Step by Step Now that we've convinced you that event marketing does not conflict with inbound marketing and even talked a bit about adding online scale to your offline events , we thought it was time to provide a step-by-step guide to promoting your event with inbound marketing.

1. Set up your event website.

Your website will be key in building up content around the event and giving people a place to learn about and register for your event. A few tips:

  • Do it early - Even if you don't have a lot of information about your event, you should "launch" your website with some basic content. This will help you build up your reputation in Google so that when you do finally want to promote your event, you won't be starting at ground zero.
  • Post content and get a link - You'll need some content (even just a basic description of the event) to get Google to index your page. Also, Google needs a way to find your event website - so make sure to have at least one link into the site. It can be inconspicuous to humans, as long as a search engine can find it.

2. Leverage your network.

You're likely not starting at absolutely zero when you launch an event. You will hopefully have a network of followers on your blog, in social media, your email list and your address book. Let them know about your event!

3. Get great people involved and leverage their networks.

On both the content and on the promotion side of event planning, it helps to involve great people. I'm talking about speakers and sponsors. A great speaker will draw more attendees and a great sponsor will add legitimacy to the event.

Once you've got great people involved, leverage their networks as well - encourage sponsors and speakers to blog about the event, tell their networks and email their contacts.

4. Reach out to relevant communities.

Figure out where your audience hangs out and reach out to those existing communities. This includes relevant Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and online communities specific to your industry.

5. Create a community around your event.

Allow your community of attendees, speakers, sponsors and organizers to interact before, during and after the event. There are a couple ways to do this:

  • Use a Facebook group or Page as a place for your community to meet, interact, ask questions and share ideas.
  • Create a Twitter hashtag for the event so that the community can follow and contribute to the Twitter conversation around the event.
  • Use blog posts as an opportunity to introduce some of the conversations around event topics.

6. Publish lots of content and encourage others to create content.

Content is the key to success - for SEO (search engine optimization) , branding  and PR . The content of the event website and the event itself is a main driver of traffic, interest and registrants for your event. Keep in mind that you (the event organizer) do not need to be the sole content creator. Encourage your speakers, sponsors, and attendees to create content for you. Some ideas:

  • Invite speakers to write guest blog articles relevant to their session topics.
  • Encourage speakers to blog about their sessions ahead of time, and encourage attendees to blog about what they're looking forward to learning at the event.
  • Take photos and videos at the event, and encourage attendees to do the same.

7. Use an event tag for all media published on the web for your event.

As noted in step #5, create an event tag for all media published about the event. This expands beyond Twitter conversations and on to blog posts, photos, videos or any other media published anywhere related to the event.

Designating a single event tag helps people find all content associated with the event. Consider building a "stream page" that aggregates all the content tagged for your event so that people can go to a single site to see all event-related content.

The more content you have, and the easier you make it for people to find, the higher the engagement of attendees as well as non-attendees, and the more links (essential for SEO) you will receive.

The Inbound Marketing Summit

Inbound Marketing Summit All this helped launch a brand new event last year that ended up selling out (with 300 attendees) and expanding to three cities this year. That's the Inbound Marketing Summit .

Photo credit: vox efx

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Originally published Apr 3, 2009 8:25:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


Event Marketing