It's been a unique few years for MarTech events. In response to the pandemic, companies hosting industry events have leveraged virtual components to serve their audience. By offering a combination of live-streamed and recorded content, these companies were able to provide an engaging experience.
Now that in-person events have returned, leading conferences like HubSpot's Inbound and Salesforce's Dreamforce have adopted a hybrid approach to reach an even wider audience.
No matter the setup, trade shows, and conferences provide an excellent opportunity to meet new prospects and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. However, participating in these events can be a lot of work, especially when it comes to connecting with leads in an online format.
That's why it's essential to build an automation strategy before each event so that you can ensure the following outcomes:
- Handoff of all event leads from marketing to sales
- Leverage all benefits that you receive as an event sponsor or participant
- Measure the ROI of each event to re-evaluate your investment for next year
This post will discuss how to leverage sales and marketing automation to set up engaging follow-ups, present relevant content offerings, and empower your sales team to continue the conversations they started at the event. Plus, we'll help you refine your strategy to cater to virtual, hybrid, or in-person environments to connect with each audience successfully.
Use Connected Apps to Ensure No Lead is Left Behind
Collecting leads at the booth should be a top priority at any event. These prospects are engaged and excited to interact with your organization. Instead of using a pen and a pad, marketing automation will ensure these leads make it into the funnel. Solutions such as iCapture, Momencio, and other connected apps can help intake prospect information and transfer it to your Marketing Hub.
If the event doesn't have a badge scanning infrastructure, you will want to create a landing page with a short form that will be easily accessible on devices at the booth. Adding a qualifying question can help differentiate leads ready to speak with sales immediately versus leads still in the awareness phase.
Using connected apps and landing pages with forms will make it easier to enroll leads into the marketing automation strategy you will create for each event, including workflows and sequences.
Customize Landing Pages to Highlight Content Offers
Designing a custom landing page is vital to the success of the digital marketing strategy of your event. When event attendees review information for your organization, it's essential to include a conversion point.
On this landing page, you can display information on:
- Keynote speakers and sessions
- Related events and resources
- Booth location and schedule
Including videos, audio clips, and images on the landing page can help build brand awareness and highlight the value propositions of your solutions. Additionally, features such as smart content ensure that prospects already engaged with your company can receive an even more tailored experience.
Often, the sponsors or partner page does not give enough space to explain your solution's benefits fully. This landing page can be easily linked to all of your assets related to the event.
Create Event-Specific Playbooks and Sequences
Each event has its theme and messaging that connects with the unique value propositions of your products and services. A generic follow-up from sales after an event is not what your prospect will find engaging. This is where sequences come in handy.
Your sales team should create an event-specific sequence that they can use to follow up with leads post-event. This sequence should include the following:
- A personalized message from the sales rep
- An overview of your company's solutions
- How you address the pain points of your target market
Creating a playbook can help quickly give your sales teams context about the conversations they should have with prospects from this event. This is especially helpful if the sales team couldn't attend the event.
Marketing and sales should collaborate to create effective follow-up messaging. Partner with your sales team to develop relevant and engaging sequences that connect the central themes. For example, if your brand presented at a major industry conference, in the follow-up sequence, include information about the presented results.
Use Dashboards and Campaigns to Evaluate Event ROI
Once the event is over, it's time to start reviewing lead performance. Analyzing event performance will help you understand what's working and what isn't. You can use this data to refine your marketing automation strategy for future events.
Creating a dashboard in HubSpot Sales Hub can help you quickly see how your sales team is doing with their follow-up. You can also use the Deals tool to measure which leads are being worked on, what stage they're in, and if there have been any closed-won deals attributed to the event. Some items you may want to consider include the following:
- Number of leads generated
- Qualifying criteria for leads
- Types of follow-up sequences used
- Sales rep performance
You'll also want to review the activity by the following cadence:
> One week after the event
> 30 days after the event
> 60 days after the event
> 90 days after the event
Setting up an event marketing dashboard to track the lead performance of new contacts created from events is the first step to analyzing if your event marketing strategy is successful. Before each, set goals based on the type of event, your investment, and the number of attendees.
If the event uses a platform that has a Connected app through the HubSpot marketplace for lead capture, contacts will automatically sync to your portal. In cases where a connected app is unavailable, create a simple naming convention structure for each event on the list.
Using the list membership filter (and selecting the list for each event), you can then create the following reports to measure the individual performance for each event:
- Contacts created and worked totals with deals created and won totals
- Contact lifecycle stage funnel with contact totals and conversion rates
Measure the performance of the customized landing pages for each event by viewing the following reports:
- Landing page total views and form submissions
- Landing pages by customer totals
The goal would be to create both reports for each event landing page. Creating one comprehensive report that includes the performance of all landing pages may also be helpful.
Attribution reports are perhaps the most critical type of report for event marketing. These reports will help your team to understand how you should plan to invest in future events. Using HubSpot's custom attribution report builder will give you the ability to show the ROI of your event marketing efforts.
One way to measure the attribution of events is by filtering by campaigns. If you set up a campaign for each event, filtering by each campaign will be a simple way to view how each event contributed to the bottom line. Additional filters that can help measure the return on investment of events include:
- Business Units
- Asset Type (marketing email, landing page, blog post, etc.)
- Custom Behavioral Events
- Deal Types
With the above insights, you can determine the ROI of an event that is a part of your overall event marketing strategy. Ultimately, this will help you decide which events your team should invest more in and which events may not be a good fit for your business.
Kimberly has been creating innovative and engaging marketing content for print, online, mobile, and television for the past ten years. As a marketing manager, marketing operations manager, and event marketing manager, she has a variety of experience using marketing automation tools to drive marketing and sales...
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