Are you considering hosting a financial literacy or education event? With a combined goal of spreading your knowledge and increasing your brand presence, coordinating in-person events can be an exciting and stressful time. When you’ve finally decided what your event is, when it is, and who you’ll be targeting, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to promote it.
Our biggest recommendation is to utilize Facebook. Facebook allows you to target your promotions in extremely specific ways. Think carefully about your target audience, and promote to them rather than people who might not be interested.
There are other platforms to choose from aside from Facebook, but none will have the same promotion capabilities. Here is a step-by-step process on setting up and marketing your event on Facebook.
Before we dive into the “how-to” of getting your event together on Facebook, here are a few events that would be a perfect fit for a Facebook event.
- You’re hosting a small conference
- You’ve put together an in-person or online summit
- You’re hosting a workshop
- You’re launching a brand new product or podcast
- You’re hosting a finlit tour (like the Road to Financial Wellness)
Create a landing page for your event.
This part is simple, especially if you have an established website. However, if you’ve never created a landing page, or you need a refresher on creating one, here’s a great video with step-by-step instructions for creating a landing page in WordPress:
For an event to be successful, you need to get people there. And to get people there, you need to show them why they can’t miss the event you’re hosting.
A landing page is perfect for communicating a sense of urgency to potential event attendees. It allows them to watch videos, look at visuals, and read the details about your event. If you’re not convinced, look at the conferences you’ve attended. In most cases, how did you learn more about the event?
Create an Eventbrite page for your event.
You’re probably thinking, “I just created a landing page, now I have to make another one?”
Yes, you do, unless you have some other way to collect payment and track your attendee list. Eventbrite gives you almost-free tools to track, monitor, collect payment, collect contact information, and even provides event support should anything go wrong.
At the Foundation, we use Eventbrite for our Plutus Voices series of events.
Create an event on Facebook and connect Eventbrite.
Creating a event on Facebook is a great way to promote your event. When you create the event on Eventbrite, their tips and tricks to event success will tell you to do the same.
Creating an event on Facebook is simple and free. All you need to do is login to your account, select “Create” from the top menu bar, and pick “Event” from the drop-down. On the event page, simply enter the details for the event, such as date, time, and a description. Just make sure you set the event to public; you don’t want to only invite your friends!
Once you’ve created the event page on Facebook, you can connect your Eventbrite page. Again, this makes managing payment collection super easy.
Create shareable visuals.
If you haven’t created an event banner or some branded designs for your landing page, Eventbrite, and Facebook event, now is the time to do so. Create designs that are both attractive and on-brand with your business. The images you use, the typography you utilize, and colors chosen to enhance your design matter – a lot.
There are quite a few free tools that can help you create an event aesthetic. Pinterest is useful for inspiration, and Canva, Photoshop/Illustrator, and DesignSeeds are great tools to assist with design. For instance, Canva has tons for free templates to choose from and they’re easy to customize to match your branding.
However, if design is a challenge for you and it’s in your budget, hire someone to create these things for you.
Publish posts, articles, videos, and other content.
Once you’ve created visuals, have your landing pages and payment collection in place, and you’ve generated some content for posts on social media, you can begin promoting your event via organic methods.
These posts should provide insight, excitement about the event, the benefits of attending, and testimonials from people who’ve attended previous events or clients you’ve worked with. Personal experience and insight will help generate even more excitement and make a compelling argument for attending.
This is particularly useful when targeting potential participants who are undecided about attending.
Promote the event using Facebook Ads.
Facebook ads are an easy and effective way to promote your event on a massive scale.
In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to create a short and simple Facebook ads strategy. To do this, follow these five steps:
- Create your offering.
- Put the proper tools in place to track sales, not vanity metrics.
- Build your ads, don’t “create”. Think of this as how you’d build a building.
- Establish clear goals for your ads. ex., In this 30 day period, we will sell 100 tickets if the goal is not met restructure the ad and optimize as needed.
- Create A/B tests.
This might seem overwhelming but Facebook makes it quite simple to create ads. To get started, login to your account and select “Ad” from the “Create” menu at the top. Just follow their directions and prompts (and, when in doubt, use their default settings), and you can have an effective and inexpensive ad campaign.
If it’s within your budget, consider hiring a professional to run your campaign or help you run your campaign. We recommend connecting with Monica Louie, a partner of the Plutus Awards.
Email your list and invite guests.
This step is crucial when creating your event on Facebook and Eventbrite. This is how you’ll start generating buzz among your existing fans and clients. These are the people who are already invested in you and what you do, and they’ll certainly want to attend. Or at least know about the event. Also, the more people you invite, particularly those who fit the target demographic, the more likely you are to see responses and ticket purchases.
If you have an established email list, create an email drip campaign that keeps your list informed and updated about the event, as well as fills them in on the exciting things you have planned.
Always be sure to include a great CTA (call to action) at the end of each email and test out what types of emails work best with your list.
Host a Facebook Live with a special guest to talk about the event.
If you’re hosting an event with guest speakers, why not ask one of them to do a live Q&A over Facebook Live? This primes your audience for what’s in store at the event, and provides more incentive for those who are undecided to register.
You can even practice your event promotion skills by promoting the FB Live via social media (or, if you are feeling really risky, a small Facebook ads campaign).
Cross-promote on all the social channels.
While it’s important to have a landing page and list your event on both Facebook and Eventbrite, other social media channels need attention, too. If you have a large audience, you need to ensure you’re casting a wide net and including the platforms where you’ll be able to capture their attention most effectively.
However, don’t cast too wide a net when it comes to promoting your event. You want to make sure you’re able to easily and efficiently track and measure event responses, social media engagement surrounding your event, and keep up with followers about your event.
If possible, automate your social media posts. You can use tools like Buffer or HootSuite to schedule posts and track engagement and other analytics. This frees up your time to work on other parts of the event, like securing speakers or prepping for the FB Live.
It’s best to follow these steps in order but if you need to, for scheduling or time management purposes, do them out of order, that’s okay. The important part is that you’re using the resources you have available to cheaply and effectively promote your event. And what better place to start than with Facebook?
Do you have a finlit or financial education event coming up? We want to know about it! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to share the details and we’ll add your event to our community calendar.