Take Your Event Promotion To The Next Level With A Multi-Format Instagram Strategy

Organizing an event is no easy feat. But as event organizers and promoters, we know that’s totally up your alley. However, if event promotion is painful and challenging, you’ve come to the right place. To reach a wider audience and draw people to the event, we understand it’s crucial to use effective and creative marketing strategies. With an estimated 1 billion active users every month, Instagram as a platform for event promotions is a no-brainer. 

This visual-first platform can really catapult event organizers’ efforts to reach a wider audience and increase engagement with potential guests, to newer heights. Because it has a good mix of formats, you can really use Instagram to create unique and engaging content that will stand out, turning your event into an audience-magnet. In this blog, we’ll explore how using different Instagram formats can maximize your event promotion. Also, watch out for some quick-and-dirty that’ll really elevate your promotion campaigns.

In this blog we’ll cover:

  • Available formats (and tools!) on instagram
  • How to leverage reels
  • All about Instagram Stories and how to use them to your advantage
  • Using photos as a powerful event promotion tool
  • Bonus tips (we know you love them!)

Instagram and its available formats (and tools!)

Instagram is a visual-heavy platform. It boasts of a platform that isn’t intimidating at all! And honestly, if you’ve reached this far, congratulations, because we know you’re serious about putting in place an effective strategy leveraging a platform that’s – wait for it – the 9th most-Googled search term (according to Hootsuite). Instagram offers a unique combination of formats for creating content – reels, stories, and photos. Reels are short-form videos that can be used to showcase fun snippets of events. These can be as long as 90 seconds, but the shortest of them all – 15-second reels have been touted as the most popular. Stories may include photos or videos with stickers, text overlays, and music, that disappear after 24 hours. Photos can be used to post high-quality images of events or product launches. Each format comes with its own strengths and can be used to create unique content that will engage potential guests.

Instagram Reels

Reels are fun and addictive. In as little as 15 seconds (and up to 90) you can excite, engage, and draw your audience to show up at your event. Apart from persuading your audience to attend your event, reels can also be used to showcase key highlights of the event – speakers or performers, any special activities that will be taking place, a prominent venue, or even high-profile people that may be attending. Reels are an exceptionally good tool to showcase behind-the-scenes footage or exciting moments from a previous leg of the event. 

How to use reels to promote your event

The great thing about reels is that they make content easy to digest. So, while the relatively longer 30, 60, and 90-second formats are at your disposal, do not shy away from getting creative with the shorter 15-second reel format. When creating reels for your event, it is imperative to keep the content fun and engaging. The thumbnail image can make or break the impact you’re aiming to create with your reels. So, pay good attention to your reel thumbnails – quirky, powerful, and high res, basically eye-catching images would really take your reels up a notch! While longer captions work best, there’s no set rule – you want to always tailor your caption in length, tone, and content based on what your reel includes and what your campaign aims to achieve. But, as a rule of thumb, your captions should be aligned with the messaging in your reel. Take advantage of call-to-actions. Finally, make sure to include relevant hashtags in the caption so that people can easily find your content when searching for related topics. They are an easy format to build up interest and excitement for your event which will draw traffic to your event ticketing page, especially if you post a direct link to it in your profile (which you should be doing! Click here to set up ticketing with the help of Ticket Fairy and sell 20% more tickets.)

Here are some examples to help you ideate and get started:

  • A reel showcasing a quick tour of the venue:
    This works especially if the venue is grand and beautiful, or a place of heritage, or even an audience-favorite!
  • A reel showcasing talent:

You don’t have to have their introductions take up space. Instead, simply use the text tool for their name and designation to show up in lower-thirds, and have them say something interesting to get the audience looking forward to the event. Alternatively, you may show quick-cuts featuring the many influential people who will attend, present, host, or perform at the event. This will truly entice your audience. You can also collaborate with artists and ticket companies to have some enticing reels created. Take cue from this reel Ticket Fairy created for NYC and Philadephia based Drum and Bass event coordinator Driven AM:


  • A reel showing exciting moments from the event:

Don’t have footage? Of course, the event hasn’t yet taken place. But, that does not mean you cannot use event footage – go back to a previous edition of your event, or if the event isn’t a recurring one, why not use footage from any other previous events that were a resounding success. That way, your reel could say something like “from the creators of the famous event…we bring to you, once again, a truly invigorating experience” and establish trust. The audience would immediately be convinced because of a previously successful event (which some of them may have missed), that the upcoming one will be worth it (which they will now not want to miss).

