Events are a critical part of your marketing strategy. Online events, hybrid events, and even in-person events are critical drivers of brand campaign success. Whether you are using your event marketing funnel to promote brand awareness or to drive more sales to your business, events can be a powerful lead generation tool for marketing campaigns.
Naturally, ticket sales and attendance are drivers for success. But, there are many other opportunities to take advantage of in the event marketing funnel.
Considering the amount of effort that goes into running a successful event, your event team needs to ensure that the event marketing funnel is designed to effectively capture sales or leads at all stages.
Not sure where to start? To tackle this, we will first map out your event marketing funnel and then highlight how an event marketer can boost sales at every stage of that funnel.
Your Event Marketing Funnel
Like a general marketing campaign, your event marketing campaign will rely on a marketing funnel. A marketing funnel will move potential customers from point A to point B. Point A is the inquiry stage, where they are looking for a solution. Point B is making a purchase from your company.
The sales funnel is dependent on several factors, including:
your target audience
the pain points that need to be resolved
your marketing/brand goals
A successful funnel is one that turns potential customers into actual customers. This success happens when all of the stages link up and make sense for the overall marketing goal.
When it comes to event marketing, you need to set up a clear event marketing funnel. Most event brands will have an event landing page directing potential customers to the event registration page where they can sign up. Even though an event technically captures leads by getting attendees to register, it is still important that these registrants actually attend the event. At the event, attendees have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the brand.
If the event goal is to increase sales for a certain product, getting people to sign up for your event does not reach that goal. But, by mapping the marketing funnel stages, you can more effectively move registrants towards that goal.
Mapping Leads at Every Marketing Funnel Stage
Increasing your sales at every stage of your event marketing funnel requires that you map out lead capture mechanisms at each stage. The details will depend on your unique funnel for your hybrid event, but there are tools and techniques that can be implemented to help you operationalize this.
Identifying your funnel is the first step. Make sure to wireframe it from the top of the funnel to the middle funnel to the final funnel stage.
Top of funnel entry points might include social media (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter). Middle entry funnel stages might involve the event landing page and funnel completion might include registering for the event.
If you want more to happen after registration, you can extend the funnel or create a new one. But remember, the longer your funnel is, the harder it will be to achieve success. It is better to keep the process short, so potential customers don’t need to work harder than they should to find a resolution.
Once attendees are registered, you can then map out the next funnel to event goals. Explore ways that your leads can be captured while at the event (the middle funnel) and following the event (funnel completion). If your main goal is brand awareness, then getting your leads to go through this process means that you have a successful marketing campaign.
Identifying Lead Capture Opportunities in Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels are usually categorized based on four stages: awareness, interest, desire, and action. Each stage needs to be targeted with relevant content that is unique to every phase of the marketing funnel.
These stages are organized based on user intent. The more interested someone is in your brand, the more action they will take.
- Top of funnel: This is the awareness stage. Whether your leads are entering your funnel through social media, your website, or a virtual event landing page, make sure that you have clear Calls to Action (CTAs) that get the website visitor to sign up for the intended response.
- Middle of the funnel: Marketers call this the consideration stage of the customer journey. Your prospective customer is intrigued but not yet purchasing. You want to promote your event as the CTA or email opt-in because then your attendees are registered for the event, and you can send out a dedicated email campaign at another time.
- Funnel/Sales completion: Now you have completed the sale or conversion. Typically this means that your audience is going through the sales process. If getting attendees to your event is your main goal, you need to cross-reference your CRM with your virtual event platform. Make sure that your attendee engagement levels at your event are ideal for the brand goals. For example, if you want them to interact with the kiosks or trade show booths, promote these features when they arrive at the event.
With the right tools in place, you will be able to capture leads at every stage of the funnel. Even if customers drop off, you can still align them with your marketing campaign and overall brand goals at a later time.
A Personalized and Omnichannel Marketing Funnel
As mentioned, it’s important to capture as many leads as you can at each stage of your event marketing funnel. That way, even if your leads start to branch off, you can then recapture them at a later stage.
Integrating your leads with a CRM will help you stay on top of this. Your CRM will be able to extract leads from your social media marketing campaign, from landing page visitors, event attendee sign-ups, and event attendee analytics. With these analytics, you can create personalized email marketing campaigns and turn your event marketing funnel into an omnichannel marketing funnel.
The omnichannel marketing funnel is useful for promoting different marketing goals to diverse audiences. For example, you don’t need to inundate leads that clicked through your social media channel but did not register for the event with post-event follow-ups. It is unlikely that people who did not attend the event will be interested in the post-event networking group you’ve set up. To reengage those leads, you would need to market that networking group differently for those who attended and those who did not.
By channeling your leads into your CRM and creating a dedicated, omnichannel marketing funnel, you can offer tailored marketing with a higher conversion rate. This omnichannel funnel will be a dedicated and cohesive marketing funnel that will strengthen the funnel/brand’s authority and increase sales.
Best Strategies to Boost Sales at the Action Stage
Common event marketing strategies can be useful for boosting sales at each stage of the funnel. The most useful strategies will depend on your approach to each stage and the specific event goals.
However, you can consider the following when trying to boost ticket sales:
Content marketing strategies like blogging or putting out podcast content are useful ways to build brand and consumer awareness. Your content strategy should involve a posting/publishing frequency, where content is published on social media platforms or your website and leads visitors to your event landing page.
Paid or Pay-per-click Advertising:
This is a great way to boost sales. However, if you do this, you will need to allocate more money to your marketing budget. Winning the lottery for Google paid ads can be expensive. It can be a little more cost-effective to run ads on niche sites that share your target audience.
Social Media Marketing and Influencer Marketing
Social media campaigns can boost brand awareness and encourage more attendees at your virtual or hybrid event.
When it comes to deploying an event marketing funnel strategy, ensure it speaks to your target audience and brand goals. Posting CTAs and integrating lead capture tools with your CRM will synchronize the lead retrieval process.
Your event is a major part of your marketing toolkit. Therefore, you should take advantage of the conversion funnel and marketing potentials it creates. By tapping into each stage of your event marketing funnel, you will be able to garner more leads and boost sales and ROI.
Choosing a comprehensive virtual event platform like Accelevents can simplify this process. With Accelevents, you can create an optimized event website, build and send customized emails, integrate your chosen CRM or email campaign platform, integrate your social media channels, and capture attendee data to maximize lead retrieval.
Get in touch today and let us help you achieve your event growth goals.