Getting people to attend your event can be a lot of work and is very challenging. But thankfully, Instagram not only provides you with the opportunity to visually market your event, but it’s also a great way to share user-generated content to help promote your event in the future. Because when people are having fun, or they are learning from the speakers, and connecting with other like-minded people and taking a lot of selfies, they will want to share it on Instagram for attention and recognition. When there are dynamic photos or videos promoting your event, people will feel a desire to attend it, and you will sell more tickets. There are two main reasons why you should be putting Instagram over any other social platform for your event.
The first one is the power of visuals. Visual communication is one of the top technology trends right now. Your entire Instagram feed can showcase your entire event. People can scroll through your photos and your videos and immediately get a sense as to whether or not they want to attend your event based on the vibe that they feel from your feed. The second reason is the intimacy of the experience. Let’s face it. Experiences trump materialistic things. There is a big movement towards wanting real-life experiences and connecting face to face with people.
Now, let’s walk through several ways that you can set yourself up for success if you’re looking for ways to use Instagram to sell more tickets to your event.
The first thing you need to think about is cleaning up your existing account or starting a new one. Yup, if your Instagram account is confusing and not focused on the vibe or the details of your event, you’re not going to have great success selling tickets. You want to have a complete content strategy. Have some idea as to what content that you could be posting on your Instagram feed. This is something that you could be doing before your event, during your event, and after your event. If you get a great sponsor or a famous speaker for your event, make sure you take a lot of photos and tag them because they just might share your post on their feed. This may get the eyeballs of your sponsor’s or speakers followers on your feed, and ultimately sell more tickets from the people that come over from your sponsor.
The second thing you want to do is gather photos from a previous event if you’ve had one, and choose which ones will really work well on Instagram. This is where you’re seeing user-generated content and content from the speakers. So you want to check out which images made it to the top six or nine, in order to determine which ones would work best on Instagram. Once you’ve gathered all your photos, be sure to organize them and put them in a folder so they are easy to access and share on Instagram. We use Dropbox as our go-to place for finding all of our photos, making it really easy to post the best ones.
The third step is to plan your content. Try listing out about nine different topics you can talk about related to your event. You can talk about the venue your sponsors, your speakers or the decorations. You can showcase the bookstore. Or you can celebrate a member of your team in action during the event or maybe at the setup or the breakdown. You can also showcase the attendees of your event. Or if you’re serving a special beverage or special food, show that as well. Extra points if you have great lighting, and it’s a bird’s-eye view. You really want to make your followers and audience feel involved in your event right from the start. Your goal is to build excitement before the tickets are even on sale by using Instagram to tell a story. Update your followers regularly and show the whole journey of your event. All of these ideas can turn into great descriptions and narratives about your event.
The fourth step is defining the length of time that you’re going to have to promote your event campaign. How long is it going to take you to organize, promote and host your event? Some events need one month while others start promoting events six months out. Make sure you give yourself enough time to start teasing and promoting your event.
The fifth step is to promote your event using a unique hashtag for your event. Sometimes by putting a date after the hashtag, it helps isolate that event even more. If you are using a unique hashtag for your event allows users to search on Instagram and find and connect with all the people who are physically at the event or who have purchased tickets and gives them an opportunity to connect with you on Instagram. Give people the opportunity to connect before your event, during your event, and after your event with your unique event hashtag. This is a great way to help you understand the sense of community that’s being built around your event. You might also want to think about doing a contest and asking followers to submit a video or a photo using your unique event hashtag saying that they want to attend your event. After that, you can give the winner a complimentary event ticket.
This is the fun part. Step six is to start posting event content on Instagram. The most important thing to consider is to show off the experience of the event. What are the benefits of attending your event? Is it meeting people face to face? Or is it collaborating with other people and creating new partnerships? Or is it simply to grow your sphere of influence? The more people are connected to the experience of being at your event, the more tickets you will sell.
The seventh step is to drive traffic to your event registration page or another page on your website where they can complete registration to your event. A great deal of digital marketing, whether it’s on Instagram or elsewhere, needs a goal. Because marketing without a purpose is just stuff, and there’s more than enough stuff on the internet. There’s a couple of ways you can do this. You can direct people to a link on your Instagram profile through a story or a post. Or, you can drive traffic to a dedicated landing page on your website, and re-target these visitors with ads on Facebook.
There you have it, the seven steps for promoting your event on Instagram. That said, when marketing your event on Instagram, your content must be unique so that you can out from everyone else promoting an event out there. While it will take you a lot of time and effort, getting the right mix will deliver the results as a reward.