Your initial thoughts on Instagram may relate to your own personal accounts; used to share pictures of your latest sumptuous dinner plate, or that amazing view stumbled upon after a wintery walk last weekend. But think again…Instagram could be the answer to your event promotion woes.
- 6th October 2010: The Birth of Instagram.
- Acquired by Facebook in 2012 with a mere 30 million users.
- To date it has over 500 million active users.
- 48.8% of brands are on Instagram. By 2017, this is predicted to rise to 70.7%
500 million users and forty billion photos shared across 6 years. Putting this into relative terms, that means in our social media obsessed age we have shared quadruple the amount of images than mortal bodies on this planet.
It’s not surprising then that Instagram has become THE perfect tool for any marketer to tap into a large-scale audience. Eye-catching visual and short messages are a great way to promote upcoming events and get the spectator engaged with your brand.
First of all, if used to its full potential, Instagram can provide your audience with an ‘inside look’ into your company culture, employees, product and EVENTS. Hopefully, through Glisser’s simple 3 strand approach, your 2017 events will get off to a great start.
Prior to the Event
Capture an audience, create excitement in the lead-up and increase your sign ups to your event.
Taking it back to basics and educating your Instagram audience on who you are and what you do, will provide a strong foundation for your successful virtual relationship. This could be as simple as designing that all important infographic or aiming high with ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ theme, giving storytelling through the power of the digital realm a shot…
To get a flavour for the kind of successful initiatives already being implemented, take a look at 15 Instagram Accounts That Are Killing it at B2B Content (Our personal favourite has to be FedEx…who knew a cargo shipment Instagram feed could make you want to jump on a plane and explore the world?!)
Now comes the initial event promo setup – vital in building excitement in anticipation of the upcoming event. Sharing images of your chosen venue, freebies available ‘exclusively’ to attendees and simplest of all…creating your own hashtag. This will further develop your brand awareness, allowing you to see who is interacting and talking about your event. A strong, personal hashtag will also provide a nice way to monitor and display your entire event promotion campaign, in visual form of course.
Having a ‘behind the scenes’ week always works well – let’s be honest we all love a good nosy, so sharing pictures of what your team are up to in the preparation and build up to your event will encourage engagement from your Instagram audience. Also, make sure to showcase any high-profile delegates attending as this will be a sure fired way of increasing your sign ups.
On the Day of Your Event
Provide an inside look & attract last minute attendees or future event attraction by showcasing the AWESOME-ness going down at your event.
If you’re at a conference or convention with a designated booth area, the first thing you’re going to want to do in your live event sharing, is to promote your location so that people know where to head straight to. Make sure whoever is representing your company at the event takes a great snap of your booth, promoting this image across your social media channels.
By this point, your Insta-Audience will be eagerly awaiting updates and an inside look on the day of your event. This will encourage engagement via likes, comments and ‘re-grams’ – reaching more than the number of people physically attending. Plus you just never know, if what you’re doing is really exciting, you might even persuade a few last minute users to either attend or register their interest for your next event.
Focus on capturing relaxed, natural photos of people interacting and socialising at your event as this will emphasise the approachable nature of your company. Competitions or interactive sessions running throughout your event are visual gold. Don’t shy away from portraying the fun element – remember not all your photos have to be slick, perfect shots…If you’re brave or tech savvy enough, you could even upload a video of the day’s action! (Psst take a look at Flipagram if you REALLY want to bring out the big-guns) But remember to relate back to the established hashtag to maintain continuity across your promotional campaign.
After your Awesome Event
Gain usable feedback alongside a prepared bank of eagerly awaiting contacts for your next round of events.
So no doubt by now your event has been a HUGE success and you’re feeling like an absolute Instagram pro… So whatever you do, please don’t ‘fall off the cliff’ with how often you keep your feed updated. Just because your event has come to an end doesn’t mean you can’t keep your audience aware of the purpose or theme – recycling images of how AWESOME the day was, plus thanking speakers and delegates for attending will always be appreciated.
Gaining feedback after any event can prove difficult, but Instagram could well turn out to be your new best friend. Asking your Insta-Audience to comment and leave event feedback on a relevant photo means you’ve got usable promo material at your fingertips.
Reflecting on your Instagram Audience Engagement triumph, make sure not to overlook the fact that you now have a whole bank of contacts ready to target for any future event promo. Instagram bios’ can be updated with new dates and links to your event landing page, together with a commendable summary of any feedback testimonials received by your collection of satisfied clients!
One final word on guaranteed Instagram success from @NickBorelli: If you do all those things and are authentic, you will be using Instagram with purpose and you will stand out from those posting without strategy.