We’ve spent a lot of virtual ink covering the ins and outs of Instagram’s tools and features. From how you can squeeze the nectar of storytelling with Instagram Stories to how you can vamp up your bio for a top-notch profile, we’ve dealt with the way they function in depth. Thus, today we’re going to change course and talk about how you can create a perfect mix out of all these tools to promote your event.
Whether you’re planning an event as an integrant part of your brand’s marketing strategy or the event itself IS your brand, we’re going to take it step by step and feature by feature. The first rule that’s mandatory for you to follow is: have fun with it! Yes, yes, we know! There’s a lot of stress involved. All the strategizing, logistics tweaking, budgeting, and whatnot can have you on the verge. But that’s why we’re here. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy and promote your event as you should.
Without further ado, let’s start!
1. Offer a taste of the preparations
Instagram feature: Stories
Events and festivals are not only about the D-day anymore! With the adage of social platforms, the audience can be involved right from the start. And we do mean the start, as in the start of event preparations.
Instagram Stories is the perfect feature that allows you to share glimpses of behind-the-scenes with your audience, in the most spontaneous and authentic way. It’s a great tool to create curiosity, build suspense and subtlety promote your event and its happenings.
What type of content to share? Anything from the decorations you’ll use to the team behind, the struggles, the fun moments, the setbacks (and how you overcame them, of course) and the final moments before the show starts.
You can even prompt people for their opinions by using polls. It’s a great way of having followers emotionally connect with your happening and make them feel part of the process. They will switch from a passive role to an active one.
2. Present your key speakers or guests
Instagram tool: posts
If you want to spread the love and joy to more followers than your own, this one is a great tactic. It will achieve its original aim of giving your followers more info about the event, but it will also tap into a pool of potential attendees by leveraging the follower base of your speakers or front-liners.
How you do this? That my dear is up to you and your creative power. You can choose to create individual posts for each or if you’re feeling it, go for a gallery post. Of course, a video is always a great idea and if you have the budget it can extend your reach AND send across more info.
Make sure all the posts are following the same aesthetics and if you need some tips and tricks regarding photos and videos, follow us down the rabbit hole. Of course, captions and hashtags are not to be neglected. Think about them long and hard and write them passionately and wittily. They will pay off in the end.
3. Pinpoint the event location
Instagram tool: Bio & Geotag
If you’re creating a music festival, a start-up conference or any other kind of self-statutory event, then your bio should be all about it. Make sure to include the essentials and top them off with all the sprinkles needed to make your profile pop. For a comprehensive blueprint, check out our tips for a profile that will get you found and loved.
If, on the other hand, your event is solely meant to promote your business or comes as an extension of your brand, it will not occupy the whole of your Instagram bio. However, the link included in the bio should directly take followers to your event landing page and location. We’ve discussed the importance of changing the link in your bio extremely often and for a good reason. It’s a valuable tool that acts as a gateway between Instagram and the outer world. Use it wisely!
Here’s another great way to have the location of your event pin-pointed and that’s through a geotag. Once created, this geotag will be available for you to tag all your posts and stories. If you’re not familiar with geotags, we’ve got just the tips and tricks to get you started and acting like a pro in just minutes.
4. Make the offline go online
Instagram tool: hashtag
People Instagram everything! From the bites they eat even to the clothes they would want to buy. And if these mundane activities are worthy of an Instagram slot, just imagine how an unexpected occurrence could capitalize your followers feeds. Intrigued? Good, because, if you play your cards right, your event could get promoted directly by the people who you want to attend it.
For example, New York Magazine found a great way of engaging their followers. They deployed a fleet of cars with an appealing design and had these cards escort VIP attendees to the New York Fashion Week Events. Followers who captured photos of the car and posted them on Instagram with the hashtag #thecutshuttle had the chance of winning tickets to the fashion event.
5. Showcase your sponsors and the perks
Instagram tools: Stories and posts
Always keep in mind that you need to give potential guests as many benefits as possible to attract them to your event. We’re not saying that the event itself and its happenings are not enough. We’re just saying that hey, the more perks, the merrier the guests. So don’t be shy in flaunting (with elegance and subtlety) your sponsors and the way in which they’ll be involved at the event.
Truth is, even if we’ve presented this point as another hook to draw attendees, it might actually be mandatory due to your contract with your sponsors. Many sponsors will want as much coverage as possible. And, even if it might not be a requirement on their side to appear on Instagram, you’ll definitely get on their good side if you create some nice posts or stories about them. And you’re thinking long-term collaboration, okay?
If you haven’t already, make Instagram appearances a key point in your sponsorship proposals. It will definitely strike a chord with big brands, who already recognize Instagram’s huge potential.
6. Other smart gimmicks that can work wonders
In addition to the must-dos to support and promote your event, there are a number of other tricks that can raise interest among followers. These depend only on the courage of your creativity and the efforts you’re willing to put in. Both in terms of time and financially. Here are just a few nugget ideas that can get you started.
It’s not a Jedi mind trick. Creating urgency or building suspense are proven tactics meant to gain you more followers that will turn into attendees. Thus, a countdown is a nice touch to add to your strategy. Make sure to dress it as creatively as possible and align it to your brand aesthetics.
Some inspiration? Let’s say you’re about to have a music festival. Then, your countdown could be a melodic one, interpreted by guest-brands. It’s a brainstorming. Keep on thinking!
Whether you’re thinking about tickets for your event or other goodies, turn it into a contest for an even bigger impact. And don’t forget to encourage followers to tag other followers and get them to tune in along. Create a mix of Instagram Stories and posts for the perfect outcome.
Hi-jack a trend
Trends and Instagram go together like coffee and croissants; pudding and chia; avocados and toast; hipsters and soy. You get the point. So, if your brand and communication strategy allow it, make sure to capitalize a trend and promote your event through association.
We’re all fools for quotes. Whether they are silly, funny, inspirational, motivational or sarcastic bites, they are our little guilty pleasures. And, no matter what your brand does, it can surely find a quote to go with it. It’s the universal language we all can agree with. Thus, don’t be afraid to put a quote-sticker (virtual one) to your event. Bulletproof strategy, we guarantee.