On Jan. 19, Bizzabo Content Marketing Manager David Epstein presented a Smart Meetings webinar where he shared strategies and tips for effectively marketing events and conferences. He discussed proven strategies that can help planners attract more registrants, and better engage them before, during and after the event.

To hear an archived transcript of the presentation, click here.

Since Epstein did not have the opportunity to answer all the questions posed from the audience during the webinar, he is happy to provide those answers below.

Is it necessary to create marketing personas for every event you plan?

If you only plan to implement a very basic market strategy, like simply emailing a few of your contacts, than it isn’t necessary to create marketing personas. However, if you’re organizing any sort of event or conference that might involve a series of marketing channels, then creating marketing personas is a great thing to do.

It’s important to keep in mind that personas are designed to make it easier for event organizers to better understand what their marketing plan should look like—they are a tool to help you make better decisions.

It’s typically a good idea to start by creating one or a few (up to four) marketing personas so that you can better understand what marketing channels will be most effective to bring attention to your event or conference.

What percentage of an event budget would you use towards paid advertising?

Investment in ads, or any other channel, should be proportionate to the return on investment that channel brings. If paid ads are bringing you 80% of ticketing revenue, that means investing a majority of your marketing budget is justified.

If after a week or so of experimentation you aren’t seeing a return on your investment, that means that your ad strategy is wrong (revisit your personas in that case) or, that other marketing channels might serve you better.

How often have you retargeted an ad and what was your success rate, i.e., was it at the 50-60% rate?

Retargeting ads have been shown to be quite successful because they help to persistently remind users who are already engaged about your brand. The level of success that you can expect will vary depending on your industry and budget, among other factors.

Expecting a 50-60% conversion rate from retargeted ads would be a very ambitious goal, but expecting a 50-60% better conversion rate is reasonable. A conversion rate that’s a bit under 1% has been reported by a few different online advertisers.

What is an on-page registration system? Is Bizzabo considered an on-page?

Bizzabo does offer an on-page event registration platform as part of an all-in-one event planning software platform. Unlike other systems that redirect event registrants to another website, Bizzabo’s solution keeps registrants on your own event website. Not only does this mean that organizers have full control over the brand experience that visitors enjoy, but it also makes it easier for event marketers to employ retargeting ads.

Is it always better to have social media posts redirect to an event web page?

Contrary to popular belief, social media platforms aren’t just about driving traffic to your own event website. In order to cultivate an audience of truly engaged followers or fans, it’s important to share genuinely helpful content with them.

If you have an event blog that consistently publishes great content, than it might be ok to regularly share those articles on social media. But if you simply have an event website that doesn’t feature a lot of helpful resources, consider sharing content from related outlets first, while occasionally promoting your next event as well.

To use blogs as content marketing, what topics do you think are impactful to start with and to build a following?

Blog post topics that work best will vary depending on your marketing personas. In order to get a sense for what your audience might find interesting, consider turning to platforms like Quora, or LinkedIn Groups.

Take note of the questions users are already asking about the industry your conference is covering. Then, ask your event speakers, influential event attendees or sponsors to help you create an article, video interview, eBook or other piece of content to better educate those in your industry.

Is search engine optimization (SEO) a part of content marketing, or is that a different marketing strategy?

Search engine optimization isn’t the same as content marketing, though the two strategies are related. SEO has to do with improving on-page and off-page ranking factors to improve your organic search engine presence.

Content marketing is about providing valuable resources to those in your audience in an effort to raise brand awareness, capture leads and build a following. Certain aspects of content marketing, like blogging, can be made SEO-friendly, but content marketers and SEO experts specialize in different things. For more information on SEO for event organizers, you can grab this SEO eBook.

bizzabo-event-designDavid Epstein is the Content Marketing Manager at Bizzabo. Launched in July 2012, Bizzabo is the world’s first event success platform. It helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, sell tickets, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences – using a beautiful, user-friendly platform.