Have you ever tried to put up an event? You spend weeks and months of hard work; from the conceptualization stage of the event through the research, finding partners, recruiting speakers, getting an event hall and other details that go into putting up a great event.
Now it’s time to go public and announce your event, then questions like this arise;
- How do I stand out from the crowd?
- What must i do to create awareness and buzz for this event?
- How do I research the targeted audience for this event?
- What must be done to make this event a success?
The truth is, there are lots of questions that come up at this phase but the good news is, there is an approach that will ensure success in what you want to do. It is called; INBOUND MARKETING
What is inbound marketing?
According to HUBSPOT, Inbound marketing is about creating valuable experiences that have a positive impact on people and businesses. How do you do that? You attract prospects and customers to your website and blog through relevant and helpful content. Once they arrive, you engage with them using conversational tools like emails, chat and most importantly by promising continued value. Finally, you earn their trust by consistently acting as an empathetic advisor and expert.
Unlike outbound marketing, with inbound marketing, you don’t need to fight for your potential customers’ attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customer, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.
Inbound Marketing has continued to grow in popularity since 2006 and has become the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Unlike the old methods of buying ads, email lists, and hoping for leads to appear, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people towards your company and product where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customers’ interest, you naturally attract inbound traffic that can be converted over time.
Wikipedia says Inbound marketing provides information, an improved customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms.
The inbound methodology is composed of three stages: ATTRACT, ENGAGE and DELIGHT. Inbound businesses use the methodology to build trust, credibility, and momentum. It’s all about adding value at every stage in your customer’s journey with you.
Inbound and event marketing.
Knowing what inbound marketing is, and understanding it will help you cut through the many noises online and help you get discovered by your target audience, you can at this point, take advantage of this and make inbound marketing work for your event.
Let’s now go back and take a look at the three stages of the inbound methodology: ATTRACT, ENGAGE and DELIGHT.
In marketing an event, you don’t just want anyone registering on your event website. You want people who are likely to find value for your event or become leads and ultimately happy customers.
How then do you ensure this happens? One sure way to attract more of the right people to your event is by providing them with the relevant content at the right time – especially when they are looking for it. Have you ever been in need of an information and you find a website that provides you it? You know that feeling you have and how the website name stuck with you? That’s the kind of content I am talking about.
You use the content strategy tool to build your authority in search and rank for the topics that matter the most and your event as a place to be to get further enlightenment. You can also publish a blog post or video across social networks using social media tools. Also create ads to increase awareness for your brand with your target audience.
Here are some tools to attract the right audience;
- Social media
- Content strategy
Now that they have been attracted to your event website or page, you can now use conversation to create lasting relationships with prospects on the channels they prefer. Use emails, live chat or messaging apps. You can also use conversion tools like CTAs, forms and lead flows to capture the information of the prospects visiting your site. Also use all prospects information in your CRM to personalize the website experience using smart content via emails.
Some engage tools;
- Lead flows
- Email Marketing
- Lead management
- Conversational bot
- Marketing automation
At this point, it is imperative that you create content which your prospects can share with friends and family by using a variety of content formats that your prospects prefer. Also use email and marketing automation as well to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.
Here are some delight tools:
- Smart content
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
What kind of Content?
The most successful event organizers will dedicate some time to researching key trends and finding influential and interesting content to speak for leaders on those topics at the event. This well researched and interesting content can be shared with your industry in the form of blog posts, slide shares and videos. This will position your event as a thought leader and a valuable resource both online and offline. Knowing exactly who your event audience are and their key challenges will help create event content that would resonate with them and make your event really compelling, pushing up registration and attendance.
Now that you have the content, how do you find the right people to attend your event?
Knowing who you want at the event is the very first step to applying inbound marketing. These people are called event (or buyer) personas. Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional; generalized representations of your ideal customers. These are people who are genuinely interested in attending your event and engaging with your company or service. Trying to invite people outside your buyer persona is just a waste of money and resources on marketing and event cost. They will not be interested in the products or service you or your sponsors are offering.
So what do you do?
The first thing to do is to set the goals for the event before you can research and create your buyer persona.
What kind of event are you organizing? Is it a lead generation event, brand awareness event or even a customer appreciation event? When you can successfully answer this question it will help you identify;
- The right people to invite
- The right speakers to have
- The most valuable content to create for the audience.