Instagram has one billion active monthly users, so, provided that your target audience is on the platform, it shouldn’t be much of a chore to reach the right people.
With that being said, many people believe that getting to the largest crowd and boosting awareness about events is as simple as publishing a few promo posts.
Indeed, peeps love being in the loop on all kinds of Instagram events — whether it be a co-hosted event, a small networking event, or a business conference. But to actually make them attend, you need to come across as skillful and creative, and you need to do some research — and a lot of strategic planning.
We defo don’t want you to suffer from analysis paralysis and thus, we put together a list of ways to get the most out of the audience that you have garnered, exploring all the features Instagram offers to help you plan and promote events, reel in registrations, and boost attendance by making these events feel unmissable.
Why Should You Use Instagram for Event Promotion in the First Place?
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool that drives tons of ticket sales. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily make large audiences engage with your content, and persuade them into buying whatever you’re selling.
Stories, IGTVs, and Reels are the absolute best Instagram features and content formats for reaching wider audiences. Plus, Facebook’s Ad Manager and its targeting capabilities make it a breeze to pop up in front of the right people and get more eyeballs on the event you want to promote.
Yet, does that mean that the only way to publicize events on Instagram is through paid advertising? No, not at all!
Sure thing, you can allocate a small budget to paid promotion but you can do miracles and reach thousands of people organically by simply coming up with a great Instagram marketing strategy.
Down below, we’ll be giving you loads of tips on how to:
- Build an Instagram audience.
- Engage meaningfully with potential attendees and build attendee enthusiasm.
- Boost ticket sales (and, ultimately, sell out months before the event day).
- Make each and every event you are organizing a massively memorable success.
Pre-Event Instagram Marketing — The Basics
A couple of #’s under your posts will expand your reach on Instagram. There are six hashtag groups you can use to make people discover your upcoming events: content, niche, industry, location, and branded hashtags.
For instance, #marketinglife is a niche hashtag, #weddingideas is an industry hashtag, #ginhouseburlesque is a branded hashtag, #neworleans is a location hashtag.
If you happen to make great content (we’ll go into this in just a bit) that generates tons of engagement, your post will likely show up on top of the search for some of the hashtags that you are using.
Either way, stick to 10-15 hashtags per post, always use a mix of hashtag categories, and make sure that all of them are relevant to the post itself.
Maximize Instagram Stories
More than 500 million people watch Stories every day and a third of these Stories are created by various small businesses.
We know that you have a bunch of things to sort out — book speakers, manage event logistics, and so on, but make sure to find some time to document at least some parts of the process and share this with your followers.
Not sure how to use Stories for the promotion of your events? Here are a few tips:
- Recap a couple of event preparation days and make sure that all the hard work you are investing doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Incorporate content from the previous live events to showcase the setup, the atmosphere, and the people who attended.
- Share the link to your website, blogs where your blog is promoted, or the link to the website where people can buy tickets — make sure to include a call to action (CTA), too!
Needless to say, you should do all this throughout the event to promote the upcoming ones! Save the most entertaining Stories as Highlights to give people who visit your profile only after the event an idea of what it takes to throw an amazing business conference or an unforgettable party.
Make Your Feed Look and Feel Fab
We’re truly hoping that you are not uploading new things just for the sake of uploading and that your Instagram profile doesn’t look chaotic. If it does, see this article as a sign to tweak your approach and post more strategically from now on.
Pick a specific editing style and color palette for your posts and stick to it. Your feed should be visually compelling so that people enjoy scrolling through it.
It should go without saying that the content you share should be fantastic, too! Your Instagram should go hand in hand with other aspects of maintaining or setting up a business and aid your objective of getting more people to buy tickets and come to the event. Thus, you should give them a couple of strong reasons for that.
Here’s a list of content ideas to promote your upcoming event without coming across as too pushy:
- Share exclusive set-up photos and teaser videos as well as behind-the-scenes shots.
- As the event gets closer, share countdown posts every couple of days.
- Repost content from the last events, user-generated photos, videos, and testimonials.
- Get the most out of Polls and ask people about which topics they’d like you to cover, which guests to invite, etc.
- Host contests and ticket giveaways to get some fresh followers and boost engagement
Provide some value ahead of time and make it clear why coming to the event would be a worthwhile decision — tease your audience a bit.
Maybe you’ll announce a new product release, offer free consultations, or an industry-renowned speaker will come to the event — whatever it be, just mention that something’s in the works, remain mysterious, and you’ll build more hype around the event.
