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Webinar whizz-through: How to make a big impact on a small budget with social media event marketing

In our latest webinar, a panel of experts took a deep dive into the topic of making social media & SEO event marketing work for you – whatever your budget. 

In our latest webinar, a panel of experts took a deep dive into the topic of making social media & SEO event marketing work for you – whatever your budget. 

If you don’t have time to watch the full thing – no worries! Just whizz through this round-up of key takeaways instead 😌👇.

PS. We’ve also included some extra Q&As in this blog post, which we didn’t have time to get to in the webinar.

Meet the panel

Rory – on the power of organic (self-taught) SEO

a person in a blue jacket and his sayings

Rory runs tours of Amsterdam’s beautiful tulip fields, and has found social proof and organic SEO to be his best friends when it comes to marketing. First came the reams of great TripAdvisor reviews, then came the powerful SEO results… 

  • Rory had various URLs over the years before securing amsterdamtulipstour.com in 2019.
  • During the pandemic, he decided to learn about organic SEO, and started applying tactics he learned on YouTube videos to his own site.
  • He also made a point of using tons of photos of people having a great time on his tours, and of being super responsive to customer reviews and requests.
  • His website ranked on Google and before long has made it to a top spot – so high up, in fact, that Barack Obama’s “people” found his site when doing research for a trip… which led to Obama becoming a customer. Nice. 

Read more about Rory’s story here >

Rishi – on the ultimate social media marketing strategy for an event

a person smiling with a scarf around his neck and text on the right

Rishi co-founded Two Dudes, an agency that helps brands “conquer their digital presence through Photography, Videography, Social Media Marketing, Web Design & More”. In the webinar, he talks us through the stages that make up the ultimate social media strategy, using work they did for their client Cocktails in the City as an example. 

The campaign was designed to promote Cocktail in the City’s summer events – a series of events that saw a number of brands coming together, with live music, cocktail masterclasses, ice carving and tons more drinks-related fun, for no less than 1300-1500 people a day. Impressive! 

The social media marketing stages Rishi talked us through were:

  1. Making people aware of the event through social organic marketing – planting the seed of ‘This is happening at this location at this time’.
  2. Directly advertising the event through paid channels – so, running targeted paid ads on social media.
  3. Giving a lot of love to the brands and exhibitors involved in the event – Two Dudes created digital assets for each brand to use, which they could push out on their on social media channels. This increased Cocktails in the City’s reach drastically.  
  4. Encouraging user-generated content through the use of influencers.

Rishi also talked through some of the key benefits and pillars of organic (non-paid) and paid social media strategies:

  • The first step of using social media is to create an aesthetic feed that generates awareness. It’s possible to increase your following organically by using vanity analytics (it’s definitely ok to focus on vanity analytics at the beginning!) – and it’s also possible to build a loyal, engaged community without spending anything. 
  • But Rishi does highlight that social media is very much ‘Pay to Play’ these days – running targeting, paid advertising campaigns is the most effective way to ensure your marketing is impactful. This is because paid ads let you:
  • Target your correct demographic, or reach an entirely new demographic.
  • Experience a large increase in reach and impressions.
  • Benefit from much better, more accurate and insightful data collection . 

Olivia – on the 5 golden rules of successful social media marketing

a person smiling with text on a blue background

Olivia shared her five golden rules for a successful social media marketing campaign 💪:

  1. Define the ‘Who’ of your campaign: Who are you trying to attract? Who do you want to attend your events, or to follow you on your social media channels? Defining your target audience at an early stage can be really helpful.
  2. Ask yourself ‘Why’: Why do you think people will want to follow you on social media? Are they looking for educational content, inspiration or entertainment? Defining this will help you hone in on the type of content you should be producing.
  3. Discover your niche: Think carefully about what type of content pillars would work for your brand. For example, Ticket Tailor pushes out a mix of case studies, how-to’s, and brand news.
  4. Set aside ‘time blocks’: Running social media campaigns can be overwhelming as there are so many individual elements to tackle. Assigning time blocks to each specific task can be really helpful here. For example, you might set aside two hours to focus solely on planning out social media posts. Then further ‘time blocks’ to create content, edit content, write captions, reply to comments and so on.
  5. Just give it a go: Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of progress! Start posting and learn from your mistakes – it’s the best way to evolve and get better as a social media marketer. As long as you’re posting consistently, and engaging with your community consistently, you don’t need to worry too much about getting every post pitch-perfect. 

