Promote Your Platform
Launching your Localist platform isn’t the end all be all. It’s now time to get to work promoting your events and the features your platform has to offer your community.
What to Keep In Mind
There is no magic switch
You will not see overnight SEO success by virtue of launching Localist. You will need to commit to getting your platform in front of your audience and to adding fresh content as much as possible to establish relevancy.
Create spaces for belonging
If you need buy-in from other units, organizations or stakeholders then make sure there is a direct line from their end to Localist through your Classifications and Channels. Just saying “this platform is for you” will not go as far as showing them that there is a dedicated corner for their needs!
With each new season, semester or year, comes your chance to grow your community. Use these yearly milestones as key moments to connect new members of your audience with your platform and event offerings.
Captive vs. Competitive Audiences
Your promotion needs and the level of commitment required may vary depending on the age of your organization and how unique your content is. For example, events hosted by campus groups are only available on a school’s Localist platform, while a 5k race in a city may be posted on dozens of local websites.
Events are social (media)
Promote your platform alongside other social media platforms! For example, if you have space dedicated to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter icons, consider adding a unique icon that brings your audience directly to Localist.
Get creative with pulling in trusted members of your community to help get the word out! “Influencers” can be anyone from a student leader to a well known local fundraiser, or from a respected thought leader to an athlete.
Promotion in Practice
Now that you’re in the promotion mindset, you can start to pull various levers both inside and outside of your Localist platform:
How to Promote Externally
1. One click access from your website’s homepage
How quickly can the average user find the events calendar?
The simplest way to make sure events are seen is to ensure your audience can intuitively navigate to your platform.
- Best Practice: Have an entire section of your homepage dedicated to events—a Localist Widget would be perfect for this (see below for more details)!
- Recommended: Have a top level navigation link.
- Satisfactory: Have a secondary link in a menu.
- Not Recommended: Needing 2+ clicks to find events.
2. Once click access from landing pages
How quickly can the average user find specific subsets of events?
When using Widgets throughout your website, users can discover events passively in their own time and on their own path if they are not actively looking. Here’s some ideas:
- Do you have a landing page that highlights news? → Include an upcoming events Widget alongside this content.
- Do you have landing pages that align with your Event Types? → Include a Widget spotlighting exhibitions.
- Do you have landing pages that align with your Target Audiences? → Include a Widget for alumni.
- Do you have landing pages that align with your Topics? → Include a Widget promoting sustainability.
How often are you including event content in your newsletters?
Like placing Widgets on landing pages alongside other content, newsletters are an excellent medium for promoting your events with other notable content. Depending on the newsletter, promoting events could look like:
- A section with events listed,
- A call out to a related event,
- Or a general call-to-action for the events calendar
Are you providing an events newsletter?
If you aren’t already providing a newsletter that highlights events then we’ve got you covered with our newsletter tool, Bulletin. Check out our Bulletin LocaList to learn more about this feature here.
Users can also get a personalized list of events in their inboxes weekly with Digest! We highly recommend proactively educating and encouraging your community to use this tool.
2. News articles/blogs
How often are you including event content in your articles/blogs?
In a similar vein, look for opportunities to highlight or drive traffic to your events or platform when publishing news articles and blogs.
- If your article is about a recent event then be sure to include a call-to-action to find more upcoming events.
- If your article is of a particular theme, such as wellness, highlight upcoming events that align with the initiative like group fitness events.
3. Social media
How often are events highlighted on social media?
Posting consistently about events on social media doesn’t mean you’ll sound like a broken record. Beyond periodically plugging the events calendar in its entirety, you can highlight the diversity of your events and connect with your audience by posting about:
- Important one-off events, like a conference or festival,
- A unique series, like a lecture or exhibition
- Topical efforts, like sustainability or outdoor recreation,
- Or thematic events, like Halloween or 4th of July
Bonus! You can also utilize our convenient Event Promotion tool to post events to social media directly from the Localist Admin Edit an Event form.
4. Digital signage
Are you using digital signage as a promotional tool?
If you’re already utilizing digital signage—TVs, digital billboards, video walls etc.— then you should consider adding events here too! Using the same strategies as above, look for ways to promote the entire calendar, an individual event, or a special series.
5. Include events in printed collateral
Are you providing printed collateral to your community?
Last, but not least, don’t forget about any printed materials your organization may circulate. Think of flyers, brochures, playbills, campus newspapers, table-top ads etc. and apply the same promotional efforts listed above for your events.
How to Promote Internally
1. Sponsored Events
Localist’s Sponsored feature is a soft endorsement of your events. When you Sponsor an event it gets a boost in the trending algorithm, which sends it straight to the top of the trending list.
2. Featured Events
Featured Events will display in a carousel at the very top of your homepage, which means they will be easily discoverable. You can flag an infinite number of Featured Events, so there’s endless opportunity for your users to find the most intriguing events.
The simplest way to promote a unique series is to create a Tag, such as ‘Summer 2022’, which will pull events into a centralized location on your calendar. To get to this centralized location, your users will just need to click the Tag on the Event Details Page.
2. Homepage Tab
You can also create multiple tabs on your homepage to highlight events. You can easily pull events into the tab using existing classifications or a date range.
3. Featured Tab
Adding a new tab to your Featured Carousel will showcase some of your most exciting events. Say for example, your organization is hosting a charity concert series. You could make a ‘Charity Concerts’ tab and pull those events into the Featured Carousel.
If you’re hosting a highly anticipated lecture series you can pull events into a Channel to show them off to your community. They can adopt their own unique CSS and layout to flaunt any brand aesthetic. Additionally, Channels have their own custom URL, which means you can promote these events anywhere you’d like.
Your events should always be Visible—yes, even events that are not necessarily open to the public. Not only will this mean rich content for search engines, but it will also match your community’s expectation to easily find all content in one place, decreasing the likelihood that they will abandon your calendar.
2. Event Submissions & Feeds
By encouraging users to submit events, you can guarantee that your calendar will always flourish with fresh content. You should also set up Feeds because they automatically import new events onto your calendar and ensure it has a solid base.
3. Add Content Before an Event’s Start Date
It’s vital to upload events at least 7 days before the start date—this gives users plenty of time to discover new content on your platform. Not to mention, if you get events up on your calendar early, you can guarantee more traffic on various landing pages.
That said, in order to truly maximize events’ SEO opportunity, it’s also important for your admins to stay on top of approving these submissions.
4. User Centric Filters
Filters should be digestible and recognizable lists that include a wide variety of events. Otherwise, your users may get confused and abandon searching for events altogether. It’s all about quality over quantity here—you should aim to have a group of solid Filters that will attract clicks from your audience.
5. Landing Pages
Localist offers a variety of unique landing pages, such as Places, Groups, and Departments, which boost content and provide context in a centralized location. The more helpful and quality content, the more credibility your website will get from search engines.
Likewise, search engines take time spent on a page into account, so we suggest that you fill out all text fields, add photos, and embed videos to ensure that users stay on your landing pages as long as possible.
6. Rich Descriptions
You should also stray away from using text heavy images for your event photos. Instead, add this info to the event’s description. By doing this, users will ultimately spend more time on the page reading these details. This not only signals to search engines that you have excellent content, but it also helps them find the content in the first place.
The Trending Algorithm gauges the most interesting events on your platform. If you have Trending as your default event listing, users are likely to find events they find interesting and therefore spend more time browsing your calendar.
8. Social Engagement
We suggest that you utilize the I’m Interested function, which promotes participation on your platform. You should also keep comments and reviews turned on to encourage users to share event details and interact with one another. A good user experience indicates that people are actively engaging and enjoying your site, which enhances your SEO.
Widgets not only promote your events all over the web, but they also direct traffic back to your calendar. With one simple click from a Widget, people will be browsing and checking out other exciting events on your calendar. These clicks signal to search engines that your site is thriving and, as a result, promotes healthy SEO.
10. Custom Domain
A custom domain is a distinctive website name, for example, https://support.localist.com/. You want to make sure that your domain is memorable, recognizable, and consistent with your brand. In addition, it is important to implement SSL with your custom domain to ensure a secure browsing experience. As a result, your calendar will not only be secure, but it will also get a higher ranking from search engines.
If you do not currently have SSL and you’re interested in setting it up for your platform, please check out our documentation to get the ball rolling.