Winning At Digital Marketing In Your Event Business

7 min read
Event Management Business Series – IV
The idea of digital marketing is overwhelming for many small business owners, so you’re in good company if you’re not sure where to start. Discover expert tips for digital marketing that’s doable, affordable and drives success for your new event management business.

Index

Digital marketing that’s doable, affordable and drives success. Click To Tweet

1. It’s a Digital World

We certainly live in a digital world, especially when it comes to marketing. While there are still traditional marketing activities that can still work for your business – trade shows, networking, sales, print brochures, PR – digital is where you need to be. The same principles of marketing still apply, it’s just delivered differently – on desktops, mobile devices, wearable devices and more.

The basic principles of marketing strategy are identifying your target audience, finding your point of difference and creating an event management brand that encapsulates these. It isn’t any different in digital marketing.

The basic principles of marketing communications also apply to digital:

  • The right message
  • At the right time
  • In the right way
  • To the right people

In this article we focus on digital marketing communications, and show you how to approach it as an event management business in the business to business (B2B) space.

How to approach digital marketing as an event business in the B2B space. Click To Tweet

2. Think Digitally

There is one key aspect of digital marketing that differs from the traditional marketing mindset. It’s known as ‘inbound’ marketing vs ‘outbound’ marketing.

Outbound is described as ‘interruption’ marketing, pushing your messages out to people through more aggressive means like advertising, cold calling, direct mail and other unsolicited methods that interrupt people. It’s often associated with ‘old-school’ marketing and the smooth-talking, door-to-door sales and VERY ANNOYING person.


Inbound marketing is all about attracting people in to your business by offering information – think whitepapers, blogs, reports and infographics – that they request to receive from you, allowing them to build trust and confidence to choose your services.

Inbound marketing techniques are targeted to people who want the information, rather than a scattergun approach to all and sundry. Inbound is far more well received by potential clients, and is far more cost-effective for smaller businesses to implement.



Source: Moz

Inbound or outbound marketing for event companies? The results may surprise you. Click To Tweet

3. Event Management is B2B

Most event management business are service businesses, providing consultancy and expert services to other businesses. This is known as B2B (business to business) which differs from a B2C (business to consumer) selling products or services to consumers.

As a B2B business, your audience of prospective clients is small, and a client’s decision to hire your services is a weightier one than say buying shoes or lipstick online from an e-commerce site. The client needs to be 100% confident that you’ll do a great job, making them look good and their boss very happy too. This impacts how you’ll approach marketing, because you need to build authority and trust before prospects become your clients.

If you want prospects to become clients you first need to build authority and trust. Click To Tweet

4. A Digital Marketing Model for Event Management

It’s widely accepted that the majority of people prefer to do online research before engaging with a business.

That means people are searching online, looking for an event management company. And you want them to find you, right? And when they find you, you want them to see that you’re an expert in the space – that you have authority – and that they can trust you to deliver.

1. Be Found Online
This is known as search marketing or SEO (search engine optimisation). It means presenting and structuring the content on your website, including the website pages as well as blogs, whitepapers, videos, images etc, so that Google will deliver it to prospects who are interested in your services.


If you have the time or inclination, you can do a course and DIY. It’s pretty technical, but a good course like The Recipe for SEO Success will set you up well. Otherwise, you can outsource it to an SEO copywriter or a web developer who specialises in SEO.

2. Build Authority
Positioning yourself as an expert in your niche means being present online with educational information that clients want to read, always ready to answer their burning questions and to provide value that moves them closer to that all-important purchase decision.

Content marketing is where it’s at for building authority and trust. Content marketing is all the helpful, non-pushy, non-salesy information you share to prospective clients in the form of:

Blog articles
Video
Industry reports
Whitepapers
Images
Downloadable tools & templates

The content you create can be posted on your website or on social media, or people have to ‘opt-in’ or sign up to an email list to receive the it.

Although the idea of creating content sounds hard without the relevant experience, there are ways to make it achievable:

  • Keep it very simple and strategic – only produce what clients really want, and opt for quality over quantity. Remember you can repost and repurpose content.
  • Create a content plan that maps out a whole cycle
  • Develop a library of digital content – images, video, blogs
  • Outsource the production of content to a copywriter and/or graphic designer
  • Schedule social media posts using a tool like Hootsuite
  • Automate the distribution of content to clients at the right phase of their ‘buying journey’ with an email marketing platform such as Infusionsoft or Mailchimp
3. Create Trust
Trust in your ability to deliver is a by-product of consistently positive engagement with your business, and includes every single touchpoint the customer has with you. Prompt reply to questions, returning phone calls, interacting regularly on social and delivering great quality content when you say you will, all add up to trust. Trust is what gives them the confidence to move from prospect to an actual client.


HOT TIP: Testimonials from previous clients are a powerful form of social proof, so always request a testimonial from clients.

How to nurture prospects to become clients via digital marketing. Click To Tweet

5. Go Digital for Your Event Management Business

Remember, your clients aren’t making a snap decision when they eventually sign up to to work with you. Rather, they’re making a considered choices that is influenced along the way by your online presence, with great content and consistently positive interactions.

As a B2B, ‘nurturing’ your clients takes time and effort, but it’s certainly worthwhile for the results you’ll see.


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About the Author

Gav George

When his school music teacher loaned him a cassette tape (yes, he's that old) of a fusion band, Gav entered the jazz world after years of classical music training. He was lucky enough to play with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and toured key festivals. Then Enhance founder Alison Clarke called on Gav to work on the company's marketing. This led him to his new passion of… marketing! Gav oversees Enhance's marketing initiatives, gets a kick out of connecting with clients and unearthing new talent. Gav still has that cassette tape, so if his music teacher reads this, please get in touch so he can return it.

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