Our Guide to local promotion

COMMON GROUNDS GUIDE TO LOCAL PROMOTION

Promoting a local event is hard work. To get any event to full capacity means understanding that you need to adopt a work hard ethic to ensure this.

1. IDENTIFY

  • Artist/author demographic - This would be age, likes and people group of the consumer who would like this type of event. Target promotion
  • Ensure that a minimum of 3 months is available for promotion from point of receiving promotional material (Posters, flyers, videos)
  • Your platforms for promotion within a 40 mile radius or 1 hour drive to venue (don’t just focus on people in your town/city–look beyond.)

2. Platform

  • Look for local platforms to distribute publicity (Posters, flyers) and meet people of influence who can get the word out to their networks. Listed below are a number of key people groups who would help with this:

– Church Leaders (make sure you visit them in person and the groups they represent don’t just rely on mail outs or social media.)
– Worship Leaders
– Youth Leaders/workers
– Children’s Leaders/workers

  • Plan ahead and look out for other events, concerts, and conferences within a 3 month lead time to your event (distribution of promotional resources, handouts or a voice from the platform.)
  • Street teams – a good idea is to encourage others around you to be involved in promotion of the event spreading the resources you need to impact the event. Street teams are people who will take flyers/posters into schools, Christian Unions, colleges and universities. It may be appropriate to offer major influencers Free tickets to add to their enthusiasm for the event. Free tickets for competition winners are always welcomed and a great way to engage your audience. If you don’t have a church listing then an idea is to Google your area for churches within your county and surrounding towns of the event and contact they via their websites or social media pages.

3. PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

  • Here are a few suggestions of what material you should have when promoting a local event.
  • Physical Print – Posters, Flyers to distribute across the local church networks, cafes etc
  • Digital Design – Same designs as the physical print but to be used for social media push, email attachements, web based email marketing software like mail-chimp.
  • Website – Where appropriate, get banners of the event made and advertised on the church website and event partners websites.
  • Social media – Regular posts via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, strategic targeted adverts via Facebook, Promo video on youtube
  • Multiple hits – ensure that everyone you deal with has been hit twice in person or through literature. Statistics show it takes 3 ½ times for people to recognise a song on radio, therefore consumers need to be hit multiple times to connect with the event you’re doing.

4. INSTORE

  • Work alongside local Christian bookstores/coffee houses and any other daily outlets to display material and sell tickets.

5. MEDIA (LOCAL)

  • Local media can sometimes be willing to help promote events that are happening within their local area. Therefore contact your local newspaper and their ‘what’s happening’ sections to see if they want to interview the artist/author, attend the concert, run competitions or just add it to their listings.
  • The same goes for Radio and any local community radio stations will have a similar show for what’s happening in their area probably around 3 weeks up front. It’s interesting to note that radio, unless sponsoring the event, will not pre promote up to 2 weeks before.

6. NATIONAL

  • TV – if part of a national tour, then your national promoter may look at TV advertising through Christian TV. Our advice is to always ensure that ads are placed around major profiled shows.
  • Charity – should the artist/author be a sponsor or affiliated with any charity then make contact with them and see if there are any mailings, monthly magazines or emails that you can access for your event.
  • Record Company/Publisher – ensure that should there be a new album or book that the tour dates are added within these products, either via a sticker or a leaflet.
  • Denominations – again should the artist/author be linked to a specific denomination its worth contacting them to use their national database for profile.

Promoting Your Event on Facebook

PROMOTING YOUR EVENT ON FACEBOOK

Maybe it seems obvious, but the success of a Facebook event promotion initiative will live or die with a Facebook events page, set it up well, and it will be easier to find success.

Choose a cover photo that’s 1920×1080 pixels. Your cover photo should feel exciting, and should be eye catching, since it will show up if attendees choose to share your event with others on Facebook.

Make sure to pick a short and memorable event name. According to Facebook’s events team, events with longer names tend to perform worse on the platform. One reason for this might be that 54% of all users only use Facebook through a mobile device – longer titles typically won’t look good on smaller screens.

Add data to help Facebook share your event. Facebook has an algorithm that will recommend events to users based on a number of factors. It’s important that event organisers input the correct information about where the event is being held, and when it’s starting so that the algorithm can promote the event. Be sure to also select the appropriate event category. Popular categories include:

  • Conference
  • Festival
  • Meet-up
  • and Concert.

Lastly, add tags that you think people might be searching for. A great App to help generate hashtags in called Hashme. 

Optimise you’re event notifications. It might be tempting to notify event attendees about event updates using a Facebook Events page, but organizers should avoid using notifications to engage with registered attendees.

According to Facebook’s own research, events that send more than a few notifications experience considerable audience disengagement, as people turn notifications off when they find them to be annoying.

Use other channels, like email marketing, or messages through an event app to update attendees about important event information.

Cross-Promote With Event Co-Hosts

If you’re working with a partner to plan and market an event, consider utilising your partner’s Facebook influence to help generate buzz and increase registrations.

On the Facebook event page, the organiser has the ability to add “Hosts.” Doing so will allow host companies to add the event to their own Facebook events module and tab (as discussed above).

This tactic is most effective when a co-host has an established audience who is already following the co-hosts’ events calendar.  Adding co-hosts is a great tactic for those hosting artists at an event.

Often, major music festivals or concerts will add co-hosts so that it’s easier for organisers to reach potentially interested fans.

Facebook Advertising

Of course when people search for “How to promote an event on Facebook,” many are looking for help with Facebook advertising.

Advertising represents the main source of revenue for Facebook, and as a result, the company has invested a great deal in designing an easy to use advertising platform that enables organisers and event marketers to reach a wider audience.

When it comes to promoting an event, promoters should keep an previously referenced statistic in mind:

54% of all Facebook users only log into the platform on a mobile device.

That means that if promoters are hoping to maximise ad efforts, ad campaigns must look perfect on mobile devices. Images should be clear, powerful and accompanied by “tap-able” copy.

Embrace Omni-Channel Event Promotion

Potential event attendees use more than one channel to learn about events, and to connect with friends. In order to best promote an event, it’s important to adopt an omni-channel event promotion strategy that allows potential event attendees to interact with your event brand on their own terms.

That means incorporating other social media platforms into the mix is often a necessity for those hoping to maximise event registration and attendee engagement. It also means that event promoters need to master email marketing strategies in addition to promoting an event on Facebook and on other social media channels.

Conclusion

With so many highly-engaged users, Facebook is a fantastic resources for event marketers hoping to generate event buzz. Furthermore, Facebook has indicated that they want people to engage with the platform before, during and after live events, meaning that they have and will continue to invest in providing organisers with tools to create successful events.

In order to reach the right audience organisers must create a well-optimised Facebook page, they should also incorporate the Facebook Event page into an existing Facebook company page.

Using content, advertising, and embracing an omni-channel event promotion strategy are great ways to get more people interested in attending.