Guest Column: 3 Ways Your Niche Event Can Find Its Target Audience
Katie Sawyer is a writer at Eventbrite, where she helps event organizers throw festivals, food-and-drink bonanzas, and cultural events.
Feminist paint parties, Harry Potter Yule Balls, and brony-theme bar crawls. These niche events may not be for everyone, but they're a massive hit with the right people.
Of course, appealing to a niche audience presents unique challenges. Marketing a large event like a festival is fairly straightforward. Describing—let alone marketing—a more specialized event isn't nearly as easy.
These challenges won't prevent your niche event from growing; you simply need a tighter strategy. Here are three tips for targeting the right audience for your event.
1. Get data-savvy. Marketing your first event often means drawing from your immediate community: friends, family members, and co-workers. Finding people beyond that network is a different story because it requires you to reach a new audience. Data can help, and easy-to-use platforms like Google Analytics use data to show you how people find events like yours.
Set up an account and add your event page as a “property.” Use the tracking code that information provides to measure how visitors behave and interact with your page. You can see where they’re coming from (Google search, social media, email), how long they’re spending on your site, and where they go when they leave. These insights can help you decide where to spend your marketing efforts and help promote your niche event more efficiently.
2. Simplify your social media. For niche events, more platforms don't always lead to more connections. You risk wasting time, effort, and resources if you promote your event across every social platform.
Stick to the platforms that make the most sense for your event, and focus your efforts accordingly. For example, your inflatable polo match attendees are probably searching for events on Facebook rather than LinkedIn. And if Facebook is your platform of choice, Instagram might also be a smart tool: Facebook and Instagram use the same paid advertising platform, so you can double up your efforts without the need to invest more energy into marketing your event.
Niche events require equally specific social media strategies. Find your target audience's preferred platform to get the information you need to reach your niche audience.
3. Keep the community alive and thriving. Niche events revolve around specific experiences and interests, and building a strong community is essential to growing your brand.
If you’re using Facebook, one effective way to do this is to tap into the “Groups for Pages” feature. It invites users who like a page to connect and start online conversations. It can be a great way for attendees of your vision-boarding event to share photos of their latest creations, or it can provide a platform for fans of a cult TV show to discuss the most recent episode. Bonus: These groups create buzz for your next event while strengthening and growing your community.
There are billions of people on the internet. Analytics might say that only 0.001 percent are interested in your event, but those people could think your event is the best thing ever. Success is a matter of finding those people, which isn't a major challenge provided you have the right strategy. Your event might be small, but the buzz around it within the community could be incredibly powerful.