There’s no doubt that events are a great way to promote thought leadership in your industry and drive sales leads if you are a Tech B2B Marketer. If you are just starting up your business and have a limited budget, here are some cost-effective ways to plan and promote your event online.
1. Online guest list applications
There are some great online guest list applications that make it easy for you to manage your RSVPs and sell tickets. There’s a great Canadian web tool ironically called GuestListApp which is free if you are hosting a free event. Otherwise, if you are selling tickets, they just take a small % cut of your ticket sales.
If you haven’t already built up a Twitter following of your top current and prospective clients, you might want to get started now so that you have an audience to send your event announcements out to when you’re ready to start promoting. Generally, you can expect about 30% of people who you follow will follow you back. You should also create what is known as a hashtag (“#” symbols) for your event and promote it in advance so that people can start talking about your event and find others who are attending your event before the big day. I’d recommend that you Tweet the announcement out at least once a week leading up to your event to ensure that people don’t miss it. Twitter is also a great way to let customers know when you are presenting at a trade show and where people can find you just before and after your presentation.
3. Promotion on blogs
If you have a blog on your website, make sure to let people know about it through that channel. You can also post your event on popular technology blogs to expand your reach if you are trying to get a big turnout. Some popular Canadian Tech blogs are Techvibes and Sprouter.
If you have a company page on LinkedIn, make sure to promote your event through that profile. You can also create a LinkedIn Group for your event to have people follow and comment on your event before, during and after the event has happened. In addition, you should share an update that includes a link to your event website that will be sent to all of the people in your network via your profile news feed. Make sure that all of your employees in your company who have LinkedIn profiles do so as well.
5. E-mail Invitations
This sounds like the simplest and most obvious option for promoting your event but I thought I’d still mention it because it’s much more cost-effective than printed invitations. Plus, most people are used to getting e-mail invitations by now – unless you are hosting an extremely high-profile event for c-level executives or more of a gala type event. There are numerous e-mail marketing tools on the market, including ConstantContact. Just remember to follow Canadian e-mail anti-spam laws when sending an invitation out to a guest list.
If you have other ideas for cost-effective ways to promote an upcoming event, please send me a comment.