Your company's CEO is speaking at an upcoming tech conference in San Francisco. Maybe it's your company's big break to display your product or simply another chance to show off your software's superiority. Perhaps you're simply showcasing the latest update. Either way, it takes time and money to plan the session in order to see noticeable returns, which most companies can attest is essential with 67% of B2C marketers reporting that they feel in-person events are an effective content marketing strategy.
Events are crucial to putting your brand out there to "wow" your prospects and engage with your clients. So you want people to attend -- but not just anyone -- you want the right people in the audience so you can build and maintain relationships long after the event.
That's where cross-channel marketing becomes an invaluable asset in promoting events and lead generation once they attend.
Unless you're Apple or Google, your name will rarely market itself. You need to do the legwork. But this doesn't have to be a struggle, in fact, it can be a way to test how to better market to your ideal customer by optimizing the channels on your marketing automation platform. Promoting the event and sending leads further down the sales funnel can be maximized with a cross-channel marketing strategy that is tailored to your organization's needs, capabilities, and budget.
Here's a framework you can use to promote your next event through cross-channel marketing:
1. Leading up to the Event
The date is set. Now all you have to do is get people in the door and over to your booth.
To start, write a press release on what the event is, who from your company is speaking, and what topics they will be covering. Then post the press release on your company blog, before promoting it on social media, in industry groups, and with industry insiders. You should also consider sending your press release to outlets that cover your industry. Finally, Include a CTA with a link to a landing page with a sign-up form. This will input their contact information in your email list.
In order to leverage your contact base, create events on social media with a link to your press release/blog post. Then promote the event through paid search by targeting a demographic according to your ideal customer profile -- located within a set radius from the event.
Keep in mind, you should begin promoting your event well ahead of the date (at least 2-3 months before). This will allow you an appropriate amount of time to create an email nurture campaign to ensure the maximum amount of sign-ups show up.
In one of the emails sent closer to the date, include a survey question as the CTA, asking how likely they are to attend. If they don't click-through or respond with a low likelihood, then you can cleanse your list. However, if they respond with a high likelihood, then move their contact details into a workflow that reminds them that the date is approaching as well as including any relevant information (topics discussed by speaker, booth location, etc.)
Segment your email workflow to determine the most likely and least likely to attend based on how often they engage with your emails, site content and the event blog post. Those who engage the most will give you a rough idea of how many will attend, but for those on the fence, create an incentive to schedule some time with you in-person at the event.
2. Promoting Engagement at Events
Most importantly, you want attendees to actually watch your CEO's session. Send out a push notification on the event app, telling attendees when and where he/she will be speaking.
After the speaking session concludes, it's time to mingle! Send another push notification inviting attendees on your email list to come by your booth and include its location. To entice people to stay after the session, create a contest (which you should promote in the emails leading up to the event) and ask that they register at the booth.
This gives you the chance for face-to-face interaction and to provide more insight on the topics covered in your CEO's speaker session, discover their pain points, and how your product or service is the solution they've been looking for.
Pro Tip: An iPad is a great tool to quickly get sign-ups and move them to your primary lead list.
3. Promoting Engagement After the Event
All your hard work has paid off. The speaking engagement inspired the attendees you invited, they enjoyed a chat with your representatives, and you have new contacts added to your email list.
These leads are still cold so you will want to touch base with them soon after the event, preferably the day after.
Here's one approach you can take:
Set up a workflow that thanks them for attending and that you enjoyed the chat, then invite them to follow your company on social media.
For the next email, send an email thanking them for their interest in your company and some more information about who you are. For those that did not attend but did not remove from your list, try to engage them again with an email letting them know they were missed and include a recap of the event.
Workflows to warm leads before handing their contact info over Sales can include promoting webinars, promoting white papers, and content that persuades them to sign up for your newsletter.
The emails and personal interactions that follow will be dependent on the segments and pertaining workflows you've created in your revenue optimization suite but you will be well on your way to creating happy, new customers by sing cross-channel marketing to promote your next event.