In recent years, the B2B sales cycle has grown less linear and become more convoluted. And in response, event marketing and sales teams use virtual events, hybrid events, and in-person events as optimized sales tools for increasing B2B sales. Whether your goals are to nurture business relationships or generate brand awareness, events can be a powerful tool. With them, you can refine your marketing efforts and get prospects to convert through a sales funnel.
Live events have been critical to the success of leaders in the tech sector, for example, and events are often considered as a solution to common conversion blocks.
Driving successful event marketing strategies can be difficult, and brands need to cut through the noise. Here are our tips for using events to optimize B2B sales:
Can Event Marketing Be Optimized For B2B Sales?
Virtual events, hybrid events, and live events are powerful ways to cut through the noise of always-on marketing. With increased exposure to marketing in our daily lives, reaching your intended audience can seem like an impossible task. Event marketers typically experience a disconnect when it comes to event marketing and sales. So, marketers need a more hands-on approach to securing and increasing conversions.
Events, whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, can do this for you.
Not only are events a significant driver for growing content, building brand awareness, and encouraging potential customer engagement, but they also bring more leads to your doorstep.
How To Gain B2B Sales Through Digital Event Marketing Strategies
Optimizing your event for B2B sales requires a mixture of the right tools and the right mix of event marketing strategies. Using tools like CRM software, CRM automation, marketing automation, lead capture automation, and analytics will be critical to the success of your optimized event. An intuitive CRM platform and virtual event software will be critical to your success.
In addition, consider the following marketing strategies for boosting B2B sales:
Use a mixture of B2B marketing strategies
Consider a mixture of event marketing that taps into your direct target audience but a range of user intents. While a combination is ideal, your strategy should still be omnichannel. This means that your marketing is still on-brand and clear across your delivery channels, and the messaging won’t confuse, distract, or mislead the audience.
Stay engaged during the event
Engaging with your audience during the event will allow for more sales opportunities. Even if the main goal is to get event registrations, you still need to dedicate resources to boosting attendee engagement at the event itself. Employ gamification features, networking opportunities, and attendee incentives.
Your content is the driving force of any event. Be sure it is optimized to the event theme. Tap into already existing content, and identify major evergreen content streams that your event and audience would benefit from.
Track event ROI
It can be challenging to know how successful your event indeed was if you don’t measure or track ROI. Connect your accounting software to your virtual event platform to track sales, and then cross-reference this information with sales captures from leads and the event marketing campaign.
Branch out in your event formats
Different event formats can be helpful for differing purposes. If you want to make more business relationships, then you could host a virtual trade show. Virtual trade shows are designed for a company that wants to promote its product, service, or expertise. However, you can increase the B2B sales process for your attendees, trade show exhibitors, and your brand by providing attendee incentives, providing discounts and gamification, and sponsorship packages.
Events for Funnel Stages
Another way to approach the use of events for B2B sales is by using different kinds of possibilities for different sales funnels.
- Top of Funnel Events
Think of networking events, speaker opportunities, and award ceremonies as valuable tools for the top of funnel or awareness stage. Sometimes, top of funnel events require more time and dedication to build awareness. This effort can help your brand be viewed as an expert in your given field. Consider hosting more events with a moderate budget to grow your brand name and build attendee interest.
- Middle of Funnel Events
As brand awareness grows, you can begin to deploy events with more sales opportunities. These types of events should solve an identified pain point or audience problem; therefore, middle of funnel events should involve a level of discovery and customer assessment. Consider hosting or attending trade shows and VIP events, which bring on industry leaders. These are higher-quality events that speak to specific nuances within an audience and their needs.
- Bottom of Funnel Event
Finally, you can accelerate sales by hosting bottom-of-sales funnel events. These events will speak to prospects who have evaluated your brand and are considering a relationship with it. Here you want to target VIP events, user conferences, product launches, and roadshows as these target specific desires and audience demographics.
Key Takeaways for Optimizing Marketing Funnels with Events
Virtual events, hybrid events, and live in-person events can be powerful lead generation tools. Not only will your event attendees feel engaged within that industry, but they will be poised to move along the B2B buyer’s journey and build long-term business relationships with your brand. While there are many challenges associated with optimizing events for your marketing funnel, these challenges are usually worth the effort.
- Consider identifying these key challenges right away so your event planners can stay on top of it. Additionally, stake out the key content that audience members are looking for.
- Your potential customers and potential attendees will be approaching this relationship from their own perspective. Therefore, try to tap into that perspective through buyer personas to deliver an optimized approach to your marketing scheme.
- Don’t assume that everyone is caught up with the ins and outs of your brand or industry. Try to speak to all audience types to encourage a more welcoming environment. Your event might not fit into your digital marketing campaign perfectly, but it will improve conversions. Be sure to optimize your event and your marketing plan so that they are aligned and work with your brand approach.
Using an event platform, like Accelevents, that can handle a range of event formats will help you provide a valuable attendee experience while generating the data and revenues you need to succeed. Book a Demo today to learn more about how this platform can help you achieve your marketing and business goals.