How to Market Your Keynote Address: 5 Speaker Promotion Ideas

So many variables go into choosing a keynote speaker for a conference or event. As you search for the right speaker, make sure to consider your speaker promotion strategy early in the process.

To promote the speaker, you have lots of levers to pull. The conference’s marketing team, the speaker themselves, their representatives, and any third-party promotional partners can contribute to drum up attention for your keynote address.

Here’s how to promote a speaker to drive more awareness and engagement for your event.

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1. Effective timeline and budget planning

Immediately after securing your speaker — whether it be a keynote, moderator or panelist — map out a communications plan, a timeline, and a budget.

All of these plans should align with the overall goals, objectives, and strategies of the conference. While all events include numerous moving parts, event attendees have indicated in post-event surveys that speakers are often the most memorable part of the event. That means you need to enlist the help of your speakers to deliver the message of your event.

Early communications outreach to speakers and their representatives is key to achieving this cohesion. Bring them on board with other conference marketing plans. This will demonstrate a true collaboration, which paves the way for managing all partner expectations.

2. Mobilize your partners

Partnership marketing starts with a clear understanding of each entity’s goals. Then, you determine how to best leverage each partner’s strengths.

This particular technique, which is quite common in the B2C world, offers lots of opportunities to effectively promote your speaker while driving conference attendance — the ultimate benchmark for success.

Think you don’t have any partners? If you have a speaker booked, you have partners at the ready, including:

  • The speaker
  • The speaker’s bureaus
  • The speaker’s sponsors
  • The speaker’s fans
  • The speaker’s partners (like book publishers)

These partners can provide greater awareness, an expanded audience reach, engagement with loyal followers, positive brand association and new revenue opportunities. Commonality and shared vision create the ultimate win-win business experience.

3. Maximize your media potential

Your speaker promotion strategy should include an integrated mix of paid, earned and owned assets. All partners should contribute to all of these channels.

With paid assets, it’s easy to tell how much each partner is contributing to the marketing overall. But when executed effectively, the tangible and intangible value of earned and owned assets can be even more substantial.

Here are a few examples of each:

Paid media assets

Paid marketing lets you reach your target audience in the right environment for maximum impact. Here are some options:

  • LinkedIn sponsored content featuring your speaker’s key speech topics
  • Visually striking dynamic ads that lead to the speaker’s web on their bureau’s site
  • Digital banner ads on a targeted trade website

Earned media assets

Promotional exposure from earned media technically costs nothing, which is why it’s so valuable. Here are some ideas:

  • Announce your featured speakers in a press release shared with outlets like PR Newswire and Business Wire
  • Coordinate partners’ social media activity across platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram)
  • Ask event sponsors to list the featured speakers in their marketing collateral.
  • Ask attendees to post speaker quotes on their own social accounts

Owned media assets

Opportunities are limitless since this is your own “real estate.”

  • Start with a headshot, bio, speech synopsis for the speaker on the conference’s website.
  • Create a custom video greeting from a speaker for your website.
  • Ask the speaker to write a guest blog post on your site.
  • Feature the speaker in your company’s email signature or digital newsletters.
  • Highlight the keynote speaker on your LinkedIn page.

4. Content and context matter

Once you’ve outlined all the strategies you plan to implement, make a list of all the content you need.

Then, it’s time to collaborate with those partners so everyone has a clear idea about the assets they can use (i.e. images, copy points, video clips, social media links, etc.) and production guidelines. Creating a content calendar to share with the speaker and their bureau. This makes it easy to share assets and keep track of all channels.

This also allows you to create context for your marketing. This includes timing, placement, surrounding messaging, shareability and user engagement. No matter how fabulous your speaker is, you need to keep the marketing messages coordinated to promote them well.

5. Measure the success of your speaker promotion campaign

At the start of any marketing campaign, it’s important to finalize the quantitative and qualitative benchmarks for success across all departments.

How you promote your speaker will affect whether you hit those benchmarks. Discuss your goals with the speaker and the speaker’s bureau. They can provide necessary insight prior to the event to help you reach their audience and meet your objectives.

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