live crowd at music event

Your 2021 Guide to Successful Event Promotion

Want to be a savvy promoter in today’s digital age? Learning how to run an event? Find out all you need to know about event promotion with Seatedly’s up to date guide

Forget 2020. It’s done.

2021 is here. It might seem as bleak as the last, but it could be a year of hope. That glimmer of light – the re-emergence of the events industry – is well on the horizon. And let’s not forget that the virtual events industry is booming, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

You may be a hardy, experienced promoter, you may be a first-timer wanting to learn how to run an event or you may have missed a year of events and need to dust off the promoter’s handbook in this brave new world. Well, Seatedly are here to ready you for that inevitable return. Let us guide you on the path towards successful event promotion.


A good website and ticketing platform

An event can be promoted well to the right people and bring in a tonne of eager fans ready to buy tickets. But what if your site and ticketing system not up to scratch? A bad website and ticketing process won’t look good for your brand.

Part of successful promoting is you, the host, looking great online and building a name that keeps customers coming back again and again to visit your site because they love using it. Having a sturdy, professional website that reflects well on your event with a smooth, hiccup-free ticketing system is essential.

Seatedly can build you an adaptable website with a robust, scalable ticketing system capable of seating fans for any event, big or small. It gives ticket holders full control of their buying process with impressive features like an Interactive Seat Map. This ticketing system can also be added on to any existing website.

Merchandise

We all love a bit of merch; It shows off your support for a band, artist, comedian, Youtuber, team, event – whatever. Selling merchandise – whether that’s from a previous event or available in the lead up to a future event – means you’ve got your own active promoters running around wearing the tee or the hat or the scarf and spreading the word without you having to lift a finger.

Merchandise is a hugely profitable revenue stream for promoters but it can do more than just bring in money. It creates a buzz around your event, helping promote not just one event but the whole brand. It’s a fantastic form of word-of mouth marketing, essentially giving people an advert of your brand to walk around in.

If you’re thinking of getting the word out with merch, consider throwing it up alongside your tickets using Seatedly’s Merchandise tool. Fans can buy a ticket, grab their favourite bit of merchandise and then checkout all in one go. It’s easy for them and profitable for you. And if you’re a venue owner running a virtual event, this could make up for any lost revenue streams like bar sales etc.

Social media

It’s rare to see a physical billboard or poster out and about in 2021 considering most events are streamed online. We exist on our phones. therefore, there’s a no more relevant promotional channel to be honing in on than social media. It’s a fast track to successful event promotion and can give you a huge wedge of invaluable data. It’s also mostly free.

With a multi-channel social media advertising campaign, you can’t post the same thing across the board. You’ve got to adapt content, sponsored ads and posts in a considered way on each of your social media handles. Twitter users don’t react the same as Facebook users, Linkedin users don’t react the same as Instagram users. You get the picture.

Attention spans can vary, too. If a fan sees a Facebook post, for example, they might be willing to invest in a paragraph. That’s not the case on Instagram, though, where things are image-based with short snappy text that makes followers want to click through to an event.

Let’s talk platforms:

Facebook:

Although everyone thinks they’re over the classic social media giant, a whopping 2.5 billion people still visit Facebook each month. It’s a mainstay for pushing your event and your brand.

It’s great for community. Having become so engrained in our day to day lives that in many ways Facebook has reverted back to what it originally was – a place for friends to connect and share things they love on groups and pages with the ability to comment, react, share and tag friends creating the most traffic variations than any other platform.

Did you know every fifth post on all social media is a sponsored post, AKA an ad? And have you ever noticed they seem especially tailored to you? That’s a target ad. It’s the cleverest social media promotional tool available right now and you should really get to know about it. It can help you pinpoint your perfect audience through a selection of factors.

Facebook can identify three types of audience:

Pay attention to your ‘Lookalike audiences’. You might think you know your audience already but this tool will root out any potential interested users you may have missed meaning maximised ticket sales.

Facebook look at your best audience – the group that respond well to your events – and identify their common qualities (for example, demographic information or interests). They then deliver adverts to similar Facebook users you perhaps hadn’t thought about.

Instagram

Instagram is all about image. Whether it’s a targeted adverts, posts or stories, it’s best to keep it visual and stay away from large blocks of text which keep people scrolling. This is the place for your awesome flyers to flex their muscles.

It’s not just static posters that do the job, however. Snappy videos of either six seconds or longer ones at about a minute provide movement and that’s why people go to the app these days. Get creating vibrant video content that packs a punch and make sure they’re not too long.

Don’t just limit yourself to posts, ads and stories. Expand your page by going live – it notifies your followers every time you do, keeping your event on the tip of their tongue throughout the day.

Take advantage of all the little fancy things you can do on Instagram: try multi-image posts and be creative with them: create clean graphics that spread out across all three, stand out from the crowd and can increase traffic tenfold.

Really delve into stories, too, because while you may think Instagram is only a place for likes and nothing more, stories opens up the floodgates for tonnes of different types of engagement. You can put your adverts in stories as well making for a dynamic, successful event promotion campaign.

Google Ads

When it comes to any event promotion strategy, advertising online isn’t just a case of buying a banner on someone’s site advertising an upcoming event. Although that still works well, technology has changed and you should invest in it.

Like with Facebook but not quite as narrowed down, targeted adverts via Google Ads identify people’s search engine habits. Say, for example, someone has an interest in comedy events in Birmingham and has actively searched for one, a comedy promoter could target an advert specifically to Birmingham live comedy lovers. But it doesn’t track people’s vast quantities of different interests like on social media. Google Ads can instead only go by age, location, gender etc so use this wisely.

Email marketing

Get this: 320 billion emails are estimated to be sent around the world every day in 2021. They’re everywhere: they light up our phones and wake us up in the morning. Promotional emails are thrown right into the palms of your customer’s hands and there’s no better way of keeping an upcoming event in the minds of ticket buyers than by email.

But the key to success is all about balance: don’t bombard. Keep your email text snappy, concise, entertaining and informative. It’s good to strike at the right time so an email doesn’t get lost in someone’s inbox

Finally, make sure your subject and pre-header text cuts to the chase. Hook your potential ticket buyers in instantly with the right wording.  

Content

It makes the world go round and it’s the key in any event promotion strategy. All businesses are latching onto how content in the form of articles, blogs, interviews and video content are for their digital image. Digital content opens up the door to a world of opportunities: rank high on Google, create new ticket buyers and provide backlinks to your events that don’t feel too pushy.

No one wants to stumble upon an empty website. Content shows how established, respected and knowledgeable your brand is.

SEO

Search engine optimisation can sound like a scarily complex term for promoters. It’s not.

SEO is just a way of getting your event or website noticed on Google. Say, for example, you’re hosting a classic car exhibition. When people search on ‘classic car event’, ‘classic car exhibition’, ‘classic car festival’ or any other variation, you want the first event they see to be yours, right?

SEO is about predicting what your potential ticket buyers might type into a search engine to find the perfect event for them. Google will notice websites with certain keywords or key phrases and rank them higher. However, if words are thrown in for the sake of it, a site owner can be penalised.

Posters

They’re a classic but fundamental part of your event. A high quality, well-designed and often edgy event flyer sticks in the mind of fans as they walk or, in today’s world, scroll past it. Whatever flyer you’re putting up, whether it’s going on social media, Google or on your own site, keep it up to date with 2021 trends and make sure your flyer doesn’t look outdated.

This year it’s all about calmer colours that put people at ease in our wild world. So try it out. These 2021-focused trends for online poster assets are proven to keep any event up to date this year:

  • Muted colour palettes
  • Calm, tranquil tones
  • 90s minimalism
  • Big statistic visualisation
  • Classic, raw and simple serif fonts
  • Geometric shapes and patterns

That’s our 2021 guide to successful event promotion done and dusted. Now go away and get started on putting some of these techniques to use in the real world.

Whether it’s a virtual event today or a real one when it can happen, it’s imperative that you make your brand known on social media, aware of your brand’s suitable channels. But it’s not just about quanitity of clicks. It’s about ticket sales. Shout out about your event in the right place at the right time and you’ll see the tickets fly in no time.

Also, if you’re ever stuck or think running the show is too much pressure, Seatedly can help take the weight off your shoulders, letting you solely take care of promotion. We offer a robust ticketing system at an affordable price that puts your customers in control of their tickets. Get in touch today.

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