How to Utilize These 10 Marketing Channels for Your Next Event

In recent years, event marketing has seen more changes in trends and directionality than ever before. Event planners and marketers are looking for new ways to spread the word about upcoming events, reaching their audiences in compelling and organic ways. Meanwhile, the expectations of event attendees continue to grow and expand. To find your target audience – much less connect with them and get them excited about what’s on the calendar – you’ll have to employ creative strategies. 

There are many ways to market your brand effectively, but finding relevant and engaging ways to invite your audience to your events will always matter. While ever-evolving trends may seem difficult to follow, the increase in marketing options actually offers you a chance to market in a way that works for you as a planner and for the audience you want to attend. If you’re wondering, “What is event marketing supposed to look like these days?”, we have good news – it’s truly up to you! 

10 Types of Marketing Channels in 2024

1. Search Engine Optimization

If you want to reach untapped potential audiences, SEO is the way to go. Searches account for more than two thirds of all website traffic. When people are looking for an event that fits the bill, you want them to find yours – and by helping your website rank highly in search results, you can reach them without ad spend. 

2. Email Marketing

Almost everyone you know has an email address. The sheer popularity of this format makes it a great marketing tool for many events. Even better, email marketing is a “dual threat” – you can create nurture sequences to build new audiences, along with building campaigns that keep your existing audience informed and up-to-date on event happenings they might be interested in. 

3. Content Marketing

Experienced marketers know that effective campaigns do much more than ask customers to buy what they’re selling. Content marketing is a great strategy for developing long-term relationships with audiences. By offering education, information, or entertainment, you can build brand awareness and establish authority. Then, when tickets go on sale, your audience will give you an easy “yes.” 

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most popular digital marketing channels this year, and that trend is expected to hold steady. The key to effective social media marketing is consistency. Learn your audience, then post what they like on a schedule that works for you and for them. When you master the algorithm on a social media platform, your event content will get pushed to your followers on a regular basis. 

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a great way to reach new audiences and establish credibility. Consumers trust the influencers they follow – so if that influencer shares about your event, they’re likely to jump on board, too! Make sure to choose influencers who are closely aligned with your brand and event vision, because they’ll help you tap into the perfect audience. 

6. Online Advertising

Organic reach is a powerful online tool, but shifting to paid advertising can be a valuable boost for your event. Knowing your audience is the key to successful online marketing – find out which platforms your dream attendees spend time on, and you’ll know just where to direct your ad spend. There are many forms of online advertising, from paid social posts and remarketing to display advertising and search engine marketing. 

7. Partnership Marketing

If you’re hosting your event in collaboration with another brand, business, or personality, consider how you may be able to leverage partnership marketing to fill seats. From referral discounts to co-branded content to affiliate marketing, this strategy shows the power of reaching two audiences at the same time. If you’re bringing in a well-known keynote speaker or working with a recognizable brand for your next event, partnership marketing can really help. 

8. Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Sometimes, there’s nothing more powerful than a happy customer. In recent years, brand trust has ranked as a top five reason for purchases – and seeing positive feedback from real attendees or users can be the tipping point for new customers to hit “add to cart.” Word-of-mouth marketing functions similarly to influencer marketing in some ways, but instead of looking to those with a large following, this strategy relies on actual customers, which boosts brand trust even more than paid partnerships. 

9. Offline Marketing

While many of us frequent the internet these days, there is incredible value to be found in marketing offline, especially to specific demographics or for certain kinds of events. If you’re planning an upcoming event, tangible marketing tools like mailers, billboards, coupons, or print advertisements can help you reach an otherwise untapped audience. 

10. Community Building 

If you host a recurring event or are looking to build brand loyalty over time, consider how you can create community around your desired outcome. Hosting local meetups, service opportunities, or smaller branded events can create awareness and inspire loyalty for the long run. We all want somewhere to belong, so if you provide your customers and attendees with places they feel included, they’ll be much more likely to stick around and support you year after year. 

How to Choose the Right Channels for Your Business 

These marketing tools all provide a unique opportunity to connect with your audience and turn them into event attendees. However, not every marketing strategy makes sense for every event – and we would actually advise you not to use all ten! Some events should market to their existing email lists, while others should focus on social media ads. Some businesses will benefit from influencer marketing, while others find that SEO is their best bet. Instead of trying them all, hone in on the strategies that’ll work best for you. These two factors that can help you choose which marketing channel is best for both your intended audience and your event KPIs.

Find Your Audience

No marketing strategy will be effective – and no budget big enough – if you’re reaching the wrong people. Instead of reading the list above and deciding which options you like best, pull out your client avatar and ask yourself which campaigns would effectively convince them to purchase a ticket to your event. If you’re not sure yet, research your target audience to learn where they spend most of their time. Are they browsing social media, or flipping through a print business journal? Is it important for you to target SEO, or would they be better served through offline advertising? 

Define Your Event Purpose

Once you know how to reach the people you’d like to attend, consider the purpose of your event to determine what your marketing efforts should say and do.  Effective event promotion stems from a clear understanding of its purpose and its goals. Your choices should also consider the event type – virtual, in-person, or hybrid. 

Marketing well requires effort, but the return on your investment can be worth its weight in gold. At the end of the day, events are about people. When we learn how to reach people, we’ll meet our event goals. At Redstory, we design and market events with human connection in mind. Want help reaching your dream attendees and have them returning for more? Reach out to us and learn how we can make your next event a success from start to finish.