Dreamforce 2013 Drives Attendance With LinkedIn Native Ad Units

More than 130,000 people from 82 countries registered to attend Dreamforce 2013, the world’s largest software conference, held last month in San Francisco.

Since I started following this event, which features 1,250-plus sessions and 350 exhibitors, organized by software giant salesforce.com several years ago, they have employed the latest digital marketing tools to drive attendance. This year is no exception.  

I want to share one part of their event promotion campaigns with you…their use of LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates, formally rolled out in July by the social network.     

I saw several Sponsored Updates for Dreamforce using multiple creative assets, with different messages and images.     

Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider using this new LinkedIn native ad unit…   

1) Sponsored Updates run in the news feed on users’ home pages—if you are a LinkedIn user, you know firsthand how valuable this screen real estate is.  

2) The ad units have a format similar to organic posts but are labeled as "sponsored."  

3) Sponsored Updates offer an added-value social layer, meaning viewers have the option to like, comment on and share the ads, as well as follow your show, which enables you to generate incremental exposure at no cost as LinkedIn does not charge extra for social actions.  

4) You can choose from extremely granular targeting: geo, industry, job function, etc.  

5) You can pay on a CPC or CPM basis.  

6) Sponsored Updates offer rich media capabilities, i.e. images, videos (YouTube videos play inline at 700 x 700 pixels), etc.  

7) No landing page restrictions, i.e., you can link directly to your event web site, content portals, relevant articles, event registration forms, etc.  

8) The reporting dashboard provides real-time performance data so you can optimize on the fly.  

9) Minimum ad spend requirement is very low ($10 per day).   

10) With more than 259 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn probably reaches b-to-b professionals that are potential attendees for your event.

Cristopher Levy runs Encore Media Partners, an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency, which specializes in “live” exhibitions and events. Connect with him on LinkedIn or at clevy@encoremediapartners.com.

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