Are your events canceled? Ours, too.
As marketers, the strategies that normally help us bring in opportunities and new business for our company no longer are viable. Many companies have been faced with the difficult decision to cancel upcoming events that were important assets to their 2020 campaigns. Events are a marketing staple across many different industries, and they play a large role in lead generation efforts for the year. They are also key opportunities for driving brand awareness and building relationships. As marketers, we must find ways to fill the gaps.
This may be a frustrating time for many, especially after months of event preparation and planning, but the good news is there are other ways to accomplish your original goals for hosting your event.
Whether your team was going to attend a conference, hold a booth at a trade show or host an event, it’s important to understand the value of those marketing activities and what you can do in place of them to still be an effective driver of new business for your company.
As a result of many recent event cancellations, we thought it would be beneficial to create a list of tactics to use in place of your current event marketing initiatives. Although we are currently facing COVID-19, these tactics can apply to any situation where an event is canceled or postponed.
Marketing Tactics to Use in Place of Events
Instead of calling off the whole event, consider hosting a webinar. Webinars are a great way to build brand awareness, bring value to your audience and promote thought leadership. Although technology can bring on its own challenges, it also has its benefits, including virtual access to anyone who wants to attend. You won’t have to worry about securing a venue or telling anyone where to park, and you can likely recycle your presentation into a format fit for a completely virtual conversation. Lastly, this is still a great way for your brand to bring awareness and get your knowledge out there. You can provide value to your audience by giving them something to take away from the webinar.
This would also be a good time to evaluate the type of content you were planning on presenting and decide if it’s still a good fit for an online environment. Or in the case of COVID-19, evaluate if your concept is still relevant.
Check out this example of a completely online and remote presentation.
Video is the key to human connection for remote workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Many companies are turning to video content to replace canceled trade shows and events. During a time of social distancing and separation, it’s important for your audience to feel extra connected to your brand. Creating video content allows your audience to feel engaged with your brand while working from home. It can also promote brand awareness and thought leadership.
With the internet full of content surrounding COVID-19, you may be wondering how to get your video to stand out during a time of internet chaos. Instead of adding to the noise, focus on creating video content that your audience will find interesting. Video as a medium is highly engaging and easy to consume, so if you can focus on bringing value and making your story interesting to watch, your brand will be in good shape. Consider creating a live-action video of a thought leader from your company addressing common questions, or an explainer video.
TIP: Include a transcription or summary article for anything published on your website for maximum value.
If you’re focused on creating video content that your audience will find interesting, you want to make sure it’s getting seen by the right people. By utilizing distribution networks and paid media tactics, you can make sure that your videos will reach your audience, even if the news is dominated by topics like the election or COVID-19. Learn more about Brandpoint’s Distribution services here.
Lead Generation Through Gated Assets
If your company regularly drives business through conventions or trade shows, your leads might drop over the next month or so. Because events play such a large role in lead generation, you’ll have to focus on other ways to bring in new leads for your business. With a lead generation campaign, you can provide content online through a gated asset and request users provide an email address to download. This content should live on your website but could be used for other demand generation initiatives, such as email nurture campaigns or social media advertising.
There are many kinds of gated assets, including whitepapers, eBooks, videos, infographics, reports, webinars … the list goes on. The type of gated assets your brand creates should depend on what your audience likes to consume. Providing value should always be at the top of your mind when creating this content. Think in the minds of your audience and what they would find interesting or helpful.
TIP: If you were planning on hosting your own event or workshop, consider turning your topic into an eBook for download. Plus, if you arranged for activities related to your workshop topic, you may already have valuable information that could be turned into a downloadable checklist or resource. If you turned your in-person event into a webinar, put this as a gated asset on your website for people to access later.
With everyone cooped up and working from home, many people are craving conversation with others. Twitter chats are a great way to get involved in a community, talk to other people, share ideas and learn something new. If you’re the one representing a brand on social media, Twitter chats can help you share thought leadership, grow brand awareness and build relationships with other people or brands.
There are Twitter chats for all different industries and topics. The best part about these chats is that they can be done from your computer, phone, home, desk, wherever, and they are completely free. If you were planning on hosting an event, try hosting a Twitter chat of your own based on the information you were going to discuss at the event. You will have to pick a date and time and create questions and a unique hashtag for people to follow along.
Reallot Your Budget to Different Content Marketing Tactics
With a high probability that the events your company was planning on attending or hosting have been or will be canceled, you may want to consider reallotting your budget to different content marketing tactics. You may now have some extra wiggle room for other tactics that have proven to work for your brand or that you would like to experiment with.
Success from different tactics will vary across brands.
- One tactic you could try is investing more into your organic traffic. For example, you could focus on SEO and inbound marketing.
- Content syndication will help you drive lead generation through gated content on syndicated websites.
- You could consider putting money into native advertising to help drive more traffic to your content.
- Using the gated assets you have created, you could also spend some of your budget on paid social.
- Lastly, put some time into repurposing your content. Turn your existing content into various forms to reach people who are working remotely. Try turning your most successful content into a video, downloadable asset, social post or podcast.
For more tips on how to handle marketing and communications during the COVID-19 crisis, check out “Do’s & Don’ts for Marketing During the Coronavirus Crisis” and “Coronavirus & PR: 6 Things Communications Professionals Should Do During COVID-19.”