It’s easy to underestimate the effort that goes into organizing online events these days. But no matter how you look at it, hosting a successful event is a huge deal. And generating leads is its raison d’être.
Eighty-seven percent of marketers consider leads generated by online events a success factor in marketing campaigns. If you’re considering how to turn your events into a leads generation machine, this is it.
Lead Generation Ideas to Consider Before Your Online Event
In one study, 73 percent of B2B marketers agree that webinars generate high-quality leads.
Albeit, savvy marketers don’t wait for the event to start generating leads. But they do more than generate leads — they generate quality leads.
With this in mind, how do you get high-quality leads you can nurture during and after your events? Here are 5 practices with which to start.
Identify Your Target Market
For leads to be high-quality, you’ll want to identify prospects (people, businesses, organizations) that fit your regular criteria. One way of knowing this is to identify and track the characteristics of your website visitors.
Of course, you’ll need extra analytics tools to know who visited your website. Despite its popularity, Google Analytics won’t tell you, “Hey! Jim is visiting your site right now. Give him a ring.” But it can come close.
Here’s what you get with Google Analytics: aggregate demographic information.
This includes information on:
- Locations and languages
- Demographic data based on age and gender information
- Interests with affinity categories and in-market segments
- User behavior and frequency – new and recent visits, returning frequency, and those likely to convert
- How they found you – via organic search or ads
Other tools like marketing automation and visitor identification software can show you more data.
The visitor ID software gets its data by tracking your visitor’s IP address and matching it across a database of companies and individuals. Whereas the marketing automation software gets data through lead magnets and lead capture software, like HubSpot.
Streamline Your Marketing Efforts
SEO content marketing is the best way to engage your audience and generate leads to the pipeline.
Once you identify your target market, you’d want to develop content they relate to. First, you create a content calendar. Then, you fill it up with valuable content that informs, engages, and caters to your market’s pain points.
If you’re a global brand, you must develop content relatable to customers from different geographic locations, across different demographics.
You can use Facebook ads and website promotion to encourage sign ups too.
Leverage Social Media Marketing to Show What’s Working for You
Be social. Social media marketing can go a long way in carrying your audience along.
While you may not want to be comical with your posts, it sometimes pays to be transparent with what you do and how you did it.
Creating a brief, but insightful post on social media about something your company succeeded at, can be an invaluable resource to potential leads.
Consider Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
You know how traditional marketing works, right? Good. Turn it on its head, and you have account-based marketing.
Let’s help you put it into perspective.
In traditional marketing, marketers often focus on a large group of people (prospects) and drive them into a sales funnel. In Account-based marketing, marketers focus on a small, highly-targeted audience instead.
Image Credit: Intercom
After this, they try to nurture these leads and offer an excellent Lifetime Value (LTV). What this does is give you the best value for your money. By getting a prospect with an 80 percent convert-chance, you waste fewer leads and have more engaged leads.
You’ll need hyper-personalized messages for this to work. Sort your audience into high-value prospects.
High-value prospects are people who can bring value and pull their weight in an event. They include thought leaders, influencers, celebrities, and keynote speakers. Then assign one rep to each person here.
Target those that were not mentioned in the above categories with personalized ads, emails, and messages on social media.
How to Get Your Target Audience to Attend Your Online Event
By now, you must have a rock-solid idea of who your target audience is. The next step in the playbook is how to get this audience to attend your event.
Here, your primary focus should be on what’s in it for them. Ask yourself these questions:
- What value are you offering?
- What will you get or learn that they won’t get anywhere else?
- Is this value going to age; in two, maybe three years? Or perhaps, it is evergreen?
- How’s your event different from other events they might attend?
No. You don’t need to ask yourself what’s in it for you – you know that already. Once you’ve judiciously answered these questions, you need to craft your event’s unique selling proposition (USP).
Sell it to them, and you’re golden. Now it’s time to get your event started with these tips.
Offer a Physical, not Digital Product as Lead Capture
If you sell physical products or can package your digital products into flash drives, this can be a powerful way to connect with your audience. Direct mail is not dead, folks.
Receiving something in the mail from you creates warm feelings towards your brand. Webinar attendees will be more open to buying from you because they perceive your offer as more valuable.
