Unlocking the Power of PPC for Event Success: A Deep Dive with Tag Digital’s Expert Insights

PPC. Pay Per Click. These three simple words are surrounded by mystique, voodoo, and fear. Most Event Marketers know what pay-per-click is but have no idea how it actually works… and that causes fear because nothing is worse than having to dive into the pool with blinders on… is it deep enough, or am I going to squash my melon on the bottom of the pool. But what if there was another way? What if you could take your limited knowledge of pay-per-click and turn it into an advantage that actually gets you more attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors, how would you do that?

Well, that is actually easy. You would hire an expert. I know that buses are an awesome way to get my attendees from point A to point B, but you don’t see me firing up a 53-passenger bus and running over to the convention center… I hire the people that are best suited to the job, and in the case of pay-per-click advertising for events, the experts are Tag Digital, a Scotland-based company that will take all the fear out of your events PPC advertising campaigns.

Welcome to the EventTech 12 Tag Digital Edition

These are 12 questions that we asked Laura Davidson, Director at Tag Digital. We hope that this gives you a little insight into Pay Per Click and the company that can help your conference or event leverage advertising to increase revenue.

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I grew up in Scotland, studied English & Law at University, then moved to New York to work as an aupair and at a magazine for extra money! I came back and worked at various start-ups before deciding to launch a business at the age of 24 with my then-boyfriend, now husband. Fast forward 8 years, one baby and another on the way, a team of approaching 30, and lots of fun – Tag Digital is the world’s leading event PPC agency!

We have always found that clients have a good understanding of content, social, and traditional marketing but have no idea how PPC works. What is PPC, and why is PPC important to #eventprofs?

PPC is important as it helps you grow your event in a really tangible way – it’s so easy to track ROI and how things are working. No other marketing channel gives you the level of granularity in terms of cost vs result. We can tell our clients – it costs you $10 to get a manager to your event and $15 to get a CEO or whatever their relevant audience is. PPC is pay-per-click – this covers search, social, display, and video – there is a common misconception its just search. As long as your audience is targeted and the ads are good it will work.

What is the number one thing that you would tell any event organizer about using PPC?

Some clients worry their users aren’t on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, but if they aren’t there, you won’t spend any money. So, no problem! You would be surprised at how well these channels convert in every sector.

What is the number one mistake organizations make when starting the PPC marketing journey?

Knowing that cost per acquisition comes down as we get closer to the event, at the beginning, it might cost you $100 for your first conversion (e.g., registration), but the second is $50, and this keeps reducing – especially once we get close to the event you could be looking at $2/3 per registration. For sponsorship/exhibitors, it may be $15/20 per lead.

What is one thing you wish every new client knew before they contacted you?

A target cost per acquisition is always helpful – but it is rare that clients know this from their current marketing.

Take us through your process of working with a new client.

Most of our projects come through this briefing form https://forms.gle/9CbTgb68YMRVFtyw7 – once we get a brief, they are entered into our workflow. This is a 4 stage sprint process that ensures our campaigns get off the ground smoothly and perform well.

Once we receive the brief, the client gets a media plan; as long as they are happy with that we then request some images/video, ask for one tag to go on their website/reg pages, and then we do everything else.

We build out the campaigns, sort out your tracking, set up weekly calls, optimize for performance, and do whatever it takes to hit the target we have pre-agreed.

We have a data benchmarking tool that uses 100,000 campaigns to determine “what is good,” so our understanding of what should be delivered is unparalleled. We operate a very simple pricing model – if your budget is $10,000 – our fee is 20% of that – $2000, and the media spend is $8000, there are no other fees and no limits on our team on how much time they need to spend on accounts so this means everyone is results focused.

In your mind, what is your greatest client success story?

We took a US brand that runs about 12 large events a year from a $0 ad spend to $600k within two years – this delivered a 31% increase in new attendees for them.

We work with lots of much smaller shows – budgets $2-5k where it’s really common for their budget to double and triple based on the results they are getting year over year.

What’s the biggest challenge that TagDigital is still trying to solve?

Educating the marketplace on what PPC is, why you need it for your event, and making life much easier for our clients. Once our clients see our numbers, they get it, it’s just getting more people into the inner circle!

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Perseverance is everything (many people give up when things get tough, but keeping going can often be the thing that makes the difference).

What is your favorite productivity app?

Slack & Basecamp – it adds to my daily communication overload but means I can easily communicate with my team and clients wherever in the world I am.

What is your favorite “waiting for a train” app?

I’m currently pregnant, so spending a lot of time on baby name apps – any suggestions are welcome!

Want to learn more?

Check out this week’s webinar with Dahlia+ and Tag Digital, where you will learn how to promote your event to the right audience at the right time, convert them to registered attendees, and keep them engaged to ensure they come to the event.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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