Your event’s promotional plan is in full swing. The banner ads look great. Your tweets are drumming up excitement. And your event flyers are plastered all over town.
But it’s not just about what you’re doing — in fact, what you’re not doing might make all that hard work irrelevant.
Here are four of the most common and critical event promotion fails when it comes to driving ticket sales. Ignore just one of them, and your whole promotional plan could fail.
- You haven’t set realistic goals
If you’re trying sell out your event in under 10 minutes, you’re going to have a different promotional campaign than if you’re selling various ticket tiers over the course of several months. (For one thing, in the former scenario, you’d want to spend almost all of your marketing budget before tickets go on sale.)
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 even starts.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our SMART Guide to Goal Setting for Event Planners.
- You’re not tracking 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 doing so)
Without this information, you’re floating aimlessly, putting out promotions and just praying they’ll stick. And you’re probably wasting valuable resources (and cash) on ineffective ads or other promotional activity.
Luckily, Google Analytics has the answers to all of these questions — plus it’s free and easy to use. Check your Analytics reports throughout the day and use them to continually refine your strategy to meet your goals.
And don’t worry if you’re time strapped of don’t have a large marketing team, this post will show you How to Get Your Event’s Vitals Fast.
- You’re not paying 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 Mancheser” and seeing your event in the list of search results), versus the percentage that’s finding it via social media posts or other channels.
If you’re getting a lot of traffic through organic search, that could mean you did a great job optimising your event’s website 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 optimise your page for search. For help getting started, check out this quick guide to finding keywords that will boost your event’s SEO.
- You haven’t thought enough 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.
Who cares how many people click on your ads and visit your site if barely any of them are buying tickets? The whole reason you’re spending money to promote your event is to make more money through ticket sales.
So how do you go about tracking conversion in your promotional campaign?
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 or Eventbrite’s own tracking links so you can see exactly where your ticket-buying traffic is coming from.
Now that you’ve learned the ‘don’ts’, check out this guide to the ‘do’s’ when putting together the timeline and tactics of your event marketing strategy.