Picture this: Your nonprofit is getting ready to host a virtual event. You’ve invested in the right fundraising software, planned your event activities, and conducted a trial run to make sure there are no technical issues. However, on the day of your event, you notice that the turnout is very low, causing your organization to miss out on key support and even lose funds that were invested into the success of your event.
The key to navigating this issue and producing a high event turnout is marketing. With a robust marketing strategy, your organization can create excitement and hype around your event, effectively motivating attendees to sign up, participate, and give to your organization. Plus, you can reach new audiences and expand your support base to hundreds or even thousands of individuals eager to back your cause.
To craft your event marketing strategy, you’ll need to produce high-quality and emotionally compelling content. Specifically, these essential marketing materials can make a huge difference in the success of your virtual event:
- Event landing page
- Blog posts
By amplifying your reach across multiple channels, your nonprofit can mobilize support for your cause and meet your event fundraising goals. Let’s begin.
Event landing page
Once you announce your upcoming event, your supporters will naturally be curious about the event’s activities and whether it’s worth their time to attend. To effectively pique their interest, your organization should develop a comprehensive event landing page, acting as a one-stop shop for everything your supporters need to know about your event (and how to register).
A winning event landing page will include the following details:
- Purpose of the event. How will this event push forward your nonprofit’s goals and greater mission? What are your fundraising goals and how can supporters help drive support before, during, and after the event? Answering these questions will help you clarify the purpose of your event to your supporters.
- Time and how to access it. List out the date, time, and expected time span of your event. A mobile-friendly link should be included to your virtual event so supporters can engage with your event from anywhere, as long as they have their phone in hand.
- Agenda. What kind of activities can supporters expect if they attend your event? Will there be a silent auction, speaker portion, fundraising appeal, or other engaging program? You can also create extra hype around your event by giving a sneak peek of your auction items or providing biographies of the speakers in attendance.
- Perks. Outline the specific benefits and rewards supporters will receive by attending your event, such as free raffle entry for all guests who attend or prizes for the top donors.
- Registration details. Make sure supporters can quickly and conveniently sign up for your event after reading about the details. Make sure your registration form is straightforward and only asks supporters for the most essential information, allowing your supporters to save time and feel more motivated to complete the form.
Market your event landing page widely on your website, social media channels, email newsletters, and through ambassador connections. A multichannel marketing strategy can help expand the number of people you’re able to reach, bringing more exposure to your event and cause online. As you advertise your event landing page, share engaging content like photos of the last time you hosted this event or graphic designs that explain how the events’ funds will be used.
Video marketing can help you emotionally connect with your audience and bring attention to your upcoming event in a digestible way. Videos not only help nonprofits articulate the purpose behind their events, but also bring a story to life that demonstrates why supporters should back your cause and attend your virtual event.
A strong event promotion video should have the following elements:
- Complete narrative arc. Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. Introduce supporters to the problem at hand, the steps your organization is taking to solve it, how this event fits into your mission, and a solution that requires your supporters to take action.
- Protagonists. The main characters of your videos should be your beneficiaries. This helps supporters learn who their donations will be going towards and how they will make an impact. Feature testimonials from your beneficiaries or show video clips of your nonprofit actively making strides to improve the lives of these individuals.
- If applicable, video footage from the last time you hosted this event. If you’ve hosted this virtual event in the past, include brief highlight clips that make your event appear appealing to prospective attendees.
- Strong call-to-action. End your video with a firm call-to-action to register for your event. Here, you can embed a link to your event landing page to learn more and complete the registration form. You can also encourage supporters to donate before the event and help your nonprofit get an early start on reaching its fundraising goal.
The OneCause guide to virtual fundraising explains that you can also repurpose and share these prerecorded videos during the event itself. This can help keep your virtual guests engaged during breaks in your live streamed content and encourage giving.
Blog posts are another great way to ramp up extra support for your event and inspire more registrations. By regularly publishing content related to your event on your website’s blog roll, you can dive deeper into the event’s purpose and why it’s well-worth supporting.
Here are a few ideas to inspire blog content:
- Explain how donations will be used and the beneficiaries that will be positively impacted.
- If you’ve hosted this virtual event in the past, explain how it went and whether you met your fundraising goal. You can also explain how you came up with your new fundraising goal.
- Request that a volunteer on the event planning committee explains why they’re supporting your organization and ask them to give a sneak peek into your event’s fun activities.
As you generate content, make sure to stick to a regular posting schedule, such as creating one blog post per week. This makes sure your blog roll is refreshed and offers the most up-to-date information on your upcoming event. You can even produce this content far ahead of time and schedule it to be published in advance. This gives your nonprofit more time to focus on event planning specifics as the event date comes closer.
A strong marketing strategy can drive amazing attendance numbers and fundraising results. In preparation of your event, form a marketing committee and outline a content plan so your nonprofit can proactively and strategically generate marketing materials on your platforms. Remember to actively monitor metrics, like page views on your blog posts or social media likes and reposts, so you can adjust your content strategies as needed.