Event Marketing Secrets: How To Leverage Events To Grow Your Business
When you’re trying to get cut through in a competitive online space, events can be a fantastic tool to add to your marketing mix and support traditional marketing activities. Event marketing allows you to connect with your prospects, capture marketing qualified leads, and build awareness of your brand in your community.
Events + The Inbound Methodology
So how does event marketing fit into the marketing mix?
If you’ve had a nose around the Noisy Little Monkey website, you’ll know that we’re evangelists of the Inbound Marketing Methodology.
If you don’t know what Inbound marketing is, it’s a type of business methodology which attracts customers to your service/product by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. For a more in depth look at what this involves, take a little look at this blog post here.
As you’ll see from the infographic below, events fit into the Inbound methodology rather nicely. They help nudge your prospects further through the buyer’s journey and work well in every single phase - whether it’s events which attract new prospects to your brand or events which build loyalty with customers, there’s no doubt about it: events work brilliantly as a marketing tool for businesses.
But the question is, how do you fully leverage event marketing to raise awareness of your brand and generate leads for your business?
In this blog are a few tips to help you get the most from your corporate events...
Don't sell. Tell
Events are a fantastic way for your business to showcase its expertise BUT make sure you don’t turn your event into a sales pitch for your company. This will only turn people off your brand.
If you’re delivering a talk at your own event (or a third party event for that matter), you need to make sure that the talk you deliver is valuable for the people in the audience.
Noisy Little Monkey organises a biannual digital marketing conference called Digital Gaggle and we always deliver a talk at our own event. We make sure the content is:
- Relevant to our audience
- Provides value
- Shares best practice advice, tips, and learnings
If your talk is overly salesy, uninformative and basically just a pitch for business - event attendees are only going to leave with a negative impact of your brand in their head.
When it comes to planning the content of your talk, revisit your buyer personas. Think about what their goals and challenges are: how can you help them overcome these challenges? Design a useful talk and you’ll have a captivated audience who will truly resonate with your message and your brand.
People buy from people
A great reason to organise events is that it gives your prospects the chance to build up an affinity with the people behind your brand. Hosting face to face events means you’re no longer a faceless corporate with a website and stock images - you’re a real team with skills, a personality, and (hopefully) a sense of humour.
In an increasingly digital age, you cannot put enough value on meeting people face to face because at the end of the day, people buy from people.
You're judged by the company you keep
Organising events allows you to associate your brand with huge players in your industry. By getting sponsors in your sector involved in the event and hosting an impressive speaker lineup, you get to have your logo next to some really impressive brands.
Not only does this help you sell tickets (recognisable logos from trusted brands really do shift tickets), but it acts as a subtle psychological nudge for your prospects. By organising our Digital Gaggle conference, Noisy Little Monkey has had its logo next to brands like HubSpot, Microsoft, Wistia… These are all global companies and we’re a team of 13 based in Bristol but we’re sitting at the same table as the big kids!
Enable sponsors to (gently) capture and nurture leads
No-one likes being sold at, so you need to make sure that the attendees at your event don't feel like they're being thrown to the wolves when they walk through an exhibition space.
At Digital Gaggle, we work closely with our sponsors to make sure that they provide something of value to the attendees. This might be something as simple as a free consultation but by using a give-get principle at your events, your delegates are waaaay more likely to engage with sponsors and come away with a warm fuzzy feeling because they've benefited from the exchange.
One of the sponsors of Digital Gaggle does this really well. T&S Creative Communications do #FREECreative where they give 200 hours of their time away for free. Need a logo redesigned? A cunning campaign idea? They’ll come up with ideas for you and pitch it for free – the outcome? You’ve got some great ideas and they’ve got a one hour meeting with you and your decision makers. It's a win-win,
The team at T&S Creative Communications offering #FREECreative at Digital Gaggle
Once you've captured leads at an event, you want to make sure that you nurture them through the buyer's journey using a series of automated emails and workflows so that, over time, your prospects turn into qualified leads which you can hand to your sales team.
Below is an example of how Noisy Little Monkey uses HubSpot and marketing automation to nurture leads through a series of automated emails.
Enable shareable content and remarkable experiences
When I say “content”, I don’t just mean the content of the talks at your event - you need to think about the entire event experience.
What can you do that will delight your attendees and turn them into promoters of your brand? At Digital Gaggle, we’ve done “decorate your own cookies” and had a photobooth. Other events I’ve been to have had ball pits and DIY tie-dye t-shirts!
Creating memorable experiences for your attendees gets them talking about your event and brand both in real life and online. And you can’t get a more impressive recommendation than a word of mouth referral.
Noisy Little Monkey's Account Manager James enjoying the ball pit at a conference in Boston.
Reuse, repurpose and recycle
So you’ve organised an event, hosted it, and now it’s done. Right? Wrong!
If you’re savvy about it, you can squeeze content out of your events for future marketing efforts for weeks and months.
Here’s some content ideas for you:
- Write a blog summarising key learnings from your event (for extra juicy content, consider writing a blog about each of the talks and make the content search optimised)
- Film the talks at your event, and get the talks transcribed for SEO juice
- Turn videos of your talks into a podcast - BrightonSEO do this well
- Share photos from your event on social media
So there you have it. You should be totally ready to set up your own events and use them in your marketing strategy.
If you need to sell the idea to your boss, I've turned this blog into a presentation - you can download it here and use it to convince your boss of the value of events!