- It’s a Digital World
- Think Digitally
- Event Management is B2B
- A Digital Marketing Model for Event Management
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.
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.
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.
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 OnlineThis 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 AuthorityPositioning 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:
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.
3. Create TrustTrust 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.
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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