September 05, 2022
By Mike Fletcher

Are you still relying solely on traditional event marketing channels to promote your face-to-face activity?

Event promotion strategies are evolving at pace. Marketers wishing to keep-up and exceed engagement targets and registration goals need to experiment with both organic and paid content across a broader range of platforms.

Understanding when to bust out a TikTok viral trend, target a time-poor senior exec on LinkedIn or bring your show features to life across the airwaves will help you to build richer, more effective event promotion strategies.

Build on the creative ingenuity of your teams by adding new channels to your integrated marketing campaigns - providing enhanced opportunities for your messaging and content to really hit home.

TikTok

Integrating TikTok into your event promotion strategies will provide extensive organic reach without the roadblock of having to build a following, as is often the case with other social networks.

All you need to boost awareness, ticket sales and audience engagement is engaging content and the right targeted audience for your campaign.

For content inspiration, tap into TikTok viral trends and find something relevant and entertaining that you can either encourage your audience to participate in or create content around.

Alternatively, why not run an hashtag contest with prizes such as free event tickets for the first 100 uploads. Or, start your own unique challenge and recruit influencers from your targeted sector to get involved and drive participation.

Promoting an event or challenge hashtag will create an influential effect on a larger audience, encouraging them to impulsively create content before, during and after your event.

Don’t forget to repost. Reposting drives audience loyalty and excitement and helps to keep the content fresh on your feed.

Remember: When looking for your audience on TikTok, don’t focus on traditional demographics such as age, gender or location. Instead, think about what interests them. This will help you to connect to groups and subcultures that are more authentic to your event and to post more relevant content.

LinkedIn Conversation Ads

Leverage the popularity of messaging apps by allocating budget for LinkedIn Conversation Ads. They’re ideal for B2B event marketers striving for lead generation or to boost website visits.

At least two call-to-action buttons and a link to a webpage or registration form also makes them perfect for engaging with busy senior executives (who may have otherwise not had the time to reply), or with prospects who predominantly use LinkedIn on mobile.

Personalise your event marketing message and offer potential registrants or event sponsors ‘choose your path’ response options followed by suggested actions, such as ‘visit our website’, ‘sign-up for our newsletter’, ‘find out more’ or ‘register your interest’.

Remember: Messages are only sent when the recipient is active on LinkedIn. This results in an increased chance of conversion as your prospect is in the right frame-of-mind to interact. Conversation ads allow you to shift from one-sided marketing messages to an interactive conversation. This means that only interested parties will engage, thus ensuring quality leads.

Podcasts

For an event marketing channel that will help you to bring your conference programme or show features to life pre-event, record a podcast series featuring interviews with speakers, sponsors or experts in their field.

A series of 12 to 15 podcast episodes can build anticipation for attendees - helping people to discover and engage more closely with your event brand.

During the event itself, offer your audience bonus episodes recorded live at the venue. Mobile apps such as Ringr make it easier than ever to record professional-sounding interviews with guests, using just your mobile phone. These can then be downloaded, edited and turned into podcast episodes with ease.

Remember: Audio conversations can create a more intimate connection with your event attendees and can offer added value to sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. By integrating series podcasting into your wider event promotion strategies, you’ll have audio snippets for social, shareable visuals for each episode and an archive of on-demand chats that will help to build community and attract new listeners.

Omni-channel effectiveness

The most effective way to promote your event is through multi-channel activity and a series of coordinated content-led campaigns.

These could range from the channels outlined above, in tandem with more traditional marketing formats such as email, PR and paid digital.

Knowing which channel will drive attendance and which channel will boost awareness and grow community, allows you to tailor accordingly.

For example, use your newsletter subscriber list and the blog channel on your event’s website to engage with your existing attendee community by publishing highlight videos, positive attendee testimonials and photography.

Regular content of this type will improve your site’s organic SEO, and drive FOMO amongst a loyal attendee base. However, in order to reach wider audience prospects and to grow awareness, you should also guest post blog articles on associated trade magazine websites, partner with relevant associations on engaging email campaigns, plus tap into PR and industry influencers.

Cvent CONNECT Europe - taking place online and at the Intercontinental London - The O2 from 4-6 October 2022 - will explore further how to integrate non-traditional event marketing platforms into an omni-channel approach that's right for your event promotion strategies. Register for your in-person or online pass here.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.
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