The importance of testing digital content

Rishi talked about the importance of testing social media content to see what really works:

  • To test, try pushing out different variants of the same piece of content over a period of about three months. 
  • For example, you might create many iterations of the same video which all have a different three-second intro. (The three-second hook to a video can make or break its success!)
  • Testing in this way is an invaluable move for both paid and organic posts, as it helps you fine tune content for bigger, better results. 

Best sites, tools & resources for building campaigns 

The panel cited these great marketing tools and resources throughout the webinar:

  • Excel – can’t beat the classics for organisation!
  • Canva – used by the Ticket Tailor team for designing assets
  • Temply – used by Olivia for editing videos for her Instagram Reels and TikTok.
  • Later.com newsletter – for its helpful articles, trends and industry updates.
  • Adobe Express – used by Rory for designing assets without too much Adobe knowledge.
  • Capcut – recommended by Rishi for editing TikTok videos (Capcut is owned by TikTok so some people think using it helps TikTok videos perform better… interesting!)

Staying up to date on the latest updates & algorithm changes

  • Rory loves to check out SEO videos on YouTube to stay in-the-loop when it comes to updates.
  • Rishi is a big fan of data and follows creators on his social media channels who push out great content. 
  • Olivia also learns a lot from the people she follows on social media, and recommends keeping an eye on what competitors are doing, too. 

Reposting content without annoying followers

Our panel agreed it’s totally fine to repost content – in fact, this can be a great way to maximise on the posts you’ve already created and extend their lifespan.

Reposting something from, say, a month ago shouldn’t do any harm in terms of being repetitive. It can also help to tweak your creative assets slightly before reposting. For example, changing the first three seconds of a video can give it a fresh feel and ensure your feed stays dynamic.

Maximising your ticketing and social media marketing strategy 

Rishi gave some great pointers around promoting an event once tickets have gone on sale:

  • Run a targeted paid advertising campaign that targets people who’ve gone to checkout with your tickets but who didn’t complete the transaction. You could show them an ad that simply reminds them about your event and encourages them to get their tickets – or you could offer them a discount. The beauty is that only those who’ve made it to checkout will see the ads offering a discount, rather than your entire audience. Nice. 
  • In terms of organic posts about tickets, be wary that pushy messaging can cheapen your brand – for example, going down the whole ‘only a few tickets left’ route may do more harm than good. However, that isn’t to say that creating urgency and exclusivity is a bad thing, in fact, it can work particularly well in email marketing. 

Rishi on your Q&As

Check out these additional Q&A answers from Rishi, which we didn’t have time to get around to in the session!👇

What’s the best day to post on social media for high engagement? And what time of the day?

I think too many people get bogged down with the correct times to post, how often to post, how do I get more likes and other similar questions. For smaller budgets or smaller brands, I would say just get it out there. There’s no such thing as a perfect post, and what you should concentrate on more than anything is quality content. 70% of your content should be valuable for users to see and 30% should be marketing-led. By valuable I mean that it should be either educational, inspirational, or entertaining content.

Do you find it works to have an advance sale discount with a cutoff date for the price to increase?

I personally don’t like sales or discounted tickets as it psychologically devalues your product. Of course, there could be hidden discounted prices for certain communities (charities, emergency services) but I prefer to concentrate on how to make people want to buy the fair-based pricing that you have already set. 

What do you think are the best social media scheduling platforms? I’ve heard about several and immediately felt overwhelmed by choice!

We personally use a white labelled tool called Creative Cloud. By no means is this the best tool, and while it has loads of great features I would say that it’s mostly great for an agency with multiple accounts. For smaller brands, I would say you just need a scheduling platform where you can push out content to multiple platforms at once in a few clicks.

Opinions on using Threads? Does anyone know what the demographics are (is it a subset of Instagram users, or folks leaving Twitter)?

I’ve never been a massive fan of Twitter so have never explored threads. However, anytime one of the big boys decides to launch a new platform, it’s a great opportunity to scale on that platform in a quick amount of time. When TikTok blew up (especially during lockdown) we saw so many people fly with their accounts. If you could have invested in Google when they first launched, imagine where you would be now.

We run a niche festival (storytelling and poetry) and are currently running paid Facebook and Instagram ads. We're getting a reasonable click-through-rate (CTR) but no evidence that this is turning into sales. We have a month left, any ideas?

Every year or so the ads space changes in terms of what you should be doing. Now, in 2023, the only thing you should be running are Sales/Conversions Ads where you have a good amount of ad creatives that include both videos and images. It’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you have conversion tracking setup before this to really allow you to understand who is buying and who left after adding to their basket. This can be a hard thing to set up depending on what platform you’re on (even after an hour or two on youtube), so it’s worth hiring someone to look into it for you if you’re struggling. 

