Ep 74 | How to Promote your Events

Promoting your event online can be tricky. It's important to get your message out there multiple times and on the channels that your audience is hanging out on.

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Now that you have your event online and ready to go it's time to promote. In this episode I'm giving you some ideas for how you can promote your event online – for FREE! It's all about communicating and sharing the word on as many channels as you possibly can.

In this episode you'll learn:

→ how to leverage your website..
→ ways to promote your event on social media.
→ utilizing your local online calendars.
→ using your existing audience to help.

Want to skip ahead?  Here are some key takeaways:

[3:38] Leverage your website. It is a great place to keep up to date information on there. Nothing worse than promoting your event and having people come to your website to find out of date information.
[4:45] Head over to the social media channels that your organize utilizes and make sure you're talking about your events. You'll also want to leverage the event promotion tools that that individual platform uses.
[6:50] Write a blog post about your event. This is a great way to feature your sponors and give them a shout out as well as educate people more about what the event supports. Don't forget to share it with your email list.
[9:00] Make sure you're listed on as many online calendars as you can for where your event is located. These are often free and a great way to get free publicity.
[9:22] Make sure you make it clear to your board members, staff, volunteers and network to help you promote on the channels that they're involved in..


[Guide] 9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online
EP 68 | Use your Existing Audience to Promote for You

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Full Transcript

[INTRO] Hey there, Sami here with another episode of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. And today we're talking about creating a multi-channel plan to talk about your events.

Now I'm not a big fan of doing all the things, I'm a big fan of not spreading yourself too thin. So we're going to talk about kind of the big picture stuff and how to break it down. But I want to make sure that you don't feel like you need to do everything that we discuss in here, but that as you keep going and growing and working your way towards it, each new layer that you add on, add something different and keep growing.

So you might need to come back to this episode a couple times, and just you know, after you've got one event down, and you've done it with this, with the steps that you've already got, then you could add another step and then you can add in another step. So don't get overwhelmed by the different things that we're going to talk about here. But I do think that it's important, especially in the online space that you are talking about your events and multiple platforms and channels.

So with that will happen to the episode in a second, but this episode is brought to you by our office hours. So if you're listening to this episode and you're like, Okay, yeah, I got it I need but I need some help to strategize and figure out what my best next step is. That's what these office hours are great for. To help you strategize, you can have 30 minutes with me to really take what you've already got that's working and add on that next layer, or if something not quite working like you want it to figure out how to troubleshoot and make it work better before you add on the next step. So you can do that by going to https://www.thefirstclick.net/officehours, book 30 minutes with me, come with a specific question. we'll tackle it. I'll record it and give you that session and you can be on your way to kicking butt and increasing enrollments in your events, increasing your donations and all the things so again, https://www.thefirstclick.net/officehours, but for now, let's get into the episode.

[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[BODY] So you might be having to take your events online, you might be taking your donation campaigns online, there might be a lot more things that are happening in the online space than what you were used to. and promoting stuff or I mean, it could even be your in-person events, it could be physical things that you're doing, you know, face to face. So but promoting things online can really be a benefit and a way to reach a lot of people in a more cost-effective manner. And, you know, even if you're running ads in print publications, or you're in community calendars and things of that nature, the online space, most of those publications also have, you know, databases and calendars and all of that online as well.

So I really want to encourage you to make sure that you're taking your events online, and you're planning in promoting them online, and this doesn't mean that it has to be expensive at all, I mean, we'll talk about a couple things that you can do to put money behind it. But really just making sure that you're taking advantage of all of the different places that your audience is engaging on a regular basis, so that they have a more of a chance to see your events online, and to engage and to join in and to participate so that you can ultimately have more people that you serve or have more funds coming in for donations.

Leverage your website: So, I mean, obviously, I am a huge fan of websites, I think that they are kind of the center to the hub. And it's really important to have a website that includes up to date information. If I'm looking at an event and I visit a website and that website doesn't match up with the data that I'm seeing or the dates or the timeliness that's gonna give me a little bit of a red flag and I might be a little bit like me, you know, do I really trust that this organization has their stuff together. So making sure that your website up to date has all the information that is relevant to the events and programs that are happening right now is super important.

Hopefully you have somebody in your world that is helping you manage that on a regular basis. But if not, you might want to try to find a volunteer or a board member or somebody with the tech skills to kind of help keep that website up to date so that it is accurately reflecting the things that you're putting out in print, in-person and online. So that's the number one thing I want to make sure that you have your website up to date.