  • A reel introducing special activities at the event:

This is an easy-to-create reel and in the absence of recorded footage, you may also use indicative, stock footage. What’s better? Stock footage is high-res and that would automatically ensure high-quality reels. You do want to be mindful of size and quality guidelines, but here’s a cheat sheet for quick reference.

  • A reel featuring behind-the-scenes footage of preparations:

People love a good backstory. Behind-the-scenes footage would show your audience all that effort you put in to bring them the most premium experience. This will definitely increase their trust in and affinity towards your event and brand. The execution can be as simple as footage of your team at work, the location – basically teasing the audience with just enough to get them excited – with relevant music to set the mood. Pull the track from those available instead of having music on an edited video. In fact, this type of reel can easily be created from within the app, without the use of a video editor.

Bonus tip: To be able to upload 4K videos on Instagram, head to Settings > Account > Data Usage > “High Quality Uploads” option, and switch it on.

Instagram Stories

Every Instagram user knows that Stories are a great way to engage people – both, followers and non-followers. The great thing about Instagram Stories is that there are a number of tools you can use – stickers, text overlays, filters, music, and more! One thing to remember is that Stories disappear after 24 hours. But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact, you want to use that to your advantage and create content that does the job because it won’t be available for long. They are meant to be impermanent pieces of content that tease your target audiences with content and experiences that only your event can produce.

How to use stories to promote your event

Stories are a great engagement tool, and they can also be used to tease your audience. To make the most of your event promotion efforts through Stories, get creative with and find inspiration in the tools and features available – stickers such as polls or questions, GIFs, filters, and music, among others. For a music event, instead of revealing the artist in early promotions, you can overlay mood-setting music that amplifies the theme of the music, As you get closer to revealing more details, you can then use Stories to promote your featuring artist’s music which will give your target audience a taste of what to expect at the event. Additionally, make sure to include relevant hashtags in the caption so people can easily find your content when searching for related topics. You can always hide the hashtag by sliding it outside the frame.

Like what you just read? Here are some more examples:

  • A story introducing speakers or performers at the event:

Stories also provide an opportunity for interaction with potential guests by allowing them to ask questions or share their thoughts on the event. You could also simply have a celebrity guest talk into the story and persuade the audience to attend the event.

  • A story giving viewers a sneak peek of what’s in store at the event:

This need not be as heavily-edited as a reel. The beauty of Stories is that you can – even as an established brand – be candid.

  • A story announcing limited-period offers on tickets:

This is the simplest story you could create here. Have your agency or team create a GIF (let it be a video file though, as you can currently only upload image and video files on Stories) of the offer – this could be the discount (or freebies) you’re willing to offer with some moving design elements that match the aesthetic of your larger event campaign. Then, simply post this on your Stories with an additional text that reads “Offer valid till this story is live”, and include a link to your ticketing page. On the backend, let the discount be enabled only for 24 hours from the story going live.

  • A story introducing special activities at the event:

This is, again, an easy-to-achieve idea as you can simply add in indicative stock photos or recorded footage (our recommendation) from previous events, showcasing the variety of activities one can engage in at your event.

  • A story highlighting behind-the-scenes footage of preparations:

We know we’re repeating ourselves but Stories are a great place to be as candid as you’d like. The stage is being built? Simply turn on your camera, say hi, and show us the stage being built in action – as simple as – Point the camera to your shoes while walking up to the stage and then turn it up to show your audience the stage. You can add some mood-creating music to your Story with the text reading “Getting set up” or say something similar, like, “We’re almost ready to host you all, and we’re so excited!”.

Illustration of woman sitting near life-sized Instagram post for Instagram strategy and event promotion for social media plan

Instagram Photos

For the average Instagram Business account, 48.9% of all main feed posts are photos, while 31.8% are videos and 19.3% are carousel posts (Source: Hootsuite). Photos are static, but they’re definitely not boring. And while Instagram’s algorithm may push reels, photos still remain an effective tool, if used correctly. Photos provide an opportunity for creating visually appealing content that will draw people’s attention to the event. So, let your event photos and graphics be loud, powerful, and impressive. Definitely high-res too! 

