How to Market B2B Events Effectively for High Attendance
B2B event marketing is a powerful tool to have at your disposal. Events can help you build your brand awareness or help you form meaningful connections with your customers and community. Likewise, events can help customers get a better understanding about your offerings, which can increase your profits and sales.
In fact, around a third of B2B marketers believe that event marketing is the most effective marketing channel. Over 95% say that live events provide all attendees with a valuable opportunity to form authentic, in-person connections. When it comes to the attendees, live events help 65%, on average, develop a better understanding of your brand, product, or service. Around 84% say that they have a more positive opinion of the brand and product after attending one such event. What’s more, some 70% of users will become regular customers.
It should come as no surprise to anyone, as over 87% of C-suite execs are planning to invest more in live events in the future. Be it a concert, a trade show, a conference, or seminar, among others, only by promoting your events will you hope to draw in enough people to make it worth your while.
There are plenty of things that go into planning and executing an event. In this article, we will be focusing on how to best market it to your target audience and develop a sound event marketing strategy. Below are some of the most effective event promotion ideas that you can use to increase your event attendance.
If you have an event coming up, the first step in attracting potential attendees is to create a Facebook Event for it. You can do the same with LinkedIn Events. These are great tools to spread the word and provide your target audience with valuable information. Likewise, you can use these tools to interact and respond directly to their comments and questions.
This will not only provide more overall visibility, but it will also ensure that people will see which of their social media friends and connections are attending. What’s more, the amount of information you can provide via these digital platforms will increase the likelihood of their attendance.
You can add the venue’s address and have it pop up on a map, which can give them directions on how to get there. If tickets or registration is required, you can add a CTA and a link redirecting them to the appropriate landing pages.
Remember to create the event using the company’s social media page, not your own. Try incorporating several keywords so that people can find your event more easily in their searches. Once it’s up and running, don’t forget to link it to your other social media platforms and drive as much traffic to it as possible.
Use Video Content
Today, if you really want to attract crowds of people, simply using social media isn’t going to cut it. Incorporating video content into your event marketing strategy will greatly increase the response rate. As such, you will need an original, high-quality event promo video. This should showcase all the reasons and benefits of attending your event. Make sure to add a clear CTA for people to share the video and save the date for the upcoming event.
Sponsored Content and Dynamic Ads on LinkedIn
Say, you’ve convinced a group of company executives, several key customers, and some top prospects to join your event. But by looking at the total number of attendees, you’re running the risk of greeting everyone with a half-empty room. This is the last thing you’ll want. If you fail to fill in the majority of seats, those that show up will notice and begin doubting or second-guessing your brand and product.
To drive optimal registrations and get people to attend events, it’s a good idea to use LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Dynamic Ads. Be it in the form of text, image, video, or a photo carousel, sponsored content will appear directly in LinkedIn users’ feeds. You can use this tool to give a preview of your event, guest speakers, and thought leaders that will be taking part.
Once your audience is made aware, and their interest is piqued, you can start using dynamic ads to drive registration rates. These ads will appear in the users’ sidebars. They use LinkedIn profile data to place each user’s photo, company, and job title next to a photo from the event, like a keynote speaker’s headshot. Dynamic Ads will help viewers envision themselves at your event, meeting your speakers.
Use Your Partners’ and Speakers’ Networks
Don’t forget to make use of your extended networks. If you’re hosting speakers or panelists, ask them to invite their networks on their social media channels or via their company channels. If your speakers are influencers or thought leaders in your industry, they will also have a well-established network of like-minded people.
Make it easy for your guests to invite their followers and connections by providing them with material that can easily be shared via cut and paste. Similarly, if your staff members are part of different networking or industry groups, ask them to do the same.
Sales Automation platforms like Reply.io and Outreach are great for inviting ideal prospects to your event. What makes these platforms effective at event marketing is their ability to get into a prospects inbox. These email platforms do this by sending a low volume of text based emails so spam filters cannot discern if this email message is a transactional conversation or a marketing message. Most of these platforms advise you to only send up to 400 emails a day per email account, so it’s wise to set up multiple email accounts to increase your volume.
We often see that 30% or more of our event marketing efforts are coming from our sales automation platforms Click To Tweet even though we send a fraction of the email compared to our mass email campaigns. Again it’s all about getting into the inbox and sales automation if very effective at doing just that.
Beyond launching LinkedIn sponsored ads, there are a lot of tools on the market that will help you connect with your ideal prospects on Linkedin and send them automated event invites. It’s important to understand however, that there is some gray area here. The use of these third party apps technically violate your LinkedIn user agreement and can get your account suspended. However, LinkedIn lost their legal suit which attempted to prohibit people using these third party tools and scraping Linkedin data. So while it isn’t illegal to use these apps, LinkedIn can reserve the right to suspend you and your employees’ accounts should you opt to use them. However, as a direct result of them being deemed legal, the LinkedIn third party app market has really opened up with various ways to connect and communicate with your ideal prospects in an automated fashion. Similar to sales automation platforms the good thing about Linkedin messages is they get into the inbox. So while these third party tools can help you get the word out about your event, you will be limited to the number of connection invites and messages you can send per day. The limit in general is under 100 invites a day. Ultimately, this is a classic risk-reward scenario, one that depending on how reliant you or your business is on your LinkedIn account may make the risk of account suspension simply not worth it.
Start As Early As Possible
The sooner you start marketing your event, the better it will be. Just think of the movie industry and how much advertising goes into promotion. While your event may not be geared toward such an audience, starting as early as possible will increase the chances of more people attending.
If you have several months in lead time, you can start with teasers to generate a lot of curiosity and discussion. Starting your marketing campaign just a month or several weeks in advance, will not allow you this privilege. By posting regular updates and relevant information, you will be able to build and maintain interest and engagement. Basically, the longer you promote, the more time you will give your target audience to decide whether to add your event to their schedule.
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