To create a successful digital b2b or trade event, attracting the right audience to register and attend is imperative. Understanding how PR can be utilised to ensure awareness of the event and the benefits of attending means that you can target that audience in a number of different ways, encourage guest and speaker registration and attract potential sponsors. Here are five PR strategies to help you boost digital event registrations.
1. Content marketing to boost event visibility
Produce relevant blog content for your target audience that is highly searchable to generate traffic to your registration website. For example, thought leadership pieces from your keynote speakers. Make sure to optimise these to help boost SEO performance. You can also use this to tease your audience as to what topics might be covered at your event and get them excited about your speaker line-up and eager to learn more at the event. Interviews and guest blogs are a great way to show off their expertise as well as utilise the profile of your interviewees and guest writers. Make sure to share these on your social media channels too. If your audience is eagerly anticipating your event, they will remain engaged up until the event day, sharing your content, and you’ll continue to attract a wider audience as you go.
2. Networking is key
Networking is high on the agenda for many trade event attendees and is something we've all missed being able to do in a face-to-face environment. Show your audience that you understand the importance of this and make it easier for them. Make sure you utilise LinkedIn here – that’s what the platform prides itself on and anyone keen to build their network in your space is on there trying to make it happen – you’ll be providing them an opportunity to boost that. In sharing content that encourages engagement, and engaging on the platform with the registered attendees and prospects, you're providing the opportunity for them to network before the event, boosting the chances of them attending on the day to build on those new relationships further.
3. Pitch to the press - get media coverage for your event
The power of traditional PR remains. Consider how you are going to sell in your event to the media. Always ask the question “why would their readers be interested?”. Getting editorial coverage for your digital event in relevant publications means you reach your target audience with the added value of third party by-in from a trusted source.
Treat it like a physical event in this sense and make sure to leverage the influence of your guest speakers here. Many of them will have been featured in or have written thought leadership pieces for key media before, so the readers are already interested in what your speakers will have to say at the event. Creating your own thought leadership content to pitch to the media creates further awareness for the event among target audiences. Another tool that can be utilised for generating press coverage is research. Unveiling exclusive research generates a newsworthy hook and creates stand out from the crowd.
4. Media attendance
Invite media to be speakers too. They have a unique insight into the topics at hand and can deliver a sector overview from an unbiased place. This also helps to build important relationships will often mean they cover the event in the run up and share across their social media channels and even provide live coverage.
Simple, yet important… Make sure to register your online event with relevant listings and calendars. This increases SEO and the likelihood of those searching for related content finding the information and registering to attend.
Although high registration numbers are important, it’s even more critical that you gain legitimate registration conversation rates. To do so, you must continue to build a relationship with those that sign up and keep them engaged by encouraging audience interaction beforehand.
Email marketing is a great way to do this. Share information and resources that add value to the reader but stay relevant to your digital event offering, encouraging your registered attendees to revisit the website and consume the content you’ve carefully curated to inspire them. This is a great strategy to subtly remind the audience of the event they have signed up for, while also building a better relationship by learning more about them and tailoring messaging to their preferences.
Ultimately, content creation is key. Website, social media, traditional media… it all serves to increase awareness and help you get more online event registrations. And once you have people registered, keeping them engaged up until, during and after the event ensures that you have delivered a successful digital event.
Planning your own webinar-based event? Check out our top tips on how to combine, brand messaging, critical tech and essential commercial digital marketing to deliver a powerful result here.