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Last year I started working with a team on our first major web project (We, the Pixels). I believe the idea is very solid, but it has a hard requirement for a group of people being on the site for the randomly scheduled events. We are having problems getting people to come and stay for these events.

What is the proper marketing approach needed to bring people to the site for these events? We have recently done the following in an attempt to fix the problem:

  • Added email notification of new events being created
  • Added privileges based on rank
  • Added text throughout the site encouraging setting up the events in the future so other users can have time see that it exists.
  • Gotten involved in with other communities that would find the site interesting in order to promote (market) the site
  • Advertised using Google Adwords

Is there an standard marketing approach for such a case as this?

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Probably a disadvantage to have stuff behind a registration window. I know that it turned me off, I like to try before I invest time with a signup. –  Kzqai Feb 5 '13 at 22:55
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Having users participate in an event is asking for them to make a huge commitment. Only people who are really dedicated to the site will show up for a scheduled event, because the entrance barrier is so high (they need to set time aside, etc.)

From what I see, you are trying to get people who aren't dedicated to your site to participate in your event, by running ads to people who definitely aren't dedicated to show up for a scheduled event. Social media won't work, unless you have dedicated followers, and you wont: your dedicated followers will be on your website. Advertising on other communities will also not work, because those people are dedicated to other communities, not your own.

What you need to do is build up a solid group of people dedicated to your site. To start, contact the people who are using your site, and build connections with them, and make the site a greater priority for them. Then, get more people to join your community, and make sure that they are connected as well. When you schedule an event, if your audience is dedicated, you should get lots of participants.

Having a forum or some other place where your users can interact is really important for this: otherwise you will not build any sort of community which is essential for getting members to interact.

And also, you might want to let less people do more things for a bit. Right now it seems like people can only edit a certain amount of pixels, but when you don't have a lot of users, you might want to consider letting people do more, so that they can participate more and get more out of your community. Once you get more participation, you could lower that number.

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It sounds like social media campaigns might be the way forward in your case, Facebook events, Twitter hashtags, things like that - you not only want people who are already online, but have the time to check out your site for the event.

From looking at your site maybe you should make it easy for people to share that they have been on the site and contributed to something, this will encourage their friends to go on (again, this would be at the time of the event, given the nature of social media).

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As @Toby says Social Media is probably the best place to start but there are also services like meetup, eventful, yahoo groups, linkedin groups, and meetin which are specifically designed for organizing social gatherings. –  toomanyairmiles Feb 6 '12 at 20:38
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