Attending or sponsoring events or trade shows is part of the marketing plan for most marketers. It offers great opportunities for networking and meet with audiences within your target market. But it is expensive to be at events. How do you make sure that you can increase ROI from events?
If you can show a good ROI, then you will continue to get budgets through the year to attend several more events. If you cannot show a good ROI, then you will suddenly realize that a lot of your budgets will be cut down and you will need to make massive efforts to justify your presence at specific upcoming events.
Event marketing still an important pillar in B2B Marketing
Event marketing is still considered to be an important pillar in today’s B2B marketing & sales campaigns. Regardless of its detractors, it is thought to be a key source for building a highly qualified leads pipeline. In fact, studies show that a staggering 34% of marketers believe event marketing is the most effective channel to generate warm leads.
In this digital marketing era, it is very easy to enhance your event marketing efforts and increase ROI from events. Through this post, we will talk about some of the ideas, especially related to list management. There are some other ideas too, but list management can get you some awesome results.
Build awareness about your brand ahead of the event.
Create visibility ahead of the event
While you are going to put up a booth at the event, it pays to create some visibility about your brand/products ahead of the event. When the attendees at the event have heard about you/ seen promotional material related to you, it is far more easier to engage with them compared to a fresh sales effort at the booth. This can be done in many ways.
1. Use explainer videos at the booth and as a part of pre-event campaigns
If you can have short 45-60 second explainer videos at your event or as a part of the pre-event campaigns or both, these help a lot in building awareness among the target market. Videos have the power of communicating far more powerfully than any other form of communication. Videos are engaging and are quick to communicate points which will take significantly longer using text or conversations.
2. Event List Management
It all starts with the list of attendees at the event. Typically you will get lists for the events from the organizers, if you are one of the sponsors. Most of the time, these lists will not have any contact information related to the attendees. The first step is to identify the companies that are interesting to you, eliminate the companies that are competitors to you and then spend efforts in building a contact list of the targeted attendees. It does involve some amount of back-end research work, but it is possible to generate the email Ids for these contacts and also see if you can follow them on social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Some of this work is also called as list appending. So you have the company name, contact name, but you do not know their title, contact phone or their email address. It is possible to append your file and make this available for downstream email campaigns so that you can effectively engage with this audience. [irp posts=”1678″ name=”8 Proven Ways to Maximize ROI for Events”]
3. Social promotions
You can do a variety of tagging efforts (including people that you are targeting) or use some smart hashtags related to the event to be featured as popular posts. You can plan a series of exciting posts, combined with graphics and some interested messaging. This can be theme based, identical to what you are planning to showcase at the booth. You can use this to generate curiosity and interest ahead of the event.
4. Plan content pieces
You can plan specific content pieces in the form of interviews/surveys ahead of the event and plan promotions related to what you collate together as a summary document. Use this as gated or ungated content to engage with the event attendees. [irp posts=”402″ name=”5 ways to slice your content and make it last longer”]
5. Pre-schedule your meetings
You can plan a series of email campaigns reaching out to the event attendees. The initial set of emails can be focused on generating some awareness about your brand/product and the later set can be specifically targeted to schedule meetings in advance, ahead of the event. If you have a meeting calendar pre-populated, that is an excellent start to your event preparations.
6. Have specific landing pages for the event
If you have a master theme for the event, or you have some specific CTA that you are using for the event, it pays to have specific landing pages for the event. So sign-ups at the booth or while you are at the event can be done directly using these landing pages. This ensures that contact information is not lost by misplacing business cards and it also brings in immense sense of accountability to the whole process of engaging with the event leads.
7. Entice your Audience through your Email
Your event email should have a certain level of top pedigree and conversion command in its messaging than any other regular email campaigns. Starting with the ‘subject’ line to the ‘call-to-action’ clicks, each element should give the user a strong reason to reach out to you and make plans to actually meet with you during the event. After organizing your mailing lists as per your target audience for trade-shows and other events, you need to write and develop qualitative content that keeps your user engrossed. Your content quality has the power of making or breaking your email campaign. You might also want to read Getting started with successful email marketing campaigns
Personalization and making the offers contextual to the segments that we are talking about is the key to success.
To conclude, events offer great opportunities for networking and to meet with audiences within your target market. To justify the money spent, it makes sense to increase ROI from events. Remember, your event ROI from one specific event will help you justify higher budgets for the next event. So make sure that you are making smart choices so that you can increase ROI from events.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing