May 16, 2013

Most people say that success requires people to trudge the road less travelled by: the said road being bumpier and less convenient. Well, in terms of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, that’s true. There are two options for your business to grow:

1. Inbound Marketing – This is advertising thru the internet: blogs, social media, use of search engines etc.

2. Outbound Marketing – Is the exact opposite of inbound, you have to make a solid effort to bring your products or services to an audience. This is also a more traditional type of advertising. You will use television, print ads, radio shows and the like.

Now that we know the difference between the two, I’ll ask you a question. Which of the two strategies will you use to hike up your business? Yes, you’ll probably choose Inbound Marketing. And no one in this planet will blame you. Inbound marketing is less expensive and is much easier to track than the very abstract outbound campaign which will eventually take you to the cleaners.

But then again, truth hurts. According to insidesales.com, event marketing is the 2nd most effective way to push your business a level higher. And event marketing is one great example of outbound marketing.

18-steps-marketing

What exactly is event marketing? Event marketing is a strategy that uses face to face interaction such as live events, trade shows and corporate meetings.

Yes, I know. It is much, much more expensive than inbound marketing.

But if you really want a successful business, internet can only take you to a certain distance. It won’t go far if you will not do anything to “back it up” with traditional strategies.

So here, I have prepared 18 reminders that; will help you through the obstacle that is event marketing.

Before:

1. Prioritize your targets. Who among the guest lists can actually help you bring your dream to fruition? Mark them down and make it a point to meet them and build a long-lasting rapport.

2. Make the first move. Once you have the general idea of who will be at the event, send out emails to introduce yourself. It makes meeting up in the actual event less awkward and more comfortable.

3. Socialize before the event. Make a Facebook page or a Twitter account solely for the attendees of the event. This will increase your chances of meeting other people with the same objectives.

4. Break the ice. Of course it is a given that you’ll meet them, but what after that? Before rubbing elbows with your targets, you should have organized your thoughts well. How will you converse with them? What topics will you talk about?

5. Build links. Yes this is an actual event but it won’t hurt to still mix a couple of link-building.

During:

1. Track your time. This is an actual event, just like a live show. You’ll never really know what will happen. You meet one person and get so engaged you forget the others. That’s a fail. Schedule your conversations properly and try your hardest to follow them.

2. Create a reviewer. During an interview, it will be best if you have some means to record it. It can be audio or video. At the end of the day, it will be nice to have something to review in case you have overlooked a particular data.

3. Paraphrase. While having an interview, it will be helpful to restate answers. This way, the one you are having the conversation with will know that you’re listening. This will also assist you to understand things you’re not really familiar with.

4. Prepare a fall back. If you are not sure where the talk is heading, that’s a bad sign. It will not be long before your companion will know about your lack of knowledge. Try to lead the conversation to a topic you are more familiar with.

5. Find new opportunities. Although having a well structured plan is good, gaining new opportunities is better. Once you discover another avenue for success, don’t let it pass.

6. Keep posted. Listen to what’s happening outside your circle. Keep yourself posted by always being in the look out for what’s trending in the social media.

7. Don’t be a cyber wallflower. Yes it’s good to look, and watch, but for a successful event participation in Twitter or Facebook regarding the event is a must.

8. Ask for business cards. Especially if you have really arrived at a profitable conclusion, get the target’s calling card.

9. Be mindful of other’s time. Don’t forget that you are there for the same reason. Anticipate if the one you’re still taking to wants to converse with someone else.

After:

1. Take down notes. While everything is still fresh, take down notes. Match your conversations with the business cards that you have collected. Specify what have been the results of that particular talk.

2. Don’t be a stranger. After the event, let them know that the result of the conversation still stands.

3. Identify if long term contact is possible. Check your new connections’ background and see whether a profitable liaison.

4. Document. After all you’ve been through never forget to report what become of the event. Show how the event has affected your metrics in all aspects such as productivity, SEO, and traffic.

Event marketing is not simple. It requires in depth planning and patience. The money you’ll need to spend to participate is also a hindrance. While inbound marketing is easily accessible and less expensive, event marketing might require you to buy plane tickets and book hotel rooms. The bottom line is for you to choose what kind of event to participate in. You don’t want to end up failing a project after you spent four figures of money into it.

Send the right people. Consider everything you do as an investment. Remember the 18 guidelines in this post. Think of them as candles that you have to light. But instead of putting off the flame, you have to keep them burning.