How to use photos to promote your event

Use them as standalone photos or leverage carousels. While resolution and overall aesthetic quality of your visual content is important, what you say through your graphics is just as crucial. If you’re short on time to have graphics created with text on them, simply share a carousel of high-res images and say what you have to in the caption. Goes without saying that your caption should at all times be in sync with the contents of your graphic and you want to use hashtags that are certainly relevant and not randomly chosen. Relevant hashtags in the caption will also make it so that people will be able to easily find your content when searching for related topics.

Ready for a little inspiration? Here are some examples:

  • A photo introducing performers or speakers at the event:

Just a really good headshot along with a write-up in the caption. Or, a carousel of the talent’s headshot and write-up in the image. With photos, the simpler you keep them, the more powerful they’ll be.

  • A photo giving viewers a sneak peek of what’s in store at the event:

You could certainly use the carousel here, especially if you have a bunch of value propositions to highlight. Quick, raw shots of the building process and stage set-up is always a treat for your audience, creating anticipation for the night (or day) of the event. Imagine a black-and-white carousel of artists during live soundchecks-your audience will get so pumped up to attend the concert!

  • A photo featuring exciting moments from the event:

Picture a really dramatic image of a guitarist lost in trance while playing a solo. Or a capture of the audience dancing and enjoying themselves. Such images, although static in format, really bring alive the experience at, say, concerts. The same is true for live captures of the audience cheering a leader that floored them with their speech.

  • A photo introducing special activities at the event:

For these, you can use captures from a previous event or have graphics created as teaser posters that would enlist the activities. We highly recommend using bold imagery to showcase activities, like you would to highlight exciting moments.

  • A photo highlighting behind-the-scenes footage of preparations:

Ever caught yourself smiling when browsing through smiling photos of others? Clicks that show people in action or as excited and animated tend to have a similar effect on the audience. This is a good opportunity to show all the hard work but also capture and share all that behind-the-scenes fun your team has while putting together an event.

Bonus tips for promoting your event with Instagram:

  • Create consistent content: Consistency is key when creating content for your event on Instagram. You should aim to post regularly across formats (Reels, Stories, and Photos) to keep your followers engaged and interested in your events. At the same time, you want your messaging and aesthetics to be aligned and consistent with your overall campaign.
  • Use hashtags strategically: Hashtags are a great way to make your content more visible on Instagram by allowing people who don’t follow you yet to find your content when searching for related topics. Make sure to use relevant hashtags in each post in order to reach a wider audience. Take advantage of the most trending hashtags and use the ones that apply to your content and event. Also, you want to create a unique hashtag for your event that you can use for giveaways and other audience-engagement activities,  and also keep a track of the performance of your campaign through reach, engagements, and other metrics, across platforms.
  • SEO is important, on Instagram as well: The better your content performs, the more it will be pushed on Instagram. SEO can really help set you up for success on Instagram too. Optimize your graphic and video assets, use SEO keywords in your captions, and carefully-chosen hashtags in post captions and Stories. Also, include alt-text – you’ll find this option next to ‘tag photo’ once you upload your photo within the app; you can also go back and edit in alt-text on event photos you may have already posted.
  • Point to your event ticketing page through your posts: If you are selling tickets online, make sure to include a link in your bio, and a call-to-action in post captions that directs your audience to the link in your bio. This way, you’re not delaying the purchase once a viewer is hooked and decides they want to attend your event. You can additionally include these links in your Instagram post caption, only that you’d want to shorten the links using clients like Bitly and customize the back half of your shortlink. This will make it easier for potential guests to buy tickets and increase ticket sales.
  • Plan for pre, during, and post-event content: You want to create a bank of event content to bring attention and interest to your event, highlight the unforgettable and iconic moments of your event, and create a second life for it by posting and sharing content after the event ends (create a relevant hashtag for attendees to upload their original photos of them at your event and share those posts on your Instagram Stories or Photos after your event ends).

Using different Instagram formats is a great way to maximize your event promotion efforts on this platform. By creating engaging content in each format and using hashtags strategically, you can reach a wider audience and draw more people to your events. Additionally, including links to your event ticketing page in your posts will make it easier for potential event goers eventgoers to buy tickets and increase ticket sales. You can easily set up your event page using Ticket Fairy. To find out more, visit the website today.

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