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Challenge

In just six weeks, secure attendance for a previously sold-out conference that was switching from in-person to virtual due to the pandemic. Keep as many existing signups as possible while attracting additional attendees to cover costs and expand reach.

Strategy

  • Execute a highly targeted paid social campaign with direct sales conversion tracking.
  • Use existing data to create finely tuned audiences, including extensive lookalike audience testing.
  • Ensure strong frequency in a short timeframe. 

Result

  • A net increase in attendance.
  • Over $81,000 in revenue from a <$10,000 budget.

Our Approach

Knowing that the virtual conference carried a relatively high ticket price of $995—and that the decision-makers we needed to reach were already stressed while trying to guide their businesses through a pandemic—our team started by jumping into existing data on key phrases and words that captured emotion and attention.

We then created lookalike audiences. This is the technique of identifying the online interests, behaviors, demographics and brand engagements of existing customers and leads, then creating a new audience with similar qualities. After ranking these audiences by quality to best allocate budget and maximize ad spend, the final list included: 

  • previously registered conference attendees 
  • waitlisted conference attendees 
  • canceled attendees 
  • previous interactions with EOS Worldwide (through website downloads, previous seminars or events and social media followers) 
  • segmented data from previous email campaigns 
  • website visitors (specific page visits) 

Our final messaging addressed the hard decisions that business leaders face as they make quick pivots and develop entirely new business strategies to stay afloat. We pulled from previous testimonials and conversations about what leaders look for in times of crisis, and how implementing EOS has provided a blueprint for surviving and thriving. After narrowing these down, we then and used a “problem/solution” approach to weave these concerns into ad creative. 

Phrases that performed well included:

“Make quick decisions”

“Make the most of your team”

“Tackle BIG issues” 

“… transforms you into the best leader”

“Build accountability and structure”

With multiple lookalike audiences created from other marketing initiatives, we were able to generate high frequency throughout the campaign. We also relied on multiple touchpoints to create top-of-mind awareness and consistent interactions with valuable content to help in times of need. And with rigorous daily measurement and analysis, our team frequently altered copy and creative based on performance and conversions.

Results

After just six weeks, we were able to tie $81,000 in ticket sales to conversions from Facebook and Instagram ads—ultimately delivering a higher ROI than the client would have received from the in-person conference. In the bigger picture, we proved the importance of integrated marketing campaigns and using data cross-departmentally to nurture leads and interactions throughout the sales process. 

Bottom line: The client was able to turn a crisis into an opportunity and gain invaluable insights to benefit future conferences and events.

SOURCE
1 https://www.pcma.org/covid-19-impact-events-industry-planners-survey-results/

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