To be really successful at selling tickets to your family event, you need to get strategic about marketing. The best event marketing strategies follow a timeline and a logical sequence, with each promotion reinforcing the last.
While it’s impossible to present a perfect ‘catch-all’ event marketing plan – every event is different, as is every lead time, budget and target market – there are many common tactics that should help guide you when setting out your own event marketing calendar.
“We have a daily, weekly and monthly marketing plan with key times in the calendar to do a big marketing push and then at other times we just trickle interesting info to keep people aware of Mud Kids.” – Mud Kids
Here, we break down tactics for promoting your event from its initial conception through to the last-minute push.
Marketing for your family event can start from the day you’ve decided to stage it – even if you’ve still to finalise some of the details. By creating a pre-event page, you can have a central page to drive people to, use it to capture leads and early interest and it will help build up your SEO authority with Google. Don’t forget to tell people why you’re organising the event. This is your mission statement and helps to build your event’s ‘voice’.
“An authentic voice will give your brand an attractive and credible personality.” – Big Fish Little Fish
Getting started on social media early is important to create momentum for your event promotion, build a community and spread your mission. Get your event hashtag coined at the outset too and start using it in your social posts.
Top tip: Consider offering a super-early bird incentive to those who pre-register for your family event – this will help you to capture even more early interest.
With your event now ready for prime time you should get your first major email blast out to your potential attendees, including those who pre-registered. You should also craft and issue a press release, targeting relevant publications and section editors. Don’t forget family bloggers, especially those who are influencers in your local area.
Event marketing partnerships can be crucial to your event’s success. Now is the time to ask your potential collaborators for their marketing support.
“Build partnerships with companies with big reach in your area and develop reciprocal marketing arrangements. These can be far more costs effective than traditional marketing methods.” – GoFest
Top tip: If you want to track how well your various event marketing partnerships are doing, you can use custom tracking links to do this.
Keep the momentum going post-launch through a cycle of content creation, social promotion and email support. You need to balance sales messages with high value, interesting content that your target attendees will appreciate and find valuable.
Create stories around your family event: find unique angles, human interest stories, thought-leadership and go into more detail about the attractions at your event. Use your blog, email, press releases and social channels to promote this content to your audience.
Invest in some paid promotion: weigh up promoted posts, Google Adwords, PPC and retargeting, to decide which will pack the most punch for you.
Top tip: Variety is key for spreading your message; think infographics, gifs, YouTube videos, and podcasts to capture your audience’s attention.
Now is the time for a last-minute push in the form of another volley of blogs, social media updates and email blasts, with a more urgent, sales-focused message. It’s a great idea to utilise the concept of ‘social proof’ at this stage and show the world who is already going to be at the event, which will help convince others they should be there too.
“Getting people who already love our festival excited and helping them to share that enthusiasm with their friends has proven to be by far the most effective way of reaching a bigger audience.” – Elderflower Fields
Top tip: Attendee referrals can be a killer marketing tactic. You can even offer attendees referral fees if they become an affiliate, which is easy to track and manage with Eventbrite.
For more information on how to put on a great family-friendly event, check out our comprehensive guide: The Next Generation of Family Events.