Reaching new attendees is a struggle for most event creators — but for niche marketers, it’s twice as hard. Even if you’ve successfully planned one or two events with the support of your personal network, you can’t rely on their enthusiasm to turn your side hustle into a thriving business.
To grow your fanbase and sell more tickets, you need to attract a new audience to your chakra balance crystal healing class, brony bar crawl, or feminist paint party — people that wouldn’t naturally seek out your event. Keep on reading to discover five ways of reaching a larger crowd for your unique event.
1. Ditch the social platforms you don’t need
Most niche events couldn’t survive without the help of social media to get the word out about their class or workshop. But that doesn’t mean you have to be present on every single network.
When choosing a platform to spend marketing budget on, take a cue from StartUp FASHION — an online community where independent designers and brands come together through online forums and live events. Instead of being on every platform, they mainly use Instagram to promote their brand and events.
“We’re in the fashion industry, so we know that we have to be on Instagram,” says founder Nicole Giordano. “To get the most impact in the least amount of time, use the platform of your choice to its fullest potential.” For Giordano and team, that means posting more than images on Instagram, where they also share stories and live videos to their 13.5k followers.
2. Target the most interested attendees
Maybe you want to get your brony event’s ad in front of people who are between ages 21 and 55, live within 20 miles of your city, and are interested in bronies and beer. Thanks to ad targeting tools on Facebook, you can reach a larger group of people who fit this description than you would organically.
This can also help you target potential attendees in new cities you’re hoping to grow your niche event to next. Facebook, with its Lookalike Audiences, generates a list of demographically and behaviourally similar uses to one of your Custom Audiences, like your site visitors or email list. This audience setting can help you find similar bronies for your bar crawl in your new location.
Want to find out how to target the right audience? Learn how to master Facebook advertising in just two weeks.
3. Get your fans talking with each other
Another way to build up your community online is by encouraging connections between events. This can happen in many different ways, but it’s fairly easy when you use your Facebook Page as a place to start conversations.
A feature available for Facebook Pages users, “Groups for Pages,” lets users chat to one another and to the owners of the pages directly. This is a place to share content, updates, news, and help past attendees connect with each other — especially photos or live videos.
New to using Facebook Pages? Get inspired with these tips from the Facebook team about how to use Facebook to generate buzz..
4. Use niche influencers to build your brand
If you think you can’t partner with local influencers because you have a smaller budget, think again. As a niche event, micro-influencers like local mummy bloggers or wellness gurus are extremely useful partnerships to pursue, because they’re connected with the community.
How to find the right influencers for your event:
- Look at Instagram’s Explore tab for posts tagged locally or with relevant hashtags to find people who have followings and would be fans
- Make sure their following is engaged by checking how many likes and comments they get per post compared to the number of followers
- Investigate their background in events by looking at what kind of content they’ve created in the past and whether it’s in line with how you want to communicate about your event
- Engage with them on social media and show interest in their content
- Hook the influencers with photos and videos of your event, and explain how your relationship can benefit them
Once you get your influencers onboard, it’s time to build your partnership. For example, offer them free tickets in exchange for sharing posts and stories at your event and tagging you.
5. Make it easy for people to click “buy”
Once you target the right audience on social media, you can keep them hooked by making it easy for them to buy tickets where they find your event. How? By removing barriers to purchase.
With Eventbrite, for example, it’s simple to add a “Get Tickets” button on your Instagram business profile page or Facebook Event page. Don’t underestimate the impact it can make on your sales once you simplify the purchase process.
Marketing tips for niche events
These are just a few ways you can bring in more attendees. Discover many more — including advice from event creators who’ve been there before — in Find Your Tribe: Your Guide to Marketing Niche Events.