LinkedIn introduced Virtual Events for company pages in May as a way to help make up for the cancellation of in-person events due to the pandemic, and Tuesday, the professional network added new features to help bolster those Virtual Events.
LinkedIn Events director of product management Ajay Datta wrote in a blog post Tuesday, “Seven months into our new reality, organizations around the world have quickly had to pivot to find new ways to engage with the audiences that matter most to their business, and it’s working. Traditional event marketing had to transform to virtual formats seemingly overnight, being one of the biggest adjustments that organizations had to make. In May, we introduced Virtual Events to help you connect with your community and make this transition to virtual gatherings easier, and since then, more than 200,000 events have been hosted on LinkedIn, touching nearly 10 million attendees.”
He used L’Oreal as an example, saying that the company’s annual Brandstorm competition—in which students submit sustainable innovation ideas—tallied over 2,000 unique viewings, with the extended campaign reaching more than 8.5 million members and generating over 33,000 engagements, more than double the reach of the previous year.
The new features introduced by LinkedIn Tuesday are in the areas of:
- Organic discovery: Personalized event recommendations will begin appearing in members’ My Network tabs and in a new weekly Events digest email, and in the next few weeks, when an Event is posted to a page, a subset of that page’s followers will be automatically notified in order to help drive awareness. Datta said recommendations in the My Network tab have led to a jump of over 40% in Event attendees.
- Lead generation: A free registration form can now be added to Virtual Events in order to collect the names and email addresses of people who signed up, and those events can be gated so that only people who complete that form are allowed to attend. Datta wrote, “You can also download the list from your event page and send them a thank-you email, upload the list to your CRM (customer-relationship-management system) or share it with your sales teams.”
- Ads: Companies can now run sponsored content single-image ads alongside their organic posts to promote their Virtual Events. Datta wrote, “By including your Event URL as the destination URL in your campaign, you’ll be able to see how it performs against a new set of Event-specific reporting metrics, like the total number of registrants, as well as views and clicks on the ad that led to an Event registration.” He added that LinkedIn internal data showed that page followers who are exposed to organic content are 61% more likely to click on a paid ad from that page.
- Retargeting: Custom target audiences can be created in LinkedIn Campaign Manager based on people who have RSVPed to Events.
Datta concluded, “Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months, including advanced Event analytics, a new Events ad format and attendee networking options that help capture the magic of in-person events.”