I was recently interviewed by Events Uncovered TV, to share my observations on the ever changing shape that B2B event marketing is taking. The premise of my argument is that while some traditional marketing techniques may have worked superbly in their heyday, the industry is undeniably evolving (and some event marketers are struggling to keep up). Enjoy the interview and please comment away if you have views of your own.Read More
A clear trend is emerging: B2B publishers are becoming increasingly aware that events are a profitable opportunity not to be passed up. Simultaneously, event companies are realising that the industry needs to change. They must think more as publishers do in the battle to fight declining revenues and add value to both sponsors and attendees on a 365 basis.
The current sentiment on both sides is "yes we know we need to behave/think/act more like them", but nobody seems to know where event and publisher paths converge. Neither side knows how exactly how to get to this sweet spot, where to start, or who internally is best placed to drive the change.
Largely, the challenge lies in finding the employee who can be bothered to propel this internal shift in attitudes with different stakeholders, and get their buy in.
The actions publishers and events need to take are clear and they don't have to be complicated! Here's my rundown of where the covergence lies, and what kind of results each side can expect to achieve:
What publishers do very well (and events don't):
Base quality content at the heart of their business
Write a lot of content for various different sectors/segments/value groups
Think in stories, narratives and news pieces – ideally those that engage their audience
Compose content with a view to provoke opinion and inspire readers to react
Truly know their industry, and the people they serve, in great and granular detail
Acquire lots of data, ensure it is clean and keep it up-to-date
Know their database in all senses. How big it is, the segments, readers (how many of them) etc. Some publishers are drowning in data - can event marketers say the same?
Their websites are huge in terms of assets – they have plenty of content pages (an approach highly rewarded by Google, which gives them preference as news providers)
Nurture their community and readers with content – and lots of it – sometimes it’s hard to keep up!
What publishers can improve upon (and learn a thing or two about from events):Read More
Content marketing is often viewed as a passing fad by B2B event marketers - or ignored completely - but unlike some marketing trends this one is set to stick around. As an experienced marketer, chances are you’re familiar with the fundamentals – but how can you translate the returns of this approach to your event marketing?
It's all about changing your mindset, and applying the key elements of the content philosophy to your outlook. Ultimately, treating your event as a content offer, rather than a standalone occurrence, will help you to adapt your strategy, generate relevant leads, and increase registrations.
Step 1 – Think of your event as a content offer
First, you need to change how you view your event. Approach it as you would your other content pieces, like ebooks, whitepapers or checklists. It certainly meets the criteria of an offer, it's simply one you would place further down the marketing funnel
As you would with any offer, use your other content as platforms upon which to market your event. Amend your existing ebooks, whitepapers etc., so that they link to your event (make sure you remove the reference once the event has come and gone). Be smart and only insert it where relevant or applicable – it should appear as a logical next step to the reader in question
So we’ve talked about what not to do in email marketing – now let’s address the positives. There are plenty of quick and easy techniques you can employ to ensure the content you so lovingly crafted actually connects with the prospects you intended it for!
Most of your B2B prospects will receive countless messages about products and services, new content, conferences, discounts, offers, webinars etc. on a daily or possibly hourly basis (depending on how freely they share their email address). As a result, the key to increasing and sustaining your open rate is to stand out by being relevant, interesting and showing a genuine desire to help. Here are our best B2B email marketing tips to improve your metrics and ultimately win more quality leads:Read More
You’ve spent a great deal of time creating a strong event brand – the name, logo, theme or topic, format etc – but potential delegates still don’t appear to be engaging with you online. Your event website homepage is arguably the most powerful tool you have at your disposal to market your event, and reach potential delegates, and doing it well can impact registrations enormously. So what might you be getting wrong? Here are the nine most common mistakes event marketers are making, and how you can avoid these pitfalls.
Everything is fighting for attention. Nothing stands out (including the navigation) and visitors to your site will lose interest pretty quickly.
List the content elements you feel really must be on your homepage. Prioritise these, and only include the top 5 – these should be in size order according to importance.Read More
There are various different terms associated with marketing partnerships which all mean exactly the same thing. Whether you refer to them as contra deals, bartering agreements, media partnerships, or anything else – essentially these are non-financial, mutually beneficial agreements. If you’re able to demonstrate how you can increase a prospective partner’s members, visitors, subscribers, or revenue, you can get them to help market your conference for free.
As appealing as they are, marketing partners can be tricky to pin down (or so some marketing team members might say). We’ve previously detailed how to identify key marketing and media partners and this is the next stage towards actually securing them.Read More
B2B events marketing can be stressful, but when things go right, it is a rewarding, sociable and incredibly diverse profession. It may not be one of the jobs people dream of doing while at school, but it still has huge appeal and is a career that requires a specific skillset within a field that not everyone could excel in. Hiring someone with the right attributes is crucial, so here is our list of just what you need to look out for when recruiting - or if you're an aspiring events marketer, the skills you need to demonstrate.Read More
As a busy director, you probably don't have time to get bogged down in the detail of marketing reports. But since your company is likely to be heavily reliant on the emails you send to your database, not knowing exactly what the metrics show (or which ones really matter) can lead to lengthy yawnworthy meetings and little clarity on how your team, marketing and tactics are truly performing.Read More
Multi touch point marketing is rapidly picking up momentum in the B2B events industry, and your event sales team need to get on board.
Your B2B customers have high expectations and want to be engaged via the medium that best suits them, at their own convenience and in a way that is tailored to their every need. Just as importantly, your sponsorship clients are demanding much more for their hard-won buck. As a consequence, your sales team need to add value for sponsors at the same time as offering a more integrated and personalised experience for delegates across multiple touch points.
The term ‘event producer’ is pretty old school. The once straightforward task of managing and marketing an event programme doesn’t really exist anymore. Now, as someone responsible for building an event programme you need to adopt a more editorial role. Furthermore, you are required to be an ‘industry expert’. In other words, you need to understand the content and context of your event and the interests of the B2B audience your event aims to reach.