What you should do, then?
How can you get your page out there and let people (potential attendees) discover your event?
Promoting your event website on social media is the answer.
“But I already published the links to my page and nobody clicked on them. And I did the same things on different Facebook groups and got blocked,” I hear you saying.
No wonder why.
When promoting your event website on social media, you must be wise and avoid sounding too annoying or too commercial.
There’s a set of practices you can follow to get more visibility for your page without being seen as intrusive or pushy.
How to boost your event website’s online presence
There’s one great advantage to using social media to promote your event page: You don’t have to search for an audience.
Whether it’s Facebook, Quora, Instagram, or even Medium, you have access to countless of potential leads that may be interested in your website and event.
Having this in mind, let’s look at some steps you can take to strengthen your event website marketing strategy:
Tip #1. Build a strong online profile
Although it’s tempting to be everywhere, it’s important to start by deciding which social media platform to use to promote your event website.
This step depends on your target group.
Who is your intended audience for your event? Are you planning a conference for lifestyle bloggers? Is your target group seasoned business management professionals? Will you run an event for future moms?
Define your attendee personas and then try to evaluate on which social media platform you’ll find most of them.
For example, the seasoned business management professionals will choose to hang out on LinkedIn. The future moms may have their headquarters on Facebook, while lifestyle influencers will probably be on Instagram.
Obviously, you can choose to be active on two platforms, if necessary.
Once you’ve decided which platform to use, you’ll have to work on your online profile (you’ll understand why in the next tip).
Remember, you’re representing a brand, and subsequently, your event, so you must align your online profile accordingly.
This means you’ll have to create your personal description with care, add links to your brand page and the event website, and maybe design a powerful featured image (if applicable).
You could also post content related to your brand or event on your wall or profile.
This will lay the foundation for your event website promotion. It’s important to note that you could choose to market your page via your personal or company account.
Depending on the situation, it might be advisable to go with your personal profile, since it’s more humane and it won’t scare away leads who might think you’re just trying to sell them something (by using your brand’s social media account).
Tip #2. Add valuable comments without links
One of the mistakes you’ll make when promoting your event website is posting the link everywhere possible: in the comments, private messages, sponsored content, etc.
This might be seen as invasive, and in some situations it can lead to being banned from some groups.
What should you do instead?
Let’s use Facebook as an example. Let’s say you’re planning an event for yoga teachers who live in Monterey.
First, you must identify different groups of yoga professionals from the area (or nearby areas).
Second, you must find a way to build rapport with the groups and then analyze them by searching for different questions you can answer.
Third, answer people’s questions by providing real value. This will pique the group’s interest, and members might decide to stalk you a bit and check out your personal Facebook page.
The trick is to trigger people’s curiosity.
If you’ve already executed the first tip, group(s) members should see your event website and other event-related content on your personal account.
Some of them will likely decide to click on the link and read about the event.
Subsequently, few might even register and attend. The key elements in this case are to show your value to the groups of interest and have a very interesting personal profile.
Tip #3. Write articles on Medium, adding powerful calls to action
Another way to use social media involves publishing content on Medium.
Many might argue that this platform is not designed as a networking environment, but it’s actually very influential in terms of marketing and connecting people.
On Medium, you’ll find different target groups and audiences. The only downside is that you’ll really need to take your time and build a content strategy, and then actually produce valuable articles with interactive calls to action that will encourage your readers to visit your event website and eventually register to attend.
Tip #4. Interact with influencers and get them to publish your link
To make social media work for your event website promotion, you must actively interact with people, influencers included.
Help them increasing their outreach, comment on their posts, share their content, build a relationship with these people.
This will help you increase your chances of being noticed, and possibly even given credit. A simple mention or shout-out from these influencers will increase the visibility of your profile, which will drive more traffic to your event website.
The only thing not to forget is to avoid asking for favors.
Nobody wants to “be used.”
So contacting influencers without having a preestablished relationship with them is a no-go. First, work on building a strong connection based on help; then, only after earning the right, ask for something in return, such as publishing some information about the event or giving you a shout-out.
Tip #5. Use Instagram Stories like a pro lifestyle blogger
Instagram Stories is a very effective tool.
From creating entire narratives to running quick surveys, Instagram Stories is the quickest way to interact and engage with your audience.
However, it won’t work if you don’t build a strong tribe first.
This means you’ll have to build a content strategy and find ways to attract new leads and followers.
Once you have an audience, which is also active, you can promote your event. Subsequently, you can encourage your followers to “swipe up” and register to attend the event on your webpage.
Creating an event website and thinking that people will just find it themselves and simply register just like that is wishful thinking. You must take control and actively promote your page.
Luckily, you have the opportunity to engage with hundreds of thousands of people online by setting up an efficient marketing strategy on social media.
Don’t miss this opportunity.
A big pool of prospects is right at your fingertips to interact with and react to your messages. Choose one or two battlefields (aka social media platforms) and get the word out there.