How To Use Paid Search And Social Advertising To Promote Events

Wakas Javed
Business conference

Paid search and social advertising can help raise awareness and attract attendance at virtual and in-person events.

In recent years, COVID has changed the way companies host special events and interact with customers and the community.

Special events have been changed and time-sensitive activities have a more flexible virtual perspective.

Generating attention and getting engagement goes well with promotion through paid search and social advertising.

Consider promoting business events as a separate strategy from your current campaign so that it has its own specific budget and perks.

Events should have a clear and unique targeting and messaging strategy.

Let’s dig!

What Types Of Events Can Be Promoted?

First, let’s look at some instances of possible “events”:

  • Virtual Conference.
  • Webinars.
  • Grand openings and re-openings.
  • Business offerings “Back to normal”.
  • The company stands at a trade show.
  • Speeches at trade shows.
  • Product launch.
  • Open house.
  • Sales event.
  • Pet acceptance.
  • Sporting events.
  • Festivals, fairs and farmer’s markets.
  • Registration for classes, in person, virtual.

For “events” we usually look for noteworthy special activities outside of normal business operations with temporary commitments.

Things To Regard Before Setting Up A Campaign

You can add any special event to your campaign as an ad extension, sitelink or offer extension.

Please cite those promotion extensions are sales promotions and require a discounted amount. Both should have the start and end dates set up in extensions creation.

A new campaign must be created for each event to adjust settings and track conversions and event ROI.

Allocating event campaigns with their own additional budget, rather than being offset by ongoing campaigns, helps keep core accounts stable and volumes up.

4 Tips For Designing An Event Campaign

Once you have created a new campaign for your event and allocated your own budget, there are many other factors to consider that are unique to event promotion.

1- Clear, Concise And Creative

Display ads and responsive search related to events must follow best practices with clear details about the objective, date, time, and CTA of the event of interest.

Searchers need to see how to participate, register, or sign in.

As with standard marketing practice, if it’s a competitive business event, add some unique features, benefits, and selling propositions.

Paid events such as training courses or conferences often offer team discounts or Early Bird Specials. Make sure to comprise this in your ad copy.

Pros: Try the countdown timer that can be embedded into Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Microsoft has an excellent explanation of how the countdown feature works.

Below is an example of setting up Google Ads in the title:

Unfortunately, not everything is fun and flashy. In today’s post-Covid business environment, it’s important to address the following in simple terms in ads and in detail on landing pages:

  • Virtually or in person.
  • Relevant government safety guidelines.
  • Safety conditions for events such as social distancing, mask-wearing, etc.
  • Responsibility for the safety of the event or the expectations of the participants.

2- Timing

Event campaign design timing is critical, especially if your event lasts only a few days or a day.

Do you want to reach your audience directly on the day of the event? Or do you build it for days, weeks, months?

Does setting up an event promotion require a different approach than during an event?

For example, it makes sense to advertise a few weeks before a webinar or product launch. Some local events may take only a few days for the user to recall.

When setting ad dates and ad schedules, pay attention to when the ad ends. Google closes at midnight that day, so you can get through the whole day.

Facebook can set a specific time of day. Please note this is in wartime!

3- Location

Geo-targeting is largely determined by the location of the event, but there are a few things to consider.

Depending on the density of the customer base, geo-targeting looks different for each advertiser. As an example:

  • Local street vendors in the city will have a narrow urban radius or city target.
  • A large event such as a trade show will have visitors from the area and those traveling to the area.
  • National destinations like webinars, for example, present the biggest challenge for hyper-targeting to reach your audience.

With a national focus, you may want to prioritize budget allocations for larger urban areas. Another approach is to review your customer’s purchase data for sales trends or ROI by location.

4- Targeting

Event targeting will likely differ from primary ad account targeting.

Let’s take the example of a tech trade show, as this applies to many scenarios where the event takes place in a physical location.

Assuming your ad copy is event-specific, you’ll want to reach people searching at or near the event while they were physically there.

The search queries used for Google and Bing can be grouped into keyword groups such as:

  • Technologies at the show.
  • Companies at the show.
  • Show name, e.g. “Technology Exhibition”.

These potential search terms supply a great possibility to target people who are currently physically at the event.

As a level for your keywords or on your own, you can target your market in search engines by using audience lists such as “Tech News and Trends” or “New Technology Products” in your target area.

Interests and behavior will be our primary targeting strategy on Facebook and other paid social media channels.

Bonus Tip: How To Take Advantage Of Events (Local or Otherwise) Even If You Don’t Attend!

If you suggest in this post that you attend or host an event, that’s fine, but you can also unsubscribe from any event related to your business for extra exposure.

In the spring, for example, internal exhibitions are taking place.

Even if you don’t attend the show, you can still use the presence around the show to promote local home services or related content on your website.

In today’s business environment, being armed with new tips to promote your business event is critical to success.

Think creatively about how to reach your target audience to participate or register in person or online. The key is laser focus on relevant location, search intent and interests.


Featured Image: Drazen Zigic/FreePik

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