What’s the best way to turn a person with a casual interest in your event into a ticket buyer? Get them engaged. Get them invested in your event, your brand, your products, or services. One of the most powerful tools decades of experimentation have uncovered is interactive content.
It may have started with those infamous relationship quizzes in Cosmo or Dear Abby letters in the paper, but interactive content has taken on a new life in the digital age. Not only is interactive content much easier to produce, but the content itself can be much more effective as people have become accustomed to sharing more and more of their lives online. They want to share their opinions, preferences, likes and dislikes. And you can use that information to hone your marketing material, refine your offering, and get more people talking about your event.
If you’re new to creating interactive content, it can seem daunting at first. But it’s not really. In most cases it’s a whole lot easier than you might think. That’s because your audience actually drives a good portion of the content you’ll create! Below you’ll find 11 examples of interactive content you can create to easily market your event online and generate that all-important buzz which leads to selling more tickets.
1. Social Media
Facebook was essentially created explicitly for the purpose of creating, sharing, and utilizing interactive content online. The platform is one of the OG’s of the online marketing industry and allows you to create all sorts of content including many of those we’ll talk about a little later (including polls, questionnaires, listicles, and more). Facebook also allows you the option of creating free content on your own pages or utilizing their powerful paid advertisement program to let you attract, segment, and hyper-focus on those folks who are most likely to buy tickets to your event.
But Facebook is far from the only option out there. Twitter is another great option with a ton of reach. If you want to reach a younger audience, you’ll probably want to engage them on Instagram or even TikTok.
The keys to creating great interactive content on these social media sites are:
- Be fun (and sometimes funny). This will help your content spread through your audiences own personal social network
- Be short and decisive—social media was designed for those with short attention spans.
- Be opinionated—you can’t possibly create content that clicks with everyone. Instead know your audience and create content that will engage them
Email lists are the natural digital extension of the Old Skool mailing list. Lists are usually full of qualified individuals who have A) already purchased something from you in the past or B) have been interested enough in what you’re doing to give you their email so they can “keep in touch” with you and your organization.
Using a list is easy. You can use free or paid mailer options (like Omnisend or AWeber) to handle all the complicated stuff. You just create your email blasts, segment your list as you see fit, and schedule when your content will be delivered. Your message can include enticing images, external links, and engaging content like questionnaires to get your audience interested.
The hard part about using email is creating the list. That’s why you need to ask your audience for their email addresses often. Whenever they visit your website, when they buy from you, when they contact you directly. To get them to give up that important info you can offer a small freebie or discount in return. All these enticements cost you next to nothing and having that email in your list gives you near-unlimited access to that prequalified lead!
Questionnaires are a great way to learn about your audience. By asking what they like and don’t like, you can create engaging digital content and more effective event marketing materials. You may even discover some real eye-openers in those answers that help you better organize the events you’re planning in the future.
Find some of the best questionnaire creations tools (Via WebFX)
But the value of the questionnaire isn’t limited to user input. Sometimes the real win is just in the asking itself. People love to share their opinions. Everybody has one and everybody thinks they’re entitled to it (which they are). The entirety of social media exists because people love to share their opinions and be heard. By giving your audience a chance to do just that, you’re increasing their engagement with your brand. You’re decreasing their resistance to clicking that buy button. You’re stacking the odds that they’ll share your name or your event with family and friends.
Quizzes are another great example of engaging interactive content you can easily create and share via your own website or social media links. Just look at how popular those ubiquitous quizzes on Facebook are. People get to submit a few seemingly innocuous answers and they are promised that they’ll find out something about themselves or the world in which they live. Some are kind of lame (what non-human entity are you?) and some are a bit more meaningful (find out who you were in a past life).
Buzzfeed has been using quizzes for years.
But did you know, smart quiz creators find ways to pull useful information out of people while they’re writing those quizzes? I’m not talking about their mother’s maiden name and social security numbers, I’m talking about their likes and dislikes, the amount of disposable income they have, how many live events they’ve been to in the last year, how much time they spend on various social media, what they’re favorite brands are, etc. All this information could be useful to you as you create, refine, and deliver your event marketing materials.
Games are fun little escapes that easily pull people away from whatever they’re doing and focus their attention—even if for a brief moment. But you don’t have to be a computer genius or create an AAA video game title like Grand Theft Auto to engage an audience.
Recall Ye Olden Days of gaming back when many of the most talked about titles were point-and-click or text-based choose-your-own-adventure type games. These are easily creatable by anyone without any programming knowledge at all.
