3 Tips for Promoting an Event on a Tight Timeline
It’s a hearty welcome back to summer and a hero’s return for live events—huzzah! With recent CDC guidance giving vaccinated folks the blessing to “resume activities without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart,” event venues across the Hudson Valley are bustling with activity once more. The return of in-person events is definitely cause for celebration, but those who plan and execute events are often working on tight promotional timelines that are now even tighter. (Eventbrite, for one, traditionally recommends that you start event promotion 16 weeks out, but that isn’t a realistic timeline for many organizations right now.)
In addition to the short timelines many marketers are working with this year, there are the challenges that come with tighter budgets (a knock-on effect of last year’s lack of events revenue) and the increased competition from a flood of in-person programming opening up all at once.
Thankfully, today’s digital media landscape offers a wealth of targeted opportunities to create an event promotion schedule on a tight timeline that reaches interested attendees right up to the day of your event.
“With the end of COVID restrictions upon us, now is the time to do whatever you can to stand out from the pack as people are more than ready to leave their homes and get back a sense of normalcy,” says Samm Liotta, Director of Creative Partnerships and the magic behind our events at Chronogram Media. “It’s vital to surround your target audience across multiple channels so they see your brand wherever they go, ensuring your event stays top of mind.”
Here are three ways to reach your desired event demographic on a tight timeline—and how you can utilize Chronogram Media’s audience tools to do so right when you need.
Digital Display Advertising
If you’re promoting an event on short notice, you might not have time to engage in traditional print advertising. But if you have just a few weeks of lead time, you can definitely still take advantage of digital display advertising.
At Chrongram Media, we frequently help event promoters reach our own audience in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Berkshires, and the New York City metro area. We have 80k+ subscribers to our e-newsletters across multiple channels and our websites receive 4.1 million visitors annually.
We offer Run of Site banner advertising on Chronogram.com and Upstater.com and sponsorship placements in our Eat.Play.Stay. email newsletter. You can also create an event listing in our Events Calendar on Chronogram.com for free and promote it as a Featured Listing at the top of the calendar for just $10 a day.
Running even last-minute digital display advertising with a publisher that has a large crossover with your desired attendee demographic is a great way to cast a wide net for your event, and it’s just the start.
Customized Targeting and Remarketing
Digital targeting tools allow you to go one step further with your display advertising. You can target your desired demographic using search behavior like keywords and geographic data. Search targeting allows you to reach digital users who are searching for specific terms or related activity (think someone Googling “events in Hudson”). Geographic targeting allows you to set a perimeter around a specific physical location and deliver ads to those who are currently in or have recently visited the area.
At Chronogram Media, we work with a digital partner to bring these powerful extended audience tools to small businesses in our region.
These targeting techniques are great for event promoters to use, especially on a short timeline. Once your target audience is specified, your messaging is instantly delivered to those users when they’re browsing national high-traffic sites like New York Magazine, Reuters, Epicurious, People, Slate, and more.
When it comes to event promotion, spreading the word on your own social media channels is a no-brainer. With all the power that Facebook holds, however, using its platforms (which also includes Instagram) for advertising is admittedly a minefield for small businesses. There’s just no getting around the fact that spending money with Facebook keeps that money out of the local economy.
Facebook has unparalleled information about its users that it gets from its own platforms as well as other websites that share information with it—from users’ location to current interests and recent search history. All this personal data is what makes Facebook money, so as a small business it’s vital to weigh this fact when you’re making the decision whether or not to use its paid advertising services.
If you’re on a tight timeline, however, Facebook provides a very effective option for event promotion that is targeted to your exact demographic.
At Chronogram Media, we curate social media posts on our own channels with you as a visible brand partner. These posts reach our own audience of followers as well as your desired demographic, who will see ad placements across Facebook and Instagram. These sponsored social media posts are a dependable option for an organization that has less resources to devote to social media or simply anyone looking to leverage Chronogram’s brand recognition as a longtime supporter of local events.
Regardless of the promotional timeline you’re working with, a coordinated campaign that utilizes multiple marketing channels is the most effective way to promote your event. But it’s important to be smart with your resources and think critically about the blend of digital tools that will help you reach an audience that will attend your event—whether they’re a loyal patron excited to see the return of your programming or someone new to the region who can’t wait to get out and explore.