10 Low Cost Event Promotion Ideas
As an event organizer, how do you decide the right amount to spend on promotions?
Although the amount spent on promotion of an upcoming event can be considered as a current expense, it actually acts as an investment which gives returns in the form of ticket sales. There are many factors which may affect your budget for advertising like:
- Event life cycle: How long is the event? Is the event going to be in different phases or stages or levels? Is it a one night party or a week-long circus in the town?
- Competition: You must have observed that how a star-studded blockbuster negatively affects other simultaneously running movies at the box office. The same thing can happen with simultaneous nearby events in the town.
- Frequency: Simply putting, it is the number of repetitions of the advertisements needed to put the message in the heads of the target audience.
Similar factors like size of the target audience, the channel used for marketing and demographics of the audience, etc., have to be analyzed before coming to a final number. But what if your final number will burn your pockets? You need not to worry because below mentioned 10 ideas can really help you in promoting your event in a cost-effective way:
Crowd Challenge Ads
Do you know about Heinz’s “Top this TV challenge” which involved public to create the next TV commercial for its ketchup to win prize money of $57000? This campaign was so successful that it received more than 6000 submissions and 10 million online views 11 years ago.
You can think of such creative ideas for your event also. For example, if your event is a celebrity night, then there can be a contest asking people to post their videos on “how would they invite that particular celeb in the town?” and share the videos in their social network. Feature the most innovative one in your event and incentivize the winners with tickets or cash or both.
Talking about old successful campaigns, there is one more which comes into my mind. T-Mobile’s “Life’s for sharing” ad in which 400 people performed a choreographed dance act in a street station of Liverpool. You can watch the full ad here.
You don’t need 400 people to promote your event. You can do something similar even if you are a team of 30 organizers. Just take permissions from the venue authorities and dazzle the crowd with some choreographed dance moves and invite the public to join you too. It will generate a lot of buzz on both social media and one-to-one communication platforms.
Using merchandising for the promotion of a nearby event also serve as an extra source of revenue. You can sell caps, t-shirts, key rings related to the event. This will not only increase the involvement of the buyers but will also create subliminal thunder for the event in the city.
(Image source: events.harley-davidson.com)
In 2017, you must have heard that 2 out of 7 people in the world are on Facebook. Now it would be even more than that. So, you cannot ignore this platform in any way. You can use Facebook for advertising and event promotion. A classic example of successful event promotion on this social media platform is of Tough Mudder’s.
(Image Source: jmsreports.wordpress.com)
This event is an obstacle race which started with a seed funding of $20,000 in 2010 and they spent the entire $8,000 communication budget on Facebook advertising. The event was a hit with a participation of more than 700,000 people.
I don’t think anyone of us would not be aware of the YouTube ads. But there is a misconception regarding its pricing and accessibility. Now, we live in a generation where everyone owns a phone. And, global smartphone sales and internet availability going up day by day clearly indicate that people are no more alien to this largest video streaming platform.
As far as cost is concerned, it depends on various factors like whether the ad is in-stream or in-display. Also keywords, topics, interests, and layers all are major factors to drive the cost. But the happy news is you are charged on the basis of per view. If your ad is not watched, then you don’t pay.
If you have a dedicated blog and content writers for your event then it can catch a lot of attention of the target audience. You need to regularly update and use relevant keywords like events near me or things to do near me in your blogs so that it can help in the search engine optimization. Writing a blog can be as cheap as free if you own a laptop and have an internet connection.
(Image Source: beseen-marketing.co.uk)
Facebook app, YouTube app, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp etc. all these mobile phone apps have features like live videos and video stories. Ask your organizing team to consistently update the public with live action of backstage events and progress using this feature. Also, encourage early birds to go live and promote the event in their online social circle.
(Image Source: later.com)
Can’t afford movie celebs or sports heroes for the promotion of your event? Well, you can opt for social media influencers. These online celebs have huge advertising potential for an event among their audience. These influencers charge way less than big stars and also are helpful in precisely impacting the target audience. For example, for a fashion event, you can get in touch with Instagram influencers and for entertainment events, YouTubers can be contacted.
(Image Source: medium.com)
People now look for online websites to book their tickets so that they can not only avoid the discomfort of offline bookings but can also get the best deals online. These online platforms can actually help you in promoting your event by providing you an option of “Registrant referral link”. Whenever someone will register for your event, he/she will get a referral link. This link, when shared, will be used by the next person for booking and the original registrant is incentivized.
(Image Source: referralcandy.com)
Local Newspapers, Radio & Free Classified Ads
How can we forget about one of the oldest and still cost-effective channels for event promotions? Local newspaper ads, pamphlets and free classified ads online charge lesser than the above mentioned many options and similar is the case with radio ads. It depends on the size & positioning of the ad in newspaper and length & duration of the ad in case of radio.
(Image Source: saracommunication.com)
Digital transformation in the 21st century is changing the marketing and advertising world all over the globe. But this does not necessarily mean that it is becoming expensive too. It is still affordable and has become more customizable corresponding to particular needs. Also, traditional methods are co-existing. It all depends on your target audience.
In the end, I would suggest the young promoters and advertisers that, understand your audience, plan your marketing mix and invest carefully!