If your leads perceive your offer as highly valuable, they might even be willing to pay for the shipping. However, if you don’t have a physical product, you can still offer a free trial or some sort of freemium offering.
Incentivize Your Invitees
Don’t just invite them to your event; incentivize them to do so. One way to do this is to leverage your staff’s connections. Your employees’ network may include contacts from within the industry or previous companies they’ve worked with.
Image Credit: Talent Lyft
How to do this? Develop a referral incentive program. You can turn it into a competition, where more referrals mean better rewards.
Another idea to try here is to offer non-monetary rewards. While bonuses and cash rewards are good, sometimes, an unexpected incentive is better and can drive excellent engagement.
Pre-record the Event and Promote It Weeks or Months Ahead
Recorded events give attendees the opportunity to choose a convenient time to attend. Plus, you can prepare in advance for the Q&A session.
However, you need to do a live introduction at the beginning of the event, add audience engagement tactics (polls, etc.), and include an interactive session at the end of the event. This will allow you to take notes and ready your audience’s answers.
Create a buzz on different platforms – start early. Promote it far and wide to generate momentum for registrations and referrals.
Returning customers may expect a buzz on social media if you hold a quarterly or annual event. But if it is a debut event, people may not be aware.
Do not leave anything to chance. Get your marketing team working and keep promoting it.
Get an Industry Thought Leader to Host the Event
“Elon Musk is coming.”
Imagine you were in the space tech or automobile industry — what would that statement mean to you?
Your guess is as good as mine. Chances are, your audience will feel the same way too. Excitement. Anticipation. All in preparation for his coming.
Get a thought leader or respected celebrity in your industry to host your event or make a speech. That way, people will look forward to the event, and the attendance and engagement will skyrocket.
Convert Event Attendees to Leads, Close the Deal
Though generating leads is a key driver for creating and participating in online events, turning those leads into lifetime customers is the crux of it all. There are many ways to go about it, but below we’ve highlighted the ones we believe are most important.
Articulate, but Simplify Your Registration Forms
Your registration forms must be brief and have only relevant fields. Asking only relevant questions will ensure your target audience does not lose interest before the main event.
Forget the Kiosk, Give Value
To give value, you must showcase yourself as an expert in the field. This requires that you give a decent pitch interactively to inspire trust in your prospects.
Be creative. To increase your confidence and your chances of success, do adequate research. If your content is long, split it into sections to avoid mixing up thoughts in your head, as this will reflect poorly when you speak.
Cut to the chase. Do not dilly-dally by spending precious time on unnecessary explanations and boring talks. Your audience expects value, do not disappoint them.
Give relevant information as you interact. Remember your unique selling proposition and expatiate on the value it brings without being salesy.
Also, think of probable reactions you will get from participants and prepare accurate answers to them.
Have Your Sales Team Collaborate With Your Marketing Team
Involving both teams ensures you get some heat off your back. They’ll deal with background questions your prospects might have during the event.
Ask them to collate content from the event, as you would need them for future marketing initiatives.
All this will ensure you deliver the best value-packed content for your audience without distractions or disruptions. And ease the transfer of top leads from marketing to sales.
Create a Poll and Segment Your Data
Polls help keep your event interactive and your audience engaged while they learn. Poll responses offer insightful data you can use to segment your audience.
A poll will also help you determine if your attendees are interested in learning more about your company, products, or talking to a sales rep afterward.
After polling, segment your audience into categories. Identify hot, warm, and cold leads. You may not have all three, but at the very least, you should have sales-ready leads and the ones you’ll have to nurture.
Follow-up and Nurture Your Leads
Always follow up within 24-hours.
Have your marketing team pass the sales-ready leads to the sales team. To make their jobs easier, create a customizable template for them. This email template must relate to your previous event, offer value, and provide help.
Put your warm and cold leads in an event nurturing track. Be mindful of the various stages they are at in their buyer’s journey, and develop relatable content for your next event.
Online Events Yield Some of the Best Leads
Don’t throw them away.
While you may not be able to convert event attendees to leads right way, chances are, they’ll come around. It will only take a little more nudging and nurturing from your end.
Once your event is wrapped up, you should have a treasure trove of event content assets that can be packaged for future lead nurturing, social media, and content marketing.
Now, if only you had a platform that would help you organize all that content and manage your promotion process… Start your free 14-day trial of DivvyHQ today!