Leveraging Digital Ads & Email Marketing to Grow a Festival

The event promoters had been hosting an annual summer event for several years, but ticket sales and event revenue had been steadily declining. The promoters were looking for help growing attendance. Marketing dollars were focused primarily on print advertising (newspaper and flyers), some organic social media posting, and some social media ad spend. Our first event with the organization was in 2019, where we grew revenue by 24% (2019 versus 2018).

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the event was hosted in August 2021.  We grew revenue by 156% (2021 versus 2019)

What We Did

  • Website updates and integration with Facebook Business Manager, including setting up pixels. Revised landing pages to make it easier to quickly convert viewers that engaged with paid ads (2019)
  • Complete website re-design (2020)
  • Organic social media calendar creation and daily engagement with users on Facebook and Instagram
  • Regular email marketing to new and past event attendees
  • Meta (Facebook Business Manager) management. Ad creation, audience targeting, adjustment, and monitoring
  • Graphic Design
  • Print Marketing
  • Payment platform management (Square)
  • Weekly and monthly reporting to clients

Challenges

  • Event Attendance declining

  •  Website pages not optimized for sales conversions

  •  Limited organic social media postings and presence

  • Un-targeted social media ads

  • Heavy print media marketing (flyers, newspapers, and magazines)

Ticket sales and event revenue had been steadily declining, marketing dollars were focused primarily on print advertising.

The Solution

Website

In 2019, the WordPress website had not been update in several. The event ticketing and payment process was on Square. When visitors went to the website and wanted to purchase a ticket, they were rerouted to another url and could not navigate back for event details.

With the limited time frame, we decided to make the payment portal the primary landing page for the event. We moved important content and appealing information directly on the payment site.

After a successful 2019, we re built the entire website so it more easily integrated with Square, social media, Google business tools and more.

Organic Social Media

We created rolling, 30-day organic social media calendars for Facebook and Instagram in Later.com. We better-utilized hashtags and engaged the promoters partners and presenters.

Email Marketing

We created a MailChimp account to create branded emails with links directly to the revised landing pages. We imported all past event purchasers and sent monthly emails to promote the event and highlight presenters and performers. We also created copies of emails that partners could distribute to their email lists.

Meta (Facebook Business Manager)

We gained access to the Facebook Page and Instagram account. We then moved all advertising into Facebook Business Manager. We installed Facebook pixels on the website. We created and tested several different audiences and target areas until we found a winning location and interest combination.

We created, edited, and updated ads on a daily basis to ensure ticket sales continued and increased.

We highlighted different elements of the events that would appeal to these different audiences to maximize reach and access the largest possible audience.

Regular Updates

We monitored activities daily, and were in regular video conference and email communications with the team to get content and message approval and make adjustments.

Results

  • Compared to 2019, total sales for the first event increased by 156%,
  • Compared to 2019, total sales for the second event increased by 86%. 
  • Email marketing newsletters accounted for over 1/3 of user traffic and sales.