Once you’ve got everything set up you should leave your Meta ads running for a month or so. Sales Ads do well over time. With all that being said, if you have a month left then I would say if you can get the tracking sorted ASAP then do so. If you are using Traffic Ads, switch over to Sales Ads straight away. Traffic ads get you equally as many people to your website or maximize clicks on your post but this doesn’t translate to a conversion. If, by the time you’re reading this, you have two weeks or so left, then I would say to stick to your traffic campaign and just concentrate on having good ad creatives and making sure the first three seconds of the ads hook your target audience. Search on Youtube or TikTok for ‘Best Ad hooks 2023’. 

Is it worth doing tons of socials if the event is very local? (No budget for paid!)

The world is online so 100% it’s worth being on socials. While there are ways to grow an event offline, the power of social media is amazing. If you have no budget for paid I would say to concentrate on quality content that builds a community around a common goal. An amazing example of this is Our Place. While I’m sure they have a big team behind them, they’ve done a great job of providing recipes that are easy to make at home using their product. They’re also great at engaging with their community and encouraging them to post using their products on their personal channels.

Is TikTok shop worth investing in? I've heard the TikTok community doesn't react well to being pushed to buy things.

The main thing to understand about TikTok is that conventional marketing such as high-quality TV ads will never do well on the platform. A great case study is GAP vs. RyanAir. GAP is a global clothing company, but when they tried to put high-quality content on TikTok it clearly did not work. Whereas RyanAir have decided to lean into the fact they get loads of bad press and to make their content entertaining and relatable. 

So make sure when you’re creating content for TikTok that it’s real, authentic, and raw. Film on your phone and don’t worry about high-quality editing too much. For ads, just make sure you concentrate on the first three seconds first. Make those three seconds so capturing that it hooks your user. Then the rest of the video shouldn’t be a hard sell, it should be light with more product placement rather than shouting about why your products are so amazing. But as always, search on TikTok for ‘Best hooks 2023’ or ‘TikTok ads that work 2023’.

Are there any other resources you would recommend to further develop marketing skills? Books? Courses? Or is it more keeping up to date on a general basis?

  • Udemy Courses
  • Social Media – you can learn so much from creators that are already on the platform
  • Later.com – a great learning platform

Do you have any further tips for charities?

Work on creating an online community. Having an online and engaged community should be the goal of any brand and with something like a charity, where people are already keen to back a good cause, there’s a lot of scope to do this. Look at how you can create relevant and engaging content that allows users to really get involved online. Do polls, get with some of the trends, have a bit of fun and share success stories in your charity sector.

Some final words from Olivia on B2B social media marketing

We had a few questions in the Q&A that specifically asked for B2B advice, including how to make the most out of LinkedIn and suggestions for launching into the corporate market. While the majority of our webinar focussed on B2C, a lot of these learnings are still relevant to B2B – from understanding your audience to my ‘golden rules’, researching creative hooks to content creation hacks, spend vs organic, and so on.

In case you missed it, we ran a webinar with LinkedIn earlier this year which covered everything you need to know about fostering a community on their platform (hint: it includes using an integration we launched exclusively with LinkedIn!).

And for further reading, we love these timeless tips from Later.com – especially the section around humanizing your brand! Or learn from the masters themselves in this article from LinkedIn. And finally, be sure to follow Ticket Tailor on LinkedIn where we’ll continue to share more marketing tips for event organizers. 

Handy Ticket Tailor features to help you ace your event marketing 

Ticket Tailor is packed full of brilliant features designed to help you ace every stage of your event marketing. Some cool ones to know about include:

  • Brand your event page in our design studio – make your box office page look snazzy with your own branding.
  • Use our free and user-friendly website builder, Flyah to create your own little corner of the internet. Your Flyah website links to your Ticket Tailor events pages – so everything’s handled in one place.
  • Share your event using your own customised link, and a QR code that can be put on posters.
  • Use our referral code feature to track which platforms are delivering the best results for your marketing efforts. 
  • Easily export your data out of Ticket Tailor, and discover tons of brilliant insights about your ticket buyers.  
  • Connect your Ticket Tailor account to your analytics tools – including Flowpoint, TikTok pixel, Google Analytics, Facebook pixel. 

Need help with any of the above? Head to our help centre, or drop us a message on our website chat and we’ll get back to you in a matter of minutes. 

That’s a wrap! Watch this space for more great webinars, covering all you need to know about event creation and marketing. And if you want to dive deeper watch our Social Media Marketing webinar on YouTube now.

As always, if you have any questions about signing up to or using Ticket Tailor, just give us a shout at [email protected]

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