Events

Whether a small business breakfast or a large conference, digital is a key part of your marketing mix to raise awareness of your event, and get more bums on seats.

We have more than 450 delegates booked onto our Nottingham Digital Summit, so I thought it would be good to share with you our event marketing techniques for promoting the summit, to help raise awareness and drive more ticket sales.

Here are our top tips for promoting your conference or event using digital event marketing.

1. Use Twitter to Get Bums on Seats

An effective Twitter events campaign will take into consideration the wide range of audiences you are addressing, as well as the kinds of content each of those audiences value, and a schedule of activity to keep your forthcoming event top of mind.

Consider:

  • Which potential delegates you want to reach
  • Which key influencers and influential Twitter personalities will share your event to their networks
  • Which of your core customer bases you want to engage with

Journalists love Twitter. They’re on there looking for up to date, relevant news stories, and your upcoming conference could be just that! The list feature on Twitter is a powerful way to discover relevant Twitter accounts. Lists are a curated selection of specific Twitter accounts created by individuals to find their way through the mass of information on Twitter.

Start by finding a specific journalist or key influencer you know on Twitter, and navigate to the list function at the top of their profile.

In this example, I’ve started with one journalist I know at the Nottingham Post, and found a list of other journalists there. I can use this list to outreach to other journalists who might be interested in our forthcoming event:

Nottingham Post Reporters Twitter List

Your next strategy on Twitter is to engage with your target community via hashtags. You will want to create your own event hashtag to bind together your event community, but in the early days of promoting your event, it will be much more useful to piggyback on well-known, existing tags that will enable you to engage with an existing well-defined community.

Consider hashtags by geography (#Nottingham) or by discipline {#digital #marketing), or indeed topical hashtags that are relevant and trending at the moment. This will help you to identify conversations that you can engage with.

Using these hashtag techniques are also a great way to create your Instagram strategy.

2. Start Blogging, Get Found on Search Engines

With word of your event now in full swing, you’ll want to make sure your event is easy to find on search engines.

Obviously working with a team on your search engine optimisation (SEO – cheeky plug, we offer this service… ) to ensure your website is well optimised for your key terms is important, so assuming you’ve done that, blogging is an incredibly valuable next step.

Think about how you can market your event through your blog. Updates on confirmed speakers always go down well, as do confirmations of venues and timings. Don’t be afraid to get more creative! Think rich media – could you film the event organiser talking about the event? Have you held the event before and could you invite past delegates to voice their thoughts? Could you share photos of the venue and layout? Perhaps there’s even an infographic opportunity – could you better portray what your event is about through an infographic?

Creating high quality, valuable, shareable content about your event will help your rankings and increase your chances of being the top result when people are looking for your event or conference by name – and when they’re looking more generically for your type of event.

For example, Vistage is the world leading network of chief executives and business leaders. They maintain a blog which works really well to engage their audience across a range of topics; so be sure to take a look at it.

3. Keep Up Momentum with a LinkedIn Group

Once people have signed up to your event, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with them. Allowing delegates to interact with one another is a great way to keep up the momentum around your event and gather more interest.

For B2B events, using the powerful features of LinkedIn, and specifically, LinkedIn Groups, is a great way to promote your events.

Remember the golden rule of social media marketing: it isn’t what you say about your own event that is important, it’s what other people are saying about you.

And of course, you should be using LinkedIn to leverage your own business relationships, as well as building new relationships.

In this example, the Loughborough based high tech industry membership body, LATi have created their own membership group, and the group moderator has shared our event across her network.

inkedIn group LATI digital summit

 

As you can see from the image above, LATI are providing our event with their endorsement, which is essential to getting their members to attend. They have provided the all-important link back to our event webpage where delegates can book their place. And of course, the LinkedIn post includes the visual appeal of our event image to help capture the reader’s attention.

LinkedIn isn’t the only place to create these types of communities. Do you have a forum area on your website you could utilise? If you have an active Facebook following, make sure you create an event page there. Could you create an event group on Google Plus?

Email marketing is another useful tool at this stage. Keep people informed with regular, but not overwhelming, email campaigns to build excitement and anticipation.

Keeping people engaged with your event or conference is a great way to maintain your event marketing.

4. Use Social Media Advertising to Target Your Demographic Market

Recommendation and referral is a powerful way to promote your event, but if you really need to reach large quantities of new potential delegates, then social media advertising just cannot be beaten.

Depending on your target market, each of the social platforms has specific advertising functionalities that enable you to define your audience demographics.

For B2B events, creating targeted LinkedIn ads allow you to create matched audiences, and we have focused on a combination of job titles, locations, and company sizes.

For a very small budget, we have had our content reach thousands of relevant business users, as measured by brand awareness impressions and a respectable click through of our targeted potential delegates clicking through to our site.

In the image below you can see our social media campaign to promote our event:

linkedin event advertising

 

5. When It’s All Over… Don’t Stop!

Using social media during your event is a great way to build engagement with your delegates… and also to lay the foundation for your next event in terms of building relationships.

Using an event hashtag is the perfect way to start conversations, fire up debate, and get your delegates networking with each other. Get your delegates sharing photos, asking questions and sharing helpful information.

Displaying a wall of live tweets during your event is another perfect way to drive engagement.

Everwall is a great application to display live tweets during your event, with useful tools to moderate and promote your best social engagement.

Everwall

Just because your event has finished, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to add value to the community you’ve built.

Have you collected a list of delegates and their contact details? You may decide that sending an email to all of them to thank them for attending is a nice way of representing your brand. If there have been speakers at the event, ask if you can share their presentation slides in this email: people will find it useful and it will remind them of what they took away from your event, keeping them interested for next time.

Also, don’t forget about those hashtags, groups and pages. Those people were interested in your event for a reason, so think about how you can continue to share valuable content with them after the event is done. This will help you particularly when you come to repeat the event – you’ve got a captive audience waiting for you.

Event Marketing Services from Hallam Internet

We hope you’ve taken some useful ideas from this post.

Event marketing has the potential to really boost your event profitability, but it can require a lot of time, resource and knowledge to get it right. If you’re interested in finding out more about our event marketing services here at Hallam, do get in touch via our contact page or give us a call. We’re able to support you in the run-up to the event, throughout the event and in the weeks and months that follow with SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing and offline marketing support.

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