Since Instagram is a picture based platform, it is the perfect place to advertise your event. The visual focus of this social media site can do wonders in showing off the plans for your event. Instagram allows for a lot of customization through the platform, so the way that you use your account is up to you. Let’s walk through some key focus points that you should focus on when promoting your event through Instagram.
Content is #1
When advertising your event on Instagram, content should be your number one focus. You need to put out high-quality content designed with your audience in mind to keep them engaged and interested. What you publish will have an impact on your Instagram’s performance and can even have an impact on your event.
Before diving into what content you should be putting on your feed, it’s important to make sure that you have a separate Instagram business profile for your event. It may seem frustrating to have to rebuild your following on this new account, but having this separation allows you to post event-specific content year round and can help cultivate the brand around your event.
There are some basic ideas that are proven to bring you success when promoting your event. Be creative and make sure that your content is original, but don’t try and reinvent the wheel.
Do you have your keynote speakers finalized and ready to be announced to the world? A great place to build up excitement for your event announcements is Instagram. Use Instagram story posts to create hype around the time you’re releasing the information, encourage your followers to turn on post notifications, and use a post to release the information. This allows you to provide your following with more information about the event and keeps them engaged through the planning process.
2. Past Pictures
If this isn’t the first year of your event, make sure that you post pictures of your event from previous years. You’ll give future attendees a glimpse into what the event is like and what they can expect.
As you get closer to your event, countdown posts are a great way to build excitement. Not only are these posts simple to design, but they can be used (and reused) in a variety of ways. Use countdowns for your event but also to countdown to your announcements as well. Overusing these types of posts isn’t suggested, but they are perfect for bigger milestones-100 days out, 50, 10, 7, and so on.
An easy way to produce content is to take trends that are already popular and customize them for your event. If you see a trending meme or content style, take it and try to customize it for your audience. Have caution with this method, make sure that you identify your audience and ensure they’ll relate to this content. You don’t want to risk isolating your audience so they’ll unfollow you.
5. Flyer & Event Promo
You can also make use of content, like flyers, when advertising your event on Instagram. Simply upload the photo of your flyer to your Instagram and let it do the talking. Don’t use this option too much though because it can come off as self-promotional.
Using contests to promote your event on Instagram is a great way to engage your audience and help spread the word about your event. For contests, you can make it as simple as giving away tickets for tagging friends in the comments section. If you have a bigger budget though, you have the power to take the offline online.
Put physical items around your area and have people post a picture with it in order to be entered to win a prize. There’s a lot of freedom with contests and they are a great way to get your audience engaged with your event’s brand and help create buzz around it before it happens.
Perhaps the most obvious way to promote your event on Instagram is to pay to promote your posts. You can spread your content and target to reach your ideal audience if you have a budget. Video is a great tool to use here since 25% of Instagram ads are single videos. Using video from previous events (or even behind the scenes if this is your first run) can capture the attention of audiences. This is a great form of content when trying to push ticket sales.
Hashtags are a great tool to get others to interact with your brand and to expand your reach on Instagram. You’ll need to create a custom hashtag for your event. To see engagement and live photo and video from the event, encourage your attendees to use this hashtag when posting content related to your event.
You can also use hashtags to find people to follow. If you’re a food festival focusing on attracting a local audience, see what hashtags the food industry is already using in your area and start incorporating those into your posts.
Quality > Quantity
It’s important to stay active on your profile and post often to stay in the minds of your audience. However, you need to balance the fine line of being active versus coming off as too spammy. If you post too often, you run the risk of losing followers. Remember to prioritize the quality of your posts over the quantity of your posts. Know the right times to post on Instagram for maximizing visibility, and make sure that you’re publishing high-quality, relatable content, and your audience is more likely to stay engaged.
You can post all the content that you want, but if it’s not reaching the right people, then it’s not going to have an impact on your event. In order to best advertise your event on Instagram, you need to make sure to build a following that is relevant to your event.
Who to follow
In order to gain followers on your event’s Instagram, you’re going to need to follow people. Any easy way to find people to follow is to use hashtags. Find a local hashtag related to your event and start following individuals who are using that hashtag in their posts. You’ll most likely connect with your target audience and you’ll grow your following as well.
Sponsorships and influencers
Another way to expand your reach on Instagram is to partner with local businesses or influencers to get your event in front of their followings. These accounts all work differently. Some may require monetary payment while others may request you publish content that relates to them. Reach out via DMs to gauge their interest and use their reach to gain followers and potential attendees.
Recommended Read: The Ultimate Guide to Event App Adoption
Timeline: Before, during, and after
The content that you publish to advertise your event on Instagram is going to vary before, during, and after your event. Let’s check and see if you’re using the appropriate types of posts.
Before your event
Your main focus on content before your event should be creating excitement and instilling a fear of missing out (FOMO) in your audience. Your posts should highlight why your event is essential to attend.
Post regularly and track what posts of yours tend to perform the best. Use this information when moving forward to help guide what content resonates best with your audience. Try to post when your audience is most active to see the best results. You want to engage your audience before your event, and Instagram is another great way to do this.
During your event
Use Instagram stories to give a view of how great your event is to people who weren’t able to make it. Stories are the best to use since you won’t be spamming your followers’ feeds. Use your posts during the event to instill a sense of FOMO for those who didn’t make it. Try to highlight all the great things they are missing by not being there.
In order to create content that isn’t repetitive to your audience, go behind the scenes to give them an idea of what’s happening outside their view. Make sure to post at least once a day during your event if your event is multi-day.
Use your custom hashtag for the event and encourage your attendees to use it as well. This will help you generate User Generated Content (UGC) to use after your event and help cultivate the event’s brand image.
After your event
Post photos that show the highlights of your event after it’s done. You want to remind the attendees why the event was so great and start inspiring them to attend again. You’ll measure the success of your event, but also make sure to track the performance of your Instagram to see what worked and where you can improve.
After your event, use the UGC from your attendees to have new content to post. Not only does this promote how great your event was to others, it shows that people truly enjoyed your event if they’re posting about it. It’s free content that others are giving to you, so make sure to use it.
Instagram and beyond
Social media advertising is crucial to build your event’s brand, and Instagram is a great platform to use due to the potential reach that you can have. In order to see the best results from your posts, make sure that your content is designed with your audience in mind. Use your Instagram posts to build hype and show off the awesome work you’re doing.
For more ideas on how to use social media to promote your event and create an online community, watch our webinar on-demand “Using Social Media & Event Tech to Grow Your Event Community” (plus earn 1 CMP credit!)
*This post has been written by guest blogger, Anastasia Masters, Content Marketing Associate at G2. G2 is the leading website for online business software and service reviews, where EventMobi ranks as a High Performer on the Summer 2018 Mobile Event Apps Report.