Using LinkedIn for Event Marketing
If you’re organising a business conference or networking event, disregarding LinkedIn for event marketing could be a big mistake, especially if your event is in London.
A recent study by Eventbrite entitled How Attendees Discover Events reported that London event attendees are 80% more likely to use LinkedIn for finding new events than the rest of UK.
The study found that Londoners as heavy users of social media and online networks were more likely than the rest of the UK to find events they were interested in online. They were 67% more likely to discover new events through reading blogs and 28% more reliant on Instagram than the rest of the UK.
With over 21 million members in the UK alone, LinkedIn is now the number one professional social media platform. This makes it highly likely that your potential event attendees will be on there.
Popular LinkedIn Events
– Business Conferences
– Tech Seminars
– Networking Events
– Expo-Style Events
This article will discuss how to utilise both free and paid LinkedIn features to promote your event and how to ensure your marketing reaches the right audience.
How to promote your event on LinkedIn
Post a status about your networking event
If you already have an established LinkedIn profile and good range of connections, the quickest and simplest place to start is by posting a status about your event. Write a couple of lines that include the event name, date, venue and a brief summary. Also include a ticket link if applicable.
Now for the trick, in order to make your update stand out on your connections’ timeline include a branded image rather than a link. The reason being that the attached image is much larger than the thumbnail image LinkedIn automatically pulls through from the URL.
Utilise published posts
Previously known as Pulse articles, LinkedIn’s long-form content articles are a free, native feature you should definitely be using. As published posts are searchable by people outside of your connections, creating an engaging piece of content gives you the opportunity to reach a much wider audience.
Ensure your content is related to topics covered at your event and includes terms that your audience may be searching for. For example, ‘Small Business Marketing Network’.
Send an event invite by direct message
LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search allows you to filter the people you are connected with. This includes 1st and 2nd connections as well as people who are in the same groups as you. Search by factors including keywords, location, interests and job seniority.
Once you have found connections that you want to promote your event to, simply send them a direct message with details of the event. You can send the same message to up to 50 people at one time, just remember to untick the box ‘Show all email addresses’.
Start an event discussion on your LinkedIn company page
If you are an admin of your LinkedIn company page, it’s a good idea to promote the event here. Even though as a page you can’t connect to individuals, they can choose to follow you. This does limit your post’s reach however it is another good native LinkedIn feature to utilise. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– Share a link to your upcoming events calendar (remembering to include an image instead of the standard linked image thumbnail)
– Speakers or topics being covered at the event
– Announce your sponsors
– Information about the venue and FAQs including transport
– Photos from past events you have put on
Create an event showcase page
LinkedIn Showcase pages are an extension of your company profile and highlight different areas of your business. Create a Showcase page for your upcoming events and list previous events to raise your authority in the area. People are able to follow the Showcase pages that feel most relevant to them. This is especially good if you run events throughout the year.
Leverage existing business networking groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to tap into an already established community. Use the search bar to find groups relevant to your event and browse through the content. LinkedIn groups are designed for discussions rather than self-promotion, so bear this in mind when commenting on any of the posts. It’s also a good idea to read the house rules listed on the right hand side.
If you’ve spent time reading the existing posts and discussions and believe the group is relevant to your event, approach the group admin, explain why you think your event would benefit the members of the group and ask if they would be able to mention your event. There are two main reasons for going to the admin rather than posting yourself; firstly etiquette and secondly an admin’s reach will be much larger than your own.
Where possible add value by offering members of the group a discounted ticket price or early access to tickets.
Create an event networking group and invite members
If you haven’t already, create a group for your event to build brand awareness. When creating a new group there are a few things to consider:
Event name: If your event name is an acronym or doesn’t hint as to what the event is about, try using a descriptive name instead. If your event is part of a series or runs annually don’t include a year in the name. For example instead of simply DMN 2017, use DMN Digital Marketing Network.
Visibility: Make your group an open group. This means that potential members can look at your content before they choose to join.
Content: Aim to post 70% related industry content and 30% on the event itself.
Getting members: Start by inviting people from your own network. Remember to include benefits of them joining such as discounted ticket prices.
Content: As the group admin you will be able to direct mail members of your group. This is a good way to personally invite people to your event.
Involve your speakers
If your business network or conference has guest speakers, encourage them to discuss the event on their own account and invite them to create a piece of written or video content. You can then leverage it on your own company or showcase page.
Take advantage of LinkedIn sponsored content
Get your updates in front of more people by using LinkedIn’s sponsored content feature. This paid for service allows you to target your status updates to a specific audience, using refines such as location, industry, interests and job title.
These posts may not get you the reach or engagement you would see on Facebook, but remember that LinkedIn advertising is highly targeted. Quality not quantity.
Grab attention with LinkedIn display banners
Get your event in front of the largest, most engaged network of professionals by using LinkedIn Display Ads. This paid service allows you to target ads to specific locations, industries, job seniorities and interests.
Make sure your graphic matches your brand and includes the event name, date and a clear call to action.
LinkedIn event marketing tips
When using LinkedIn for event promotion, it is important to include the following in all of your copy:
– Name of the event
– Date of the event
– Event venue
– Branded image showing graphic, venue or speaker/s
– Event hashtag
Not sure how to utilise other social media platforms? Take a look at our article Using social media for networking.
20 Bedford Way
Looking for a venue to hire for your next business conference or event? Arrange to come and have a look at our state-of-the-art facilities and discuss how we can make your next event the best yet. We are affordable and located in Bloomsbury with unrivalled transport connections. Call us today on 020 7612 6143.