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Our former Head of Marketing, Nancy has written up a few top tips for promoting your digital event.

We hope you enjoyed our how to film your digital event blog, now onto the third part of our 3 part ‘how to’ digital series – how to promote your digital event!

Along with the rest of the cultural sector, we’ve learnt a lot this year about hosting events online. As lockdown looks like it’s going to be carrying on for a while yet, our former Head of Marketing, Nancy has written up a few top tips for promoting your digital event. Here’s Nancy on the right, alongside Jane when we were in the middle of our building renovation.. we still can’t wait to reveal our new building when COVID-19 measures are lifted!

Nancy Hopkins – 6 top tips to help market your event

Good news

People are looking for digital content. Consumer digital media usage grew at the fastest rate in 5 years in 2020, with audiences spending an average of 53 hours a week consuming online media – digital video, audio and gaming. 

Bad news

You’re competing against Netflix, Spotify and Fortnite.

Define your audience

As with an event in real life, it’s important to understand who your event is for so you can plan your marketing activity appropriately.

 An event ‘for everyone’ isn’t a thing, especially now you can reach a global audience online. Even huge, national events like Royal Weddings aren’t ‘for everyone,’ so take the time to think about your target audience.

Think about the age of your audience, the type of things they’re likely to be interested in, where they get their information from, what they do for fun etc. 

This should help you to build a profile of your audience member and you can then target your activity accordingly.

Channels

Think about the channels you currently have available to you, whether it’s an active Instagram account, an internal newsletter or your own podcast. These are the owned channels you have most control over and they are free, so make use of them.

Paid channels such as promoted social media posts and listings sites are great, but again, think about your target audience and where they most access information. Don’t do a paid for post on Facebook if you’re trying to reach a young audience, go to where they spend their time (Tiktok)

Earned media is great for impartial coverage o your event, but this is harder to get as you’ll need to pitch your event to the press. 

To help plan your activity, use the PESO model to plot the channels available to you and your budget. 

You don’t need a digital flyer or a poster

These are a waste of time and money. If you’re driving people to a digital event, why would you use a PDF designed to look like a physical asset?

PDF flyers are a pain, they don’t always get past spam filters, and once they do you have to rely to someone opening up an attachment, clicking on links etc (or event worse, copying and pasting a link) Are you still with me? If I’ve lost you then it’s likely you’ve lost your audience.  Spend your money on decent photography…

Images and video 

Strong imagery sells an event. 

Make sure your photos are high resolution and easy to relate back to the event. People have short attention spans (well done if you’re still reading this, by the way) so making people ‘work’ for the meaning behind your event image usually means they are turned off.

Video to promote your event is event better. Make it short (max 20 seconds) and make sure it is captioned and include information on how to book tickets. If you can’t afford to make a video, splicing together strong images and overlaying with captioned text can work well. 

Check out this fantastic trailer for Barbershop Chronicles which is an excellent example of a strong trailer and I love it!

Track your links

At the moment all of your activity will be digital, because it is pointless printing posters and flyers and distributing them. So that you can track the effectiveness of your marketing activity, use a trackable link.

This means that when you send out a link from a specific source, you can find out how many people clicked on it. Make different links for the different posts you’re sending out from different channels to help you understand which one works best. 

Sites like bit.ly offer a free, link tracking service

Ticketing

Ticketing your event means you can keep track of audience numbers, and charge for tickets if you want to.  It also gives you an easy way to communicate with your potential audience if you have to change or cancel elements of your event. This also means you can capture any access requirements ahead of time and make provisions.

We use Spektrix to ticket our events, which fully integrates our box office system with our digital marketing activity. Other systems are also available, depending on your budget. Many of our partner organisations also use Eventbrite.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading chaps, Nancy.

Enjoyed this blog?

Here are 2 more of our 3 part series of ‘How-To digital’ blogs: