You have an upcoming event. The traditional media promotions are on track – the newsletter snippet, the newspaper ad, and the direct mail campaigns is in motion. Now it is time to make sure your event is as visible as possible on the internet.
First things first: update your organization’s website to include information on the upcoming event. Place a banner ad or a feature story to really highlight the pending affair. At the very least, make sure that the event is listed on the organization’s calendar.
I would advise against purchasing ads. Google ads are too large-scale. Generally webpage ads are ignored. The only advertisement I would consider purchasing would be to a very targeted market (i.e. a promotion in an association email, an industry periodical, etc.).
On to social media. If your organization has social media accounts, they are a great resource for online event promotion. Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer the option to “create” events in which the administrator can invite guests. This is a free option with a lot of reach, depending on the number of contacts your organization has. Link to photos from past events that you have uploaded to Flickr or Picasa to increase interest. Another new social media option is to create a “pin” that is available via Pinterest. Garner interest by seeing how many times the event is re-pinned. Twitter is a great way to communicate any changes to the event time, venue, or event entertainment. Assigning the event a Twitter hashtag helps attending guests to communicate with one another, hyping the event even further.
But most importantly, make it easy to share the event information. The end goal is to convert viewers into attendees. Online registration is your best friend. Then take it a step further and give recently registered guests to invite their friends through whichever channel is easiest for them, be it email, social media, or calender invite.