2023 Marketing Alternatives to Event Marketing
There's no debate that when it comes to creating a lasting impression and trusted relationship, a face-to-face approach is best. Whether it's a pitch meeting, a conference, or a trade show, nothing replaces the human touch for getting a deal done. When it comes to the realm of event marketing, over 75% of content marketers say that it's the single most effective marketing channel in their arsenal.
Why? Because it's real. In fact, according to EventView, 62% of senior sales & marketing executives feel that event marketing accelerates and deepens relationships, even though we're living in a digital age. It's that personal approach, and it's a time-tested and proven method.
Except right now, we can't rely on it.
So how do you keep your business thriving and keep up the momentum you've built to date with acquiring leads and customers? You bring them to you and leverage your online tools. Here are a couple of ideas:
Content marketing: This involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
Social media marketing: This involves using social media platforms to promote products or services and engage with customers.
Influencer marketing: This involves partnering with influencers (people who have a large following on social media) to promote products or services.
Email marketing: This involves sending emails to a list of subscribers to promote products or services.
Affiliate marketing: This involves promoting products or services on behalf of another company and earning a commission for every sale made through a unique referral link.
Referral marketing: This involves encouraging customers to refer friends and family to a business for rewards or incentives.
Public relations: This involves building relationships with the media and creating positive press for a company.
Online advertising: This involves placing ads on websites or social media platforms to reach a targeted audience.
Partnership marketing: This involves partnering with another company to promote products or services to their customers.
While that might seem daunting at first, especially if your best efforts have been borne out of a strong showing at events in the past, it's a pretty reasonable shift in techniques. A tactical, informed, and well-thought-out approach can do more for you and your brand than event marketing, given the current circumstances.
This is where content marketing comes in. We've covered this before in a previous post, but it bears repeating:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Here, I wanted to highlight the bolded words because those are the key components to replicate the face-to-face effect of trust-building. By offering valuable content and a consistent approach, you'll facilitate similar effects to that personal talk at an industry event, minus the awkwardly positioned name tags. Your content here works two-fold:
- It provides helpful information to your audience at no cost, inviting them into your fold. And it invites them to reach out to you.
- It attracts prospects and partners to learn more about your offering.
What also shouldn't be overlooked is that your current audience is already on board with you, and the more value you're offering to them as customers can also generate buzz.
Like we're being encouraged to do in the real world, ensure that your housekeeping is current. That means making sure that your website is attractive, refreshed, and populated with relevant things and that you have content that's been posted within the past two weeks.
It might be time to revisit your content posting frequency. In this time of uncertainty, any expertise and advice you can offer would be more than welcome, and if you have a strong stable of content marketers, it’d be good to get them working. Regular updates are a good way to bring people back to your site, ensuring a steady flow of site traffic.
Having relevant articles/blog posts, downloadable ebooks, and even podcasts on your site can help strengthen your trusted rapport and relationship with your customers. It’s something that they can take away and share with their network, and that will send new prospects your way.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing involves using social media platforms to promote products or services and engage prospects and customers. This can be done by creating a presence on social media platforms (such as creating a company page on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), posting updates about the company and its products or services, and interacting with followers by answering questions and responding to comments.
Social media marketing can be an effective way to reach a large audience and build brand awareness. It can also be a useful tool for customer service, allowing companies to quickly and easily communicate with customers and address any issues or concerns.
To be successful with social media marketing, it's essential to have a well-defined target audience and to create content that is relevant and engaging to them. Be consistent with posting updates and with monitoring and responding to any comments or messages promptly.
Examples in the B2B space include using LinkedIn and tapping into the knowledge to help attract followers to your LinkedIn page. Whether it's optimizing your LinkedIn page for SEO, adding follow buttons to your website and page links in your email signature, or diving deep into your analytics and adjusting your content accordingly, there are a lot of options through the platform to facilitate some of the same things that an event can offer.
Likewise, you can also rely on LinkedIn's latest "Invite Connections" feature that allows you to invite your (personal) connections to follow your (company) page.
Influencer marketing involves partnering with influencers (people who have a large following on social media) to promote products or services. Influencers are often seen as trusted sources by their followers, and collaborating with them can be a way for companies to reach a new audience and increase brand awareness.
