Guest post by Eventbrite
Spending on digital tactics takes up the majority of most marketing teams’ budgets today, but in-person events continue to be a viable source of lead generation for companies in the B2B industry. According to a recent survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute, 56% of B2B marketers still use in-person events as an effective marketing tactic.1
So how can you make events more impactful for your business? If you’re going to spend time sponsoring and hosting events or attending others, don’t make it solely about the event itself. Maximize your marketing and earn more lead conversions by focusing effort on how you’ll market your brand before and after each in-person event.
Before the Event
1. Set Event Objectives
This may feel like an obvious step, but it’s the first one for a reason. Before you host or attend an event, you should set clear objectives with your team to unify the event and your brand’s appearance. Inexperienced marketers may jump straight into planning the event logistics, which is also important, but first you must solidify what you want to achieve. Let these objectives guide the rest of your decision-making through the planning process. Here are some basic objectives to help you get started:
- Gathering a list of webinar or product demo attendees
- Launching new brand messaging and visual identity
- Securing new sales leads or setting up consultations
- Showing client appreciation or upselling
- Showing shareholder appreciation
- Exhibiting thought leadership
- Growing brand awareness and recognition
- Sharing and celebrating a company milestone
2. Consider the Customer Experience
You always want current and potential customers to have an exceptional experience with your brand – online and offline. When you’re designing your booth for an event or configuring handouts, think about how your company can stand out and be more memorable to passerby. How can you make your booth an interactive experience rather than just a table with brochures? Brainstorm your marketing materials with other members of your company who have previously attended events to come up with new ways to make your presence and your printed materials more engaging and effective.
3. Promote on Multiple Channels
If you’re hosting an event or broadcasting your attendance, you’ll need to establish a full marketing plan that hits several marketing channels. Start by creating a consistent and compelling message to “sell” this news to current and potential customers. Keep in mind that you might need messaging for:
- Event landing page
- Email marketing campaign
- Ticketing website
- Press release and pitches
- Blogs (initial and recap posts)
- Social media posts and videos
- Event handouts
- Banners and booth signage
Aim to frequently post interactive and visual messages leading up to the event in order to keep people engaged and more likely to convert into attendees. Highlight professional photos from previous events or share a video that details the benefits of attending and FAQs. Focus on demonstrating what an attendee can expect so they can picture themselves there.
As you coordinate your event marketing budget, don’t forget to set money aside for paid promotions. Consider running display ads for your event to direct people to the event landing page or explore social media promotion opportunities. Facebook and Twitter are popular channels for promoted posts, but 92% of B2B marketers choose to leverage LinkedIn over other social media platforms.2 Use LinkedIn’s sponsored content capability to boost visibility for your event or your attendance at a trade show or seminar.
Putting thought into an event marketing plan can take time, but it’s a necessary step in having a successful event. Check out Eventbrite’s tip sheet on the best ways to promote your event for a deeper dive into free and paid event marketing.
After the Event
4. Keep Marketing
Event marketing doesn’t stop when the event begins. Continue to boost interest from attendees by using the event’s own hashtag to document your company’s experience and create shareable moments. And after the event is over, keep it going! Blog about what you learned, address any questions or comments on social media, share any exciting industry news or highlight great moments from an event you hosted. Write a recap of the event or a summary of your presentation and share any useful slide decks for attendees to review.
5. Send Thank Yous and Surveys
Stick with your email marketing push after the event by sending an email to thank attendees, speakers and sponsors and share any recap information with those who missed the event. Do you have audio and video recordings of the presentations? Did speakers share their decks online? Gather all of these items and house them in a convenient email for the rest of your audience.
Another important step is to send a survey to all speakers and attendees. If you want to improve your event and keep people coming back for more, a survey is a quick and easy way to collect important feedback and data. Keep your survey simple by asking only the most important questions to gauge reception and gather actionable items for improvement.
6. Review Event Results and ROI
Remember to maintain thorough records of your survey results, email response rates, landing page conversions and any other notes and KPIs regarding the entire event process. Take the time to review these details before each new event to optimize your approach to planning and attending in-person events. Sharing this information with your team will help your company decide the worth of future events, plan your next budget and increase the effectiveness of your event marketing strategy.
Are you interested in B2B event marketing or other marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.