A Guide to Leveraging Events to Attract Clients
As a B2B company, your business thrives on building and maintaining relationships with clients. Because of that, it’s important to continually look for ways to include clients in your endeavors. One of the best ways to do that is to host events. Events are a great way to attract new clients and improve your standing with existing ones.
Furthermore, 70 percent of B2B marketers find that events are the most effective part of their content strategy. This passes up even social media and whitepapers. An event is often a unique, more casual way for companies to interact with their clients, and if carried out properly, it can lead to long-lasting relationships.
Types of Events that Attract Clients
As a tip for getting new buyers and strengthening relationships with existing ones, go where your customers are. You’ll want to host local events to attract local buyers, and host tradeshows, seminars, webinars, and social media events around the world in order to attract a wider audience. Here are some of the most effective events for attracting clients.
Webinars: These online conferences are particularly good for keeping your clients and customers informed. This allows them to feel like a part of your decision making process, which gives them the sense of inclusion that most long-term B2B clients crave. It’s also a great way to keep clients updated on any policy changes and ask for valuable feedback that will help you improve your processes.
Trade Shows: Though trade shows were much more popular in the past when technology wasn’t such a major player, they can still be useful today for high levels of interaction with consumers. They’re also great for helping you keep up with current and future industry trends, which always makes customers happy.
Fundraisers/Auctions: Whether you host your own, or join someone else’s, these events are one of the most effective for customer-client relations; and not only great for networking, but also for branding your company as one that cares about the community.
For example, the American Cancer Society holds a fundraising ball every year, and hundreds of companies donate to the cause. The event manager, Lisa Honig, specifically noted her appreciation for some of the donated artwork in a press release: “We are so thankful that Park West Gallery donated the paintings to our event…We are so grateful for their support and commitment to help us finish the fight against this dreadful disease.” This kind of publicity is exactly what your business needs to attract worthwhile consumer attention.
An event won’t be successful if you don’t market effectively enough to get key players in attendance. There are a few marketing techniques you’ll want to employ to ensure a quality audience.
Email Marketing: Begin by building your email database over the months preceding the event, and then send out a series of emails several weeks before the date, enlisting subscribers with a clear call-to-action. Include QR codes and other informational links that will allow guests to gather more information about the event before attending.
You might also include a branded eBook consumers can use to write notes at the event. Other incentives such as swag products also contribute to higher attendance.
Video Marketing: Video can be leveraged both before and during the event for advertising purposes. “Video content is already a powerful tool for increasing open and click-through rates for emails, says Brendan Cournoyer, director of content marketing at Brainshark. “And you can use that to better engage and educate recipients on why they should attend your event.”
Cournoyer goes on to explain that video marketing is also a great way to increase brand awareness and attract customers during and after the event.
Social Media: And of course, nowadays, you can’t market any event properly without social media. Your biggest networks for engagement with a b2b audience are Facebook and Twitter, with Tumblr and Pinterest close behind. Those networks are even more important than LinkedIn for networking with your audience.
Because these popular networks were not originally designed to advertise to businesses, a successful marketing strategy requires employing a number of engagement techniques to reach and influence your target audience.
Hosting regular events could be your key to a successful year of client retention and engagement, if you go about it the right way. Be sure to follow up after your event to begin building relationships with your newfound customers.