It’s obvious that if you haven’t tracked conversions from the very beginning, then at this stage, it’s too late to connect the dots. In event marketing, as with any other digital marketing process, your main challenge appears long before you’ve begun. In reality, there’s a slim chance that you’ll succeed if you don’t have clearly defined, measurable goals. Only by setting goals will you be able to perfectly structure your marketing activities and get the most out of sponsored events and more.
How about a cup of tea, sir? No, first I need to set some goals!
Unfortunately, no one can 100 percent guarantee that their event audience is truly interested in their products or services and ready to convert without any additional promotional activities. Without metrics that show how likely your prospects are to become clients, you can easily miss the right moment to act. In order to overcome all of these problems, you need to establish realistic and quantifiable goals.
Ultimately, you should set marketing goals as early as possible, because doing so will give you enough time to consider how to properly and most conveniently track everything. I recommend starting with global goals, which will further streamline your entire event marketing process. Various studies and surveys have shown that the most common goals set by event marketers can be grouped into three categories:
1. Brand awareness
3. Building relationships with key influencers and networking
All my previous experience tells me that the best solution here is to focus on your main goal and let the rest take a supporting role. For instance, if you select brand awareness as your key goal, then you won’t be interested in sponsoring trade shows, which are widely used for lead generation. As you can see, when you have a clear target, you can easily narrow down your list of possible options and filter out non-relevant opportunities in only a few minutes!
Measure this, measure that!
The next painful business dilemma shows up when you start to define how you will measure conversions for each sponsored event. For instance, I’ve been involved in a huge number of debates where business owners weren’t happy with how their marketing team represented the revenue that was generated by the events channel. It’s extremely important to find the right method of measuring revenue from event activities that will be approved by all parties involved in this process, otherwise, you’re simply increasing your chances of failure. You need to set clear rules for how you will calculate the revenue that is generated from each event.
I have measurable, realistic goals! What’s next?
After you’ve set measurable goals and your team is satisfied with them, it’s time to build all your processes around them. You should make informed decisions using your pre-determined key indicators, which will help you monitor your return on investments thus far. But how should you go about this?
At the end of the day, after any event, you have on one hand a list of particular users and on other the other people who might have decided to check your site later. Both of these groups are trackable, if you know exactly how to set up a process.
A CRM system provides the best environment for monitoring the conversion progress of event leads. Ideally, if you use a marketing automation solution, you’ll also be able to see how these leads interact with your website. Here I want to emphasize that it doesn’t matter what targets you choose to pursue, but you must have a CRM system that allows you to add events and fill in all the necessary details, like the cost of sponsorship and any additional spending, as well as upload your list of contacts. A CRM also allows you to track everything in one place and provides a handy reporting feature that shows you what’s going with your event’s leads on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. So you need to be sure that the list of leads that you have after an event is associated with a particular campaign in your CRM system, so that everyone can analyze your return on investment.
The second group of non-personalized users are mostly converted into the direct traffic tier and may later convert to paid users or at least subscribers. For registered users, you need to use surveys and your sales team to uncover whether they were involved in a particular event or in multiple events. For sure you can’t capture all users, but you still have a chance to capture a good portion of them.
Accelerate your conversion rates, maximize your event’s ROI!
Another powerful strategy that event marketers tend to neglect is taking advantage of other marketing channels in order to maximize the efficiency of a conference. The reason why this happens might be because of the commonly used leads qualification process, in which the sales team plays a key role. But, the truth is there is a huge number of businesses that don’t have sales departments, so does this mean that they will never turn leads into clients? Here, I want to share a couple of ideas that will help any business get the most from events, not with a sales team, but with the help of intelligent marketing pros!
Use a dedicated email marketing campaign that involves retargeting
Set up a series of emails that will be automatically sent to users one after another based on opens and click behavior. Your main goal is to persuade users to take a closer look at your product or service, to involve them in your marketing activities, and, finally, share a special offer with them. These same messages will follow users on other websites via banners, because you’ll reinforce your campaign with email retargeting. Email retargeting allows you to double the effectiveness of your emails and maximize your response rate. Here you need to be sure that your email marketing campaign is perfectly synchronized with your users’ purchases in order to be sure that you’re not chasing users that have already converted.
Another way to use this powerful channel is to purchase a dedicated mass email that will be sent out to all conference attendees. Unfortunately, this option is not so widely used to sponsor offline events, and on top of that, it’s ridiculously expensive. However, online events provide sponsors with a wider range of opportunities to run this type of ad campaign.
Launch a list-based retargeting campaign
This type of retargeting can be useful when you get leads’ email addresses via prize drawings or similar activities. So this means, in reality, that you’ve never had a real conversation with these people, and they’re too “cold” to receive emails, but you can try to warm them up by displaying banners on social media channels and other sites. Also, you can try to target event attendees that are active on Twitter by simply searching with the conference’s hashtag. Tweet binder provides you with a list of users who were tweeting during a conference, and after you build a list of users, you can start an advertising campaign on Twitter!
When you know how to measure an event’s success, you can control its outcomes. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your company’s money and resources. Also, don’t be afraid to set ambitious goals, because doing so will motivate your event marketing team to constantly work harder to improve their process. And last but not least, use a combination of marketing channels in order to convert leads after an event, and experiment as much as you can!