Planning, organizing, and running an event involves a larger investment of both your time and money. So, don’t let all your hard work go to waste by neglecting a proper marketing campaign. Luckily there are a variety of strategies to form a successful digital marketing campaign to help reach these goals, including search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search.
SEO is an inbound and outbound technique used in digital marketing to help a business rank higher in search engine results to attract more organic, free traffic to their site. In other words, SEO is a way to make your website search engine friendly.
Paid search is a digital marketing technique where your site is advertised on a search engine’s sponsored listings or a partner site. Unlike SEO, you have to pay for paid search either by pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) when your ad is shown. Using a paid search on Google guarantees that your company will appear on a search engine’s top five results, which will increase your chances of click-through rates and help you reach a wider audience.
Using these popular tactics, here’s how to efficiently use your resources to run a digital marketing campaign before and during your next event.
Before the Event
Utilizing SEO is useful to event planners who want to publicly advertise their event in the months and weeks leading up to it, as it helps your event website become more visible and drive more traffic to increase your event registration. Before your event, you can optimize your event’s website or landing page with keywords related to your audience. For example, if it’s an event for planners, you might want to use “event management,” “event planning,” or “events,” so you can increase your website’s rank in the search engine results.
According to a click-through rate study conducted by Advanced web ranking, 30 percent of website visitors click the first the first result on their search engine. So, choosing keywords for your target audience and consistently using them is very important for digital marketing success.
You can also incorporate your company’s keywords in your site navigation bars, your landing page, blog or other content, on your social media platforms, like LinkedIn, and in email marketing. Including your keywords in your site’s content, like white papers, Q&A’s, and other publications, can also help optimize your event page.
In addition to keywords, you can create audience segmentation to grow your page’s SEO. Audience segmentation is a group segmented by specific variables, like language, location, job title, preferences, etc. Adding audience segmentation to your event page will create a more personalized user experience and improve your SEO ranking.
Using SEO to drive more traffic to your website can increase your conversion optimization rate (CRO). However, you should note that although SEO is an effective digital marketing tool, SEO campaigns may be slower to turn leads into conversions since SEO focuses on building a presence in an organic search.
This is where paid search comes into play. You can advertise your website or an event through paid social media advertisements, like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram ads. Each platform has its own benefits depending on your event; Linkedin is great for the B2B market or to target job titles or verticals; with Facebook you can target interests, which makes it a great place to promote content or keynote speakers; and Instagram is perfect to showcase powerful imagery related to your event. Paid ads should be a tactic on top of regular posts on your event’s various accounts, the use of hashtags and content creation.
In addition to social media ads, you can promote your event through paid search ads on Google. Back in 2015, Google released a new type of paid search, which they call customer match. With this product, you can upload email addresses and create customized ads or campaigns to reach an audience you already have a relationship with. Google ads also allow you to tailor ads to your event. You can create countdown ads like, “Only four days left to buy your event tickets” or motivate people to purchase tickets (e.g. ,“Only X number of tickets left!”).
During the event
In addition to using SEO and paid search to advertise prior to your event, you can use these digital marketing techniques during your event.
Continue your SEO efforts by maintaining an onsite blog on your event website, posting about topics from key breakout sessions, daily recaps of event highlights and forecasting the next day. You can also post pre-written interviews or Q&As with speakers, posts about hot industry topics and more.
Your event is a great opportunity to increase your social media SEO. You can live tweet using your keywords and encourage your attendees to do the same. If you tweet enough, Google will display a carousel of your live tweets. So, if someone searches your keywords, your event, company name, or Twitter page, they will see your tweets. This can increase traffic to your Twitter page and website.
When it comes to paid search during your event, advanced geo-fencing or geo-targeting can help increase your audience at a trade show or a large conference. Advanced geo-fencing is a hyper-local targeting technology that uses specific longitude and latitudes to display advertisements on mobile devices. With this paid feature you can create an advanced geo-fencing ad to target attendees at your event to promote keynote speakers, happy hours, networking opportunities and much more.
There’s also the opportunity to integrate sponsorships into paid social advertisements during an event. Whether it’s promoting an exhibit hall booth or a sponsored event, speaker or piece of content, paid ads can act as an extra monetization feature or incentive for your sponsors or exhibitors.
Event marketing tactics like SEO and paid advertising are key to driving traffic to your event website and therefore, increasing your event registration. It’s critical, however, to have a strategy in the weeks and months leading up to your event to make sure you’re attracting the right people. Together, SEO and paid advertising can help keep the awareness and engagement going to turn new attendees into loyal ones.
Lauren Mumford also contributed to this post.
There are many ways to promote your next event using SEO and paid search. Have you used these strategies before? Have they worked for you? Let us know by commenting below!