Why do we think events are important as a part of a healthy content strategy? Simple – our own results. In fact, just since February our lead generation efforts have produced 354% new inbound leads over the same period last year, and our event registrations have increased by 1000% from February to August! (No kidding.) Most importantly though, as our reach has increased so has our revenue, and we want to share our experience with you so that you can determine if a similar strategy could yield similar results.
Why do events?
There are several reasons that events can really help you market your business:
- You will be able to build reputation and authority in your marketplace.
- Events allow you to engage at a different level – both with prospects AND with your customers.
- Gain measurable results in your marketing and sales efforts.
- With today’s technology you are able to leverage your events even further (and we’ll show you how).
Types of events
You can be very creative with the types of events you host, or you can keep it simple. Regardless, most events will fit into one of these three categories:
- Online/Virtual (webinars, social media events, etc.)
- In-person (luncheons, informational sessions, meet & greets, etc.)
- In-person “big tent” (conventions, large user groups, etc.)
Depending on your target market, you can select one, two, or all three options.
Golden Rules of Event Marketing
To gain the most value out of your event make sure that you ALWAYS…
- Have a registration or sign-up
- Have a follow-up plan for attendees
- Have a follow-up plan for no-shows
In fact, the people who DON’T attend are every bit as important as those who do.
Downplay Your Sales Efforts
The main purpose of events is to educate your customers about topics that can help them solve problems – not to present them with a sales pitch. Make sure to keep “commercials” (in webinars for example) brief and at the end of the presentation. Understand that if your events are 100% sales presentations your first audience will not likely attend a second event. Would you? You don’t have to eliminate all sales efforts at events; just be smart about how you execute any sales efforts. Focus the event on the audience’s needs/wants – not yours, and you’ll have deeper engagement over a longer period of time.
Your Biggest Goal When Having Events
When conducting an event the most important thing that you need to do(besides providing valuable content to your audience – of course) is getting registrations. If you don’t have registrations you will have no commitment, which means there is an inability for you to plan. Also, if you’re not capturing registrations you’re not capturing leads and won’t be able to follow up. Lastly, if you don’t have registrations you only know who showed up, NOT who wished they could have, tried to, or was super-interested but forgot. Once you have registrations, you are able to nurture those leads – even if they don’t attend, and especially if they do.
Some Event Invitation Tips
The invitation is one of the most important pieces of your event strategy. Whether you’re emailing your invitations or direct-mailing them, follow this recipe for success.
- Make sure to include powerful benefit statements – a benefit that’s critical to your audience
- Don’t start by reciting information about their marketplace that they likely already know
- Don’t get too wordy about you – less about you and more about what they get out of the event
- No matter what, send people to a landing page to register/RSVP
- Make your registration easy – don’t try to collect too much info
As long as done they’re done correctly events can be a very valuable part of your lead generation efforts!
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