After going through the effort of arranging a date, venue, catering and speakers for your B2B event, the last thing you want is a low number of delegates who attend on the day.
Sure, quality of delegates is always better than quantity, but you still want to attract as many people as possible to learn about your business, products or services.
Simple digital marketing tools can make a big impact to increase event delegates and awareness of your event too, regardless of your sector, event size or location.
Follow these 4 areas of digital marketing below to maximise your event promotion activities...
Create event landing page
You must have some sort of web page where people can sign-up to the event. This page will form the basis of your other digital marketing activities.
On the web page, remember to include information such as date, time, venue, parking, key speakers and what delegates can expect to learn from the event. The page must also contain a contact form where people can fill in their details to subscribe to the event.
As well as your web page, it may be a good idea to use an event managing tool, like web-based Eventbrite. On Eventbrite you can create an event landing page, as well as monitor ticket sales and collect delegate information. Delegates also get tickets to print off for the event too.
The tool also automatically sends reminders to delegates to make sure they attend and you can analyse what social media platform has achieved the most amount of delegates. A great free tool that takes a lot of the burden away from emailing delegates individually.
Invite contacts by email
If you have a database of contacts already, then invite them along to the event by email. Simply send a short email to the potential attendees asking if they would like to come along.
The chances are that some of your database may include old customers - but don't be afraid of inviting them along too. If you're selling a new product or service, your previous customers should know just how great you are already, and therefore be more interested in re-converting as a new customer.
Likewise, those people in your database that haven't registered as a warm lead, let alone a customer, should be invited along too. At this stage, its hard to see where they are positioned in the buyer's decision making process. Time is a great forgiver in this instance, and by sending the email invitation to them, you can judge whether they are ready to take the next step down the sales funnel.
h, one more thing, when you do send out your emails, make sure you include a strong, action-oriented call-to-action that links to the event landing page. People like to press buttons, and as long as the call-to-action is positioned in the top half of your email, you can expect a click-through rate of 72%, compared with 47% if it is situated in the bottom half of the email.
More clicks means more engagement and a better chance of more delegates, so think carefully about your email.
You need to promote your event through your social media accounts. Whether you're on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus or any other platform, sharing your event details WILL result in more attendees.
These guys and girls that follow you on social media have already registered their interest in you. Offering them a chance to come to your event could turn them into genuine leads.
Remember to mix up your messages to make sure you don't come across as too spammy. Post images of speakers, tweet videos of event preperation, but more importantly, share the event landing page.
For B2B events more specifically, its a great idea to focus some of your attention on LinkedIn, described as the 'professional social media platform'. Share content through your personal and company pages, as well as creating discussions in industry relevant groups.
On another note, make sure you use a hashtag for your event to monitor and analyse what people say. Include it on all your tweets, collatoral and presentation slides too. This further enhances the relationship between you and a lead, hopefully resulting in new business.
Blog about it
Blogs can serve many purposes prior to the event.
Firstly, as blogs perform so well in search engine results, providing you've included some great long-tail keywords, the chances are you are going to entice new contacts to your website and potentially to the event. These event-focussed blogs though, need to be good reads and include a nice, chunky call-to-action to get people signed-up.
Blogs also act as a great way to attract those contacts who have not registered their attendance for the event yet. As long as they are blog subscribers they will be able to read your new posts and hopefully be persuaded into coming to the event.
Finally, use your blog to write about the event after it has happened. Not everyone may be able to get to the event, even if they are warm leads, so feedback on your blog about what happened at the event and share it via social media and perhaps a follow up email too.
Yes, they can be difficult to organise, but using digital marketing to promote B2B events shouldn't be. At your disposal you have free broadcasting tools that reach billions of people around the world. The chances are, if you implement digital marketing effectively, you will get your target audience knocking on your door asking for an invite.
Good luck with the event!