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3 Ways to Have a More Effective Social Media Event Marketing Strategy

3 Ways to Have a More Effective Social Media Event Marketing Strategy

Event marketers have embraced social media platforms as integral cogs in the marketing machine, with paid social becoming more important than ever. There are 9 million advertisers that are currently active on Facebook, so what can you do to be more effective with your advertising efforts?

We’ve put together 3 tips that should enable you to have a more effective social media event marketing strategy going forward:

Tip 1 - Eye-catching visuals for show features

One saying that comes to mind here is that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

That couldn’t be more true when it comes to advertising across social media. Engaging, eye-catching imagery or videos grab the attention of your audience and should then convey useful information aimed at driving the user towards your objective, whether that be a ticket purchase, exhibitor enquiry, or free visitor registration.

So what content should your visuals contain?

One key USP of your event is likely to be your speakers. Whether it’s a leader from a silicon valley tech company or a notable figure from a niche industry that you operate within, speakers always drive interest. One recent campaign that we ran at Tag Digital had the founder of a global software company as guest speaker – the click-through rate (CTR) of these ads was 49% higher than the non-speaker ads, and the cost per conversion (CPA)  was 9% lower.

Networking is one of the key drivers for attendees, particularly for events bringing smaller, niche industries and communities together. If your event has the best networking capabilities in the field in which you operate in, highlight this! Images and videos of breakfast sessions, networking areas, or more recently virtual networking solutions, can all help boost performance.

Where exhibitor or sponsorship enquiries are your KPI, nothing comes close to the impact that raw numbers have on performance. Your images and videos should boast about your attendee numbers, the high percentage of CXO’s attending your event, and high levels of returning attendees, exhibitors and sponsors year-on-year. Facebook has recently removed performance penalties for images that are text-heavy, so don’t be afraid to include your stats in a large, bold font that your audience will struggle to avoid when scrolling through their news feed.

Tip #2 – Make Best Use of the Ad Formats Available

A huge positive of the Facebook ads platform is that you can drop in one asset, whether that be an image or video, and have it run across all Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network placements. There are, however, some placements where a specifically-designed creative can push your performance to the next level.

The primary placements that we would recommend this for are the Stories placements; Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories. The Stories placements have been a revelation over the past 18 months, with high levels of engagement that result in low costs when used with the right brand; 500 million people use Stories every day, with more than one-third of the most viewed stories being posted by businesses.

Creative plays a massive role in these ads, as you have the opportunity to “take over” your audience’s mobile device screen with your messaging. Here we’d recommend a video that is around 15 seconds long, contains your key messaging (and branding) in the first 2-3 seconds, and is 1920x1080px.

If you know that a large number of your users consume their social media content on mobile devices (spoiler alert: they do), then make sure that you incorporate 1:1 assets as well as the traditional 16:9 images and videos used. Facebook now recommends 1:1 creatives (with the size being a minimum of 600x600px) as these take up more screen real estate on mobile devices. We’ve seen success when using 1:1 assets over 16:9 assets, so test both and see what works best for your campaign.

Tip #3 – Gather Data Before and After the Event

Have you thought about how paid social can help you build this bank of data for future use? 

Data lists can help get your marketing campaigns off to a great start, whether it be through paid social, paid search, or email campaigns. Whilst the focus of an events marketing campaign will often be registrations or purchases, you should always be capitalising on data acquisition opportunities. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are great platforms for gathering data before, during and after your event.

All platforms offer lead generation as a campaign objective. These campaigns enable you to create lead generation forms with all of the fields you need, and will often auto-populate with users information, making it easier and faster for them to be completed. The cost per lead here is often significantly lower than it would be if you were to set up a campaign with website conversions as the objective, so you can really make the most of your budget.

Facebook also has the capability to run video views campaigns, where the KPI can be set to the number of users that watch a certain percentage of your video. You can then create remarketing audiences based on this, for example users that have watched 25% of your video. Targeting these engaged users can be a great way of combining your brand awareness campaigns with your website conversion campaigns.

After your event has finished, it’s best practice to run a post-show campaign. These work best when attached to a piece of content such as a post-show report or a post-show survey. This content is always appealing to attendees and exhibitors alike, and can be a great way to gather data outside of your usual marketing schedule. This data can then be used to help promote events in the future, increasing the likelihood of year-on-year growth!

If you would like any more information on how to enhance your social media event marketing strategies then you can book a call with one of the team here.

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Blog by: Jonny Thompson

Senior Paid Social Specialist