GUEST BLOG: How To Totally Nail Your Event Advertising Strategy
Over the past few years, I have become a firm believer in strategy.
Consider what might happen if you go to the grocery store without a list. If you’re like me, you’d probably come home with a bunch of mismatched produce items, zero things that could become dinner, two types of overpriced cheese, and way too many crunchy snacks... These days, I never go to the grocery store without a list.
I consider the grocery list to be my grocery store strategy. And if I can’t do something simple like grocery shop without a strategy, then I surely can’t do complicated things without one!
Designing and executing strategies is a huge piece of my freelance digital marketing work. And one of my most useful strategies - by far - is my events advertising strategy.
Years ago, a mentor taught me to consider planning events on a 6-10 week timeline, so that timeframe is always my starting point. However, the timeline will shift based on your specific audience, the size of the event, and the actual date of the event. Regardless of these variables, I have found that my method builds a unique strategy that is manageable and effective, even for a solopreneur to accomplish on their own!
Always start by considering your target audience. Where are they hanging out, digitally and in real life? Where do they expect to hear about your event? Are they expecting individualized paper invites in their mail boxes or will they find your event on Facebook? Make sure your strategy meets your audience where they’re at.
Now, create a spreadsheet that outlines the weeks leading up to the event. The spreadsheet should work backwards from the event date to today, marking the Monday of each week before the event so you can count how many weeks away your event is. This spreadsheet will set you up to break down advertising tasks by week.
Next, consider all the communication tools you have at your disposal. I’m assuming that at a base level, you’re able to use Facebook to advertise your event. But within Facebook itself, there are many channels through which you can touch your audience. For example, we’ve got company wall posts, individual shares, Facebook event pages, groups, and stories, to name a few. You probably also have an email list, or at least some email addresses of a few individuals who should know about your event. Are there additional tools you have at your disposal? Write them down! This way, you can ensure you’re utilizing all available tools in your events advertising strategy.
Lastly, consider the frequency at which you should post on each of these platforms. Would your audience expect to hear from you once a week? Twice a month? One by one, start plugging each task into your spreadsheet by week, making notes for how often you should ideally use each platform in any given week. Slowly you’ll see the the beginnings of your strategy!
Once you’re finished, your strategy should show something like this:
Monday, March 4th - 3 Weeks Out From Open House Pool Party
Post once on the company’s Facebook wall to advertise the event
Post the event in at least 4 relevant Facebook groups
Share the company’s event on your personal Facebook wall
Just so you’re like REALLY on it... Go back through the spreadsheet and plug each task into your to do list, planning tasks weeks in advance. Work backwards again to ensure you leave yourself enough time to draft advertising copy, create an on-brand graphic, and optimize the post for each platform in advance.
I have found - over and over again - that intentional event advertising strategies help attract event attendees that fit directly into my client’s target audience. Often, these strategies also create a buzz IRL about the event. (The dream!) With a little intentionality, some very basic spreadsheet organization, and a small dose of dedication, you too can see success with your events advertising!