Selling out your event is easier said than done. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to event advertising, focusing on key channels and tasks in the lead-up to your event and beyond can build your audience and boost ticket sales.

Kickstart your event marketing plan with these 20 ideas for how to advertise an event.

1. Hone in on your target audience

Where you spend your advertising budget should be dictated by your target audience. Who are they? Why do they likely attend your event? More importantly, where do they spend their time online? Build a profile of your target audience to find the best ways to advertise to them – include demographics like geography, stated interests, and online behaviour.

2. Take advantage of event discovery sites

Your online event advertising strategy should include targeting event discovery sites and channels your audience uses. For example, platforms like Spotify offer easy ways to advertise your event online for free if you’re using Eventbrite.

3. Enable native checkout

Once the word about your event is out there, it’s time to make buying tickets easy. With Eventbrite, ticket-buyers can purchase directly from your website or social media channel using our event registration app or our two-click, secure checkout from any device.

4. Harness the power of email

The humble email is still one of the most effective kinds of free event advertising. If you don’t have a mailing list, add an email subscription address to your social media channels or your website and offer new subscribers a bonus or access to exclusive content. Don’t forget to add attendee email addresses from previous events, too. Then start building an event advertisement template to send using email marketing platforms like MailChimp or Emma.

5. Leverage the right social media channels

Social media is one of the most powerful forms of free event advertising. But with so many social networks to choose from, advertising your event on them can get overwhelming, fast. Check out this guide to building a social media marketing plan to reach your ideal audience.

6. Content marketing is a must

Event promotion through content marketing relies mostly on blog posts, infographics, and videos. Create thoughtful, engaging content that positions your event brand as a thought leader or shows your audience the great time they could have by attending.

7. Maximise online event advertising

Don’t just spend more money to make advertising work for you. Use your target audience information with Eventbrite’s free reports to constantly hone and refine your Google or Facebook event advertising, and achieve maximum impact.

8. Don’t forget about copy and design

Once you know who you’re targeting and where you’re spending your ad budget, copy and design become very important elements of event advertising. It’s the first thing potential attendees will see. It should not only be eye-catching but also have clear, concise copy and a strong call to action.

9. Choose great keywords

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can easily fall into the “too-hard basket,” but it really is worth it. For most events, search engines (primarily Google) drive between 5 to 10% of ticket purchases or registrations online. To help your event get found through search engines, you need to make sure your event page is SEO-optimised.

#10. Retarget event-goers who expressed interest

People who weren’t ready to make a ticket purchase the first time are often grateful for the reminder to sign up before it sells out – enter retargeting. Eventbrite creators have seen averages of up to six times return on investment through simple ad retargeting tactics.

11. Show your audience high-quality photos

To advertise your event, take high-quality photos that do justice to the vibe and experience that your guests will enjoy. Photography is also crucial for generating content for other tasks on this list, such as email and social media. Make sure that you resize your photos for each platform they’re used on to keep them looking their best.

12. Timing is everything

Timing is key when it comes to your event advertising strategy. After nailing down the details of who will be completing what tasks in the lead-up to your event, think about how your audience likes to plan. Gain a sense of the right time to kick things off. Luckily, there are plenty of event management tools that can help you map your timeline.

13. Look for lookalike audiences

If you already have a list of people who’ve purchased tickets to your events in the past, you’ll want to expand your audience by finding more people with similar interests. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have the technology to help you find lookalike audiences – people who match your target audience. Using their automated tools, you can create ads targeting those exact people.

14. Enlist a social media influencer

Your attendees are your biggest advocates. And within those ranks, you might find one or two that are extra influential. Motivate them to help you promote your event. You can use technology tools like SocialLadder to find, manage, and capitalise on social influencers in your sphere.

15. Hire a brand ambassador

The highest echelon of influencer marketing is the paid brand ambassador. Seek out people with a vast online influence – celebrities, subject matter experts, popular bloggers, YouTube stars – and enlist them to create strategic and timely posts that promote your event. (Typically, financial compensation is required here.)

16. Social media ticket giveaway

If you’re wondering how to advertise your event on social media, consider running a draw or competition. Ticket giveaways can be a great way to generate buzz and increase your exposure. People love to share chances to win with their friends. Just make sure you’re on top of the rules and regulations that each social media platform has around contests.

17. Create a special event hashtag (and overuse it)

Launching a special hashtag campaign in the lead-up to your event is a great way to monitor engagement and reach. The more people use your hashtag, the more you’ll see your reach increase. It also helps people build excitement around your event.

18. Find a sponsor or event partner

Sponsors aren’t just for offsetting event costs. The right sponsor can help you advertise your event to their audience for even more sales, and sponsors from the community can be an effective way to advertise your local event. In your sponsorship package, make sure to outline your expectations about co-promotion and your preferred ways to advertise each other’s products.

19. Save the “sales pitch”

Don’t alienate your audience with a constant stream of advertising on your website or social media channels. To build trust with your audience, pique their interest with high-quality content alongside promotional messages, like exclusive content from attending artists.

20. Follow up post-event

Even if you perfectly execute every aspect of your advertising strategy, it doesn’t end when your event sells out. Write a blog post summarising the event and publish it with fun photos. Send it out as a newsletter to your segmented email base – even those who didn’t attend.

Maintain the momentum until you’re sold out

The right event marketing strategy can help you sell more tickets and build your biggest audience yet. If you’re ready to level up your event advertising and promotion, maximise the return on your time and investment with our event marketing tools.