Whether your business is a tourist destination, an events center, or venue-based, boosting attendance and ticket sales is a priority. Most companies use their website to promote events and sales. However, not enough of them have optimized the website experience for their customers to fully maximize the site's potential.
If you're ready to take your website traffic to the next level and use it to get more ticket sales, we're here to help. Here are three ways to boost attendance at your facility with your website.
1. Branding is Key
Branding and advertising are not the same. Advertising is an important way to drive sales for each individual event you promote. Each campaign will be centered around a particular occasion, and will be completely different depending on the event, the target audience, the time of year and other factors.
Branding, on the other hand, is a steady, continual process that applies to every member of your audience across the board. Branding will build loyal customers who return to your company again and again for future events.
Your brand is made from many things including the look and feel of your website, the vibe of your physical location, your logos and other imaging, and the tone of your messaging. Each of these things comes together to form a single emotional cue to customers when they interact with you. When you build a solid brand, your customers will build trust which will lead to loyalty.
If you want to increase attendance to your events using your website, it's critical that your branding is consistent both online and offline. In one survey, 60 percent of young shoppers expect a consistent experience no matter where they interact with a brand. Start off on the right foot by meeting that expectation.
When you build a positive in-person experience for your customers, you want to replicate that feeling when they visit your website. This can be accomplished by making sure the look and feel of your website is the same as your facilities and by including high-quality photos and other imagery that will bring to mind that positive experience.
The more you do on your website to call up that emotional connection to the facility, the more you will be able to capitalize on your branding efforts. The result will be loyal customers who are happy to turn to your website to learn about new events and purchase tickets.
2. Encourage Sharing and Conversations
According to a 2016 Nielsen survey, 82 percent of Americans say they turn to friends and family for recommendations when considering a purchase. Whenever you can facilitate these conversations among friends, you will boost your event sales.
One way to do this is with super shareable content on your website. Make it impossibly easy for your website visitors to get the word out when they want to tell others about an event, your venue in general, or anything else they find on your website. Here are a few tips for creating shareable content on your site:
Include buttons for sharing on social media and make sure they are prominently featured in your content. Don't make users fumble with copying and pasting links to their social media profiles. Buttons are not only easier for users, but they also serve as a reminder or a prompt to encourage more people to share.
Short, Catchy Headlines
Social media is all about quick nuggets of easily-digested information. Your headlines should be as short as possible while still containing the most critical information. For example, the name of the headliner, the date and your venue name is probably sufficient for most titles.
Images are Critical
Posts with images receive at least double the engagement on Facebook than those without. Plus, social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are entirely visually oriented. Take the time to include high-quality photos of your events that are worth sharing.
A share counter will demonstrate to others that the content is worth sharing. If the first few shares were hesitant, once it's clear that others are sharing the information, the hesitation will evaporate.
Prompt for Sharing
Once a visitor has purchased a ticket from your website, prompt them to share this with their friends on social media. Make sure to wait until the end of the purchase process, and provide a button on the payment confirmation page or in a confirmation email that is sent.
Aside from making the content on your website shareable, get the ball rolling yourself by establishing a social media presence for your business and sharing your own content frequently. It's much easier for users who are browsing their feeds to click the share button and instantly put the word out to their friends and followers. Plus, you can boost your posts to expand your reach even further.
Lastly, encourage your visitors to leave comments to get the conversations going. Linking website comments with Facebook will not only boost engagement, but it will also bring more people to your website who may check out other events and activities on your site. When there's lots of chatter about an event, the excitement will generate more momentum and visibility and lift event sales even more.
3. Make it Easy to Buy
One of the biggest ways to boost sales on your website is to remove as many roadblocks as possible so it's simple for people to make a purchase. People are often happy to get tickets online as this eliminates long lines, lost paper tickets and other hassles of having to make in-person purchases for events.
You want visitors to be able to quickly find the date and time of the event they would like to attend, and then purchase a ticket with their preferred payment method. Purchasing options should be visible from your home page and prominently featured on event pages.
Consider accepting more than just credit cards too, as many web buyers prefer to stick with PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other web-based payment methods. You also want to offer a few delivery methods for your tickets whenever possible.
Mobile apps and e-tickets give guests the peace of mind that they cannot lose or accidentally destroy their tickets. Some people would prefer the option to print tickets with a scannable barcode in case something happens to their mobile device. Plus, there will always be a few that would prefer "real" tickets delivered via mail. The more of these options you can provide, the more people will purchase tickets from your website.
It's All About the Experience
When it comes to boosting attendance at your facility using your website, the key is to focus on the experience of your visitors. A cohesive branding strategy that aligns the in-person look and feel of your venue with your website will make sure your guests have a seamless experience no matter where they engage with your company.
Branding will also help create loyal customers who return to your website because they enjoy the experience and the ease of purchasing tickets to your events. This effect will be even stronger when you make it easy by offering different options for payment methods and ticket delivery options.
Lastly, the most successful events are full of excitement and attention from others. Generate that feeling by encouraging sharing from your website and social media accounts and keep the conversation going in the comments section. When you focus on customer experience, you will be rewarded with more sales.