Your Guide to Creating a B2B Event Marketing Strategy
A strong B2B event marketing strategy is critical to reaching your target audience, garnering attention, cultivating a buzz, and leaving a lasting impression. Here at Hamilton, we use event strategy to activate the pre, during, and post-show attendee experiences in an impactful and successful way. To help B2B companies take events to the next level, we created this guide to develop your B2B event marketing strategy. We define the concept, share what makes B2B event marketing unique, describe how to build an event marketing strategy, and provide tips for B2B event marketing.
What is B2B event marketing?
B2B event marketing is simply promoting an event to other businesses. A comprehensive B2B event marketing strategy, like our approach at Hamilton, includes elements such as creative concept design and theme development, budget and logistics management, event planning and promotion, pre/during/post-event marketing, multichannel engagement, event metric reporting, and optimization.
What makes B2B event marketing unique?
B2B event marketing involves multiple layers of relationship building, which makes it distinct from other types of event marketing. Building a relationship between businesses or business representatives differs from when a business makes a relationship with a consumer. In B2B marketing, company representatives and industry leaders have opportunities to connect and share knowledge. Businesses, as entities, also have opportunities to form partnerships and establish industry standing with other companies. Within B2B marketing, companies must communicate authority and expertise and demonstrate trustworthiness and credibility.
How to Build a B2B Event Marketing Strategy
The first step in building a B2B event marketing strategy is defining your brand, program, and audience. During the discovery process, uncover insights, identify opportunities, and establish benchmarks to measure across the event. This stage also involves ideation and theme development to hone your message and direct the content design and delivery.
Next, map the pre/during/post-show marketing communications. The goal is to maximize attendance and engagement while attracting an audience of qualified prospective customers.
For the third step, design the creative elements that bring your marketing strategy to life. It is helpful to leverage experience design, physical architecture, and digital engagement techniques to shape the most compelling narrative.
The following stage involves executing the delivery of the communications. Prioritize thorough communication and plan to minimize any unforeseen obstacles that may arise.
Finally, evaluate the metrics collected throughout the event. Organize and compare the results to the objectives established during the first stage of the process. Use this analysis to gain insight into attendee experiences, lead generation data, messaging performance and retention, and opportunities to optimize in the future.
13 Tips for B2B Event Marketing
- Leverage Partnerships - Seek ways to collaborate with event sponsors, speakers, stakeholders, and influencers to expand your audience reach.
- Encourage Client and Potential Customer Conversations - Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. Use social media platforms to encourage satisfied clients and potential customers to connect. Giveaways and social share contests can promote this form of sharing and marketing.
- Harness the Power of the Hashtag - Hashtags are powerful tools for generating excitement and connecting with customers.
- Create a VIP Program - Elevate the attendee experience with an exclusive VIP program, which also helps create a buzz and segment leads.
- Take Swag to the Next Level - Event swag can be fun, and it can also become monotonous. Think beyond a branded pen or sticker and offer digital swag and other memorable experiences that will not get lost in a drawer.
- Conduct Live Product Demonstrations - Consider replacing sales pitches with live product or service demonstrations to garner attention and showcase the value of your offering in action.
- Create a Webinar Series - In a webinar series, you can offer solutions to an industry problem, talk directly to your audience, generate leads, and nurture deeper customer relations.
- Repurpose Content - When it comes to content, you do not have to reinvent the wheel constantly. Analyze what has been most successful and build on that. Create a cohesive message that delivers value to your audience.
- Develop and Share Case Studies - Case studies are an important component of brand content and a powerful strategy to illustrate how your brand adds value to other businesses.
- Showcase Client Reviews - Client testimonials and reviews demonstrate trust and satisfaction with your brand, which may persuade potential customers to establish a business relationship.
- Include Compelling CTAs - Throughout your brand content, ensure the calls to action are crystal clear and warmly invite customers to take the next step.
- Think Outside the Box - Feel free to develop innovative initiatives that bring your brand and products to life and connect customers with the company.
- Choose an Effective Lead Capture Tool - Shows often provide lead retrieval solutions, but the functionality of these standard tools may be limited. Many businesses benefit from a more comprehensive tool like Hamilton inSIGHT® that easily integrates with your CRM and captures qualifying information from every event visitor, regardless of where they are engaged in the program.
To maximize the impact of your next B2B event with a strong marketing strategy, contact Hamilton today!