Almost everyone you know is probably on Instagram—that’s how popular and pervasive it is today. It’s got more than one billion monthly active users, with over 60% of them visiting the app at least once daily. It’s a given that you can reach and target a wide audience when you promote your event on Instagram.
However, this very popularity of the platform is what makes marketing your event there a little complicated. With everyone posting about everything, it’s quite difficult to get your event noticed. So your first goal should be visibility—getting to the top of the pile. But before all of that, let’s take a look at what makes Instagram so special and why it is the preferred choice for most brands when it comes to marketing.
Why promote your event on Instagram?
Instagram is not the most popular social media platform on the internet—it actually has lesser active users than both Facebook and YouTube. Yet most brands seem to prefer it over other social media platforms citing the engagement on Instagram to be significantly higher than everywhere else.
Instagram is also a favorite for influencers—if you’ve got an influencer marketing strategy, Instagram is the place to be. So why does Instagram, a photo-sharing app, have the support of thousands of brands?
Millennials are now the largest living adult generation, making up most of the global workforce. This means they’re also your most important target market, whatever the type of event you’re hosting. And as more millennials are on Instagram than any other platform, it’s the ideal place for you to promote your event and reach them. Recent studies show that around 60% of Instagrammers are between the ages of 18 and 29, and around 42% of them log in at least once a day. Instagram is probably the best place for you to show millennials how amazing your event is and how perfectly it’ll suit them.
Boosting your social proof
The term “social proof” was first used by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence (1984). It’s a psychological phenomenon where people imitate the actions of others in a particular situation believing it to be socially appropriate. What does this mean for events? When people endorse your event on Instagram, it adds to its social proof and tells others that your event is the most happening thing in town, that it’s something they should be a part of. To potential attendees, your event becomes credible, interesting, and worth attending.
Kick-starting your influencer campaign
According to a 2018 survey by Zine, a whopping 80% of influencers preferred Instagram over other platforms. By partnering with reputable influencers on Instagram, you can increase your event’s credibility and get noticed by more people on the platform. And it’s not just that influencer marketing gives you eleven times more ROI than other forms of digital marketing. Some of the other benefits of partnering with influencers on Instagram include increasing awareness of your brand, getting followers who are genuinely interested in your event and generating more traffic to your event website (don’t forget to include the link in your Instagram bio). With the right influencers, there’s immense possibility for your event to go viral on Instagram.
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8 tips to get your event trending on Instagram
Everyone knows how important social media is, how omniscient it is. Just like brands and businesses, event planners have also started planning elaborate social media marketing plans to promote their events. But what most people don’t take into consideration is that every social media platform is different, and what works for one might not work for the other. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter—they should all be approached differently. So while your goal could be the same for all platforms—engagement, ticket sales, and popularity—the approach has to be unique to each platform.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of eight strategies you can use to promote your event on Instagram.
Take your audience backstage
Instagram is all about getting involved with your audience and building a connection with them. What better way to do this than to show them who you are behind the scenes? Marketers believe behind-the-scenes content to be authentic, relatable, and most importantly approachable. It gives your followers an idea of the person or people behind the brand and makes it more human. Some behind-the-scenes content you can post on Instagram are photos of your daily life, updates on your projects, an inside look at your team. The important thing here is to post something relatable and fun that helps you build your online personality.
Let others take over your Instagram
An Instagram takeover is where you give control of your account to someone else for a period, be it a day, week, or even longer. Get influencers to take over your account for some time and engage with your followers. Alternatively, if they’re willing, you could also take over their account and engage with their followers. These takeovers are not only fun but also give you a chance to expand your reach and engage with more people.
Takeovers don’t have to be limited to influencers either. You could also get your team, speakers, sponsors, or even attendees to take over your account. If you’re worried about giving your account over to someone, you could do a semi-takeover instead. In this one, they’ll send the media files to you and you can post them. Of course, they won’t be able to go live or actively participate, but, at the same time, you can be assured about your account’s security.
Trendjacking is essentially a way to promote your event on Instagram through a popular internet trend or culture. The trend could be anything—memes, challenges, or current affairs. When done right, it can be extremely beneficial for your brand and event. However, there’s an equal chance that it might backfire on you. There’s a very thin line between pure genius and frivolous, so be careful. Here are some points to consider before hopping on the latest trend.
How did the trend originate?
Is the trend fresh? Will it be fresh when you reference it?
Will the trend offend anyone?
Is the trend relevant to your brand or industry?
Does it match your brand’s personality?
Can it add real value to your campaign?
Have a mobile-friendly event website
People use their phones more than their computers. So, there’s a higher chance that they’re visiting your account through the Instagram app. If they’re interested in your event, the next step is visiting your event’s website and possibly buying a ticket. And all of this will happen on their phone. If your website’s not responsive on mobile devices or doesn’t allow event registrations, you’ll be missing out on a lot of people. As most of your traffic, even elsewhere, will probably be from mobile users, a mobile-first approach to your event will actually benefit everywhere, not just with Instagram.
Post consistently, post constantly
Ideally, you should post one or two posts every day. And you shouldn’t just do it before the event, but also during and after the event. The more you post and the more you engage with your followers, the more they’ll remember you. By staying on Instagram even after the event’s over, you can increase the engagement for future events. Here’s an example of how you can promote your event on Instagram, before, during, and even after it.
BEFORE THE EVENT
Countdown to event day
DURING THE EVENT
Snippets of sessions
AFTER THE EVENT
Reposts of attendee photos
In the time between one event and another, you can keep your followers engaged with trivia, quotes, memes, and even #waybackwednesday posts of past events. Your event may be over, but your journey on Instagram doesn’t have to be.
Use relevant hashtags
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. If you want to include more hashtags, you can add them in the comments, though people are skeptical about it getting as much traction as the ones in the captions. However, what’s more important than the number of hashtags is their relevance to your brand and event. With the right hashtags, you can reach more of your target market. Engagement on your posts will also increase. Some ways to identify the right hashtags are:
Doing competitor research and finding what hashtags work for them
Using trending hashtags that can be tied to your brand, event, or post
Including a few “evergreen” hashtags that are always popular on Instagram
Generating hashtags related to your post through third-party tools
Having a unique hashtag for your event and promoting it everywhere
As the primary reason here is market reach, it’s important to keep the hashtags as relatable to your brand and audience as possible.
Get on the Instagram Explore page
The Instagram Explore page is a real-time curation of posts tailored to match a user’s activity on Instagram. Your content will be shown to people in your niche who haven’t yet followed you, making it easy for you to get discovered by more people, an audience outside your existing follower base. It’s one of the best ways to grow your page organically. The Explore page is one of the cooler features on Instagram and is even called the realest place on the web. Here are some tips to optimize your posts for the Explore page.
Use hashtags common to your industry
Get micro or nano influencers in your field to interact with your posts
Include location tags
Post when you can get maximum engagement
Give equal if not more preference to videos
Use posts on the Explore page as a reference
Figure out what posts your audience prefers
Host contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are a fun way to promote your account and build your Instagram community. All you have to do is choose a price, set criteria for entry, and let your audience do the rest. Last year, Beautycon had a giveaway with free tickets for one lucky person and the friend they wanted to take to the event with them.
You can also team up with your partners and speakers to host combined contests. When hosting these, do keep reminding your followers about it through reminder posts or Instagram stories. Another benefit of contests is User-Generated Content (UGC), which marketers believe to be more beneficial than the content you post.
Instagram’s not going to stay the marketer’s favorite platform forever, but today it’s got a lot of power and a lot of possibilities. Your event will surely benefit from it—so will your brand, and so will you. Also, even if you aren’t on Instagram, your attendees are probably going to talk about you there. So why not have an account if only to talk to them?
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