Tips on Real-Time Event Digital Marketing
Events help you capitalize on an already engaged audience and gain increased exposure.
Whether you're an attendee, manning a conference booth or hosting your own promotional event, today's technology offers some cool ways to promote your brand and position yourself as a thought leader.
Industry events in particular are ideal opportunities for reaching targeted audiences. The subject matter is of interest to attendees - they're there to learn new things and make connections. But just because you'll have access to an already engaged audience, don't assume that keeping them engaged will be easy. There will be other vendors or rival companies competing for their attention.
Here are a few tips to boost engagement at your next industry event.
- Create Specific Objectives and a Strategy.
Whether it's about growing your customer list, building your reputation as a thought leader or driving more attendees to your next event, establishing measurable objectives keeps you focused. Once you've determined what your objectives are, develop a clear strategy for how you plan to meet your objectives. Showing up and passing out business cards won't cut it.
- Social Media Marketing.
As you plan your event promotion strategy, consider which social media channels are appropriate for your audience. Depending on your role (attendee, thought leader, host, etc.) think about experimenting with some new approaches or apps. If you plan to do a good bit of live event marketing, plan what platform you'll use and get familiar with it.
Periscope, Facebook live, and Snapchat are great choices for real-time marketing and engagement. If you are running an event, you may want to create event-specific Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles. There are also some outstanding event apps that allow you to manage registration, run polls and provide interactive maps. Use social media marketing to build pre-event energy with your audience. If the event already has a hashtag, start using it. If appropriate, create your own and use them consistently.
Check the event website for schedules, speakers and the sessions you know you'll attend. Think about the questions you'll ask during panel discussions. Send out requests ahead of time to interview speakers. Consider pertinent event advertising relevant to your objectives. Follow panel members or other thought leaders who'll be in attendance online.
- Develop and Schedule Your Content.
Live event marketing should be a part of your strategy, but the beauty of technology and automation tools is the ability to plan ahead and schedule. Pre-planning will give you the flexibility you need while at the event.
If social media ad placement is appropriate, take care of that in advance. Also, pre-plan your post-event blog content. Develop as much of it ahead of time as possible. Once the event has concluded, you can simply insert quotes, statistics or video clips and be ready to publish.
While you're at the event you have an opportunity to shine in real-time and leverage your pre-event strategizing.
Live-blogging is a fantastic way to generate interest, draw attention to your message and gain followers. Live-blog an entire event or select key moments that are critical to your objectives. When developing your messaging, remember that you want to build trust with your audience. Don't make it all about you and your pitch. When you share information that is useful, relevant and entertaining, you'll generate loyal followers.
- MORE Social Media Marketing.
Hopefully, you've produced some pre-event enthusiasm. Now you need to keep it going and continue to promote your brand. As you attend sessions, post information like:
- Useful statistics
- Photos, including notable selfies
- Video clips
- Funny quotes, etc.
Be sure to give credit to and tag presenters and organizers of the event. Not only does this increase your reach, but it improves your odds of gaining shares from those you tag and their followers.
- Join Conversations.
Don't lose sight of the importance of interactivity within your social media marketing. Engagement isn't one-sided.
- Comment on what others are saying about the event, the presentations or your posts.
- Encourage others to share content and experiences.
- Give folks an opportunity to follow you if that's part of your objective.
- Collect blog or email signups.
Event Promotion Wrap-Up
It's important to act quickly as people lose interest in following event hashtags and info once they return to their daily routine. This is where you'll be very grateful for the time you invested in pre-event content development!
- Simply dress up your blog with standout quotes, images or video clips, be sure to include the appropriate tags and publish! Timeliness is crucial when it comes to post-event promotion.
- Follow-up with new contacts. Send thank you notes, answer questions or share meaningful photos wherever applicable.
- Did you meet your stated objective? Always assess your results and keep refining your promotional eventstrategies!
Industry events can be fun, productive and great opportunities for building brand awareness. By putting these tips to work at your next event, you’ll make the best use of your time and capitalize on an already engaged audience.