There’s no denying the power behind a highly-targeted, cost-effective digital marketing campaign. In today’s tech-absorbed culture, you can reach and connect with the biggest audience through the tiniest of screens. That’s why digital marketing is a must-do when launching and promoting an event. It will not only help get the word out, but also extend the in-person connections that events make possible, and ultimately boost your bottom line.
If digital marketing is so great, why should I even bother with events?
For many companies, especially those in the B2B world, buyers still want to make – and rely on – a human connection. Purchasing decisions are greatly influenced by a vendor’s perceived expertise and their peers’ direct experience with the vendor. Without events, a company is missing out on a unique opportunity to share its expertise and customer success stories, both of which can create lasting impressions. According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report, using in-person events as part of a content marketing strategy has a 75% effectiveness rating. Webinars have a rating of 66%.
Whether you’re a small company that wants the exposure of a live webinar or a large company that needs the face-to-face interaction of a trade show, promoting your event through a digital marketing campaign will allow you to maximize your event investment. In-person and online events can be expensive, as indicated by the following budget allocation chart. Twenty percent of your budget isn’t pocket change!
So how exactly can I use digital marketing to help me get the most from my event spend?
An event isn’t going to promote itself. There’s no simpler, more cost-effective way to build buzz before and after an event than social media. Companies should use social media support to boost engagement and visibility across the social media landscape.
Another cost-effective way to target your event audience at the right time is email. It’s a personal channel, which makes it an ideal way to build excitement for events, get people to register, remind them of the event, and share post-event highlights and follow up campaigns.
Through your blog content, you engage and connect with your target audience while demonstrating your expertise. A post about the event can build exposure and boost brand awareness. And we all know that Google loves fresh content, so writing about your event and publishing it to your website can also improve search rankings.
Please, for the love of everything good, don’t waste money publishing another “traditional” press release. Many business don’t realize that blogging is an important aspect of PR. By combining a strong blog post with personalized media outreach, you are offering journalists more “meat” and less fluff, so they will be more likely to take notice.
Website optimization is essential for an effective digital marketing campaign. A user-friendly landing page should clearly communicate the benefits of attending the event and make it simple to sign up and/or register. Use keywords and engaging meta-titles and descriptions – ones that people would actually type into a search engine. Relevant keywords will also boost organic results on Google.
Spending thousands of dollars to sponsor coffee at a trade show may get your logo on a sign, but it isn’t likely to provide the lead and contact data you need to get a return on your investment. Data provides tangible results. Capture contacts who engage with you before, during and after the event. This information is “gold” when your objective is to convert leads into customers (and if that isn’t your objective, you may want to find a new career path). Data allows you to see where your customers are coming from, so you can determine which strategies are working and which aren’t. By constantly measuring results and performance, you can adjust your marketing efforts where it will matter most.
Thanks for allowing us to drop a little knowledge. We hope you find it helpful. When you’re ready to promote the heck out of your next event, partner with the team you can trust — like a friend — On Advertising. We have the digital expertise you need to get the most from your event marketing investment.