Are you getting started in hosting talks or group experiences to share what you love, but not sure how to attract the right audience? You’re not alone. Most of us have great ideas and content but when it comes to promoting an event to the right audience, it often can feel overwhelming. Not to mention the various tools and marketing channels out there for us to choose from! This article offer 5 key steps to help you identify your audience and promote your event to them at the right place, the right time and with the right message.

  1. Why Should People Attend? Find Your Angle and Tell Your Story.

Yes, you’re trying to sell yourself and your event. Instead of focusing on the event itself, look a little deeper and find a unique angle worth highlighting. Maybe it’s your own personal journey. How you overcame significant obstacles and lessons learned. The point is people are much more likely to respond to content that’s about someone instead of something. Use the best story possible as a way to soft sell the event, and you’ll likely see the desired results.

2. Who Is Your Audience? Identify All Your Potential Audiences and Personas.

Write a list of all the possible audiences and think about their personas in detail. Are they parents? Children? Disabled people? Students? How old are they? What’s their income level? In what industry do they work? Will they respond to a discount code? The more details you get into, the more you know your audience and what they are looking for in their lives. You may have been teaching an art experience to a group of students in a college, but have you thought about hosting a Drink and Draw event targeting young professionals looking to mingle in a social setting, like a bar? Identifying all potential audiences will help you clarify different messaging you need when you promote your event and what channels you will use to reach them. The more targeted messaging you have for each audience, the more likely you are going to win their heart.

3. Where Does Your Audience Live and Play?

Different audiences will likely appear in different places. If you are hosting a music jamming night, why not go to live music bars at night and spread some flyers or even better, talk to people that come to the live music nights? If you want to get older professionals to your event, Instagram and Snapchat aren’t going to help you much. Take time to craft compelling copy and put it on the right platform to increase attendance. Join online communities and offline interest groups. Whether you deploy a street team for some experiential marketing, implement an email lead nurturing flow, or engage in a text messaging campaign, remember it’s important to create as many touch-points as possible to get closer to your audience.

You can also find influencers or local media to help you scale up your effort and reach larger pool of audience. You’ll need a compelling news hook to offer an influencer or journalist if he/she is going to promote your event. If that’s not possible, consider calendar listings in the area newspaper and on local websites.

4. What Assets To Use? Use Visuals!

Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Videos are worth even more. The point is you should be using/creating visually compelling assets because that’s what people want to see right now. Their eyes might glaze over yet another block of copy, but enticing them with an eye-popping picture or an attention-grabbing video is a much better bet to earn a conversion. Whatever you choose, make sure your messaging match the asset.

5. How To Write An Effective Copy or Event Listing?

Now you’ve run through all the key points above, you can start crafting your event listing with these key points in mind:

  • To the point and don’t overcomplicate, but make sure you address at least: Who should attend — any prerequisites or level required, and why they should attend — the benefits of attending.
  • Provide an agenda — For people who have busy lives, it’s important to provide a brief and clear agenda in bullet points so they know what to expect and how the time will be spent in each activity at the event in case they want to attend just a portion of it.
  • A Clear Call-to-Action — Your end goal is for people to attend. Make sure you always provide a clear call-to-action.
  • Consider Hashtags & Tagging — If you’re looking to increase attendees organically on social media, consider using hashtags. You can make your own and start including it in all your social copy, or you can piggyback on existing hashtags that are relevant to your audience. For example, if your event is during a conference you should definitely use the official conference hashtag to drive people to your specific event. But be wary — hashtags are advisable on Instagram and Twitter, but less so on Facebook or Linkedin. Know your platform.
  • Test and Optimise — You can test different copy or highlight different selling points each time to see which copy works better. Record all your learnings each time so you can continue to improve and find your sweet spot.

Attracting the right audience takes more than just writing down a description. You need to understand your audiences, where they are and their different needs before crafting your listing. More importantly, be super clear on all the benefits you can offer your attendees and find your unique selling points, whether it’s your personal experiences in the area or fun activities you created for the event combining your multiple passions. It’s also about seeing a bigger picture and maximizing your largest potential reach while still being personalized in your approach. This way, you’ll not only reach a bigger audience but also the right audience who will want to attend.

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