To be effective, influencer marketing campaigns should be carefully planned. This involves working with influencers who are a good fit for the brand and whose followers align with the target audience. Influencers can promote products or services through sponsored posts, product reviews, or by incorporating the products into their content (such as using them in a tutorial video).
It's important to remember that influencer marketing is a form of advertising, and it's important to be transparent with followers about sponsored content. It's also important to do thorough research and due diligence when working with influencers to ensure that they align with the values and goals of the company.
Emails should be a vital component of your content marketing strategy. It’s a way to nurture your existing leads and audience, engage your customers, and continuously nurture your trusted relationships.
If, on the other hand, email marketing isn't something you're doing, now’s the time to start. Email marketing allows your business to keep your customers informed. It's one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich forms of digital marketing today, and it's a tool that 81% of SMBs use as their primary acquisition and retention channel. Plus, you can personalize and customize your message to drive your message home and start building relationships.
Without the benefit of a face-to-face meeting, establishing brand-consumer trust through other methods is invaluable to the longevity of your business. You might as well set it up now for your long-term success.
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for each customer brought to the company through the affiliate's marketing efforts.
In affiliate marketing, affiliates promote a company's products or services on their website or social media platforms and earn a commission for every sale made through a unique referral link. The referral link tracks the sales made by the affiliate and credits them with the commission.
Affiliate marketing can be an effective way for companies to reach a larger audience and for affiliates to earn income by promoting products or services they believe in. It's important for both the company and the affiliates to be transparent about the affiliate relationship and to disclose any sponsored content.
It is essential to choose affiliates who align with the values and goals of the company and whose audience is relevant to the products or services being promoted. It's also important to provide affiliates with the resources and support they need to promote the products or services effectively.
Referral marketing is a strategy that encourages customers to refer friends and family to a business in exchange for rewards or incentives. This can be an effective way to attract new customers and a low-cost marketing option, as it relies on word-of-mouth recommendations.
To implement a referral marketing program, a business can offer incentives to customers for every successful referral they make. These incentives can be in the form of discounts, free products or services, or other perks.
You will need to have a product or service that is high quality and that customers are happy to recommend to others. It's also essential to make the referral process easy for customers and ensure they know the referral program and the incentives available.
In addition to offering incentives to customers, it can also be helpful for businesses to provide referral marketing materials (such as referral cards or social media graphics) to make it easier for customers to spread the word.
Public relations (PR) involves building relationships with the media and creating positive press for a company. This can be done through various tactics, such as press releases, media outreach, events, and content creation.
The goal of PR is to create a positive image for a company and to shape the public's perception of the company. PR can be used to promote new products or services, share company news, or address negative press or misinformation.
Have a clear message and know the target audience. It's also essential to establish relationships with journalists and media outlets and to understand their needs and preferences.
PR can be an effective way to reach a large audience and position a company as a thought leader in its industry. It can also be a valuable tool for managing a company's reputation and responding to any negative press or issues that may arise.
Online advertising is a form of marketing that involves placing ads on websites or social media platforms to reach a targeted audience. This can be done through various types of ads, such as display ads (which appear on websites as banners or graphics), search ads (which appear when a user searches for specific keywords), or social media ads (which appear in users' social media feeds).
Online advertising can be an effective way to reach a specific audience and track the effectiveness of the ads. It's often possible to target ads to specific demographics, interests, or locations and to track how many people have seen the ad and taken a desired action (such as visiting a website or making a purchase).
Have a clear marketing goal and create ads that are relevant and appealing to the target audience. It's also important to track the performance of the ads and to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that they are meeting the desired goals.
Online advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience, but it's essential to consider the budget carefully and ensure that the results justify the costs.
Partnership marketing is a strategy that involves partnering with another company to promote products or services to its customers. This can be an effective way for companies to reach a new audience and gain credibility by association with a well-known brand.
There are many different ways that companies can partner to promote products or services. Some common examples include co-branded marketing campaigns, joint webinars or events, and cross-promotions (such as offering a discount to customers of one company when they purchase from the other).
Choose a partner that aligns with the values and goals of the company and whose audience is relevant to the products or services being promoted. It's also essential to have clear communication and to define the terms of the partnership up front to ensure that both companies are getting value from the collaboration.
Partnership marketing can be a powerful way for companies to reach a larger audience and create mutually beneficial relationships. Still, it's essential to consider the potential risks carefully and thoroughly research potential partners before entering agreements.
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