It really pays to put time into quality content if you are serious about amplifying the reach of your event.

As the marketing manager of an industry event, you have one of the best vantage points from which to assess the state of your sector. By the topics interesting your speakers, the sessions interesting your audiences, you have a great sense of what’s hot. From who’s come and gone from the exhibitor list, and the products and services companies are wanting to promote, you can see how the industry is changing.

The best way to draw an audience online is to demonstrate how your event is the “must attend” to catch up on the latest market trends, information, and resources. You need to share your vantage point.

And whichever digital marketing channel you prefer, whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Journals, or your own newsletter, make sure that you broadcast key information at regular intervals through your event cycle to reap the most rewards.

1. Blog / News

Maintaining a blog or news feed isn’t just about reminding your long-standing attendees what a marvellous event yours is. It is about reaching out to potential new visitors through the search engines.

One thing that event website desperately lack is any “real” content as far as search engines are concerned. A small about us page, a list of company names and numbers or short snippets about speakers or session topics does not provide very much for search engines to digest and from which understand how to rank you against organic search terms.

By having a blog or news section on your website you can add some wonderfully rich new content. Ideally each article wants to be between 500-900 words long, in natural language. Not sure what to say? We’ve established that you have one of the best positions to provide reflective analysis on your industry. Talk about new exhibitors, speakers, or topics at this year’s event if nothing else.

They key thing is to publish and publish regularly.

By publishing articles regularly that have a few hundreds words in length you are giving Google something to get it’s teeth into. It is easy for an event to rank for its brand name because there is little competition for that exact term online. For your event to be found on organic searches around the industry your serve, you need to give Google a deep understanding of your focus through descriptive content. Your event website will have all the social signals that search engines need to rank you (you’ve got shares, likes, and follows) but if your website does not have some good descriptive content then they won’t know why people like you or be able to introduce you to new people through the search results pages.

2. Email Marketing

No matter your industry, the highest rate of lead conversion can come from email marketing. Your email list tends to be a group already loyal to your brand and close to the point of conversion compared to the relative black hole of social media.

Make sure that you are actively trying to capture potential attendee email addresses on your website. Have a prominent email capture form on all of your pages, make it appealing to the eye, and incredibly easy to use. This is not an opportunity to perform an in-depth industry survey so don’t fill it with lots of industry related questions; Keep it simple so that someone who lands on your website and is keen to stay informed can simply drop you their email address to receive updates. While participants can follow your social media feeds, this is not as valuable as email which gives you a direct hard line to their email box are is more likely to read.

It is also useful to have a structured approach to how you send out emails. There are a number of key broadcast opportunities in your event cycle but to avoid burnout try and limit the number of emails you send to no more than one per month and maybe one per week in the last four weeks leading up the event.

Fill your emails with a range of teaser content in classic newsletter style with carefully sourced photos and editorial that leads through to content on your event website. You are keen to reflect that you are the industry hub when it comes to new technology and thinking and the breadth of information provided in your emails will be a key way of proving it.

Keep your email content consistent and within a layout you stick to and reuse for all email communications so that readers know what to expect. You want to always included the essential information about your event (when, where etc), a couple of very clear calls to action (book/register), and some seriously newsworthy editorial. If you struggle to produce this copy then partnering with an industry specific PR or news agency will provide you a great source of content and they will be happy to have another output for their press releases or news articles.

3. Social Media for Awareness

Social media is free and a great opportunity to get the word out about your event. Use these channels to share what you have noticed from your unique perspective on the industry and regularly push out discussion starting topics. You don’t have to have the answer; There will be plenty of passionate self-declared experts keen to share their own thoughts on a topic. The key is that you started the chain and you are increasing the awareness of your event.

Pick up topics from the news or chatter than you are hearing through discussions with your exhibitors and speakers and then post a reflective question to see if anyone bites: “Is X really a game changer for the industry?”.

There is no harm in giving a shout out every time an exhibitor or speaker confirms they are coming to the show. “Great to have X back at the event” is all that’s needed. Posts of this nature are easy to write and create a handy way of reminding the industry that your event is the place to be seen.

It is also important to have a process for amplifying the editorial content that you write in your blog, news, and email marketing. Every time you publish editorial content on your website make sure that you promote that content across all of your social channels so that you can increase awareness of it. Posting that you have a new editorial piece on your website as a share on LinkedIn by one of the event team is a great way to reach your target business audience for example. Don’t be afraid to share articles directly to specific people’s pages either, especially those in your sector with a large social media following. “We’ve just published this and I’d love your thoughts from your position in the industry” is flattering and likely to get a re-share.

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