Imagine you’ve organized a house-warming party. As the evening approaches, you can’t wait to see your family and friends at the party. It’s 6 pm, you’re anticipating the arrival of your guests. But nobody shows up. 3 hours passed, it’s 9pm, still no guests!
How would you feel if your spouse just told you—Oh, I think I might have forgotten to send the invitations out! You’d be feeling awful now to say the least!
It’s the same thing with your events. Simply renting a space and setting up a booth at an event is not enough. You need to market yourself well ahead of the show and spread awareness amongst the people to want to attract to your event. You need to come up with the perfect plan for maximum visibility.
This is what makes event marketing so crucial. Your event marketing strategy will ultimately decide the footfall you get, and the ultimate success of your event.
What you message you deliversay, how you deliver it, and how far it reaches, can be quite the game-changer.
In the words of Stefanie Grieser, ‘Event marketing is an extension of your content marketing. That’s the backbone to a really successful event’.
So what makes for an effective marketing plan that can lead to high conversions?
Here is our list of the key ingredients of a solid event marketing plan:
1. A Dedicated Event Website
This is the first most crucial step towards getting the people you need to be interested. An event website that is appealing, dazzling, and catches the eye of your leads can go a long way. It may cause even disinterested or semi-interested candidates to sign up for the event. Remember, this is your chance to influence your leads in a positive way.
A considerable investment in terms of time and effort, thus, should be made to design an excellent website for exceptional user experience and an attractive interface. Your brand and logo should not be absent, as ideally, you would want the leads to remember it’s your event and keep it memorable for them.
Most importantly, have a clear Call-To-Action (CTA), e.g., sign up, RSVP, book a spot and so on, so that your website visitors and conversions are tracked and measured.
2. Email Marketing
Just like the event website, the aim of email marketing is also to pique the interest of the customer ahead of your event. It can go a long way in keeping them engaged by sending them periodic emails about your event’s agenda spread out over a span of time leading up to the event.
You should aim at providing something that the customer needs, which is of value to them. The leads should be appropriately segmented, and emails sent only after the segment fits the desired interest for your product. Instead of trying to sell, you should simply generate intrigue in your event.
Adding a personal touch to the emails is the key here. Yopie Suryadi described, ‘A personalized message is not always about greetings with their first name or full name. It’s about data. Know your users, how they behave, and what their interests are.‘
In short, sell value to the ‘right’ customers.
Be sure to spread out the emails, and don’t send emails too frequently. It may lead to making your recipients feel overwhelmed and unsubscribe you. Always send valuable information.
3. Account-Based Marketing
Many times, you feel you’ve done an excellent job of influencing a business manager but find out later that they haven’t made any purchase. Most of the times, this may be attributed to the fact that the final purchase authority rests with someone else. It is essential to identify the correct individual with the buying power and address and engage them in a targeted manner.
Often, there are 2-5 or more buyers involved in a buying decision, depending on the size of the business. When you’re targeting a specific account, recognizing the people who matter is critical.
4. Videos and Visuals
Videos engage audiences like no other medium. To put this into perspective, consumers are 27 times more likely to click on a video than a standard banner advertisement.
That’s why videos are a must-have in any event marketing plan nowadays, simply because of its sheer impact.
Including videos of previous events, clips of satisfied clients and other forms of video endorsements can positively influence prospective leads and spur them on to attend your event. It will also give them a clear idea about what to expect and how to go about their visit to the event.
As they say, `Actions speak louder than words.’
Include videos, such as videos from your previous year’s display, explainer videos, video testimonials and so on, in your marketing activities can help your target audience get a perspective on how the action unravels on the day of the event.
5. Event Lead Capture Tools
It’s D-Day – the event has started, and you and your team are under extreme pressure. You have to respond to customer questions, fill out forms, collect their business cards or scan their badges, demo your product — it can be overwhelming!
Keeping a tab on all the business cards, and recording the leads in your CRM system for post event follow-up is always a challenge. Using technology ensures all this happens seamlessly.
Using a business card scanner app to capture leads, and automatically export them to your CRM or email marketing system will maximize your lead-capture, and ultimately, conversions. It’s simple to use and accessible on your smartphone. making it your perfect companion for any B2B event.
6. Social Media
With more than 2 billion social media users in the world, it’s an element that you simply cannot miss when planning your event. With the rise of analytics tools such as Buffer, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, the use of social media for event marketing has begun to churn out increasingly tangible results.
With these tools, you can accurately measure key insights such as net new followers, conversions, reviews and feedback, what interests your customers the most, what time of the day or week they are most active online and much more.
By segmenting your target audience based on a variety of criteria, you can outline your target market and engage with your prospective buyers more effectively.
How well you communicate and promote your event on social media can make a huge difference in the overall success of your event. Some of the ways to effectively promote your event on social media can be:
- Shareable hashtags
- Short videos
- Catchy images, quotes, infographics
- Contests, gamification, freebies, gift vouchers and so on
52% of event planners opine that Facebook is the most useful channel for event promotion. What social media channel you choose, whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram or YouTube will largely depend on the nature of your business and your target demographics.
Marketing your event is essential in maximizing your event ROI and increase your revenue. Making sure you reach out to the maximum number of people and to the right target audience is key. After all, the ultimate goal of event marketing is to ensure the maximization of registrations for your event.
To execute the perfect event marketing plan, there must be a sound strategy in place. At the core of it all, the focus must be on ‘customer value.’
All said and done, and in the words of Joe Chernov, “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”