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How to find your dream event audience for paid media

Our conference, event, trade show, meetup is amazing. Without a doubt. We are going to bring the best speakers, provide the latest market insights for our audience, the biggest names in the industry will sponsor & the production will be awesome. No Doubt.

It will be super easy to engage with our audience and the whole industry will come. From C-Level to operations, we have it all covered.

Not many event organizers think like the above introduction. It’s even worse, they act like it.
I’ve been to over 23 conferences in 2019 and have seen many event websites.
In addition, I used my time to look at emails, Google Search results, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads & Display Banners. Everyone is telling the exact same story.

Furthermore, event marketing agencies also stick to the same script unless they are briefed otherwise. 

Why is everyone telling the exact same story?

Because we all want to reach everyone. We are all afraid to lose clients, customers or event attendees. We all think we are amazing and that our event is different. But does the customer really care or do they see it the same way?
The broad approach that most events are using can work. If you are an established brand (Web Summit, Rise, AWA, etc). However, usually, it’s a sign that you’re going to waste A Lot of event money on audience that won’t convert.

What can an event do differently to attract its audience?

When you are amazing and you provide the best value in the market people will buy. No question there. But what if you are pretty evergreen and your event looks a lot like the one next month?  You should probably adjust your approach and mix up your paid advertising strategy.
The “high intend” audience that goes to every event in your industry don’t need paid advertising.  That is 3% of the people that are very likely to buy if they don’t have anything else to do.
They likely have a few objections. Time, location, content, etc. Most events are able to handle those objections with general updates.
You will likely reach them through your other channels than paid advertising. They will buy early and are ready to network. You can reach them through:

  • Email Marketing
  • SMS Marketing
  • Community Updates
  • Worth of mouth
  • PR

This group is very important but should not receive any (little) paid advertising efforts.

NOTE: If you have great shareable content this audience will bring it to the masses. In that case, retarget them with the value-added content and make it very easy to share.

Exercise time!

Exercise: Take a 10-minute search on Google and Facebook to see what your competition is doing. After that take the time to do this for your own campaigns. What do you see?
I did above many times for our clients and what I saw is the following.  95% of all events focus their paid advertising efforts on this 3%. And they use the same hooks, copy, content for the other 97%.

I don’t need to tell you that there are better ways…
Firstly, shall we focus on the audiences that are harder to convince but take a bigger market share?
Secondly, shall we focus on the 17% that is already in information-gathering mode. And shall we not forget the 20% that know they have a problem that your event can potentially solve.
That is a total of 37% of your total audience that needs more than price increase ads and speaker updates. They need education. They need value.
And let’s not forget the 60% that have no clue about your event or about their problems. How can we convince them? Education.

Education driven event content for your audience

There are many ways to educate your event audience. We have an entire guide on how to create an event on LinkedIn. Depending on your niche and audience you need to adjust your messaging and education.
The first thing you need to do is conducting in-depth audience research.  
This is research that is done by the different departments of your team and which will give you the right ammunition to message laser-sharp with your audience.
During the research period you will answer the following questions:

  • Who are my dream audiences?
  • Why do they like me?
  • What can I offer them?
  • Which features do I offer?
  • What are the benefits of these features?
  • What makes us unique?
  • How does my audience talk?
  • Where do they spend their time?

If you need help with answering these questions, please shoot me a message on LinkedIn.
As a result of the research, you will be able to connect your event ideas with your ideal audiences. It will also help you to create articles, landing pages, and lead magnets.
It will give you the ability to talk with different audience groups. And use their own language, providing them with the content that they are looking for. Nurture them with educated content through your sales funnels. And turn them into fans & customers.
It’s 2020 and its time for personal messaging. Its time you set yourself outside of the masses.

Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.