Events and webinars are great for engaging customers in your industry. But often, prospects who initially show interest become disengaged before the big day. Why? Because they aren't qualified event registrations.
To change this, you need to focus on attracting people who are genuinely interested in your services and point of view. Here are a few tips to get the right people talking about your events.
1. Target the right audience
43% of event attendees don't feel events marketed to them are relevant to their industry - Eventbrite.
It may seem obvious, but you need to make sure you're only targeting prospects who are likely to become future customers. Everyone else is irrelevant. For example, if you're a Systems Integrator (SI) attempting to connect enterprise-level businesses with Microsoft Azure, you want to avoid targeting SMEs in your event promotion.
Proper segmentation allows you to tailor events towards specific buyer personas. Find out what industry challenges your target audience face and run events that will address these issues. At this stage, you're looking to engage prospects with your services, not directly sell to them. The aim is to generate new leads for your marketing team that will eventually turn into sales.
Producing content is a great way to direct qualified prospects to your event. You could:
- Create an engaging press release that introduces your event guests.
- Write articles that relate to your keynote topic and link to your event sign up page with CTAs.
- Use video marketing to produce a highlight reel from previous events.
Whichever method you choose, make sure it is clear, concise and relevant to the audience you're targeting.
2. Promote your event in the right places
Once you've created your persona-specific content, it's a good idea to promote it on the platforms your target audience use regularly. The more relevant exposure you gain for your event, the more likely you are to acquire qualified event registrations. Use the following methods to attract the right people:
Social media. Social media is a ready-made promotional tool. Use it to engage an audience that already has an interest in your brand. Images, videos and personalised messaging will help drive the right people to your sign up page.
Email. Email is another useful way of engaging those already on your radar. These prospects are already more qualified than most because they have willingly offered their contact details. Keep copy light and engaging, focusing on the value your event can offer their business.
Influencers. Is there someone in your niche who already commands the audience you're after? Reach out to these influencers via email or social media and find out whether they'll promote your event.
Pay-per-click advertising. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is ideal for quick wins such as event registrations. Platforms such as LinkedIn enable you to target specific demographics, only charging you for the clicks you receive. Read our 5-minute guide to effective PPC on LinkedIn to find out how you can optimise your adverts for improved ROI.
3. Optimise your sign-up page
Congratulations! You've succeeded in driving traffic to your sign-up page. Now you need to ensure your prospects know exactly what they're signing up for. Optimising the content on this page can improve your sign-up rate and ensure you receive as many qualified event registrations as possible.
Here's a quick checklist of things you'll need:
- Clear and concise text - reiterate the main benefits of your event and what value your attendees can expect to draw from it.
- Relevant, personalised information - make it clear who this event is for. It's important to remind people who you're targeting and why this event is exclusive to their challenges and objectives.
- Appealing visuals - show people enjoying previous events. Images help sell the event to interested prospects.
- Obvious contact details - many people will avoid signing up if they don't feel they can get in touch with you after. Make contact details easily accessible.
Top tip: make sure your sign-up page is mobile-friendly. You will lose a lot of potential prospects if your site is slow to load or difficult to use.
4. Don't forget to confirm and follow up
Your confirmation page/email should include the same elements. This is also a great place to answer FAQs and include details that weren't necessary to guests pre-registration. Again, recap the value of this event and be as descriptive as possible - if attendees feel underprepared they are less likely to show.
Launch an email campaign in the days leading up to the event that reminds attendees to participate and keeps them engaged. A countdown on social media is also a good way to sustain audience interest (just make sure you don't overdo it).
5. Turn excited attendees into excited customers
Your marketing efforts shouldn't end when the event does. Follow-up with your attendees to turn qualified registrations into qualified leads. A personalised email can lead your guests to the next stage of the purchase journey and inspire them to form a lasting relationship with your company.
If you've followed the best practices above and staged a relevant and engaging marketing event, you should soon see interest in your brand soar.
For more information on how to upgrade your marketing strategies, check out our Microsoft Partner Transformation Toolkit.