The event you’ve been planning kicks off months from now, and after all your hard work, things are finally starting to come together.
The speakers are all lined up, the venue is reserved, but you have a feeling you’re forgetting something…
Oh, right: attendees.
When you’re distracted by all the extra hair-pulling work involved with planning an event on top of your regular responsibilities, it can be easy to forget that its success hinges on whether or not people show up.
That’s why your event landing pages are so important. Get people to register, or when the day finally arrives, watch your speakers address an empty room. To help you avoid the uncomfortable deafening sound of silence at your next event, here are 17 ways that you can drive people to a landing page that converts them into attendees.
Before the event
Building the hype is the most important part of promoting your event landing page. Create your page early to capitalize on as much traffic as possible, use best practices to optimize it, and consider implementing the following strategies to get people visiting it in droves.
1. Drive traffic with your blog
One of the most underused ways to generate landing page traffic is with your blog. In the months leading up to your event, dedicate the closing of your blog posts to it by finishing articles with a CTA to visit your event landing page.
And don’t stop there.
Your blog sidebar is an effective way to get your readers to sign up for your event, too. Follow Peep Laja’s example by including a link to your event landing page in the right margin of your blog:
2. Create an event social media profile
The team behind LeadsCon, a marketing conference focused on lead generation and performance marketing, created social media accounts specifically for the event itself. Across networks Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, they share event updates, highlights, and recaps with their following to drive landing page traffic at all stages of the event: before, during, and after.
Keep in mind, if your event is a one-time thing, dedicating entire accounts to it probably won’t be worth the work. But, if you’re planning on making it an annual gathering, consider giving your event its own social media space. The more years pass, and the more people that find out about your event, the bigger your following will become.
Yearly Chicago music festival, Lollapalooza, has amassed nearly a million Facebook fans, 400,000 Twitter followers, and 155,000 YouTube subscribers.
3. Create an event hashtag
If you’re not familiar with them, hashtags are a way of organizing online content. On social networks like Twitter and Facebook, adding a pound sign (#) to the beginning of a word or phrase in a post will turn it into a link that people can click to see all the content containing that word or phrase.
For example, here’s a tweet about an event held by Social Media Examiner, called Social Media Marketing World, with the hashtags #SMMWorld and #SMMW16 attached to it:
By tagging their content related to the SMMWorld 2016, and allowing their followers to do so as well, Social Media Examiner has created a place where Twitter users can find everything they want to know about the event. That includes a link to your landing page.
4. Drop a link during a Twitter chat
Twitter chats are an awesome way to engage followers interested in learning more about industry topics — and they can be an excellent way to promote your event landing pages, too.
Content Marketing Institute hosts weekly chats using the hashtag #CMWorld, during which they invite authorities to talk all things content marketing with their fans. And you can do the same for social media users in your field.
Provide useful, informational content, and at the close of your chat, tie your upcoming event into the topic being discussed. For example, if you’re planning on dedicating a session at your conference to the subject you just covered, let your fans know. Or, if one of the co-hosts of your chat will be speaking at the event, tell them that too. Then, drop a link to your landing page to let them know where they can sign up to attend.
5. Conduct a survey or social media poll
Want people to care more about your event? Let them have a say in what happens there.
Conduct a survey or a social media poll to find out what potential attendees want to experience — from workshops to speakers, and even little things like food options. At the end of the survey, include a link to your event landing page.
The bonus here? Some of the decision-making is no longer on your shoulders.
6. Set up an email campaign
In 2016, email is as powerful as ever, with users reporting a 3,800% return on investment. Not only that, but when you stack it up against engagement from social media giants Facebook and Twitter, there’s no comparison. You’re 6 times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than a tweet, and email is 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook.
Keep your subscribers engaged by sending updates about your event, like for example, when you bring on a new speaker or offer an additional workshop. And include calls to action in non-event email campaigns as well.
Here are a couple of event emails to take some pointers from.
7. Send them to a “thank you” page with social share buttons
Somebody clicks through to your landing page, hits your CTA button to reserve their spot at your event, and now they’re done, right?
If they know other people who might be interested in attending, they’ll want to share it with their networks. So make it easy for them to do so. Include social media share buttons and links that allow them to email the offer to a friend. You never know who your newly converted attendee is connected to.
8. Use other landing pages
Every year, HubSpot hosts thousands of marketers and salespeople from all over the country at their annual “Inbound” event.
While it doesn’t take place for another six months, HubSpot has already started drumming up interest on pre-existing landing pages. Take a look at this opt-in checkbox above a CTA on a download form:
Even something this simple can be the entry point for a new attendee. After they’ve opted in, use targeted emails to drive them to your event landing page.
