There’s no doubt about it: We live in a wired world where Social media is no longer a pastime. If you’re not capitalizing on the power of social media and other forms of digital media to promote your next conference or event, then you’re missing out. Social media can be a game-changer, opening up new lines of communicating between you and your target market to increase registration and generate buzz around your event or conference. But … how?
1. Create a Marketing Plan
Without a plan, you can wind up wasting precious time without yielding quantifiable, meaningful results. To maximize impact, your digital marketing strategy should be integrated. That means that the moving parts should be interconnected to improve engagement and – ultimately – your return on investment.
Central to a marketing plan is an event website that you can direct prospective guests to for more information and, of course, to register! The next step is to ensure that you can direct traffic to your website. This can be done via e-mail blasts, blogs, social media platforms or a combination! Once you’ve set up your social media pages, blog platform and e-mail distribution tools, then the real planning begins. How frequently will you reach out to your target market to share new information? And what is your content strategy? Answer these questions now and your marketing strategy will be more focused and fruitful.
2. Add Video to Your Event Page
When it comes to events, video clips are the ultimate teasers. A picture may be worth a 1000 words but a video is worth a coveted ‘click.’ That ‘click’ buys you time to spread your message, whether it’s offering the viewer a personal invitation to your conference or event, making exciting announcements or introducing your keynote speakers. Use Vimeo or YouTube to bring life to your event website and social media channels. While producing promotional and informational videos can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
When securing your speaker or entertainment, try inserting a request for a short promo video into the contract. You can either send someone over to shoot the video or ask that they set up their smart phone and shoot it themselves. When an engaging speaker gives a minute long video snap-shot of what guests can expect to gain at their keynote session, it’s far more persuasive than a written blurb sitting on your website or printed brochure. Be sure to promote the videos on your social media channels and include them in blog posts about your speakers.
3. Blog, Blog, Blog
Blogging is an excellent way to engage with both prospective and registered guests. Because you’re not limited by space as you are with social media posts (Twitter restricts you to 140 characters!), you have room to share substantive information about your upcoming event.
What exactly can you write about? The sky is the limit. Create blog posts about your keynote speakers, the event agenda and venue, industry hot topics and more. If you’ve hosted similar events in the past, share ‘success stories’ and be sure to let guests know what exciting, new changes to expect at this year’s event that will make it a greater success.
In order to post blog articles, you’ll need to create a blog tab on your event page. Once the blog is running and you start posting blog articles, you can promote the posts on your social media channels. At the end of each blog article, don’t forget to include your call to action. Encourage readers to “Register Now” and visit your website for more information.
4. Engage in Conversation
Social media channels are also your ticket to engagement. Many platforms – like Facebook and Twitter – allow your target audience to – quite literally – talk back, ask questions and share their ideas. This can provide invaluable insight into your guests’ needs and preferences. The ability to engage in dialogue also gives prospective attendees and registered guests the impression that your organization is a living, breathing, active entity. You can build relationships with attendees by engaging with them when they respond to your posts. Be sure to respond fairly promptly and with accurate information. And remember – you can be more casual with your tone online than you would otherwise be in printed marketing materials.
Social media is also a great way to share information and build excitement around your event. As your event approaches, your posts can help build excitement and anticipation. Frequency of posts should increase as the event date draws nearer. Use a combination of photos, videos and straight text posts to achieve this goal. Another way to really increase engagement and expand your exposure is through contests. Have your fans and followers “like,” “share” or “pin” your post for a chance to be entered to win a raffle prize or free registration.
So, now you have ideas about how to use social and digital media to improve your event marketing strategy… but are you prepared to manage these campaigns internally? SGP Conferences and Events. is dedicated to helping oversee all areas of your conference or event. Contact Susan Phillips and her team today to learn how you can create buzz online to boost registration and engagement …. and then make sure that your event itself is a success worth raving about.