Utilize Social Media: The second thing is utilizing social media. So again, I don't want you to be on every single platform, you don't need to be on every platform under the sun. Pay attention to where your audiences and pick one or two platforms that make the most sense for where they are.

Facebook is great is a catch-all because it is truly the largest of all of the social media platforms. But there's lots of fun things that you can do. Now we've talked about this in several episodes running Facebook event, succeeding Facebook, fundraisers, that's an option, but also setting up Facebook events. Now, this is a great way to encourage engagement, encourage conversation, and then also to be able to, you know, have tickets if you need tickets or to be able to share to multiple platforms, you can also have co-hosts. So if you have sponsors of your particular event, you can add them there to give them additional visibility. And you can also invite specific people to the event that you you know, and then just being able to see like who's going if people RSVP that they're coming, then it's likely that that event might get shown to their audience or their followers or their friends and family. So it's just a great way in Facebook to engage and create more visibility for your event. And the other thing is it's going to show people you've got, you know, you've got these events coming up today, you know, to automatically remind them that there's things that are happening.

Another tool that you can use on the social media side with Instagram Stories are things like countdowns. So a countdown timer to when the event is happening again, they'll get the reminder that the event is happening. And you know, you can also do Q and A's or poll like, you know, what would you like to see? Are you excited about yada yada, yada, you can feature your sponsors again, so lots of good features there, as well. So once you've got your information on your website, you know when your event is make sure you're sharing it on social media.

Write blog posts: 
Then the other thing that I love is to create a blog post around the event that you're doing, who are the sponsors? Why are they involved in the event? Who is this event supporting? Is it a specific program within your organization? Or is it your organization app as a whole?

This is a great opportunity for you to share things like your $25 registration fee covers three kids meals for a day, or a week or a month, whatever it might be right? To give a little bit more nuance, and conversation around what the event is supporting why it's important, why people should be engaged. That blog post is a great thing for you to then share with your email list. If you've been listening, you knew that was coming in, you knew email was coming. So sharing that blog post with your email list to help them get engaged, have asking them to share that blog post with anybody else that's in their network that they think might be interested. And then again, as we go back to social media, as you're kind of working towards the lineup, to your event, really taking into consideration the different pieces of content that you're going to create.

So again, I will reference in the show notes at https://www.thefirstclick.net/podcast the episode we did on creating the promo kit that you can share with people to share about your event. But as you're gearing up content for your event, a blog post, you know, is another piece that you can leverage and share with your audiences as well.

So, really, I mean, those are kind of the core things that I really think are important, you know, making sure your website's legit have a have a blog post ready to go, that talks about the benefits and where the money is going. sharing that with your email list because you know that they're your strong, loyal followers and then being consistent and showing up in several different ways on social media. Those, that's a really great place to start.

Leverage online calendars: Now, obviously some other things that we've talked about. Are you know getting on community calendars, wherever you are locally, a lot of the news stations will have those local newspapers. So submitting your information there. And I definitely recommend having a list so that it's super easy, you know, you can just have one person go in, and they just knock those out real quick and they know exactly where they're going.

Leverage your existing audience: And, and then the last kind of, you know, bonus thing that I'll say is really encouraging, through the promo kit that you create for your event, your board members and your volunteers and your staff to share it with their immediate network, just so that it can be broadcast out to more people and cast a wider net. Because we have to remember that it takes about six to seven, if not even more times for somebody to see something before they kind of remember and they're ready to engage and that's true for consumer brands, but it's also true for nonprofits and as the space gets busier and busier, it's important that you're doing a multi-channel plan for your events so that, you know, it's likely that somebody might see it on Facebook today. And then three days later, they're gonna get an email, they're gonna be like, Oh, yeah, I wanted to look into that event. And then a few days later, they're gonna see your blog post. And then maybe after that, they're going to see another social media post, and then maybe they're going to see the event posts that their friend is going like, all of those triggers are going to be important in getting people to participate. So don't get upset if you just if you don't have you know, immediate signups at the beginning. Definitely want to keep peppering it out. Keep speaking about it. Don't assume that people have seen it a bunch, they probably have it. And if they did, and they didn't interact right away, they probably need to see it again.

So create your multi-channel plan to include your website, your email list, your social media and your community. And let me know if you have any questions. But for now, make sure you check out the show notes. I'll put some resources there and you can do that at https://www.thefirstclick.net/podcast, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss one.

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