Get More Out of Conferences with Facebook Ads
Published: May 7, 2014
Author: Franco Puetz
Making an impression at conferences can be really hard to do, especially if you’re one of the new kids on the block. Thankfully, using Facebook ads intelligently allows you to make the process of meeting potential clients and business partners so much easier. f you plan on attending a conference in the near future to promote your business, you should use this small trick with Facebook ads to help expand your reach to other people you would like to connect with who will likely be attending said conference.
First, what conference or event are you attending? If this conference or event has a Facebook page that shows up as a targetable interest in the ad creation interface, you are in great shape. Unfortunately many of you will not get that lucky, so the second-best option is to target closely related interests that help describe the attendees of this particular event. Pro tip – if you have a mailing list, toss that into a Custom Audience now so you can go after people who will likely be attending this event.
Where is this event being hosted? I’m not talking about which state, or even which city, I’m mostly concerned about the exact zip code of the event. This is where your targeting starts to get a bit more interesting – not only are you targeting people who will likely be at the event based on shared interests, you are targeting users in the same zip code, which helps increase the likelihood that attendees will see your ads.
Here’s the real kicker: make sure you’re displaying these ads during the same date range as the actual event, maybe a day sooner for the attendees who arrived a bit early. You’ve already hit the users interested in the event, in the location of the event, and with this time element added to the mix everything starts to come together. Think about how often attendees are using their laptops, tablets, and smart phones during conferences and events; if you don’t think they are stopping by Facebook with free access to all of this technology, you’re kidding yourself.
While this opportunity is great for brand awareness, you shouldn’t cut it short there. Make sure you send users who click on these ads to a landing page of some sort – my recommendation is to offer a free eBook or whitepaper related to your product or service offering. If you’ve set up your landing page for success, you will require an email or phone number from the user – and this opens up a whole slew of new opportunities for you. You’ve managed to find users in your current zip code, who are likely attending the same event, who are very likely interested in your product or service.
These leads are hot – don’t be scared to step away from your Facebook ads for a moment and ask these fresh leads to meet up. You’re there to find new business, and this approach makes the selling aspect of your job so much easier than spending time cold-approaching attendees who may or may not actually be in the market for what you’re offering.
Bonus tip: don’t forget about the power of retargeting. I would keep this group of users visiting your unique landing page separate from your other retargeting segments, so when you go to follow them off the platform for added exposure you can attribute some of the value back to that initial connection on Facebook.
All in all, this is a great way to complement a booth you may have set up or a presentation you’re giving. Alternatively, this is a great way to save time and money, as both of those options can take away a number of resources from you during these events. Starting conversations becomes much easier, “Hey, I saw your company on Facebook.” – etc…
Save the money you would spend on branded Frisbees and notepads, and instead use that money to take potential clients out to lunch or dinner and gain a more meaningful interaction with someone who is likely way more interested in what you’re offering.
The point of advertising is to appear as if you’re everywhere to a select few. Not all of us have huge budgets to work with, but utilizing Facebook ads in the right way can deliver powerful results for limited costs. If you’ve done something similar, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!