Announcing the event a couple of months in advance won’t hurt either. Doing so can only help you maximize attendance. For in-person events, using an event management software can greatly maximize the footfall of your events.
Include a Registration Link in Your Bio
As you probably already know, Instagram still doesn’t support clickable links in captions. That’s why you should include the registration link in your bio and make it easy for everyone to confirm attendance.
Even if it is a free event, gather contact information and track your social ROI. Alternatively, make a link tree and collect all of the relevant links (your website, other social media platforms you are using, and the link to your online store) in one place.
Of course, you can also add a link to encourage people to buy tickets for the event. It’d be nice if you could create an entire landing page that gives potential attendees more information about the location, event agenda, start and end date, speakers, and food & beverages. Place a strong CTA underneath to compel visitors to buy tickets and provide their contact information.
Leverage Your Guests’ Following
You can add some new followers and make more people interested in attending events by having some big-name hosts, speakers, and guests.
If this is the case, ask them to share something interesting such as getting ready for the session, or simply have them post about the event and re-share their content to make sure everyone who sees it won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to attend.
It’d be great if the host would be willing to share a post once the event is live or, even better, start a live broadcast on Instagram.
Promote the Event by Using Paid Advertising
If purely organic content sometimes doesn’t cut the mustard and if you’re thinking about how to get 1k followers on Instagram in 5 minutes, try paid advertising. And, even if your content strategy drives engagement and ticket sales aren’t slowing down, running ads won’t hurt.
Facebook Ads Manager is a great tool for reaching target niche audiences. You can target people based on their age, location, and interests, and get in front of most people that could be interested in your event. It’s also a good idea to exclude some groups from ad sets (e.g. if you are throwing a ladies-only event, you can exclude men).
Use an eye-catching and not overly salesy ad creative (ideally, a video). If you happen to have a plethora of to-dos on your list, a bunch of video production services can help with creating content, editing, and similar tasks — make sure to check the marketing portfolio of the agency you want to hire.
Once you have an ad creative, create several ad sets so you can do A/B tests to find the sweet spot between conversions and ad cost.
You can also add FOMO to your marketing campaign to boost ticket sales. Here are a few examples of how you can drive urgency:
- Early bird discounts
- Last-minute tickets
- VIP tickets
When bringing people to your website to check in for your event, be prepared for many questions they might have. Create an FAQ section on your website to enable them to get the information faster.
How to Promote the Day of the Event on Instagram?
Attendees are streaming in, the atmosphere before the grand opening is buzzing, and you think that the whole event promotion thing is finally over. It’s not!
If you are organizing events on an ongoing basis, put some extra effort into interacting with the attendees. Something as simple as taking pictures in front of your event banner would be just enough!
You should either generate leads or make sure everyone is following you on socials so you can keep them in the know about upcoming events.
Capture some more content yourself or repost user-generated content to keep the hype train rolling. Interview speakers and guests, post Stories of the crowds, event setup, and what’s happening behind the scenes.
However, don’t go too crazy with posting on the day of the event since you are going to need some content for (guess what) post-event promotion.
Post-Event Instagram Promotion
Once the event is over, you’ll have plenty of time and content to prepare for the next one.
You’ll have footage of the event location, atmosphere, performers and speakers on the stage, interviews, and even more UGC.
Use all this to publish new posts, Stories, and Reels — a bunch of Reels. Reels tend to do 22% better than regular videos so if you want the algorithm to give you an extra push, post 4-7 Reels per week.
Keep up with the hashtag strategy and encourage even more social media sharing. This way, you’ll truly make sure that the event stays memorable, and you’ll get even more folks interested in other events that you plan on organizing.
We suggest going that extra mile and sharing “thank you posts” showing appreciation to everyone who attended. If your event got some media coverage, make sure to share this as well. People respond well to organic social media marketing, so don’t waste your efforts on make-up. Share genuine stories and faces.
Talk about your experience, challenges that came along, lessons learned, final numbers (the number of people who attended, fundraising totals, etc.) — whatever you feel comfortable sharing with the wider audiences that would, potentially, make your followers see you as a genuine person.
There’s also an option of creating a feedback survey to see what everyone thinks about the event. You can use some of this info to prepare for and organize the next one in an even more successful manner.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Events
If you don’t want to leave a bunch of potential registrations for the events you are throwing on the table, do as much as you can to create some buzz among the Instagram horde early. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a substantial following or a handful of true fans. As long as you stick with the above-mentioned pre-planning tips and tricks for event marketing on Instagram, your ticket sales will go brrr.