We’ve all heard colleagues ask “Did you see my announcement?” after a trade show or conference, but simply pushing out a press release and posting it on your social media isn’t enough to reach decision-makers in your audience.
One of our specialities as a digital marketing and PR agency is supporting our clients with event marketing. We’ve helped Life Sciences clients launch new products, Telecom industry clients secure meetings, and technology clients fill their panels with the right audience.
And, when it comes to announcements, as a Digital PR agency we’re experienced with building hype, creating conversations, and launching successful re-marketing campaigns.
How do we do it? Let’s dig into three Digital PR strategies to make your brand story stand out from the crowd at a conference.
Reach Your Audience Before the Conference Begins
Movies advertise themselves with trailers ahead of their release to make sure audiences show up on opening day. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your upcoming conference attendance?
We help clients drum up early interest in their conference appearances by targeting ads to the specific people who will be attending the conference based on their demographics and search terms. As an omnichannel marketing agency, we can reach that audience on the specific websites, apps, streaming media, and social media channels where they spend time each day.
When doing this kind of conference pre-marketing, it’s important to have a specific goal in mind. If you don’t your ads wind up being a general advertisement for the conference – and they’re already spending their own marketing dollars on that!
Your goal for a pre-conference marketing campaign should be closely tied to your key success metric for attending the conference. Is your KPI the number of 1:1 meetings held? Then have your pre-conference ads lead directly to a scheduling tool to pre-book. Is it the volume of foot traffic at your booth experience? Offer attendees a special pre-conference code for a physical giveaway or some other value-add in exchange for their contact information (which allows you to easily track who followed through on their ad-click).
And, don’t forget your media strategy! Industry thought-leaders media outlets will be inundated with requests during the conference itself. If you want a key endorsement or high-visibility social media coverage, you need to start your PR push and influencer marketing long before attendees are boarding planes.
Stay Visible During a Conference (beyond your booth)
Conference marketing isn’t just about having the biggest booth or creating word-of-mouth with attendees using cool swag and giveaways.
Conference attendees are on their devices constantly during a conference and at their hotel. They are viewing agendas, checking panel locations, and searching for popular lunch spots.
We’ve created remarkable results with hyper-targeted programmatic ads and paid search. We use tight geographic targeting with our EventMAX AI system (also known as applying a “Geo-Fence”) to target searches specific to the conference, we make sure ads are seen only by people walking the halls of a conference center or staying at nearby hotels, rather than the general public living throughout an entire zip code.
This means our media buying can compete only for the eyeballs that matter to you, making sure your ads and announcements are seen on premium websites and frequently used apps, as well as on TVs, in elevators, or around town on digital billboards.
Find attendees who are ready to connect with your brand and lead them directly to your booth. You can even use a specific sequence of ads to tell a story to attendees. And, don’t ignore the impact of your press release! Use Digital PR tactics to optimize your PR with the right key terms so it is instantly findable – and, so it boosts your own domain authority.
Build Trust After the Conference Ends
We’ve recently discussed ways that you can send trust signals to conference attendees after the event through SEO and Digital PR.
Once you’ve made yourself visible at a conference, the critical next step for you and your business is maintaining that momentum once attendees return to their homes.
That work starts before an event, not after. Even if you are making an important, embargoed announcement at a conference, you can plant the seeds for post-conference SEO by optimizing your press releases, lining up amplification via industry thought leaders, and planning a content calendar of articles and social posts to run during and after the conference.
And, you can continue reinforcing your messaging with more finely-tuned programmatic ads!
Ultimately, you want to be sure that when someone searches for “YOUR BRAND announcement” or “NEW PRODUCT NAME” that you’ve already got the top spots on the search engine results page locked down.
Plus, don’t forget about social networks like YouTube, Reddit, and TikTok! Audiences are increasingly using social networks as alternate search engines when it comes to seeking trust signals, even for B2B transactions. That’s one more way that a Digital PR approach that combines PR strategy with Digital Marketing tactics can yield results.
Be Seen Before, During, & After Your Next Conference
Attending a conference involves a huge expense – not only for travel and tickets, but also of time and attention.
Make sure your message gets heard above all of the noise of a major conference – especially when you have major announcements about your brand. Contact us today to talk about event marketing strategies that work.