Now take that mentality and apply it to your brand. Create a guessing game, a trivia game, a contest of some sort, and ship that out via your social media or email marketing. You’ll have people playing along and submitting answers before you know it.
6. Companion Website
Companion websites are bit of an oblique way to engage your audience which ultimately leads to marketing your event. Take one area that’s of interest to your audience and create an entire website around it that, periodically, redirects visitors back to your original website and—hopefully—your ticket sales platform. The intent of the companion website is not to sell itself, rather engage people so they’ll willingly purchase when the opportunity is presented to them. Let’s have an example to flesh this out a little.
Say you’re promoting a beer festival. Your audience obviously likes beer and likes more about it than just drinking it. You create a companion website that does reviews of local craft breweries and their offerings. That website will automatically attract a good portion of those who are likely to buy tickets to your event. Make the site even more powerful by having featured reviews of local vendors who will have booths at your festival.
Occasionally drop hints and links about your festival and how people can buy tickets and you’ve got an A+ companion website that’s 1) engaging your audience, 2) spreading your brand, 3) redirecting people to your event pages.
Partnerships with existing companies who have some tangential connection to your niche is also a wonderful way to create engagement and market your event. These businesses already have an audience of their own and if you can tap into that you’re more likely to sell more tickets to your event.
The key to success using this method of marketing is to find a partner who isn’t in direct competition with you. For example, if you’re promoting a food truck festival, you wouldn’t want to try to partner with other food truck festivals because you’d be draining the same audience and diluting that buying power.
However, if you were hosting a charity fundraiser for food insecurity, local food pantries would be great partners because they are in the middle of your genre but are not targeting the same people you are.
8. Paid Advertising
Paid ads on Facebook can be incredibly effective and fairly affordable when compared with other event marketing options. But you don’t have to limit yourself to Facebook or social media.
An Example of a Facebook Paid Advertisement.
Google and other search engines also allow paid advertisement which puts your website at the top of search results and shows your visual ads on thousands of publisher sites around the internet.
You can also use paid email marketing services like MailChimp and AWeber to automate your event email marketing campaigns.
Listicles are fun little web articles that people can read in minutes but have a way of becoming addictive. How often have you found yourself clicking a link titled something like “The Five Best Movie Theme Songs Ever” only to find yourself a half hour later reading yet another list about “Tom Cruise’s Worst Performances from A to Z”?
Buzzfeed is the king of listicles!
The key to using listicles as engaging event marketing material is tailoring the content to fit your brand and trigger the interests of your audience.
10. Interactive Video
Interactive video has quickly become one of the most attention-grabbing tools marketers can use today. Look at how the real estate industry has latched onto 3D Video Walkthroughs or those amazing, exploded views of houses you can simply click through as if you’re walking the halls yourself.
Interactive video can be a little on the pricey side but if you’re promoting something that’s heavily visual—like a true rock concert experience—it can be a game changer. Here are a couple of tips for saving money with interactive video production.
- Don’t buy the equipment yourself. Hire a production company that’s already in the business.
- Have a clear vision for your content before you start filming.
- Keep videos short and to the point.
- YouTube has a huge 3D interactive video library—make use of it!
According to industry statistics, nearly half of all digital marketers say that infographics are the best visual format for audience engagement. These graphic representations of data, statistics, and information are so popular because they’re visually stimulating but also offer interesting information in a very unique way. Often the graphical interpretation of this data is presented in a format that ties back to the audience.
For example, this infographic created by Ken Bromley to depict the most popular artists in the world by country features a map of the world with regions overlayed by art from the most googled artists in that area.
Creating infographics (when done right) can be extremely time consuming and requires a bit of graphical finesse. If you don’t have the time or the skills, outsource. There are dozens of websites on which you can connect with graphic designers well-versed in the iconography of infographics.
The Right Combination of Event Marketing
For the best results possible, you’ll want to pick a few of these types of interactive content event marketing methods and weave them together into a coherent marketing strategy. For example, you could have an infographic made for you and promote it on Facebook with paid advertisement. Or you could create a series of listicles that lead your readers to questionnaires which, in turn, would lead them to give you their email so you can add them to your marketing lists. Your eye-catching interactive video leads potential attendees to your companion website.
The sheer number of combinations of these excellent marketing techniques can get confusing. To avoid being overwhelmed, pick a handful that seems:
- In line with your brand
- Accessible to your audience
Once you have your arsenal of engagement dig deep and commit. While your reach might not be as wide as if you’d used every tool listed above, your quality of engagement will be much higher and the actual increase in ticket sales you’re likely to see will be much more impressive.