9. Reach out to influencers
Influencer marketing involves developing relationships with authorities in your industry. Many have massive followings and connections to well-known publishers, and they won’t mind promoting your event if you’re willing to offer something in return.
“When engaging influencers, there almost always have to be social incentives - whether they receive early access to event details, or special VIP perks, etc. It’s important to show special guests that they have been thought of. We always track these interactions, and try to engage these users prior to the event to keep them excited.”
When done right, influencer marketing can get your event big exposure. Don’t skimp on your offerings to them and you could see a significant return.
10. Remarket to your visitors
Tools like the Google dynamic remarketing tag, the Facebook pixel, and Twitter’s website tag for remarketing allow you to reach audiences who have visited web pages related to your event. They’re easy to implement, too.
Just add a snippet of code to the back end of your web page and when someone visits, they’ll be targeted with ads to visit your event landing page on the networks they use.
11. Create a Facebook Lookalike Audience
If you’ve spent years developing a customer base, you don’t need to start over when you want to target them on Facebook. Using the social network’s “Lookalike Audience” feature, you’ll be able to upload an email list of customers and serve ads to those who have a profile on Facebook.
Create campaigns for pages that have your remarketing pixel on them, and when your audience clicks through, they’ll be added to a list of people who will receive marketing messages about your upcoming event.
12. Optimize your page for search engines
With all the cutting-edge promotional tools available to marketers now, it’s easy to forget the less glamorous, tried and true methods of gaining visibility. Keep in mind that search is still the number one driver of visits to content sites — beating out social media by 300%.
Don’t limit your audience to your social media followers and your email subscribers. Some people won’t know about your event until they do what I just did — head over to Google and type in a keyword search related to their industry, like “content marketing conference:”
Drive organic traffic to your event landing page by covering the on-page SEO basics, but don’t forget that inbound links are still Google’s biggest indicator of authority. If your conference’s speakers are well-known in the industry and have an engaged audience, do your best to get them to link to your event landing page. The higher their reputation, the more valuable a link from them is, and the higher your page can appear on search engine results pages.
13. Work with your sponsors
Chances are, you’re not putting on this event alone. If you have sponsors, work with them to get visitors to your landing page.
Ask them to mention your event landing page in social media and email newsletters. And if they seem unwilling to cooperate, remind them that when you succeed, they succeed, too. The more people that show up to your event, the more visibility for their brand.
During the event
Thought your event landing pages were no longer needed? Wrong. Now that they’re at your event, you’ve got your customers right where you want them: back in your conversion funnel. They’ve already spent money to attend your event, and some well-targeted messaging at the right time could get them to convert on yet another offer.
14. Use a conference app
Today apps are being increasingly leveraged at conferences to connect attendees with each other and keep them abreast of event news.
What kind of news?
Maybe that breakfast is being served in a different location on day three, or that the conference’s musical headliner is performing that night — or maybe that for a chance to win VIP access to the performance, they can head over to your event landing page.
15. Interactive LED wristbands
Wearable technology like this wristband from Xyloband allows you to communicate with your attendees wherever they are. On the wristband is a small LED screen which you can transmit messages to, like, for instance, the address of a landing page where they can submit their personal information to enter a raffle for a free year-long subscription to your service.
After the event
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over… and even then it’s still not over. A good follow-up correspondence can get attendees and non-attendees alike to buy your product, subscribe to your service, or even sign up for next year’s event.
16. Send a “thank you” email
Always remember to say “thank you,” in some way to those who attended. It could be a written letter, an email, or both. Whatever you do, make it personal, and offer some value.
Consider giving attendees a discount on your product or service, or next year’s event if there will be another. Just make sure they know their attendance was appreciated. A link to a relevant landing page with a generous discount will boost their loyalty to your brand by letting them know they’re valued.
17. Offer a downloadable ebook complete with an event recap and important takeaways
If your event is an informational one like a conference as opposed to a music festival, providing a recap can be valuable for both those who were able to attend the event, and especially people who weren’t.
Sure, attendees got to experience the conference first hand, but they probably didn’t get to go to every session. For them, and for those who couldn’t be there, an email with a link to a landing page on which they can download event presentations or claim an ebook of key takeaways is a way to generate leads even after your event.
Ready to have your most successful event ever? Use these tips, and publish an event landing page in just a few minutes using Instapage’s fully customizable software. What’s more is that you can seamlessly integrate your page with other software programs you’re likely already using.