10 Tips to Implement a Digital Marketing Strategy in Your Event

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While having face-to-face events is still the crowd-favourite format, the events industry has to take strides when it comes to digital marketing. Strategies from 10 years ago may no longer work since the digital landscape changes so much in short periods of time. What’s looming on the horizon—and which seems to be the current buzzword—is artificial intelligence. How will it affect our industry in the future? This is just one of the questions we have to keep asking as we adapt with the times.

Nowadays, event organisers still scramble every time they need to promote an upcoming event for varying reasons. Some have rigid systems that are out of touch with reality, while others collect too much data without knowing how to maximise it. Whatever your motivation is, here are 10 basic tips that you can implement to increase conversions for your next event.

1. Create an event website with a registration tool

This may seem like a staple requirement for current events, but some event organisers are still stuck in the past and simply send an email to their database with a Google Form registration link. This does not only make attendees lose confidence in your brand, it also does not afford them the information they need to come to your event.

Creating an attractive event website where you can lay out all the “why’s” and tell a story on how much the event will bring value to its attendees should be one of the first steps you should take into consideration months ahead of your event.

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2. Harness the power of social media

According to Statista, in 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide—a number projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027. The facility to connect with large numbers of people and the “viral” component of some marketing strategies still make social media a very powerful tool to market your events. A qualifier on which social media channel to use would be doing background research on where to find your target audience. For example, if you are advertising a symposium on cardiovascular health, your channel of choice may most probably be LinkedIn instead of Tiktok.

3. Be data-centric and use UTM parameters when tracking your online marketing channels

As mentioned above, you may surmise that gathering data is one thing—but knowing what to do with it is another important part of the equation. According to Skift, a leading source of meetings and events industry news, “55% of event professionals believe they don’t measure the success of their events well enough.”

It is therefore important to set the parameters of what constitutes success in your events. Is your organisation more concerned with ticket sales? The actual turnout? Or is it more methodical and base success on what your audience says within post-event surveys?

4. Send emails to your database of past attendees

Email marketing continues to triumph as a marketing tool. Thus, it is a good idea to build your database of previous attendees or even qualify potential ones when growing your emailing list. When sending emails, be concise since the average reader would only dedicate 10 seconds to get to the gist of your message, according to Statista. Use plain (not verbose) language on why they should come to your event. If the occasion calls for it, be creative and try embedding video clips since multimedia has a more profound effect on readers.

5. Create incentives when it comes to ticketing

While this is part of the financial aspect of your event planning, creating incentives in terms of ticketing is a classic move that fortunately still works today. The most common schemes would be offering an early bird discount to attendees, or group discounts for multiple ticket purchases. You may also partner with your sponsors and activate promo codes that they can specifically distribute themselves. This gives additional publicity to sponsoring companies and can dramatically increase ticket sales.

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6. Use SEO to build on a related keyword

In digital marketing, all strategies are welcome including being an authority site for a specific keyword. While this may take time to accomplish, you are able to reap benefits of a good SEO strategy since it leads to high (and continuous) organic traffic to your website. If your event website comes up on the first page of the search engine results, the chances of people visiting your site and availing of what you have to offer become higher. 

A general rule of thumb in 2023 is that good content defeats keyword density. Google now ranks websites according to how natural-sounding and valuable your content is. Create a network of blogs and invest in link-building, among others, to rank your website better.

7. Use PPC to boost sales

Related to the previous point on SEO, you may also delve into PPC (pay per click marketing) since this also applies to keyword searches in Google. The good thing about PPC is that you only need to pay for your ad once it’s clicked on.

If PPC is working as it should, the return on ad spend (ROAS) should also be high. However, you have to be smart about this in order to succeed. It’s not as simple as generating traffic through ad clicks. A good campaign consists of optimising the correct keywords, arranging these keywords into campaigns and ad groups, and creating PPC landing pages that are designed to push conversions.

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8. Offer a virtual format for your event

With the advent of the 2020 pandemic, many event organisers were pushed to the digital end of the events spectrum because physical events were simply impossible to organise. This opened up a new debate on how events should be done. According to 2022 trends from Skift, 62% of event organisers are still keen on following a hybrid approach in 2023. This makes sense since offering a virtual format for your event may potentially widen your reach and ultimately bump up the number of attendees. Try looking for solutions that would allow you to organise hybrid events with ease such as Eventscase’s ‘Digital Venue’.

9. Leverage influencer marketing

If you are able to generate FOMO or “fear of missing out,” you may see an increase in your ticket sales. A simple way to do this would be leveraging influencer marketing within your campaign. Put someone famous or revered within the industry you work in, and have that person speak to your audience on why they should not miss out on your event. While this may sound rudimentary, it’s actually a method that still works up to today.

10. Interact with your audience in all channels

Last but not least—interact with your audience before, during and after your event. There is nothing more frustrating than going to an event where you feel like it’s a one-way street of someone imparting information. Valuable event content is always appreciated but interaction is key. When your audience is engaged, they retain more information and are most likely to form long-lasting and positive impressions of your event. 

Remember to implement this formula to potential attendees as well. Respond to their questions on social media and let your presence be felt genuinely albeit it’s from behind a screen. For attendees who have joined your event, thank them for their time and provide a summary of what they have learned or appreciated from your event.

Wrapping up

Digital marketing is quickly becoming more structured as we traverse the technology gap within the events industry. Who knows how the landscape will change in another ten years? We shall see!

Do not limit yourself to one or two strategies. Be creative and combine different ones to get the best results. Good luck!

About Eventscase

The Eventscase platform helps event organisers manage corporate events, conferences, and trade shows, whether large, small, in-person, hybrid, or virtual. No technical skill is required at all. Anyone can create beautiful event websites, registrations, badges, perform check-ins, event apps, 1:1 meetings and more. Everything under the brand and domain of your company can be implemented with an Eventscase whitelabelled platform.

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