Whether planning for your next year of event marketing is already underway or you’re still in the conceptual stages, this post is a must-read for any business owners or event organisers looking to supercharge upcoming events with the help of digital marketing.
Today, we’re joined by our friends at Land Digital, who are sharing a handful of expert insights for marketing events online – helping you to maximise awareness and, in turn, boost attendance on the day. From insider SEO tactics to influencer marketing, this post will leave you with ample actionable advice for pulling off a well-executed online marketing strategy for your 2020 event.
Harness the power of organic search
Google reigns when it comes to organic search, so, for any event organiser, it’s essential that you do everything in your power to ensure your event ranks competitively in Google for the search queries most closely related to the nature of your event.
This means strategically optimising your event page for specific keyword groups and informational topics to give your page the best possible chance of being found by users in search of an event just like yours. It goes without saying that any event organiser would love nothing more than to occupy that coveted number one spot – but when it comes to generic, highly searched keywords, the number of applicable results means competition is, naturally, fierce.
Don’t give up hope just yet, though: the truth is it’s far more effective to be realistic and selective about the keywords you choose to target – refining your approach based on the specifics of your event’s topic, audience or location. One golden rule for success is to hone in on relevant local search terms, such as ‘[topic] events in [location]’ – as there’s little doubt any user searching those sorts of terms won’t be interested in your event. For instance, if you’re organising a pop-up restaurant in Manchester, this phrasing should, of course, be used in your on-page copy and metadata.
Everything in moderation, though, as they say. With outdated optimisation methods like keyword-stuffing left behind long ago, it’s vital to take a natural, semantic approach to optimising your page content – simply put, you should be optimising for what users need to know rather than what you think search engines want to see. Ensure that, where keywords are used, they’re incorporated naturally within the content for maximum semantic relevance. This way, you can provide the end user with the most relevant result according to the search term they used.
Tap into voice search
As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, it’s also crucial to ensure your event page is optimised for voice search. With data published by Google indicating that 41% of people are now using voice activated assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa to search online, failing to optimise for voice search means a missed opportunity to target this demographic.
One of the key consumer benefits of voice search is the improved user experience. As this evolution accelerates, users are now able to instantly search online using a simple voice command while multitasking – making their lives simpler and their searches faster than ever before.
When it comes to priming your site for both traditional and voice searches, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between the two to ensure your efforts can have maximum impact. With the majority of voice searches, there is a command element involved – for example, “Alexa, find a music event near me”. Search queries also tend to be longer and, in many cases, follow a question format – unlike your typical traditional search – so be sure to factor this kind of language into your event page content to cater for users making searches in this way.
One way to do this is to write your content in a more informal, direct and conversational tone, ensuring it’s semantically relevant and personable. Think about how someone may search using voice commands rather than typing – and where possible, target direct, concise keywords typically used for desktop searches as well as answering questions and incorporating longtail search terms that will perform better with those using voice search devices.
Another top tip for marketing your event page is to target featured snippets, a type of search result that appears below paid search ads and above organic results on Google. To do this right on your event page, include a brief and concise summary of your event within the copy that summarises the topic in as few words as possible. If a featured snippet is available for your chosen keyword, this approach to content writing will help Google extract this snippet from your page content and display the snippet within search results for queries related to your event.
Influence the influencer
Social media provides a powerful online marketing tool for event organisers and can be utilised in various ways to gain exposure and create a real buzz around your event – be that pre-event teasers on Instagram or ticket giveaways on Twitter. When it comes to social media marketing, one effective tactic that’s been gaining momentum in recent years is that of influencer marketing.
Reach out to the event community in your local area to drum up additional exposure with your target audience – this could be as simple as joining event forums and social media networking groups, which will offer the ideal platform for spreading the word about your upcoming event.
Beyond this, look to identify online influencers within your sector who can do a lot of the promotional work for you, as they will have an active following made up of your dream attendees. It’s important to remember that many influencers are inundated with requests from brands, so you’ll need to make sure you provide these influencers with an attractive incentive that also requires minimal effort on their part.
Start by identifying a select number of influencers who are a perfect fit for your brand and have followers who match the profile of your ideal event attendees. Be realistic with your choices, favouring relevant influencers over those with impressive follower figures, as these may be far more difficult to build relationships with – as well as likely having a less relevant audience overall.
To entice collaborations and endorsements, we’d always recommend reaching out to influencers with a bespoke piece of content that will resonate with them and their followers, or with an offer that’s specially tailored to their area of expertise. Taking a personalised approach is much more genuine and will have a far greater impact on potential ticket buyers.
Whether you’re hosting a small-scale business networking event or a large-scale music festival, we hope these expert insights will give you plenty of food for thought when it comes to marketing your events online in 2020 and beyond.