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Event Marketing On LinkedIn: It's Time To Get Personal

In the second part of our Event Marketing on LinkedIn Series, we sat down with Britta Schellenberg, the VP of Brand Marketing at Brightcove, to chat:

  • Starting your personal LinkedIn journey
  • Using Paid vs. Personal status updates
  • Examples of content that works for promoting the event
  • Why being authentic should be your single most-important focus when using LinkedIn as a channel

Britta shares her actionable insights & drops some really cool tips on event promotion via LinkedIn— the kind of content we all dig & ❤️

Sip some hot cocoa, lean back, and enjoy this delicious post.

(No time? Scroll down to skip to the video interview)

Don't know Britta yet? Here's the lowdown: she's an awesome, fun, and incredibly smart event marketer who rocks the heck out of LinkedIn while building the amazing Brightcove brand.

You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn (obviously), as well as in this nifty video we recorded 👇🏾

What's Brightcove?

Brightcove is a cloud-based SaaS video platform helping media companies & brands manage, distribute, and monetize their video content.

Britta has been running Brightcove's annual PLAY conference for the past 8 years. Initially, it was an invite-only user conference to educate and delight Brightcove customers.

Over the years, PLAY has become an incredible event that truly exemplifies how tech brands can use in-person experiences to position themselves as thought-leaders and innovators in their field.

Bright Play 2019Networking at Brightcove PLAY 2018

Event Marketing on LinkedIn: Why 98% of EventProfs Get It All Wrong

No matter if you're planning a conference, workshop, or networking event - there's always a moment when you start to think: "How in the heck do I make sure these seats are full?"

According to Event Manager Blog, social media in general is the #1 channel for event promotion, and LinkedIn is gaining traction as a platform. While in the past you may have chosen Facebook or Twitter as your main hub for social messages, today LinkedIn may actually be a better choice. 

But here's the thing with LinkedIn—

1. You craft your copy
2. You tell people how awesome your event is
3. You pop in the "Register Here" link
4. You hope that you get people to, well...register

And too often, the results look like this?👇🏾

Image 2018-11-19 at 12.34.41 pm

or like this:

Early Bird

Nada likes. Zero comments! Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

This moment sucks big time. We know, because we've been there. We trust you can do better, so read on.

It's time to jump-start your personal LinkedIn journey

It's time to give up playing Candy Crush on your way to work. Instead, spend that extra hour taking a deep dive into LinkedIn. Like and engage with other people's posts and content and search for and add people in your industry and in your network. The more relevant your network is and the more reciprocal your connections feel like the relationship is, the better you'll do. 

"You need to make time and invest into building relationships."

Remember, event marketing & personal brand building on LinkedIn requires consistency and hard work. It's not a once-in-a-week done & forget type of job.

When Britta first started out on LinkedIn, that's exactly what she did. She used her time commuting into work to explore LinkedIn and to connect with her network of industry friends.

Britta started engaging on other people's posts through commenting and liking.

"In 2018 I really started stepping up my LinkedIn game. It's been a fun experience and I've been making lots of new connections. There is great community building that facilitates the movements that we have."

LinkedIn, just like any other social network, is about two-way conversations.

You can't just jump in, post your update, and expect people to engage with your content while giving nothing back in return. Instead, you need to pull up your sleeves and start building relationships online first.

But how do you actually do it?

Britta describes it beautifully:

"You wouldn't go into a coffee shop and speak to a stranger, right? You get to know them a bit better, you speak to them, you introduce yourself. In the online world, this relates to liking their posts and commenting, or directly speaking to them through direct messaging. 

"And when you're doing it on a consistent basis, people will naturally start following and engaging with you."

Ready for a little challenge?

Take 10-minutes daily for the next 7 days to engage with people on LinkedIn.

Browse through your feed, comment, and share your thoughts.

You don't have to create content yourself (just yet).

If you're only starting out, try focusing on building relationships first.

When you start doing that, you'll notice that people will engage back and start sending you connection requests.

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But Paid Ads On LinkedIn Are Better, Right?

The answer is "it depends".

Paid ads can be a great strategy for LinkedIn. In fact, Britta and her team are running paid LinkedIn ads successfully. But here's the thing.

People hate ads. People like people.  People love authentic people. We're not saying an ad cannot be authentic, but a real person behind the brand is much more powerful.

"Don't just post text. Post a visual. All of your posts need to link back to your registration page. If you're promoting an event, don't just post how cool the event is, link back to the registration page."

In fact, Britta ran a little experiment she shared with us. She took the same creative from her personal status update and tested it with a paid ad.

Guess what got more engagement?

You're right... the more personal approach for promoting events on LinkedIn worked much better.

Okay, okay... But that might also have to do with the algorithm that LinkedIn uses the likeability of Britta?!

"LinkedIn is evolving and things are changing all the time, so you gotta keep up with that. The change from paid ads to personal posts has been great over the last year, but again, that might also change in the future."

For the time being personal status updates still work the best.

Ready for some examples?

Video Testimonials & Tagging

Image 2018-11-16 at 12.11.44 pm

Video marketing is the hottest thing at the moment and most likely here to stay for the future.

"This status update is a testimonial from Glen Schwartz, a previous attendee of PLAY and someone who's involved with Dunkin' Brands."

It  works well, because tagging Glen and Dunkin' Brands in the post will also notify both and you automatically get a lot of eyes, which increases visibility and the reach of your post.

"Anytime someone says something positive about your event it's a promotion. I don't have to say it (I already know it). If Glen says it, it counts double."

Show Me The SWAG

Image 2018-11-16 at 12.16.46 pm

Look at those beautiful PLAY sneakers. Aren't those great? Here, you see one of Britta's team members with the FriYay Hashtag.

"If you show a little bit of Swag (stuff we give away at the event), this gets everyones' attention. People love free things and they like to see what we're doing."

Interview with CEO & Speakers

LinkedIn Event Marketing - Play 2019

Hosting a short interview with your own CEO works great. Here's one Britta scheduled with Jeff Ray, the CEO of Brightcove.

"Introducing Jeff to the audience will get people excited to register. It's a really short interview, asking him what he's looking forward to the most.

"People get to see Jeff on video. They get to see his mannerism, his voice. It's authentic and gives people an idea of what to expect."

Want to become a killer content creator like Britta, but don't know where to start?

Download the B2B Event Marketing on LinkedIn Guide

Should I Get My Team Involved?

It's great if you can get your entire company engaged in your LinkedIn activities. The reality, though, is not everyone in your team likes to be on camera or uses social networks.

"You don't want it to be enforced. Instead, find the people in your company that are awesome on social. Talk to the people and get them involved in your activities. The more you get them involved, the better it is."

Conclusion

  • Start by investing 10 minutes per day into LinkedIn. Engage on other peoples' posts by commenting, sharing, or liking.
  • Don't just connect with everybody, start building a relationship first.
  • Personal status updates still work the best. They also work better than paid ads, but this might change due to LinkedIn's algorithm changes
  • Use anything visually. Images or videos work best. People like to see other people and other faces. It gets them engaged.
  • Be authentic. Be Yourself. It's all about who you are as a person.

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Tags: Event Marketing LinkedIn