Using events as part of your marketing strategy
Interaction is the key objective of any marketing effort. Whether online or offline, events are the key drivers for attracting and keeping your potential customers’ attention and nurturing your existing relationships. It’s a learning exercise that works both ways – you get to know them and they get to know you. Everyone wins. I’m yet to see a more effective marketing tool, but if you are not convinced these reasons might help you to understand why:
1. Events are personal
People buy from people and they buy from people they like. And vice versa – as a business, you want to choose customers you enjoy working with. By engaging in a conversation – either in a form of a webinar or face to face – you will be able to interact with your audience on a personal level and understand them and their business issues better.
2. Events create attention
The ultimate marketing objective behind any campaign is to get and keep people’s attention. Out of all channels, events have the ability to keep people’s attention for the longest – especially if you make them worth remembering. If you are able to engage your guests emotionally and intellectually, their attention span will go beyond the event itself and they will continue to reflect on it going forward.
3. Events showcase expertise
By accepting your invitation and attending your event, your audience is essentially coming to you to hear what you got to offer. It doesn’t get better than that. This means you have them in a room – virtual or real – and you can present your capabilities. As you are using events as a marketing tool, avoid hard sell and only keep it informative. Save selling for later, that’s if their experience triggers further interest.
4. Events are cost effective
The common misconception of events is that they are way too expensive. Yes they can be. But they don’t have to be if you are prepared to handle the organisation. All you need is a great venue, compelling invitation and content. It takes time to prepare, plan and market but it can be done. And it’s actually great fun, although can be a little stressful at times.
5. Events work with everyone
Doesn’t matter if you are looking to engage with new prospects or your existing clients, you can use them across all audiences. You just need to decide which format works for each audience and define the key objectives. There are loads of options; you just need to make a decision which one work best for you.
6. Events are experiential
Experience sticks with people for much longer. It will also trigger emotions that they will associate with your business and the memories will stay on their mind. If you do it well they will share their feedback with others which will turn your event marketing into word of mouth marketing, which is by far one of the most effective ways to market your business.
7. Events bring people together
People love to connect with their peers, learn what’s new and share best practices. By bringing people together for your event you are not only connecting your business with them, but you are also expanding their own networks.
Overall, events are a great way to merge social and business interaction whilst marketing your business. The only two things to watch out for are to make sure the experience is positive and that you are using them as a marketing tool, not a way to sell. Crossing that line is likely to ruin the success of your event.
Good luck with your next event!
(original article available at Squirrelsandbears.com)