You’ve organized a fabulous event, and now you need to get the word out. But you’re working with an extremely tight budget. The good news is, there are simple, easy ways to advertise your event that are absolutely free.
Social media, email marketing, and an online shopping cart can sell tickets for your event for free. This step-by-step guide will help you to promote your event for next to nothing.
Organize Your Promotion
The first thing you need to do is design some promotional material to use online. This includes promotional images, text, and social media pages. You don’t need to pay a fortune to professional artists or copywriters; you can do this yourself. If you don’t feel confident in your skill, you can also find affordable help on sites like Fiverr.
It’s free to set up a Facebook page and launch groups. Make your page shine and set up an affiliated group. Your page, as well as the group, needs to have all of the information potential attendees will need, including where, how much, and why they need to attend.
Be sure to pack your Facebook page and group titles with relevant keywords. That way, when people are searching Facebook, they will come across your event. Also, have your event speakers and performers advertise the event on their pages. Obviously, their fans will want to know where they can see them. Make sure that all your event participants have a link to your pages and send a link to the event page to their fans.
A YouTube channel is also free to set up. Post videos of any previous events you’ve organized. Once again, make sure your titles are searchable. Also, you can create playlists of videos from your event speakers or performers. These videos are perfect for sharing on your page and in groups. Videos can also be uploaded and searched on Facebook.
Finally, don’t forget the details, such as how much tickets cost, dates, times, and location. Embedding a Google Map can help people to find your event. Promoting your event online for free can be very successful, as long as you put in the work. This article from Digital Authority Partners has some great tips on how to promote your event with success.
Optimize for Google
Using keywords, especially in your titles and descriptions, helps Google display your pages in search results. This also makes optimizing a YouTube channel especially important; as a subsidiary of Google, the search engine often favors YouTube videos. Facebook pages also often come up at the top of searches.
Keep in mind that including your location in titles can help a lot, especially with localized events. For example, you could use “Summer Ethnic Music Festival, Chicago, 2022” as a searchable title. You can use a free keyword tool like Keyword Tool to help get ideas on what to title your pages, posts, and videos.
While your event might have a catchy, clever name, it’s important to use the keywords that people who don’t know about it will use. People won’t search for something like, “UFOpalooza Mega Faire,” but they might search for, “UFO conference, Phoenix.” Make it easy to find online.
Tap Into the Community
Optimizing social media pages and enlisting your event participants is a very good way to tap into their community. Their fans are a natural and easy-to-reach target audience. Encourage them to share the event with their friends. This can make it go viral, especially if you post clever, fun-to-share memes, images, videos, and posts. Viral content is the best possible free advertising you can get. Promotions, such as giving away free tickets can also go viral.
While Facebook ads are not free, they can be affordable. Moreover, they’re very targeted. For example, you could advertise your UFO conference to people in Phoenix with an interest in the subject. Facebook even has tools to further define demographics, such as men with some college education, between the age of 30 and 65, in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, with an interest in UFOs, aliens, and exopolitics.
Sell Tickets for Free
Do a Google search for “free ticket sites,” and you’ll get several sites that will allow you to set up an event page for free and begin selling tickets. The catch is, they’ll collect a small processing fee. However, many free ticket sites won’t charge you anything if your event is free. Before you sign on with a free ticket website, read the terms of service carefully.
You can further encourage ticket sales with “early bird” specials, giveaways, and group rates. Be sure to post and push any ticket promotions on social media.
Activate Your Event Attendees
People who are already excited about attending your event can easily be encouraged to tell their friends. You can have special “tell a friend” promotions; depending on your event, you could give away music MP3s, signed books, or food and drink tickets.
Create social media hashtags so that people can quickly and easily share your event with their friends. You can also set aside some tickets for your speakers and performers to give away to their fans.
The Power of Email Marketing
While social media is powerful and easy to use, email marketing still has a place. Of course, you need a list of potential attendees to send emails to. And your guest speakers and performers can blast an email to their fans.
You can also give your social media followers incentives to sign up for your newsletter. This could be a free eBook, MP3, educational course, or discounts. Your list can be used for future events and other promotions.
Maintain a Free Website
You can set up a WordPress site for free. A free WordPress site is limited and will include WordPress ads. But it’s free and you can always upgrade later. Also, WordPress is easy for beginners to learn and maintain.
Here, you’ll be able to post every event that you’re hosting, past and present. If someone likes one of your events, they will likely like others that you are hosting. Even if an event doesn’t interest them, they may have friends who will be interested. You’ll also be able to post longer articles that interest your attendees. If they know that you post information that they want, they’re likely to become regular visitors.
If you’re serious about becoming an event organizer and promoter, you’ll eventually need a website. You might as well get started with a free WordPress, learn about the platform, and upgrade later.
Learn and Improve
If this is the first event that you’ve ever promoted, take detailed notes of what works. Find out about your demographics, and experiment with keywords, memes, and content. Gathering data and keeping records is time-consuming, but it doesn’t cost money. This information can help you learn which marketing channels are the most effective, and which customers respond to your shows and events.
As you build up both your knowledge and customer base, your social media pages will organically grow. Success doesn’t need to cost you money, but it does require time, patience, and persistence.