This article was updated in June 2022.
In-person events are a powerful way to engage with your target audience and generate brand awareness. But since events usually come with a high cost, hitting your attendance goals, and ultimately your new customer goals, is vital to your success.
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While many companies think the solution is generating as many attendees as possible to fill the room, this tactic will rarely work well. High attendance rates mean nothing if your events don’t produce quality sales prospects.
At Banzai, we’ve been fortunate enough to help hundreds of B2B companies boost their event marketing and lead generation. Here are a few of our top tips for generating quality leads.
Tips for Turning Event Leads Into Sales Prospects
Tip 1: Use your website to continuously nurture your leads
With the amount of online traffic available today, marketers are more empowered than ever. Information abundance allows for the creation of extensive buyer personas, giving marketing groups a considerable insight into the wants and needs of their customers.
But with this abundance of information has also come a scarcity of attention. Internet users consume excessive amounts of information; and to help keep sales prospects engaged, your event content and website must be memorable.
By sending email notifications, as well as consistently adding event updates and new content to your website, you can combat this limited attention span and prevent registrants from forgetting they’ve signed up for an event. Furthermore, you can use your website to continue the conversation once your event is over.
Being memorable doesn’t necessarily mean having high-end graphics or complex bots—though it could. It means having a friendly interface that offers relevant, usable content and is navigated comfortably. Keeping your website useful and user-friendly will help keep your prospects engaged and your customers returning.
Tip 2: MOFU not just TOFU
Every day we’re seeing the benefits of linking Sales and Marketing teams into Smarketing teams, and one of the biggest tools these teams have in sales prospecting is the sales funnel. However, when Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are moved from the top of the funnel to the middle, they’re often forgotten about if they aren’t ready to become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). But just as a SQL must be continuously nurtured until it becomes a Sales Accepted Lead, MQLs in the middle of the funnel must also be nurtured until they are ready to become SQLs.
When your prospects are in the middle of the funnel they want to be making evaluations. They aren’t yet motivated to choose a course of action to fix their problem and they need to see how your solutions are better than your competitors’. This consistent nurturing can be handled in several ways.
Email automation is a great way to open the door and provide your prospects with simple content like guides, product tutorials and/or white papers, while also inviting them to look further into your business. Whether automated or sent directly, email is an effective means of keeping your MOFU customers active in their search for a solution while convincing them of your solutions’ superiority.
BONUS: Try following up with a prospect who didn’t attend a webinar or offer a prospect a free white paper to further their education. This may seem a daunting task, but with tight definitions and clear communication between teams, Sales and Marketing groups can guide their prospects the whole way through the sales funnel and continue to produce event ROI.
Tip 3: Keep prospects engaged through the buyer’s journey with consistent content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep both potential sales prospects and customers engaged with your business before, during, and after your event. However, it’s not enough to simply plug content into your site. With the abundance of information available to web users today, your online content needs to be all of three things:
- PUBLISHED CONSISTENTLY: By sticking to a regular publishing schedule, your prospects will know when they can expect new, relevant content, making them much more likely to return.
- HIGH QUALITY: Ensure every piece of work you put out into the world meets your brand standards and follows style rules for design consistency. In addition, content containing spelling errors and other mistakes reflects poorly on your company. Make sure your work is always checked for copy edits or other errors.
- ADDS VALUE: If you expect someone to give you their time, you must provide even more back. Supplying your prospects with useful materials like location guides and informative podcasts helps to develop a sense of loyalty. Additionally, they’ll be more likely to return to your site to find more material, creating another opportunity for you to interact with them and prove the worth of your solutions.
Tip 4: Focus on your target audience
The key to effective event marketing and sales prospecting is defining your target audience. Not everyone who registers for an event will show up; and of those who do show up, even fewer will have the purchasing power or the interest to make a decision, so don’t try appealing to everyone.
Define your target audience and begin building a relationship with them. If you understand your specific audience niche, you can adapt to its changes over time and foster a working relationship with your prospects.