Promoting your event with interesting content is not as overwhelming as you might think. Sometimes it’s just a matter of creating one set of content and then using that content in different ways, with different messages for different audiences. It’s like taking one recipe with one set of ingredients and then mixing one or more ingredients to create something similar but slightly different each time. And keeping it different is important. You just aren’t going to get great results if you bombard your audiences with the exact same content and message i.e. using the same photo and text to say Buy a ticket or Donate Now over and over.
What tends to happen is that all content gets uploaded in one big dump to one channel – like Facebook – with no thought taken to parse out the content based on different target audiences and often the website gets completely ignored. The website should be the hub of all marketing activity because a) it is your best conversion tool in the online world, converting visitors to donors, sponsors, and attendees and b) regularly updated content boosts your search engine results and can draw in new potential donors, sponsors, and attendees.
Using strategic placement of content to get the best results and repurposing that content is far more efficient even though it may take a little more time initially.
Here is a simple process to create content for each of the four phases of an event: Save the Date, Sponsor the Event, Register for the Event, and Event Wrap-Up.
Save the Date
- Basic event info – who, what when, where, why
- Event Flyer
- Photos from last year’s event
- Short video from last year’s event
- Short informal video asking for in-kind donations
Sample Steps to Take:
- Update the website event page with the Basics Event Info as text on the web page – include a link to download the flyer in pdf format. You don’t want to just embed the flyer in the middle of the page – search engines can’t do anything without actual text on the page.
- Add the event to your website calendar (and of course on any community or partner calendars) and link back to your event page.
- Write a blog post / news article on your website – hopefully you have a newsfeed pulling in your latest posts to the main page of your website. For a visual, embed a video from last year’s event to show how much fun the event was and will be. Invite people to subscribe to your e-newsletter to stay up to date on event happenings and to be notified when registration is open.
- Tweet a save the date message and pull a graphic from your flyer to upload with the tweet.
- Create a modified version of your event flyer to use as your Facebook cover photo.
- Take 5-10 of your best photos from last year’s event and post a quick but short save the date announcement on your Facebook page along with the gallery. Link back to the blog/news post on your website.
- Take the content from your blog/news post and scale it back to send to your email list. Create a smaller version of your Facebook header to use as your email header.
- Create a short informal video with your phone talking about the event and what the event supports / funds and ask for help with in-kind donations – include a big thank you from program participants. Upload video to Facebook with text list of items needed and boost the post to friends and friends of friends. Ask for shares and likes.
- Reuse the video along with a tweet asking for in-kind donations.
NOTE: Even when your event is in high gear, pay attention to the types of messages you are posting through social media. Don’t’ make it all asks. Intersperse your event asks with program photos, interesting articles etc. so your audience is not bombarded with financial demands!
Sponsor the Event Announcement
- Sponsorship packet (letter from ED, Levels with descriptions, event flyer, sponsorship form)
- 5-10 photos from last year’s event
- Sponsor photos and blurbs
Sample Steps to Take
- Add a shortened version of your sponsorship packet as text (focusing on bulleted sponsorship benefits and overview of the different levels) on your website’s event or event sponsorship page with link to download the full sponsorship packet. Include your best photo of the event showing a crowded room/venue.
- After you get your lead or title sponsor spot filled, write a blog/news post announcement for your website that includes a photo of the sponsor and link to your sponsorship page (you can turn this into a press release as well). Use portions of your Sponsorship Letter form the Executive Director
for part of the content.
- Tweet thank yous as sponsors come in – using an event hashtag and mentioning the sponsor in the tweet.
- On Facebook, create a short slideshow pulling out your best 5-10 photos from last year that show a) a crowded room/venue, b) smiling sponsors and prominent community members and c) any sponsor banners. Spend $100 boosting the post to people not associated with your page and do some serious targeting i.e. to people with specific job titles (like President/CEO) within a specific distance from the event (i.e. 20 miles radius) and with specific interests (related to nonprofits/charities in general and/or to your specific cause). Link back to your sponsorship page.
- Segment your email list into 3 segments: businesses who sponsored in previous years (focusing on increasing previous sponsorship), businesses who have not sponsored previously but you would like to target for sponsorship (focusing on benefits of sponsorship), and your clients/constituents/board members/volunteers (focusing on any potential connections they may have to businesses that could sponsor). include a link to your pdf sponsorship packet on your website. Chose one of the best 5-10
photos from items in #4 to feature in each of the emails in the email header with the event name/logo across the photo.
Event Registration Announcement
- Full event details
- Profile of someone involved with the event
- Photos from last year’s event
- Short informal photos and/or videos of activities leading up to the event
- Event flyer
Sample Steps to Take
- Update the event page on your website with any new sponsors and details and activate the registration form. Be sure to include donation options after they select a registration option and before they check out.
- Add a slide to your main page slideshow that includes a great high quality photo from last year (with event title and logo across the photo) and call to register – linking to the registration page of course.
- Write a blog/news post profiling your event honorees or honorary event chair or emcee or someone else involved with the event. This can be turned into a press release as well. Focus on photos and pull quotes.
- Take behind the scenes photos or very informal phone videos of the planning committee hard at work, people making signs, ordering trophies, touring the venue and use one of the photos to tweet about the event and link to registration page. Turning this into a series of tweets with photos is
even better – people love looking behind the scenes! Designate a different staff person or volunteer for each specific activity.
- Upload a 30-second informal video (of any of the behind the scenes items above) and upload to Facebook announcing that registration is open with link to registration. Boost the post for $100 to friends and friends of friends.
- Create another photo gallery of 5-10 photos from last year (using different photos than before – people having fun, receiving awards, eating) to post on Facebook with a different registration announcement.
- Send an email to your mailing list announcing registration is open choosing 2-3 of your fun photos to include in the email with link to registration. Create a smaller version of the website slideshow slide to use as the email header.
- Send another email to your mailing list reminding them about registration and embed a video link to one of the behind the scenes videos. Be sure to upload the videos to your website or YouTube channel first and have a link to registration at the end of the video and on the page the video is on.
- Use the event flyer graphics and text to create a modal box pop-up for your website’s main page that displays when someone first enters the site and directs people to the registration page.
After the Event
- Current photos of the event (day of the event)
- Making of photos and videos
- Any award announcements / details
Sample Steps to Take
- Update the event page on your website with a full photo gallery of the event and an event wrap up with results / amount raised.
- Create a blog/news post that takes all your behind the scenes photos and pulls them into one gallery embedded in the post and include a big thank you to all the committee members and volunteers and sponsors – link to the event page that has more details and the main photo gallery. This can be turned into a press release.
- Take any behind the scenes videos of you events and combine them into one video with a soundtrack and messaging and upload to Facebook and YouTube. Make sure you create captions for both the YouTube and Facebook uploads. Repost the video to Facebook later as a Save the Date video that you can boost to attract new audiences for the event.
- Set up a series of tweets about individual award winters or honorees from the event.
- Create a series of small photo galleries to post on Facebook throughout the next week or two i.e. 5-10 just of the honorees, 5-10 behind the scenes, 5-10 of just the venue décor and food etc.
- Swap out your Facebook header to showcase your best photo from the event and do the same with the slideshow on your website to draw people to the event results page.
- Send an email highlighting the success of the event, amount raised, include your top 3-5 photos with links to your full gallery on the website and additional galleries on Facebook.