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How to Advertise Your Event for Free

April 9th, 2024 Michael Mayday

Having more resources to work with can make promoting your webinar much easier – but successful events don’t always need huge marketing budgets.attMaster the Art of Driving Webinar Registration and AttendanceIt’s possible to advertise your event free of charge. Here are nine ways to generate more exposure for your next virtual or hybrid event and drive impressive registration (and attendance) without spending a dime.

1. Optimize your event landing page

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It’s tempting to throw together a landing page and start chasing outbound leads from various channels — but what if this asset could do a lot of the hard work for you. With the right SEO optimization, it can. 

Applying a few simple yet effective SEO techniques to your event’s landing page could improve its positioning in search and attract attention from people looking for exactly what you’ve got to offer. Research which keywords will bring you the traffic you need, and include them in your copy, headers, meta title and meta description.

2. Create a social media group for your event

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Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide brands with a direct path to engaging digital communities and sharing upcoming events. One of the easiest ways to start advertising your webinar — and begin measuring your prospects’ response at an organic level — is to set up custom groups and events that can serve as a central hub for anyone interested in attending.

Master the Art of Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance

Invite your friends, colleagues, and connections, and encourage them to share access with people in their own networks. Make sure you keep the group active (and create the FOMO) with event information, host and speaker bios, related tips, supplier or sponsor shout-outs, and behind-the-scenes reels — and encourage everyone to ask questions to keep the conversation going before your event.

3. Find your tribes online

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Research forums and other community-based websites with users who share relevant interests or are working towards similar goals. Reddit, for example, is a great place to start. If you’re promoting an event that will interest people in a particular region — whether that be a town, state or entire country — you can also approach events websites that serve your targeted area.

4. Add your event information to your email signature

Female thinking at laptop

Including your webinar event information in your email is an incredibly simple but effective way to get your event in front of the people you interact with almost daily — and it’s 100% free!

A brief paragraph outlining your event’s what, where and when should be enough to pique the recipient’s interest, along with information on how to register. Another tactic is to simply include an event banner in your email signature. 

5. Work your email list

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If it’s been a while since you sent out an e-shot to your loyal clients, colleagues or followers, now is a great time to revive your e-marketing strategy (even if it’s only temporarily).

Send out a timely bulletin containing your event information and registration details. If you’ve curated your email list correctly, there will be plenty of clicks to your sign-up page from people who might not have heard about your latest venture.

6. Host a ticket giveaway on social media

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Who doesn’t love a freebie? Host a contest on your social media site to give one lucky person the chance to win free access to your event. (Facebook and Instagram work particularly well for this.) If they want to be entered into the draw, your followers must like and share your post, or tag a friend in the comments who might want to come along. You can also consider attaching swag incentives to your virtual events. 

7. Utilize your contributors’ networks

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Got a third party on board? Great. Get your partners to pitch in on webinar promotions! Your guest speakers should promote your event as much as possible to their audiences via their channels. After all, they will want to drum up as many registrations as possible to make the event worthwhile.  

Master the Art of Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance

Schedule and share pre-event interviews with your main contributors during the big day (or night) if you have time. This content will introduce your followers to the key people behind the event — including your host(s) — and give them a taste of what they can expect from your session. 

8. Pitch your event to journalists

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Journalists can be your best friends when advertising your next event for free. If you’ve got a great thing going, these writers will want to spread the word among their audiences.

While going after some of the best-connected journalists in your industry is a great plan, you shouldn’t neglect local or more lo-fi influencers. Approach a mix of high-profile and lesser-known personalities to ensure you’re not missing out on any opportunities.

And remember, it’s important to connect with reporters before giving them the hard sell. This is where regular networking can work to your advantage; it will help you build relationships with a bank of useful contacts who, over time, will be more than happy to share your event details in the right circles.

9. Team up with a sponsorGroup of people looking at laptop

As you can see, there are many ways to advertise your event for free. But if you would rather have a little more budget, why not consider getting a sponsor for your virtual event? They will provide some much-needed marketing capital and be a great sounding board for promotional ideas, putting together event agendas, and more.

If you’re unsure how to approach potential partners, check out our recent blog for ideas on securing sponsors for your event.

Have a plan – and stick to it

Whether you decide to go down the sponsorship route or not, the easiest way to drain what little cash you have in your promotional budget is to go completely off course.

If you don’t develop and follow a clear strategy, you’ll also waste a ton of time marketing your event (and, as we all know, man-hours can be just as valuable as actual dollars in today’s hard-pressed economy). You might want to take a look at our ultimate virtual event planning checklist for help with the process.

Master the Art of Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance