How to Market Major Events Post Pandemic

Major events are coming back in full force for many destinations as pandemic restrictions are eased and lifted.  Special events are a great way to drive visitation and create overnight stays in the area. These events are also a way to boost community pride and ramp up an otherwise mundane activity schedule. As we begin to return to normalcy, how can we effectively market events in the future? Here are a few suggestions on how to market major events post-pandemic period.

1.) Create an Informative Event Landing Page

The first step in marketing a major event is to create an informative landing page. Creating a landing page is one of the most effective ways to ensure the correct information is displayed for the event and helps enhance the visibility and validity of your event. When building your event’s landing page, make sure to include the following information:

  • Include the date, time, and location at the top of the page to ensure visitors see it first. Users may revisit this site to double-check this information, making sure to have it prominently displayed on the site.
  • Craft an exciting description of the event.
  • Include images of prior years’ events (if this is a reoccurring event) to give visitors a look into what they can expect. If you don’t already have photos, hire a photographer to take them at this year’s event – that way, you can use them in future promotions.
  • Add related blogs and landing pages to increase bounce rate and brand exposure.
  • Include a map of the event if applicable. Make sure to add handwashing and sanitizing stations to promote visitor’s safety and cleanliness.
  • If you have partners involved in the event, include the partner listing pages!

In a post-COVID world, it’s important to ensure visitors’ safety when visiting your area. To ensure safety, include your area’s latest safety protocols with links to your city/county/state pages for the most updated information regarding guidelines. Remind visitors to wear a mask and to social distance when necessary.

2.) Write Blogs to Promote the Event

Blogs are a great way to tell your event’s story, describe the event, and include valuable information visitors need to know before planning their visit. Depending on the type of event, you can develop a blog series to tell your story. Your first blog in the series is to introduce your event and spread awareness. Follow the initial blog up with content that can be about;

  • Where to Stay During the Event
  • The Ultimate Checklist to Experience the Event
  • What To Do to Explore Your Destination Before/After the Event

Include all of these blogs in your content calendar to share on your social channels! If this is an annual event, make sure to recycle this blog yearly! Change the event date when reusing the blog and make sure to up any information that differs year over year. Don’t forget to include a link back to the main event landing page!

3.) Run a Paid Campaign

As organic reach on social platforms like Facebook has declined for years, increasing general awareness for your event now needs to be done through paid promotions. These promotions can help enhance your ability to reach users that are potentially interested in your event. It can also lead to more social engagement and clickthrough’s.

Run these paid promotions using your events landing page as well as the informative blogs you create as fulfillment pieces. Instead of posting your event on your organic feed every other day, utilize these campaigns to increase awareness. This will ultimately save you time in the long run and ensures your content is reaching the right users.

If you’re unsure of where to start when beginning your journey with paid promotions, contact one of our ad strategists to get started.

4.) Utilize Your Organic Social Media Feed

Even though paid social media promotion is the key to strong awareness and reach, there is still an opportunity to be innovative with your organic timeline.  Pinning the most update and relevant posts on the top of your Facebook feed is one way to continue leverage the newsfeed, here are a few other ideas:

Create a Facebook event to add to your page.

We don’t recommend DMO’s and CVB’s to get in the business of creating Facebook events in place of their partners, but it can be a great source of reach.  The event can either be created by you or shared from a partner organization.  And, you can also add this event posting to your paid promotional strategy to increase visibility.  

Use Instagram Stories to feature your event.

If you’re unable to leverage original content, find UGC as the event is taking place to feature in your IG stories. Also, encourage event attendees to use designated hashtags in their posts and stories so you can easily fund content and enhance the event’s digital footprint. Don’t forget to credit your UGC!

Did you know you can post information through Google Posts?

These could be a gamechanger for destination marketers. According to Google Representatives, event information performs very well with Google Posts.

Create a Pinterest Board to inspire followers to visit the area for the event.

Your Pinterest board is a great place to share your events blogs and landing pages. On this platform, your pins last forever so ensure you’re posting evergreen content.

Include the event in your monthly newsletter.

This is an effective way to reach your subscribers directly. As a best practice, we recommend sending a local-based email and a leisure email. In your leisure email make sure to include places to stay for visitors traveling to the area.

This upcoming event season may look different from years prior and may result in a lower attendance number, making marketing your events more important than ever. If you’re unsure of where to start, contact us today. Make sure to sign-up for our monthly newsletter to receive digital marketing insights, best practices, tips, and tricks delivered to your mailbox monthly.

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