So you’ve decided to market your event on Instagram. Good choice!
As one of the fastest-growing social media networks with the most engaged users, Instagram is an obvious choice for reaching your target audience.
Want to announce your event and create a sense of urgency with ease? Promoting your event with Instagram Stories is well worth a try. Let’s dive into the concept of short-lived content…
What’s Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories is a form of short-lived content that appears in a separate feed.
With a lifespan of 24 hours, Instagram Stories create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect. For marketers, it’s a great opportunity to interact with their target audiences.
According to Business Instagram, 500 million Instagrammers create or watch Stories daily. As such, this content format gives you plenty of opportunities to hook your target audience.
Ephemeral content like Stories fit the way younger people communicate with each other. When done right, Instagram Stories can create that same buzz among younger users for events you are promoting.
– Donald Chan, founder of the digital agency IMPACT!
In short, Instagram Stories will help you reach the right people and engage potential visitors.
How to promote your event with Instagram Stories in 7 steps
Promoting events with Instagram Stories isn’t complicated. But it requires some strategy to make sure you get the best results.
Publishing an Instagram Story isn’t enough to interest and engage your followers. It’s important to create Stories that hook your followers and deliver your message.
Here are seven steps to promoting your event with Instagram Stories:
1. Plan your Instagram Stories campaign in advance
Timing plays a key role in event attendance. It’s never too early to start promoting your event. If you want to attract more visitors, announce your event well in advance.
By the same token, promoting your event with Instagram Stories requires early planning. Plan your Instagram Stories campaign to fit the needs of your audience. You’ll want to think about the following:
- All the important information you need to cover
- Ideal dates and times for posting your Stories
- The total number of Instagram Stories you want to post
- The design of your Stories
- Promotion of your Stories
Tip: Here’s an event planning checklist to help you out.
2. Team up with influencers
Nowadays, influencer marketing is a must. People seek out recommendations from peers before making the purchase decision. Collaborating with a niche influencer helps to prove that your event is worth attending.
Whether you invite celebrity guests to tell more about the event or ask local influencers to promote your event on their social media profiles, you can get wonderful results. Why? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to influencer partnership. Your creativity is the key to successful promotion.
For example, the Stagecoach festival invited Carrie Underwood to spread the word about the upcoming event, so they created a short Instagram Stories video:
Featuring an influencer is a proven way to build brand trust. On top of that, it can help you attract more visitors if the celebrity also publishes this information on their Instagram profile.
Tip: Learn how to collaborate with Instagram influencers to drive website traffic.
3. Prepare an eye-catching visual
Choosing the right visual for event promotion is crucial. In fact, 65% of people are visual learners, so having an eye-catching image helps grab their attention.
The first step will be to choose the right image that illustrates your event. For example, you can use photos of speakers or attendees. Then, you need to put text info on the image: tag the featured person, add a branded hashtag, and so on.
Here’s an example of how it can look like:
To create a similar visual for your event, do the following:
- Find an image that represents your event
- Add your logo
- Include a branded hashtag
- Tag a person
If you plan to publish several Instagram Stories to promote your event, stick to the same colour, tone, style, and format.
Tip: Use professional Instagram Stories templates to create eye-catching visuals.
4. Write down key information
When done right, event descriptions drive attendance. That’s why it’s important to have a strong and clear description of your event. Tell your potential attendees more about the event: When and where it will take place, who will be speaking, and why it’s worth visiting.
When promoting your event with Instagram Stories, be brief. You have just 15 seconds to hook the audience before your viewers will automatically scroll to the next Story. Stick to key information about your event. That should be enough to interest potential attendees.
Tip: Here are some tips on how to create a killer event page – many of them apply here.
5. Make the most of Instagram Stories features
With the popularity of Stories, Instagram has rolled out business-specific features to help engage people. Here are several Instagram Stories features to use when promoting your event:
- Geotags and location hashtags: When organising an offline event, you’ll want to make sure people can find it. Add geotags and hashtags to tell followers about your event location.
- Swipe-up link: If you have 10K+ followers on Instagram, you can add a clickable link in your Stories. It’s a great way to provide interested followers with more information and start selling event tickets in-app.
- The countdown sticker: This feature helps you create a sense of urgency. You can inform followers when it’s high time to buy tickets or attend your event. When followers tap on your countdown sticker, they have an option to get a reminder or re-share it to their account.
As you can see, Instagram Stories offer many options for effective event promotion.
Tip: Read this complete guide on Instagram Stories features.
6. Know when your audience is active
No matter how good your Instagram Story is, it’ll mean nothing unless potential attendees actually see it. Luckily, a coloured circle around your profile picture signals to your followers that there’s a new story they haven’t yet seen. To reach even more people, you should analyse when your target audience is active with Instagram insights.
Tip: Use social media analytics to get in-depth data on audience activity.
7. Create a separate Story Highlights album
If you organise events regularly, it’s a good idea to tell your followers and profile visitors about this. The best way to do it is to create a separate Instagram Stories Highlights album. Here, you can add all Stories dedicated to your events.
Why? These albums appear right below your Instagram bio. This makes it easy for potential attendees to learn more about your events. Take a look at Red Bull. The company has a separate Instagram Stories Highlights album just for their events:
And here’s how a yoga teacher Mara uses Instagram Stories Highlights to promote yoga classes:
Unlike Instagram Stories that disappear within 24 hours, Highlights live permanently on your profile. As such, they’re an actionable way to interest your profile visitors and inform them about potential events.
Tip: Here is a guide on how to use Instagram Stories Highlights for business.
In a word…
The concept of short-lived content like Instagram Stories is gaining in popularity. People spend a lot of time watching Stories, so it’s the perfect chance to hook an engaged audience and promote your event. Moreover, many Instagram Stories features help you interact with potential attendees, understand their expectations, and even sell tickets in-app.
Have you ever used Instagram Stories for event promotion? What are your thoughts on using this content format?
Author: Hugh Beaulac is a content strategist at MC2 and a freelance social media marketer who helps small businesses promote their products on Instagram. With 6+ years of niche experience, Hugh also writes for top-notch blogs to share his digital marketing tips and tricks. To stay tuned for more, follow him on Twitter @HughBeaulac.