GUEST BLOG: Four Tips for Marketing Your Next Event at a Low-Cost

Planning an event can be a whirlwind, between trying to find a location to hiring event staff. But, there comes a point when you will need to market the event so that people know about it.

 You may think this means big bucks to get your event in front of the right audience, but you can promote your event at little-to-no cost if you take the time to create a preliminary plan of action, and utilize any analytics or feedback you receive, prior to launching a full-scale marketing attempt.

 Below are some ways you can create buzz for your event without having to spend a large marketing budget:

 Tap into Existing Email Lists

 Sharing with your email list about an event you--or a brand you are working with--is hosting is a great place to start creating interest in the event at no cost to you.

 Most, if not all, of your email list are interested in your business or brand and have opted-in to be on your email list--a sign of aligned interest.

 Perhaps you start out with a teaser email, to build interest. You can see the analytical data to see how many opened the email and adjust your approach accordingly. You can also utilize your email list for actual feedback on the event to gather details of what the target audience would like to see at the event or provide any other useful feedback.

 Your email list can be a great way to gather analytics, opinions, and spread the word among your most avid followers and be a great way to tweak before formally disseminating more details to the masses.

 Create Social Buzz Early

 Another way to create pre-event promotion is to use your social channels effectively.

 One post will most likely fall into the quick grave of social media algorithms (depending on what platforms you use). A carefully curated social campaign could be a great way to continue to place the event under those who have liked your page or the hosting businesses pages noses.

 Different ways to attempt this could be, like the email list, where you give little promotional pieces to create a larger-scale message across a period to keep people actively interested in the upcoming event.

 You could also use Facebook Events pages to create the event itself and organize all posts, comments, and questions within an organized page that people can RSVP too--with social posts on your brand and/or the host businesses social pages leading back to the event page.

 These provide no-cost digital RSVP's that can provide an idea of interest, create conversations among those most interested, and field questions all in one campaign or page.

Collaborate with Others Involved in The Event

 You may think you are on your own for promotional material but creating a grand marketing plan that includes all moving parts of the event can be a great way to expand the marketing stretch of the event.

 Besides yourself (if this is your event) and/or the company hosting the event, you should tap into others involved.

Do you have a caterer? Ask them to share their preparations for the event or that they have been chosen to create the food for the event. Have decorations such as floral arrangements? Ask the florist to share her processes as well for the event.

 These are great ways you can create a full look at an event and show those interested the moving parts of an event and allowing the businesses to showcase their talents as well. This is truly a win/win that develops rapport and perhaps continued partnerships.

 Use Keyword and Hashtag Research

 Keyword research tends to be a major phrase in the marketing realm when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) but it also plays a role in how you can word event press coverage and other marketing collateral.

Both keyword research and hashtag research are key in understanding what your target audience finds important and is a way to get your event noticed by them.

 Hashtags help in placing any event marketing in social media in a batch of posts with the same word, which can help when creating initial buzz. Ensuring the hashtags are targeted and relevant is key. This can come down to specific phrasing that includes location and type of event, an example being a hashtag for a local city plus the industry and type of event. 

 Keyword research comes more into play with website and event collateral. Phrasing an event landing page, publicity, and email your email list and social media posts can help target and drive interest to the event.

 The key is being as specific as possible to not be too macro but also with enough leeway to get those in your secondary interest groups involved too.

 Whether you are marketing a large event or a small cocktail hour, you want to ensure you are targeting the right audience and providing an event of quality and interest to them. Following the above approaches can help you focus on the details potential attendees want, provide them with the details that will allow them to decide to attend, and disseminate the event details in a targeted and low-cost manner.

Sarah is a digital marketing strategist who works in paid and organic marketing, public relations, and content creation for small businesses. When she isn't working, she is usually reading or helping with local animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations.

Sarah is a digital marketing strategist who works in paid and organic marketing, public relations, and content creation for small businesses. When she isn't working, she is usually reading or helping with local animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations.