Your event’s promotional plan is in full swing. The banner ads look great. Your tweets are drumming up excitement. And your emails are hitting inboxes across the country.
But it’s not just about what you’re doing — what you’re not doing might make all that hard work irrelevant.
Here are four of the most common and critical mistakes to avoid when promoting your event. Ignore just one of them, and your whole promotional plan could fail.
1. You didn’t set realistic goals
If you’re trying sell out your event in 30 seconds, you’re going to have a different promotional campaign than if you’re selling various ticket tiers over the course of several months. And if you’re trying to sell more VIP tickets this year, you’re going to have a different approach than if you’re trying to target a younger audience.
So what are you trying for, exactly? “Selling tickets” isn’t enough. You’ll need clear objectives, and you’ll need to set them before your campaign kicks off. These objectives should be aspirational but achievable. Get specific: How many ticket sales or registrations are you hoping to drive, and through which channels? What’s your timeframe? Base your goals off of past campaign performance so you can be as realistic as possible — before your campaign starts.
2. You didn’t track things correctly
When running a promotional campaign, you want to know:
- Who’s buying tickets to your event
- How they’re finding out about your event
- Which ads they’re clicking on
- Which pages site visitors are spending the most time on, and
- When people are buying tickets (or leaving your site without buying at all)
Without this information, you’re floating aimlessly, putting out promotions and just praying they’ll stick. And you’re probably wasting valuable resources on ineffective ads.
Luckily, Google Analytics has the answers to all of these questions — plus it’s free and easy to use. Check your Analytics reports frequently and use them to continually refine your strategy to meet your goals.
3. You didn’t pay enough attention to SEO
Let’s stay on your Google Analytics page for a moment. Go to your “Channels” report. This breaks down where your traffic is coming from. You can see the percentage of visitors that are finding your site through “organic search” (by Googling something like “beer festivals Austin” and seeing your event in the list of search results), versus the percentage that’s finding it via social media posts.
If you’re getting a lot of traffic through organic search, that could mean you did a great job optimizing your event site for search engines. If ads or social media posts are far outpacing organic searches, look over your popular posts or ads and see if you can borrow the language to better optimize your page for search.
For help getting started, check out this quick guide to finding keywords that will boost your event’s SEO.
4. You didn’t think about conversion rates
Your conversion rate — the percentage of people that visit your site and actually register or buy a ticket — is critical to growing your event. After all, it doesn’t matter how many people click on your ads and visit your site if none of them are buying tickets.
So how do you go about tracking conversion in your promotional campaigns?
For Facebook ads, you can set your objective to “increase conversions on your website,” and they will display your ad when and how they’ve determined conversions are most likely. For Google ads, you can see how many conversions are generated by different keywords and campaigns in your ‘Analytics’ dashboard. For other campaign elements like email sends, include a UTM code in your event page link so you can see exactly where your ticket-buying traffic is coming from.
Now that you’ve learned the “don’ts” of event promotion, check out this guide to the “do’s:” The 10 Best Ways to Promote Your Event Online.